Fashion vs Function – Business attire in 2023/24

September 1, 2023

Shop products in this article

A Contemporary take on what “office appropriate” may look like in 2023/24

Text by Miguel Vieira
Photos by Miguel Vieira & Elisabeth Teixeira

Evolution and Adaptation

It comes to no surprise that as creatures of habits, humans tend to evolve and adapt to the passing of times. We’ve been doing it for several centuries now, continuously finding new ways to become more productive, more comfortable, more…something. What’s interesting to me is how, in recent years, the notion of “more” has been losing its inherent appeal: the point of saturation we are currently experiencing has led modern society to rethink its everyday essentials.

A Shift in Perspective

This concept of growing abundance that has been passed on through generations, seems to have come to halt, undoubtedly boosted by recent phenomena such as the global pandemic and ongoing financial crisis. On the aftermath of such events, society (finally) seems to be slowly changing towards a “less is more” approach, valuing a more spartan approach to several areas, including fashion.

The Pandemic and Fashion

The pandemic introduced us to a new reality and changes that will forever change our lifestyle, such as remote work, which by itself changed the fashion landscape introducing leisurewear to even those who adamantly opposed it. The ability to show as much or little as one wanted behind a computer screen, paved the way for a more relaxed approach often resulting in truly bizarre attires if seen head to toe (sweatpants paired with a shirt and tie anyone?).

“While business wear has definitely changed towards a more casual format, the essence of menswear shines once again, sustained by time-tested formulas such as tailoring.”

–Miguel Vieira

This just confirmed an ongoing movement that began in the early 90s, with Casual Friday and recently reached its peak when Wall Street announced the optional use of ties, something most would consider blasphemy a few years back. As we return to “normality” in a new context, the notion of business appropriate seems to have been imbued with a lawless volatility… so, what does this really mean in 2023?

Fashion’s Cyclical Nature

Well, that’s a tough one to answer, but let’s look at the facts: story has proven time and time again the cyclical nature of fashion and our very habits, which often rebel against the status quo. I often discussed with friends outside the fashion scene, as they didn’t get why I wore tailored garments on the weekends, when all they wanted was denim and a tee. After several years of observing this phenomenon, I believe it’s due to the fact that it’s in our nature to counter the imposed norm: as they wore suits all week, they wanted “anything but” on the weekend, whereas I had the freedom to wear whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. It would be interesting to see if they would suit up if their work uniform consisted of tees and denim.

The Return to Tailoring

But I digress… recent studies* show a decline in leisure wear in favor of tailoring as people begin to grow tired of wearing slouchy pieces and are looking to appear more professional and resume social events. We’re currently witnessing a comeback of menswear’s essential pillars, based on high-quality tailored garments, which are now reinvented with function in mind. A more curated and adaptable wardrobe suited to the necessities of the new normal. While business wear has definitely changed towards a more casual format, the essence of menswear shines once again, sustained by time-tested formulas such as tailoring.

A 2023 Fashion Snapshot – Norwegian Rain Classics

The looks shown here serve as a social experiment of sorts, aiming to deliver a contemporary take of what “office appropriate” may look like in 2023/24. Perhaps in a few decades it will serve as a snapshot of context and time for those further down the line. Making use of two of Norwegian Rain’s most classic coats, the Single Breasted and the Walker, I put together three different interpretations of what I usually wear to work, working as a Fashion Marketeer in Porto, Portugal.

Both these styles are a prime example of the abovementioned “tailored functionality”. The clean lines and timeless design are rooted in traditional tailoring, but upgraded to new heights through all the hidden technology Norwegian Rain incorporates into every coat. They deliver a perfect mix of fashion and function, as besides beautifully complementing a wide range of styles, they also protect you from rain and wind and accommodate several inner and side pockets for your everyday essentials.

Shop products in this article

About guest writer: Miguel Vieira

Civil Engineer turned Fashion Marketeer, Stylist, Copywriter and part time photographer, Miguel has been working with fashion brands and companies for over a decade, including Norwegian Rain. Based in Porto, Portugal, he’s keen on menswear history and writes about it on his blog Beyond Fabric.”


Location and currency

Select your location to see the correct price, delivery time and shipping fee.

+ Show more shipping locations

Be first in line

Keep up to date on product launches and be first in line for limited edition pieces, collabs and more. Subscribe to our newsletter and we got you covered.