Sartorial sensibilities: COVID-19 and gendered changes in work attire

Sartorial sensibilities: COVID-19 and gendered changes in work attire

As we slowly return to the office and in-person meetings after over two years of restrictions and lockdowns due to the global coronavirus pandemic, thoughts turn to the question of what to wear to work. A key advantage of remote working during the pandemic has been the relaxing in many professions dress codes, with ‘COVID casual’ becoming the norm for many workers (Lipton & Basu 2022). While women in particular have swapped pantsuits and stilettos for activewear and slippers, there has also been a growing sartorial resurgence in the ‘male’ skirt and the men in heels fashion movement. This presentation draws on findings from two separate but interrelated pilot projects on gender, sexuality, fashion, and aesthetics at work. It explores this interesting inversion of gender norms in fashion and professional work attire that is occurring at present, which offers unique possibilities for gender equality at work and the formation of more inclusive workplaces.



Dr. Briony Lipton is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Sydney Business School and Visiting Research Fellow at the ANZSOG in the ANU Crawford School working on the ARC Linkage project ‘Designing gender equality into the future of work’. Dr. Lipton is a gender scholar whose work sits at the intersections of sociology, cultural studies, and work and organisation studies. Her most recent monograph is Academic Women in Neoliberal Times (2020). She tweets @briony_lipton


Chair: Natasha Szuhan

Date & time

Mon 01 Aug 2022, 11am–12.30pm


Room 4.69, RSSS Building


Briony Lipton


Rebecca Pearse


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