For the past 16 years, I have been working from home and, let me assure you, I haven’t always gotten work-from-home looks right. Last week, when I was working on outfits for this post, I came back from the gym, started working, and didn’t get out of my workout clothes until the end of the day. On most summer days when I don’t have appointments, it is not uncommon for me to just throw on a tank top and pair of jean shorts. It’s just so easy to either not bother or get so engrossed in what you are doing to just not get dressed properly. Properly meaning, clothes that don’t double as gym or sleepwear, for example.
Every time I put the effort forth to dress to work-from-home, which is most days, I feel better, am more productive and also feel more comfortable leaving my home should I have an errand to run. The balance is having a realistic wardrobe that I feel comfortable wearing at home that also doesn’t make me feel like a garden slug. The key here is to be realistic and honest about what I will and won’t wear.
There are a few rules I maintain. One, I shower daily. This isn’t a hard reach goal, but you would be surprised by how many work-from-home people I have met who have gone days without getting into the shower because they don’t have to. The next is I never stay in my pajamas or actually put pajamas on to work. My work-from-home outfits may not be glamorous, but I do have some standards.
Stylish Work-from-Home Looks
If you work-from-home all the time or just some of the time, I have put together five different looks. What I did in each case is take a very basic base of an outfit that can be worn while working. Next, I finished the looks in a way that makes it easy from working at home to heading outside if you have reason to go anywhere (try to get out of the house at least once a day when you work at home. It makes a difference). What you’ll also notice is I used certain pieces multiple times to give this advice a realistic approach.
One of my work-from-home style plans is to wear casual jumpsuits. I have one that is a little dressier for working with clients and going places and now I am adding a few that I can wear for working in front of my computer or dress up and do things casually. Jumpsuits can be easy, no-brainer comfortable pieces.
For easy work at home, this jumpsuit from Madewell is perfect. Leaving the home for casual things, I added this basic denim jacket from Vince Camuto, a pair of comfortable Birkenstock Gizehs in Onyx (I have this color, it looks more like a metallic navy) and a striped summer scarf from Echo.
A pair of comfortable wide leg cropped pants is another must for my wardrobe this summer. People who work-from-home often sit a lot. No point in wearing anything that isn’t comfortable. Pass the elastic waist, please. I like this pair from J. Crew because they are comfortable without looking like pajamas. Plus, they don’t need much to look pulled together when leaving the house.
One summer, I lived in summer dresses. By the end of the season, I got so tired of rotating the same dresses over and over again fall couldn’t get here fast enough. Lesson learned, variety is key. I also think dresses that can be worn different ways helps avoid fatigue from wearing them.
I styled this very basic Eileen Fisher dress one way, but it is a style that can be worn in different ways. It can be dressed up and down, and so on. I also like that it is long enough for those who prefer to not show their legs. In this look above, I styled the dress with coral wedge sandals from Kork-Ease and the same Echo scarf. This dress would also look great with the denim jacket.
I love jeans. A common failsafe for me is to wear jeans and a t-shirt when I’m home. In this outfit, I styled these casual cropped jeans from Joe’s with a colorfully embroidered Lou & Gray v-neck tank. Over it, I layered a cobalt cardigan from Halogen. I finished the outfit with the coral Kork-Ease wedges.
Skirts may feel dressy for some and perfect for others. A client of mine recently purchased this skirt from Madewell and it’s adorable and perfect for her upcoming retirement lifestyle. She styled it with a t-shirt and denim jacket. I took inspiration from her when creating this look.
I styled the Madewell skirt with a black and white stripe t-shirt from Caslon with the same denim jacket I used previously. I finished the look with these flat espadrilles from Eileen Fisher that could also be styled with the black dress and the jumpsuit.
One thing I have learned about work-from-home style is if you keep those old ratty jeans or crappy shirt around, you will wear them. If you are someone who works from home often, consider purchasing a few things explicitly for these casual types of days instead of making do with things that have gotten relegated to the bottom of the dresser drawer.