About five years ago, my now-husband and I were planning a move from Los Angeles (where I was working at Who What Wear’s HQ) 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 able to continue working for Who What Wear as an editor, albeit from home. Prior to that, I’d been working full-time in office environments for more than seven years, and my wardrobe reflected that. It was filled with blazers, silk blouses, and walkable heels, none of which I needed anymore. But I had a brand-new work-from-home lifestyle to adjust to.
I could’ve certainly gone in the polar opposite direction from my previous wardrobe and stayed in pajamas all day every day, but I quickly learned that doing so makes you feel sleepy. So every day, I get up and put on makeup and get dressed. But over the past 1000 working days, I’ve learned by trial and error that when I’m working from home, I have zero tolerance for discomfort. That means only the stretchiest non–high-rise jeans and shorts, slippers (Parachute Home in the summer and Uggs in the winter) instead of shoes, sweatshirts (I’m always freezing), sometimes leggings, minimal jewelry, and the comfiest (often baggiest) T-shirts I can find. See a couple of examples below.
Now, I fully realize that this doesn’t sound like the aesthetic of a fashion editor, but trust me—I only dress like this when working from home (and on my daily Starbucks run). When I’m out in the world, typically, comfort is actually the least of my concerns. I’m much more concerned with having fun with my outfits, which often means something like high-waisted 100% cotton jeans, my latest shoe acquisition, a fun top, and plenty of accessories. It’s pretty much the opposite of my WFH style.
Since I no longer have to bother with choosing an office-appropriate work outfit every day anymore, I feel the need to really step things up when I go out in the world, as opposed to before when I had major outfit-planning fatigue. So you could say that my style has actually improved in many ways where it counts 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 part in that. For me, comfort is key, even if it doesn’t reflect how I prefer to dress IRL. In conclusion, my best advice for anyone trying to find their work-from-home style is to experiment until you find what works for you, but I strongly advise avoiding the pajama trap and encourage you to take advantage of the atmosphere and get yourself a good pair of slippers.
Read on to shop pieces that suit my WFH self and my out-in-the-world self.
This story was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.