Retailers stock up on ‘above-the-keyboard’ clothes

Retailers from Macy’s to Target are stocking their shelves with Zoom-friendly clothing. The rapid spread of the Delta variant now delaying an office return for some U.S. employees and threatening plans for in-classroom learning.

Elementary school kids are favoring graphic t-shirts, according to one retail consultant, while Ralph Lauren’s CEO said men are choosing a smart, casual waist-up look that includes more polo shirts and sport coats - something that also works with an office and home hybrid work model.

To that end, customers "want to pull themselves together again", said a White House Black Market executive, with women buying blouses and trousers that work well at home or for the office commute. Denim and comfortable shoes also fit the bill.

But the assortment you now see on store shelves could change: As companies experiment with hybrid models, Macy’s says its office clothing will “evolve over the next 12 to 18 months.”

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