Are you someone that can have a productive work day by moving from the bed to your laptop in your dressing gown?
Or does the very thought make you shudder?
I HAVE to be dressed for work. Not always smartly, but I like the transition between slumber and feeling shower fresh and ready for anything.
I want to look good and feel confident on a video call (of course) but I also notice how much more productive I am when I’ve gone through my morning routine, chosen an outfit and then sit down, ready for work with a hot coffee.
The way you feel in your clothes can affect your mindset and your energy. But what to wear when nobody but you (and anyone else in your household) will see the majority of your outfit?
Here are five outfit formula ideas to try. They are all comfortable and stylish and I bet you’ve got a version of at least two of these combinations in your own wardrobe already.
Get experimenting and breathe some new life into your working from home wardrobe!
Outfit Idea 1:
A jersey or knitted dress
Stretchy and comfortable, a knitted or jersey dress is almost like loungewear in its construction. But because they are dresses, they can be styled up to make them look and feel more like workwear.
- Add a coloured cardigan and earrings.
- Layer a cosy roll neck underneath.
- Add a blazer and a statement necklace.
Outfit Idea 2:
Jeans and a patterned shirt or blouse
Nobody will see your lower half so pair your favourite comfy jeans with an interesting shirt or blouse. Layer a thermal underneath if your home workspace is drafty.
- Add a blazer to take the outfit up a notch. If you are unsure about print, a blazer in a neutral colour takes most of the print away, leaving a strip of interest down the front. This can make your not-worn-enough blouses work harder for you.
- Roll up the sleeves on a long-sleeved shirt for a more relaxed vibe. I always think rolled up sleeves make you look like an action taker! Then add a cuff bracelet or layer up some fine chain bracelets (and make a point of wafting your arms around a bit during a Zoom call to show them off!).
- Wear a plain t-shirt with an open shirt in lieu of a blazer. Either wear the shirt open or unbuttoned to the waist and tucked into your waistband.
Outfit Idea 3:
Joggers as daywear is officially a ‘thing’ these days. You’ll need to have a fair amount of ‘natural’ in your style to pull this look off. There are so many tailored pieces made from jersey fabric that are durable, cosy and comfortable, I’m not surprised at their popularity right now.
- With a coordinating knit. My favourite Baukjen joggers have a stripe of camel down the side which I’m enjoying highlighting with a camel jumper. It’s working for ‘work’ but also for nipping out to do errands with white leather trainers.
- Smarten them up with t-shirt and blazer. The ultimate high-low dressing outfit! Add a fab pair of earrings to further elevate the joggers.
- Add a touch of luxury to this casual look with a cream silk blouse. Half tuck the front hemline and push up the sleeves. Luxe and very of the moment!
Outfit Idea 4:
A midi or maxi skirt might be your preferred base for an outfit and the good news is that they are beautifully versatile too.
- Add a blouse with a collar and layer a fine knit over. This creates a lovely neckline to frame your face on Zoom.
- Go cosy, with a shorter length chunky knit – this works particularly well on pear-shaped figures.
- Create a flattering colour combination for video calls by combining a shorter length cardigan over a simple top. Colour doesn’t have to be paired with black. Try different tones of blue, pink/purple or neutrals. But do it deliberately. A necklace can bring a third colour or tone into the top half of your outfit.
Outfit Idea 5:
A poncho or a tank top layer
I’m all over a poncho, and now that we aren’t going outside that much, the issue of trying to fit a coat over is lessened. A poncho or huge wrap cardigan is a super-stylish way of keeping warm. Just remember it’s NOT a blanket – you may find yourself winding down for the day rather than kicking your brain into gear. Ponchos are perfect for top heavy figure types when worn with a slim leg trouser or jeans and a chunky boot (for balance).
If you have a small, neat top half and are bigger from the waist down, a tank top is a very different look but a similar layering idea.
- Layer a poncho/wrap over a thin polo neck, combining either contrasting colours or similar tones for a softer look. Wear with straight leg jeans or trousers.
- A crisp white shirt, blue jeans and a grey knitted bib or tank top is a super-stylish smart/casual look right now.
- Layer a poncho over a straight cut jersey dress and long boots (top heavy figures) or a tank top over a looser fit dress (bottom heavy figures).
To get your head around being smart but comfortable at home, try to view each piece in your wardrobe through a different lens. Rather than allocating pieces to occasions, stretch your imagination. How can you wear a very casual piece more smartly and how can you make use of those smarter pieces in a more wearable casual and comfortable way?
The novelty of working from home EVERY day might be beginning to take its toll but this is a great time to get experimental. After all, if you decide the combination you are trying doesn’t quite work, you can nip off to try a different outfit super-fast in-between calls.
When you find a combination you love, snap a photo so you remember it and then think about how you can tweak it using other pieces to create different looks for the next day.
If you’d like my help in creating your working from home style, get in touch!
And let me know what’s working for you, (as well as your challenges) in the comments.
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LOVE this blog Helen, it’s so “me” with the inclusion of skirts and dresses as well as trousers. Really great styling ideas too which is an area that I always struggle with. I’m rushing to print this straight away (which I always do with your blogs anyway!!) to add to my “style notebook”
Thank you SO much
Thank you so much for this Helen. Lots of useful tips. and I love the Boden Ottoman dress.
Great idea on the ponchos! I usually avoid wearing them as I can’t get my arms in my coat sleeves… had not even thought about wearing them at home.