If you can do your job largely from the confines of your computer, chances are you’ve been working from home now for over three months to "flatten the curve" of COVID-19. My typical day changed from spending time at the office, to sitting at the kitchen table constantly defending my laptop from cat hair.
As many of us made the transition to entirely remote work, the how-to articles came flooding in. How to be productive at home. Ten things to include in your work from home routine. Mistakes to avoid when working from home. I found a few of them helpful, but the majority of the tips were simply attainable in an unprecedented time. Don’t be tempted to do laundry during the work day because you won’t get as much accomplished? I guess I’ll just do it at midnight then…
The one piece of advice, however, that I have always stuck to is to get dressed in clothing other than pajamas every morning. I’ve always been a proponent of taking the time to craft a fun outfit in the morning that makes you feel confident, comfortable, and capable, and working from home should not fundamentally alter that experience.
My style has certainly changed since working from home (goodbye jeans with no stretch!), but on the whole I still enjoy putting outfits together. Now, I want to stress here that these are tips that make me feel put together in the morning, and that looks different for everyone. Ultimately, this is a stressful time for many of us and sometimes you do just need a pyjama or sweatpants day.
But when you want to change it up, here are my five practical tips for dressing to work from home:
1. Shop in your own closet first
It’s tempting to go on an online shopping spree for new clothes during this time, but chances are you already have everything you need to be comfortable working from home. Because I’m a proud over-dresser and was previously almost never home except to sleep, I figured none of my clothing would work within the confines of my home. Imagine my surprise, however, when I re-discovered old linen pants I forgot I had and shirts that I thought were too casual for the office. Take stock of what you already have and think critically about how you can re-style certain items-it’ll save you money and closet space!
2. Reorganize your closet or drawers.
Despite not having to rush into the office any more, I still find myself short on time in the morning when I’m trying to get ready for my first meeting of the day. To remedy this, I removed all my typical workwear items (blazers, tight-fitting items, etc.) from the front of my closet and brought my go-to WFH items closer to the forefront. This has helped me find everything I need at arms length instead of having to dig for items in drawers.
3. Dress in head-to-toe outfits.
I know we’re all on video calls right now, but you don’t want to become a meme later when your camera accidentally pans out and your coworkers see that you’re not wearing pants. If I’m struggling to put an outfit together I simply go for jeans and a roomy button-up. Not much effort, but it still looks great.
4. Play with accessories
Do you have a hair accessory or piece of jewelry you’ve always wanted to style but haven’t had the time to try out? Now’s the time to experiment. Accessories can also be an easy way to pull an outfit together when you can’t be bothered to do much else. This Bangs and Braids headband is currently my favourite way to jazz up an otherwise dull outfit.
5. Make it interesting
Working from home can become a groundhog day nightmare if you let it. Why not challenge yourself each day to get creative with your outfit? Sometimes I’ll replicate the outfit of a TV character (hello Mrs Maisel!) or will try to take inspiration from a nostalgic figure in my childhood (hello Madeline!). I also encourage my followers on Instagram to join me on Fancy Friday by wearing their most outrageously fancy outfit around the house and to take a glamour shot. You might want to challenge yourself to wear head-to-toe yellow or style that shirt you love but have never actually worn. No matter what you choose to do, clothing can be a great way to insert some spontaneity into your day.
While talking fashion during a pandemic can seem frivolous on the surface, this type of creative styling has done wonders for my mental health and has actually helped me feel more productive working from home. This experience is different for everyone, but if you’re feeling stuck in a rut consider testing out one of the tips above and share your own in the comments below!
Stay safe everyone.