How to look office-appropriate from home
You can still be stylish and have an office look even in these times of forced work-from-home routines.
It can be tempting to fall into a uniform of sweatpants and pajamas when working from home for an extended time. Dressing up to look office-appropriate for work when you’re working from home sounds like an oxymoron. Why bother when your work station is set up in bed or in the living room? Who’s to know you’re still in your underwear at 4pm, right?
In general, most employers won’t care if you are wearing office-appropriate clothes when you work from home — as long as you get the work done. And besides, taking a few days to stay cozy can be good for your mental health, especially during these stressful times. But while you can have been wearing sweatpants some days, it can be really motivating to get dressed in something closer to what you would normally wear to the office, be it a pair of jeans and a button-up or a nice office-appropriate dress.
Getting ready for the office everyday used to be a huge part of my daily routine; it gave me the chance to start my day with some creativity, spontaneity, and inspiration. Since the work-from-home order was issued, however, I’ve had to adjust to a new way of being. Figuring out my office-appropriate work-from-home look has largely been a case of trial and error.
When working from home, it’s fundamental to keep in mind that if you are having a videocall, you can save time and still look office-appropriate by dressing up only your top half, from the waist up. You can put on a top you’d regularly wear to the office, some earrings and very minimal makeup. To round out the look, you can throw on some sweatpants and slippers on bottom. This way, when you video conference with colleagues, you fully look like you’re dressed for the day. Little do they know you’re in half pajamas.
Setting aside a certain amount of your work-at-home wardrobe budget is a great idea because it assures that you take dressing office-appropriate seriously. Reserve your work-at-home wardrobe for working only, so it feels very special.
Designers like Miuccia Prada and Alessandro Michele have popularised the sleepwear as daywear trend for a while now. If you haven’t already jumped on the bandwagon of this trend, there’s truly no better time than now since we are spending 24/7 at home. If you are having a videocall where the top is usually the only thing being seen, your colleagues will think you got yourself a fancy new office-appropriate shirt and won’t suspect that you’re actually wearing a super stylish pyjama!
Search your wardrobe for a high-neck sweatshirt. It doesn’t crinkle when you lounge around the house or take naps yet the high-neck offers up a quirky spin that looks absolutely office-appropriate. And don’t forget to choose color: working from home can be lonely, and it’s easy to get into a dreary rut by wearing dull colors. Lift your spirits, feel more confident, creative, and productive in a bright color print, or multi-color print. Just remember to choose something that it’s office-appropriate posing yourself the question “Would I wear this if I was going to the office today?”.
The quickest way to come across as authoritative is to throw on a jacket. It doesn’t have to be a formal suit jacket, but a casual blazer or relaxed jacket will automatically up your boss’s power.
When you look good, you feel good. It also makes a difference in how you interact with others, even if it’s just over the phone or computer. While it’s tempting to throw your hair up in a ponytail and forget the make-up, after days and days of this, you are going to look and feel like someone you don’t even know, and you won’t look office-appropriate in case of an unexpected confcall.
A little blush, lipstick and some mascara (it only takes 4 minutes) are all you need to freshen yourself up look fabulous. As for the hair, if it’s just too much hassle, then consider that a sign that you need a brand new cut that works better for your at-home lifestyle.
Style is not just about the way you dress. It’s about the way you live. Try to surround yourself with beautiful things like modern home office accessories, flowers and a beautiful view or piece of art to reflect on during the day. It’s the details of your work-from-home style that make the difference and show others that you truly are professional and office-appropriate even when working from home. Respect yourself by looking like the business professional you are.