As businesses adjust to the impact of the pandemic on the workplace, companies are forced to reevaluate how their employees work and where they work from. A study of more than 25,000 adults in the U.S. found that 54% of them prefer to work remotely.
Remote jobs and work from home policies have been adopted by big brands like Google, whose employees don't have to return to their San Francisco Bay Area office until June 2021. REI, Twitter, Zillow, and Square announced that their employees could work remotely indefinitely.
What COVID-19 Did For The Professional Wardrobe
Before that fateful day in March 2020 when COVID-19 was declared a global health crisis, getting ready for work involved leaving the house for many people. That meant a morning routine that included getting dressed, doing hair and makeup, and whatever else was necessary before starting the work commute.
Now that many people are working from home for the foreseeable future, morning routines have changed drastically. The commute now involves the dozen or so steps it takes to get from your bed to your desk/couch. Hair and makeup have been reduced to putting your hair into a messy bun and applying lipstick (if you're really feeling inspired).
Workdays have become less stressful as many employees have more control over when and where they work. The professional wardrobe has become more relaxed. It's tempting to wear pajamas and sweatpants day in and day out, but experts say that setting a work from home dress code can help to increase productivity.
“I have a theory in the fashion psychology field called ‘mood enhancement dress,'” said Dawnn Karen during an interview with Bustle. “Mood enhancement dress is dressing to optimize your mood. So when you desire to get out of a funk, dressing up or practicing mood enhancement dress would be proven most beneficial.”
You don't have to stick to your office dress code while you work from home, but working in the same pajamas for the fourth day in a row isn't a good idea. The key is to figure out how to strike a balance. There are brands, like Betty Basics, that do the work-from-home style so well. You can always look to them for style inspiration.
Work Outfit Evolution: From Humdrum Workwear to Work-From-Home Chic
The sofa that has now become a work desk. Zoom meetings with your boss and workmates. Virtual hangouts with friends. Without regular physical interactions with anyone who isn't your roommate or partner, you may be wondering why you should bother changing out of your pajamas.
Here's a good reason why: in these uncertain pandemic times, seemingly mundane routines like getting out of bed, changing your clothes, and picking an outfit for the day is an opportunity to maintain a semblance of control in our lives.
Forget about your regular work clothes for now. Embrace the opportunity and have fun with your dress choices. Try out those bold colors that you weren't too sure about. Or that outfit that didn't quite fit with your office dress code. Rediscover looks that you once loved. Test out some new comfy fabrics like linen, 100% cotton and bamboo clothing which provide a luxe feel.
WFH Wardrobe Basics That Are Worth The Investment
The work-from-home wardrobe is a mix of style and casual clothing, ensuring that you are comfortable while looking good. Choose basics that are easy to dress down or up and versatile enough to be worn multiple times in different ways.
There are no hard and fast rules on dressing when working from home because of varying moods and personalities. However, you can follow these as guidelines: don't wear anything during the day you slept in, and choose looks that lift your spirits and put you in the right mindset to face your workday.
1. Matching Sweatsuits
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A moment of calm. Baby is sleeping. Finished a few stories. And a quick virtual office outfit pic before the juggling act begins again! Shout out to all the hard ass working moms who are working from home with the kids out of school. Stay safe everyone ❤️ #workfromhome
Sweatsuits are cute, cozy, one-and-done looks that come in all sorts of designs, colors, and fabrics. Tie-dye sweatsuits are on-trend in 2020 and have a sense of whimsy that is a total mood booster.
2. House Dresses
The house dress is just as cozy as sweatsuits but ten times more fashionable. The dress style is breezy without constricting lines. Wear them on their own or layered with a cardigan and accessories.
Whether they have elastic or drawstring waistbands, sweatpants are the ultimate comfort staple. Keep it stylish by rocking pastel shades. Pair them with a fitted tank top for a classic business-on-top, party-on-bottom look.
Leggings are as comfortable as pajamas yet can be as flattering as a pair of tailored pants. Pair them with a cropped hoodie and a pair of comfy slippers for the ultimate work-from-home outfit.
5. Track Pants
Track pants are the perfect mix of structured and cozy. They're not as hot and heavy as sweatpants but are equally comfortable. Half-tuck a button-down shirt into your track pants or pair them with a cardigan for a cool business-casual look.
Shorts are a warm-weather staple and fit all sorts of styles. If you prefer them long, you can try Bermuda shorts. Go retro with a pair of high rise, pleated shorts. Try out the utilitarian look with a pair of cargo shorts in khaki.
7. Bike Shorts
Bike shorts are no longer considered just a wardrobe staple for cyclists. With the right styling, these clingy, stretchy shorts have become a viable look worn off a bike or outside the gym. A cardigan or button-down shirt are excellent pairings for bike shorts.
Your t-shirt collection doesn't have to be frumpy. From form-fitting crew-necks to cropped and off-the-shoulder tees, there are plenty of designs and prints to suit your style. Go beyond white and experiment with different colors like teal and apricot.
9. Tank Tops
This wardrobe essential is a base layer that works with several looks. From asymmetric cuts to crop tops, there is a tank top style that fits every closet. The ribbed tank top works perfectly with a pair of sweatpants.
The great thing about sweatshirts is that they are cozy but cute, plus they allow your unique sense of style to shine through with all the different options out there. Whether you like it cropped, tie-dyed, or as a hoodie, you can look stylish without sacrificing comfort.
11. Chunky Knit Sweaters
Cashmere, cable knit, argyle…who doesn't love a cozy sweater? Keep it chic in a feminine hue like lilac. Pair it with a pair of leggings and thick, cozy socks for a comfortable look that is Zoom meeting-ready.
Cardigans are very versatile. No longer thought of as frumpy, this outerwear piece is loved by influencers and celebrities alike. Layer it over your tops. Button it up and wear it on its own. Go colorful and wear a rainbow patchwork cardigan just like Harry Styles.
Slippers are the perfect way to elevate your WFH look. They can be fluffy, shearling-lined, handwoven, cushioned, or in animal print. Whatever your pick, they should be cute, comfortable, and easy-to-wear.
14. Cozy Socks
The right pair of socks are more than just an accessory to keep your toes warm; they'll make you feel good as your feet look cute. Get them in merino wool, chenille, or cotton. Keep them ankle short or get long ones that go up to your knees.