Hello there 🙂
About five years ago, my husband and I were planning to move from Los Angeles (where I worked at Who What Wear headquarters) to Raleigh, North Carolina, for his job. It was a huge adjustment for us, but luckily (and thanks to our editor-in-chief Kat Collings) I was still able to work as an editor for Who What Wear, albeit from home. I had previously worked full-time in office environments for more than seven years, and my wardrobe reflected that. It was full of blazers, silk blouses, and walk-on heels, none of which I needed. But I had a brand new work-from-home lifestyle that I had to adapt to.
I could certainly have gone in the opposite direction from my previous wardrobe and stayed in pajamas all day every day, but I quickly learned that it made you feel sleepy. So I get up every day, put on my makeup and get dressed. But over the past 1000 working days I have learned by trying that I have no tolerance for complaints when working from home. That means only the most stretchy non-skyscraper jeans and shorts, slippers (parachute home in summer and Uggs in winter) instead of shoes, sweatshirts (I always freeze), sometimes leggings, minimal jewelry and the most comfortable (often baggiest) T-shirts that I can find. Below are some examples.
Now I realize that this doesn't sound like a fashion editor's aesthetics, but trust me – I only dress when I work from home (and in my daily Starbucks run). When I'm in the world, comfort is usually the least of my concerns. It's much more about having fun with my outfits, which often means something like high-waisted jeans made of 100% cotton, my latest shoe acquisition, a fun top and lots of accessories. It's pretty much the opposite of my WFH style.
Since I no longer have to deal with choosing an office work outfit every day, I have a need to really improve things when I go out, unlike before when I was very tired when planning outfits. So you could say that my style has improved in many ways since I started working from home.
I believe that everyone who works from home has a different strategy for productivity, and clothing certainly plays a role in that. Comfort is the key for me, even if it doesn't reflect how I prefer to wear IRL. In summary, my best advice for anyone trying to find their work-from-home style is to experiment until you find out what works for you. However, I strongly recommend avoiding the pajama trap and encouraging you to take advantage of the atmosphere and get yourself a good pair of slippers.
Read on to buy pieces that fit my WFH self and my out-in-the-world self.
This story was originally published earlier and has been updated.