No one was ready for the ‘what to wear when working from home’ conundrum that so many of us faced when social distancing became a reality. In the office days when we fantasised about working from our sofas we thought it’d be a no-brainer: PJs with a knit over the top, or gym leggings and slippers if you were feeling slightly sporty.
Well, we’ve learnt a lot since then. Morale and productivity issues mixed with surprise conference call realities have called for a rethink, so here’s what the Stylist team have learnt about tackling WFH style…
Helen Atkin, fashion assitant
“I’ve been aiming to keep as much normality in my life as possible while working from home. Sticking to a routine helps me feel a little in control during a time of such uncertainty, which is why I have been dressing as I would for the office. I fear that if I slipped into comfy loungewear, or even remained in my pyjamas, my productivity would dip and I’d start daydreaming of box sets and long lunches.
It has to be said that my ‘normal’ office attire is pretty relaxed compared to a lot of people’s (no suits here), but putting on a shirt in the morning, even if it is with jeans, provides a mental kickstart to the day. As I’m working from my parents’ house in Yorkshire, an extra insulation layer is needed, so a supersize knit is essential. Adding some earrings and a comfy pair of loafers is the finishing touch.”
Alix Walker, editor
“I’ve dabbled in the sweatpants and brightly coloured hoodie approach, I’ve even strayed into the pyjama bottoms and smart top route, but it’s the easy-to-wear printed midi dress that suits my WFH style the best. Fashion massively affects my mood and right now bright, poppy colours and floral prints raise my spirits, when they so desperately need a lift. A dress is so easy to wear and the loose style allows for my round-the-clock snacking.”
Hannah Moore, acting executive fashion director
“My workwear swings from jeans and a blazer to tailored trousers and a knit. Ordinarily I like the variety, but recently I haven’t been in the mood for a daily costume change. Instead, I have found myself gravitating towards the most utilitarian of garments in my wardrobe: the jumpsuit. Its functionality and innate practicality helps get me in a productive mindset.
Throw in a couple of layers and the jumpsuit is an incredibly versatile piece. After a couple of standstill hours at the computer I add in a chunky cardigan, or if it’s a particularly brisk morning I’ll layer in a contrasting coloured polo-neck. In a bid to finesse my fashion-meets-handywoman look I’ve taken to wearing Sabah slippers, which are a little bit more structured than a regular slipper and that somehow gives me a sense of purpose, as well as some screen-protection specs to filter out harsh blue light. It’s a look that’s ready for any conference call.”
Polly Knight, fashion editor
“I’ve always been one of those people who thought, ‘Oh, imagine not having to commute, putting on your tracksuit and sitting on the sofa with your laptop and a cuppa.’ This isn’t the way I would have wanted that sentiment to come to fruition but this is the reality we are currently faced with. So I’m sticking to my word and making comfort my key priority.
My usual office get-up involves high-waisted trousers – tailored or denim – and sturdy stomper boots, but neither of those are making the comfort cut. Instead, I am sticking to my tracksuit theory but elevating it, so that it is comfort with intention. And wearing a matching set makes me feel a little more put together. I am opting for a cashmere tracksuit with a supersized scarf (each day I find a new way of wearing it), keeping on my usual layers of gold jewellery, huggies, bracelets and necklaces, and padding around the house in fluffy Birkenstocks rather than slippers. The overall look is a mix between frequent flyer and quick Co-op run.”
Lead image: Massimo Dutti
Images: courtesy of brands