The pandemic proved how very optional going to the workplace can be. Even my husband, who works in real estate sales in the development and management part of the industry, a job that normally requires being in-office, spent months working from home during the height of the pandemic and was recently able to telecommute after taking a day off to recover from his second COVID vaccination. Quite a few clients of mine have told me that while they do plan on returning to the workplace, many don’t envision going in five days a week.
If there is one benefit to the past year’s pandemic it is the flexibility that has been created around where we work. I imagine this can be nothing but positive. Employee absence due to illness will decrease while productivity will increase now that employees will be able to work from home when they are slightly under the weather and should stay home but aren’t sick enough to take the entire day. Working mothers will be able to work and tend to childcare when they have a sick child, and we all may find it easier to create a better work-life balance.
STYLING DRESSES FOR WORKING IN-OFFICE AND FROM-HOME
This hybrid style of working will impact how we dress for work. Nobody wants a compartmentalized wardrobe and what we need to find is clothing and ways to style our wardrobe so that we can wear it at home and to the workplace. Yes, there will be pieces that are at-home only and other pieces that are strictly for the workplace, but the key in creating this hybrid wardrobe is to have the bulk of it be pieces that fit into both categories.
Spring and summer is a great time for dresses and given the fact that we have lived in our own bubbles for a year wearing clothes normally worn for things like long streaming binges and the gym, there is a strong desire for more variety. Below, I have taken five different dresses and styled them all for both working from home and heading into work. Get inspired by these looks for your hybrid work-from-home/in-office life.
I styled this effortless rib-knit fit-and-flare dress from Club Monaco for working from home on the left with a printed black scarf from Madewell and ankle strap flat espadrilles from Miz Mooz. On the right, I styled the same dress for the workplace using these beige flats from Sam Edelman and a metal link necklace from Ann Taylor.
This easy dress from Vero Moda has a pleated waist that gives it shape while still being relaxed. I styled it for working from home with a pair of taupe Everlane flats and simple drop earrings from Jenny Bird. On the right, I upgraded the look for in-office with a pair of low slingback heels from M.M. Lafleur and a smoky purple beaded, gold double-strand necklace from Open Edit.
This luxe cotton t-shirt dress from Everlane is casual enough that it can be worn from home but, if styled correctly, can also be worn to work. It has a nice shape as compared to other t-shirt dresses out there and an elegant side slit. For working from home, I styled the dress with these funky espadrille flats from Tory Burch and tortoise hoops from Lele Sadoughi. On the right, this dress is styled for work with a cropped jacket from Theory a pair of simple ankle strap block heel sandals from Steve Madden, and an animal print chain link necklace from Chico’s.
This linen viscose shirt dress from Rag & Bone is easy enough to wear at home and elegant to wear to work. I styled it for telecommuting with a pair of metallic slip-on sneakers from Cole Haan and star stud earrings from Panacea. On the right, I styled it for a day at work with a pair of tortoise ankle strap sandals by Coconuts from Matisse.
Lastly, for good measure, I added a jumpsuit into the mix. Heck, if retailers can list dresses and jumpsuits together in their listings, I can include one here. I styled this olive jumpsuit from Theory for working-from-home with a pair of gold thong sandals from Tory Burch and a textured gold necklace from Banana Republic. For the workplace, I styled the jumpsuit with beige pumps from M.M. Lafleur, a white blazer from L’Agence, and gold teardrop earrings from Karine Sultan.
If you work for a company that allows for a hybrid style of working that includes telecommuting and in-office, shop with this in mind and consider pieces that have the ability to work in both places. You’ll get more mileage from your workwear and feel a lot better when dressing for days working from home.