I’ve been working from home for nearly 6 years now and given the current circumstances, I feel like I have a bit of experience in terms of what works best to make me productive. I know a lot of you are finding yourself in the same situation right now so I thought I’d throw together a little advice in terms of what works best for me personally in terms of ‘work from home’ outfits and maybe passing on a bit of that wisdom to you too.
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You’ll have to forgive the fact that I’m not doing a fashion shoot here. I’m used to shooting my home – myself? Not so much and honestly, a lot of what I have now isn’t available any more – I’ve been building my ‘WFH’ wardrobe over quite a few years so it’d be really difficult for you to ‘shop my wardrobe’ so to speak. Instead, I just wanted to give some options of things currently available in the shops right now or as inspiration to shop your own wardrobe for similar looks and styles.
As a caveat before we delve into the post: One thing I really think is important right now is taking care of your own mental health. This whole situation is harrowing right now and if the best you can do is get out of bed right now and get yourself in the shower, then that’s totally fine. If that’s the best you can manage, then celebrate that. I also don’t want you feeling guilty if you haven’t felt up to going “full glam” every day (I certainly haven’t!) because I don’t honestly think that’s even necessary. So yeah, please just you do you – there’s no pressure here.
However, for those feeling a bit stronger right now: I know the temptation to just stay in pyjamas all day is strong. I mean, if you’re not really going to see anyone, then what’s the harm, right?
But I promise that the novelty of that will wear thin and you’ll start to feel a little bit shit about throwing on those musty old joggers and stained teeshirt every single day. I know for many of us, expressing ourselves through our clothing is just another way to show the world who we are and with no ‘audience’, it feels pointless. But you can still do it for yourself. I promise it will help you feel motivated to start your day, it will give you some impetus to get whatever tasks your day holds for you done.
Pink Boho Dress / Mint Boho Dress: A new brand I discovered via Erica Davies on Instagram is Dilli Grey. This kind of dress is so right up my street and I’ve ordered the one on the left, just waiting for it to arrive.
Now, I’m in my 40s and let me just tell you one thing that’s absolutely paramount to me working from home – I refuse to be uncomfortable. I rarely wear jeans at home – in fact, I actually can’t remember the last time I wore jeans! I know they are always touted as super comfortable but with a curvy, hourglass shape, I find it really difficult to find a good-fitting pair and even the ones that do fit well can still feel a bit stiff or tight when I’m sat down at my desk and even the loose-fit ones end up stretching through the day and I end up hiking them up all the time so I really can’t be bothered with that.
Floral Dress / Lilac Dress / Mustard Print Dress: Free People is another brand I love with a very similar vibe. These easy-going boho dresses are such a wonderful alternative and they are just as comfy as PJ’s but will look a lot nicer in that Zoom meeting.
I’m ALL ABOUT comfortable and easy clothing that feels effortless and yet, still looks nice, still looks like I made an effort. I can’t tell you how many dresses I have because for me, they fit the criteria exactly. It’s just one item – I don’t have to think of matching it with any top or bottom, I just throw it on and boom – instant outfit.
70s Retro Print Dress / Fit and Flare Dress / Geometric Print Dress: Are we sensing a trend here for what Kimberly likes to wear? I think we are. Anthropologie always has a great offering of these simple relaxed dress shapes. I love the middle one particularly – gimme an elasticated waist that doesn’t look too grandma and I’ll have it thanks.
If you’re working from home and you have to be seen on video, again, it may be tempting to throw on a nice blouse with jogging bottoms (because no one will see, right?) but again, this isn’t the most sustainable way of dressing mostly because it just looks and more importantly, feels weird. But with an easy-going dress with some nice top detailing, you can totally look like you made an effort when all you did was throw on one single garment. I actually feel sorry for straight/cis/masculine-presenting men that they don’t get to wear dresses. I reckon if they tried it, they’d like it. As long as those dresses had pockets, of course.
Light Beige Shirt Dress / Blue Stripe Shirt Dress / Olive Shirt Dress: The humble shirt dress – another style I just love. It looks totally work-appropriate but look out for materials like cotton or linen and you’ll be totally comfortable too. The first two are H&M and the third is from Hush. H&M can go ‘fast fashion’ very quickly with their materials, steer clear from the polyester ones and look out for the cotton or linen blend ones which will last longer, get softer in the wash and breathe better too.
Here’s another thing that’s super important to me is the fabrics I choose. I steer clear of anything made of rayon, polyester, viscose or anything labelled ‘chiffon’ – I love a floaty fabric but these man-made fabrics are not just a bit shit for the environment but they don’t breathe the way more natural products do. I also tend to avoid anything sheer that requires you to wear something underneath it like see-through dresses with a lining. Nope, too many layers. On really warm spring days like we’ve been having lately, this stuff will just make you feel a bit sweaty and uncomfortable. I don’t like shiny, slick fabrics against my skin or anything that will stick to me. So be sure to look at the labels and see what the fabric composition is.
Mustard Yellow Embroidered Dress / Pale Blue Maxi with Bell Sleeves: If only your top half will show, why not make it count? I love the sleeve detail on this gold H&M Dress, it just makes it a bit ‘extra’ and the wide elastic detail on the dress from & Other Stories gives this pale blue maxi a lovely vintage vibe.
I also like to have sleeves on things. So summer dresses with just tiny straps are not going to make the cut either. Fine if you’re going to be spending all day in the garden but not so great if you have a meeting with your boss on Zoom and your pink bra straps are poking out. It just doesn’t really scream professional, ya know? I tend to look out for stuff with some kind of detailing on top – nice wide floaty sleeves or even better, a balloon-type sleeve. Oh I love a balloon-sleeve – not only do they cover nicely, they never feel at all tight or uncomfortable no matter which way I’m stretching or bending and well, they just look cute and boho. You know I love my boho and this goes for my wardrobe too.
If you’re going to do trousers, I have two words for you: Wide. Leg. If you want to feel like you are all floating and classy, wide-leg trousers are the best. Even better if they have an elastic waist. Once again, stay away from man-made fabrics. Go for cashmere-blends in winter if you can afford it but seeing it’s warmer now, then linen and cotton are wonderful. Throw on some strappy sandals or cute trainers and an easy linen top and you’ll feel like you are on holiday.
Leopard print jogging bottoms from Hush are an exception I’ll make to comfy trousers that don’t look like sweatpants.
The only exception I’ll make is for cute patterned jogging bottoms because there are days when you really can’t be arsed and I get that. But leopard print makes these totally acceptable and not at all like something you’ve just dug out of the bottom of your wardrobe.
So I hope you enjoyed this little fashion tangent today on the blog! What are your work from home outfits like? Is there anything I’ve shared that’s caught your eye? Are you also into the boho dress trend? Also – how are you coping? You okay? Let me know in the comments, it would be great to hear from you.