Who knew that I would have to follow my own fashion advice on working-from-home in style? When we all suddenly found ourselves in lockdown as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold in March 2020. I’ve had years of dressing for the office, then a maternity leave and a freelance skint (where I first honed my working-from-home wardrobe), then I had to learn to re-dress for the office (after said maternity). And, now here we are back to working-from-home.
A working from home wardrobe can take some getting used too – I know for one how easy it is to sit in your pjs all day. It’s what I often do on a day-off or at the weekend. I mean what’s the point in getting dressed when you’re not really going out? Who is going to see you sat at your home office – be it a desk or the kitchen table – sat in your nightclothes with your hair tied in a messy bun?
In all truth no one – expect maybe the postman. And, even then thats only for a few minutes (and at a social distance). Unless you get caught out with an unscheduled Zoom call. But, really after learning first time around that ‘I’m not getting dressed unless I really have to’ doesn’t work for me (yes, I shamefully admit I even did a few of those nursery runs in my ‘are they pyjamas or jogging pants?) – it was then I decided I needed to smarten up my act. And, here we are again.
It’s so easy to slip into that ‘staying at home’ mode – watching daytime TV, doing a few chores and not really achieving much from your to do list. In that time I discovered I wasn’t ‘work’ ready in my mind as I wasn’t dressed for ‘work’ and therefore, I wasn’t ‘working’ my best. Even when I was on a phonecall (pre-Zoom) I didn’t really feel in control and really in all honestly,I didn’t feel very professional.
So, I made a pact with myself that when lockdown was announced I would sort out an easy wardrobe with some simple and causal pieces that could be mixed and matched – and, worn 9-5 at home. I also decided that Miss M had to get ready for ‘homeschooling’ too. That way it put us both in a ‘working day’ mode.
My first rule would be, everything has to be comfortable (in that way that only sleepwear really is) and stylish, so that if you do open the door, or need to pop out for something essential you look pulled together.
Getting up at a regular time (easier if you have kids of course), getting washed, dressed and even popping on a little base/lipstick can make the world of difference to how you look and feel – and can make you so much more productive and put you in much more of a confident mindset.
In fact, a few minutes spent getting ready – without having to run for a train afterwards means you can get so much more done. That popping out for a take-away coffee, nipping to the post office or to grab something for supper without it being a big deal and that horrible ‘I-need-to-get-dressed-but-I-can’t-be-bothered-to’ feeling washing over you.
I’ve rounded up some stylish and comfortable outfit ideas for working from home – or, looks to try if you only work a few days a week from the kitchen table.
5 Stylish looks that will ensure you portray business as usual
- DEADLINE DAY
When you’re on deadline or really need to knuckle down and get some serious work done you want to be comfortable (you know like you have your onsie on still).
Some soft trousers or smart joggers, a slogan tee and some comfy slippers (that you can wear in and outside) and you’ll be at the finishing line in a jiffy (or, in enough time to catch last moments of The Chase). A bralette will also give you some support without being too uncomfortable from a day of sitting. Slip on that headband and get cracking…
1. Classic Slippers from £79 Mahabis
2. Floral Lace Full Cup Bralette £20 Marks & Spencer
3. Busy B A5 Geometric List & Reminders Pad £7.00 John Lewis
4. Soft Viscose Joggers £20 Next
5. Wide Knot Towelling Headband from selection at Acessorize
6. Violeta by Mango Saturday Slogan Tee £12 JD Williams
- GARDEN OFFICE
One of the nicest things about working from home is your portable office – so, when the sun is shining what’s better than getting outside to work? (plus, the kids can play) But, forget trying to sunbathe (but not the sunscreen) and enjoy the fresh air – and those ideas that will come from the change of scenery.
When I’m working at home I never seem to drink as much water as when I’m in the office – missing those water cooler gossips maybe! So, a carafe or heavy duty water bottle is a great way to ensure your rehydrating enough.
This playsuit is so soft you could just roll straight into bed if you end up working late into the night – and the cosy cardigan is a working from home ‘must-have’ cover up.
1. Red Frill Crepe Romper £55 & Other Stories
2. Cadigan from a selection at H&M
3. Hip Water Bottle in Ocean £15.55 Amazon
5. Initial Notepad £12 Kate Spade
6. Caroline Gardner Motivational Slogan Pens (set of 5) £22 John Lewis
7. Square Toe Leopard Espadrilles £59 & Other Stories
- THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE
Don’t let the postie catch you in the same clothes twice – just choose a chic sweat suit or separates like this set from Hush, in a neutral colour or print. Perfect worn together but, then mix the joggers up for more wear with some contrasting tees and knits.
And, these nostalgic days of the week pants will ensure you do know what day it is even if your week is looking like a crazy one (and, who’s isn’t? WFH and home schooling anyone).
1. Finoula Washed Joggers £49 Hush
2. Manana Sweatshirt £55 Hush
3. Birkenstock Arizona Sandals £69 Figleaves
4. Viktor-Rolf Frames from £169 Specsavers
5. Long Sleeve Cotton Top £30 Hush
6. Catherine Hello Slogan Jumper £40 Joanie Clothing
7. Days of the Week Knicker Box £80 Stripe & Stare
- COFFEE BREAK
These T-shirt dresses are so comfy you’ll think you’re still in your nightie! But, really you’ll be in a cool little number that means even if you fancy popping out for some ‘designer’ take-away coffee (oh how I miss coffee shops!), a quick jaunt to Sainsbury’s or even just fancy popping on a dress for the day.
1. Jersey T-Shirt Dress £12.99 H&M
2. Striped Cotton T-shirt Dress £55 Cos
3. Pure Cotton Crew Neck Midi T-Shirt Dress £19.50 Marks & Spencer
4. Multicoloured Flat Sandals £25.99 Zara
5. Esplar Leather Lock 3-Lock €110 Veja
6. SWhite Bucket Mug £13 Keith Brymer Jones
7. Crocodile waist bag £17.99 H&M
8. Slides £17.99 H&M
- ONLINE MEETING
These joggers are so soft you can sit in them all day (and will!) – but, if an impromptu online meeting pops up they can be dressed up fast. So, it working-from-home at the bottom and I-mean-business up top.
Just throw on a pretty blouse or slogan tee, add some jewellery, a hair slide or headband and you’ll be looking Zoom or Microsoft Teams ready in record time. Don’t forget some lippy and to have your coffee cup to hand. Will look like you’ve been sitting at your desk ready to go ….
1.I’m Listening Charity Tee £30 Boden
2. Sequin Tweed Knot Headband £12 Accessorize
3. Rachel Jackson Initial Pendant £45 John Lewis
4. Blouse with Black tie £25.99 Zara
5. Slogan T-shirt £7.99 Zara
6. Blouse from selection at H&M
7. Pendant crystals earrings £15.99 Mango
8. Lily Sheepskin Sliders in Rose £50 Just Sheepskin
What do you think? Worth the effort to ‘dress’ for work at home?