The last three months have been a blur in so many ways. We’ve had to adapt to a new way of life, and that has involved stay-at-home and not getting dressed up for work.
In the beginning of the stay-at-home orders, I found myself wearing my gym clothes all throughout the day as I immersed myself in work. I was lucky enough to get a Peloton pretty quickly, so I had no excuse not to work out.
That being said, I have to be on zoom calls quite often, and I realized that my gym clothes simply weren’t cutting it. I also didn’t feel good about the way I looked, which affected what I said and did. There is something to be said for getting up and getting dressed in the morning. It’s something we’ve been accustomed to for most of our adult lives. I didn’t want to go back to my law firm professional wardrobe because it wasn’t necessary, but I also wanted to be stylish, appropriate and most of all comfortable. My semi-homeless look simply wasn’t cutting it.
Clothing is one of the things that helps me create a division of time and sense of purpose throughout the day. Basically, my days consist of three types of clothing: loungewear to wear all day, athleisure for when I’m walking or doing an online workout class and pajamas. All of the above include stretchy pants.
I’m one of those people that has always enjoyed clothing, but as I’ve gotten older I much more enjoy comfortable clothing and that includes shoes. I can’t even imagine putting on a suit at this point, or even a regular bra if I’m being totally honest (sales of wireless bras and sports bras have skyrocketed so I know I’m not alone), but I wanted to share some ideas for comfortable work from home clothing that also looks professional as we continue to settle into working remotely for the foreseeable future.
I rarely spend a lot for clothing, and that is especially the case when it comes to my quarantine wardrobe. There are so many options at a reasonable price point, as well as a lot of online retailers that offer great deals right now as their in-store sales have ceased.
I have mostly been online shopping at Target, Nordstrom Rack, the GAP, GAP Factory and Neiman Marcus Last Call for stay-at-home clothing options. Nothing I bought has been over $30. I joke that I think my party dresses and stiletto heels think I moved, as I haven’t opened my closet in a long time.
I love soft fabrics, and I have lived in this jumpsuit from Target. It has a drawstring waist, slim leg pants, is machine washable and it comes in sizes from XS to XL. I’ve always liked dresses and jumpsuits because you don’t have to think about the top and the bottom. This is a great option to wear on the weekends as well. I have it in both colors and wear them often. It’s something you can wear into the summer, as it is lightweight. The best part? It’s $27.
I like the idea of leggings, but I don’t like to wear skintight pants all day into the night. My regular workout clothes are made of compression fabrics, which can really be uncomfortable if you sit in them all day long.
I found these soft high-waisted leggings from Target and these from Target as well as these leggings from the GAP and these modal wide leg pants from the GAP that are so comfortable I often wear them to bed as well. It really makes my life easy to wear the same thing I wear during the day to bed. I’m not suggesting you do this every day, but it really is great for someone like me who has a dog and is often going outside to walk him. None of these options are above $25.
In terms of tops, I have been finding myself gravitating toward loose-fitting soft fabrics. I have also been wearing graphic T-shirts. So for example I am a very proud New Yorker, if I’m doing a video spot or a webinar, you may see me with a New York Yankees shirt or something related to NYC. I have always believed that it’s important to be yourself while looking professional. For client meetings, I will often wear a solid colored top and put on some earrings. I find great t-shirts at Target, Nordstrom Rack and Neiman Marcus Last Call. Try the Wildfox and Chaser brands.
I always blow dry my hair if I am going to be on a zoom or video, and leave it natural for the other days of the week. One good thing about the quarantine is that my hair has gotten much healthier, and I’m sure many of you also have experienced that. Straightening, coloring, curling and blow drying our hair every day is not good for its overall health. I bought this Revlon hot blow dry brush at the suggestion of my dear friend Ruth, and it has changed my life. It speeds up the drying time and makes my hair super straight and shiny, but your hair must be damp not soaking wet.
Remember just like newscasters, no one can see your bottom half on a zoom, so there’s no need to wear jeans or dress pants (but please DO wear some sort of pants/shorts). Comfort should be at the top of your list. I have only worn jeans twice in the last three months, and it was quite uncomfortable. As a side note, it’s good to wear jeans during quarantine to make sure you aren’t eating too much. I cannot imagine going back to wearing regular work clothes, but the time will come. Until then embrace comfort and utility.
Put comfort above all else right now, but make an effort to look your best, it’s important to feel good about ourselves on the inside and outside. And it’s also important to maintain some routine during this incredibly stressful time.
Many online retailers have added a special work from home clothing section on their web site – take a look there for some inspiration.
Stay safe, stay well and stay comfortable.