As someone who has been working from home for many years now, I know a thing or two about creating the perfect WFH uniform.
When I first started on the non-office path five years ago, I was determined to still be as fashionable and super stylish at home as I was in the office. That didn’t last for long and I soon fell into a PJs and sportswear stupor. Neither was right for me. The outfits I wore to the office felt constricted and too formal, while the PJs (albeit very smart and stylish ones) just made me feel like there was no difference between work and play.
I also found it important to dress for my day – just as I would for the office. Yes, I’ve done the odd day in PJs in bed, but I never felt as productive as the days I dress up and get to my desk at 9am. There have even been studies done in the past that say dressing ‘up’ for work improves your mood, productivity and confidence.
Over the years, I’ve finally found my WFH style – one that keeps me looking smart for any video calls, but also allows me to feel relaxed. One that also makes me feel like I’m still making an effort and haven’t given up, because I rarely step out of my front door. So, for all of you who are new to this home working lark, here are my top stylish WFH essentials. Most of them you’ll probably already own – it’s just about looking at your wardrobe differently…
The biggest thing I’ve learnt is that complicated outfits are out when it comes to WFH. Simple, easy-to-wear is where you want to go but this doesn’t mean forgoing your style. My wardrobe is littered with jumpsuits and boiler suits. I love that I can throw them on and I’m ready to go – but in a pulled together way.
Dita Von Teese is my idol and like her, I thought I would never wear tracksuits, but home working (and now homeschooling!) has put an end to such luxurious thoughts. However, when I say tracksuits – I’m actually talking lounge wear. Comfy, cosy sweats and soft trousers, but none that say I’ve been to the gym this morning. Co-ordinate your colours and choose trackie bottoms that have cute detailings like pockets and pretty fabrics to make them more stylish, than practical.
I love a dress, but once I started working from home, my dresses were relegated to meeting only days. That was until I discovered the more ‘roomy’ dresses out there. Now I have a wardrobe full of sweatshirt dresses, loose midi dresses and some with elasticated waists. All of them are easy to throw on, feel comfortable and look the part – perfect if you’re having a day of video calls.
I’ll admit it, despite all this advice, most days I turn to my trusty jeans and tee or sweatshirt. To make sure I don’t feel too dressed down and constantly in my weekend-wear though, I like to add a few accessories. Whether that’s an embellished headband, a statement necklace (yes, they’re back) or some super large hoops, I feel more ‘done’ when I’ve got a bit of an accessory going on.
I love black – it goes with everything and makes you look slimmer, however, wear it all the time and it can make you feel pretty darn gloomy. In these uncertain times, I’m reaching for bright sweatshirts or pastel blouses to make me look good and more importantly, feel good. Need some help with what colours to wear? Take a look at our style colour guide
This is the combo I reach for nearly as often as my jean and tees! A trustd midi-skirt in an interesting print – my favourites are striped, spotty and leopard print – teamed with a plain sweatshirt (or T-shirt in the warmer months) makes me feel together, less slobby AND it’s comfortable – especially if you look for elasticated waists. Talking about them…
Once you’ve spent a few days working from home, you’ll realise how constricted formal trousers and skirts feel – enter the casual trouser. The most important component of this casual trouser is an elasticated waist. Yes, it feels like you’re giving in, but if you ensure the style of the trouser is still essentially smart, you won’t feel like Waynetta Slob! My favourite pair are pleather – with an elasticated waist – which look good worn with a t-shirt, sweatshirt or smarter blouse for those conference call (and are wipe clean, handy now this homeschooling lark has begun!)