Because back to work doesn’t have to mean back to basics

Because back to work doesn’t have to mean back to basics

These made-in-Toronto brands are creating snazzy work attire that’s fit for the home or the office

Just because workers are returning to the office doesn’t mean they have to bid goodbye to that Covid-era comfort. These Toronto brands are offering outside-appropriate looks that are stretchy yet smart, comfy yet cool.

For her latest collection, Emefa Kuadey, the designer behind Israella Kobla, traded her signature structured style for relaxed-fit garments like asymmetrical shift dresses and split-hem pants. “There’s an element of, ‘Yeah, we want to go back to normal, but dabbling in the comfort was nice, too,’ ” she says. “If we can keep some of that, let’s do it.”

Local duo Kimberly Achim and Celeste Bouchard created La Leur in November of 2020 at the height of hygge sweatpant mania. Using sustainable, low-waste materials, like silky vegan ultrasuede, they offer soft, monochromatic basics: an on-trend asymmetrical knit top, an oxblood pencil skirt or roomy high-waisted pants with adjustable straps, ensuring the comfiest of fits.

Meanwhile, Hoi Bo’s latest collection of casual workwear brings an element of athleisure into the boardroom. Their mockneck sweater and linen top-and-slack combos, available in a variety of hues, are perfect for the back-to-work set, and their bestseller, an expandable 3-D knit bag with leather straps, is ideal for commutes—remember those?

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