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What to Wear When Working from Home

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Do you want to know what to wear when working from home? Do you have questions about how to choose a remote job interview outfit? Anyone who regularly works from home or thinks about getting a remote job knows that kicking about in your pajamas all day long quickly loses its appeal. Even though you might be able to see your bed from your desk, it doesn’t mean that you should be dressed like you’re about to go back to sleep. This article presents 10 tips for what to wear when you are working from home.

On the other hand, a three-piece suit would probably feel ridiculous in your home. However, dressing to distinguish your work persona from your home persona is the right thing to do if you want to get in the right mindset for a productive day.

Dressing to impress takes on a heightened level of importance when you want to convey an aura of value and expertise. This is particularly important now that we are beyond the lockdown stages. During period of high societal anxiety, it was understandable that coziness and comfort were two goals to achieve when working from home. A 2020 USA Today article even advised wearing leggings and reported upon women who purposefully dressed down to save time for devoting energy elsewhere.  But, those days are over!

So here are some quick tips on what to wear when you get up in the morning to work from home.

1. Remote job attire: Visit the company website

If you are preparing for a remote job interview and you are not sure what to wear, visit the company website. How are the employees pictured? What style of dress did the models adopt? Were they attired in dark, traditional colors like black, and navy? Or were they pictured wearing trending prints and block designs? How did the ’employees’ style their hair? Was it styled in a hair bun, pageboy, cropped and no facial hair? What about the males? Did you notice beards, closely cropped crew cuts, fades or long shoulder length tied in a man bun?  Were people of color pictured wearing braids, cornrows or dreadlocks? Take note and style your hair and interview outfit to closely align with the corporate culture depicted on the prospective employer’s website and promotional materials.

2. Remote job attire: Take a clue from your supervisor

Now that you’ve been hired, you still need to show that you are a great fit. Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean you get to wear what you want.  To maintain a top level salary, you need to project an air of professionalism. So, if you are worried about what you should wear when working from home you have lots of options. It could be classic, chic, business casual, or casual. What you wear depends a lot upon what is acceptable for your particular company.  The best approach would be to take a clue from your supervisor. Did you notice what your interviewer wore during your interview? For the first month or so, mimic their style of dress. Was their style of dressing:

  • Classic and straightforward with a lot of tailored lines, fitted collars with a tie? Or, shift dresses, accompanied by a blazer, pressed shirts and polished shoes?
  • Chic, trendy and stylish with shirts of  bold block colors, vivid prints, fancy florals, palsies, animal prints, mock turtle necks,  silk scarves, bow ties, and neck ties with flourished embellishments?
  • Business casual dockers, chinos, cotton pants,  fitted pants, dark jeans, polo shirt  and cardigan sans tie,  V-neck sweaters, knit sweaters, mid knee sweater dresses and knit tights?
  • Cozy, soft and casual T-shirts, sweat shirts, hoodies with low hipster jeans or sweatpants, jogging shoes and trainers?

3. Remote work outfit: Getting dressed for work puts you in productivity mode

Even though it might be tempting to support a casual attire all day long, it’s important not to make a habit out of working in your pajamas. We’ve all been guilty of occasional pajama days, but they should definitely not be the standard.

When you work from home your life you have days when you just don’t feel like dressing up. That’s totally okay, especially in these uncertain times when clothing can be a source of comfort. So if you want to put on your softest sweats and your fluffy slippers, go on and do that. However, it’s important to establish a regular routine and figure out the right balance.

If you were going into the office, you wouldn’t skip getting dressed, and your brain knows that. Get ready for a productive day by continuing a routine of getting dressed before you start work. Besides, getting dressed for work has other perks as well — now that you have to keep the tea and coffee station topped up on your own, you’ll eventually have to venture out for supplies, so your well-picked outfit won’t go to waste.

4. Remote work outfit: Experiment with your look

In the 2020-21 when this original article was written, we suggested that you don’t have to worry about dress codes. But in today’s highly competitive market, you do. Especially when you are working from home. You want to be taken seriously, right? If you feel confident enough, yes, you can experiment with your  look. Most experts say that a business casual is the best choice for remote workers because they will keep you feeling productive while also being casual enough to keep you comfortable.

We’d advice you to start small. Maybe add a fanciful scarf of unusual neck tie. If you are complimented, maybe the next month you could pair your favorite jeans and T-shirt with a bold or casual blazer. While everyone wants to be perceived as casual, easy going and personable; we may not want to be perceived as overly casual. So much so that we look like we just got out of bed. To achieve the perfect balance between comfort and putting your brain productivity mode, opt for looks that combine fashion and function.

5. Remote work clothing: Choose colors to boost your mood

Dressing in colors that reflect your mood can give yourself a boost and make

a difference in the way you feel. Your personal mood is affected by the colours that surround you.

Hotter shades such as red, orange, or yellow can get your adrenaline pumping and your brain moving, so they are perfect for those fast paced days where you have deadlines to meet. On the other hand, cooler shades such as greens or blues are more relaxing, so they are ideal when it’s time to slow things down.

You can add a dash of color to your work outfit with accessories or makeup as well. For example, you can add a bright necklace or use us a sassy shade of lipstick before a Zoom meeting.

6. Remote work style: Check for holes, lint, discolorations, stains and loose strings

 Most of home office work relies upon participation in video conference calls. Did you  know that webcameras have a way of magnifying wardrobe holes, lint, discolorations, stains and loose strings? Even though we probably use dry cleaning services a lot less than when we reported to the traditional in office workplace, we still need to aim for perfection. 

7. Remote work style: Don’t forget about shoes

We’ve all seen those funny memes with people dressed for office but wearing slippers under the desk. While that’s certainly a super cosy approach to remote working, putting some proper shoes on can make you feel like you’re actually working.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to wear the same sneakers, loafers, or boots you wear outside (especially if you’re a no-shoes household). Instead of dragging the dirt from outside into your home office, buy shoes with the sole purpose of wearing them inside.

A lightweight pair of sneakers, some Birkenstocks, or even some Oxford shoes that really mean business are all good ideas. Make sure that the shoes you choose for your work-from home attire are comfortable, so you won’t be tempted to take them off after the first hour.

8. Remote job outfit: Be creative with your wardrobe

If you’ve transitioned from a cubicle or office job to remote work, you may already have lots of business casual pieces in your wardrobe that are just sitting there gathering dust.

Try to find some ways to incorporate them into your work-from-home attires so they don’t go to waste. For example, you can combine casual tops with bottoms that mean business, or the other way around.

9.Remote job outfit:  Don’t wear something that you wouldn’t wear in a real office

Just because you work from home now, it doesn’t mean that you’re free to wear any old T-shirt with offensive slogans or that’s way too revealing. This is particularly important if you have the kind of job that involves lots of video conferences. If you think that anyone could object to something you’re wearing to work from home, it’s better not to wear it at all. There’s another point to be made. In addition to refraining from wearing something so outlandish that you wouldn’t dare wearing in the traditional office; don’t wear extreme amounts of heavy make up, very long fingernails (bad for typing on the computer keyboard and mobile devices) and extremely long eyelashes). Save those embellishments for the weekend!

10. Remote work styling:  At the end of the day, do what works for you

If the dress code in your old job was a source of stress for you, you may want to spend every day in your comfortable leggings and slippers. That’s perfectly OK but give real clothes a try after the joy of not having to dress up in the morning wears off. You are likely to see a boost of productivity and feel like you mean business.

The fact that you’re working from home doesn’t mean that you don’t need a self-esteem boost every morning. By dressing the part, you’ll notice a positive effect not just on your productivity, but on your mood as well.

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