When you first started working from home, you might have envisioned staying in your pajamas all day and not having to fuss over your hair or makeup.
But, as you probably soon learned, it can be difficult to get motivated to start work when you have your hair in a messy bun and are sporting an old Phoenix Suns T-shirt, flannel pajama bottoms and bunny slippers.
Plus, when your boss texted you last week about a last-minute Zoom meeting and you had to scramble to change into something more presentable, you realized it’s probably better to be in regular, albeit comfortable, work attire.
Fortunately, it’s possible to achieve a nice remote work balance between professional, presentable and comfortable with the help of the following tips:
1. Embrace Casual Friday, Most Of The Time
Unless your job requires you to be on camera, what you wear to work is totally in your court and shouldn’t matter. Put another way, you can certainly dress for remote work the way you would for a typical casual Friday. Appropriate choices include a Polo shirt or collared shirt of some kind, a comfortable cardigan, nice-looking jeans or capris, or a knit dress. As for socks and shoes, experiment with what helps you to get in a solid mindset for work. If you find you’re just as productive in fuzzy socks or Ugg slippers, then certainly go for it. But others may notice it’s hard to focus unless they’re wearing flats, athletic shoes or boots.
2. For Video Calls, Up The Clothing Ante A Bit
For Zoom meetings and the like, pay particular attention to your hair, shirt, makeup, glasses and anything else that can easily be seen. In case you have to get up during the call, it’s best to be fully dressed right down to your shoes. For these occasions, you can’t go wrong with a crisp cotton blouse, a sweater set with a skirt or pants, a dress shirt and tie, or a flattering sweater with a scarf or jewelry as accessories.
Indeed, it’s probably a good idea to assume your boss, client or co-workers may request a video conference at the drop of a hat, so having a more formal outfit at the ready at all times is a good plan — even if it’s just a nice blazer on a hanger in your home office that you can quickly don over your shirt.
3. Choose Clothing That Multi-Tasks
Another great way to walk the line between professional and comfortable clothing when working from home is to choose some base pieces that you can “zhoosh up” rather quickly as needed. For instance, a bodysuit is a comfortable and versatile item you can wear with jeans for most of the day and then pair with a cute blazer or cardigan for a more sophisticated look during your afternoon video meeting.
A Few Quick Words About Hygiene
If you oversleep and miss your morning shower, no worries. But as much as you can, try to stay on a regular hygiene schedule — the same one you followed when commuting to and working in the office. After you shower, take the time necessary to do your hair, add some makeup, and put on some jewelry. For guys, keep up with shaving, and if you have facial hair, be sure it’s nicely groomed. Taking a bit more time every day to make yourself look presentable will go a long way in helping you to be productive in your home office.
Comfortable And Professional Can Go Hand In Hand
As you can see, you don’t have to wear stiff and formal clothing when working remotely. The casual Friday approach, with some multi-tasking pieces and extra professional options for video calls, is definitely an appropriate way to dress in your home office.