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How To Dress Up To Work From Home? 20 Expert Tips



Dressing up to work from home is not only necessary to be presentable during video conferences, but also to keep some good habits and for some people to work properly.

In order to find out the best tips that can help to dress up correctly for important video calls, I asked the community and got these amazing answers.

What are you wearing yourself when working from home? In my case, for my telework home outfit I put on a shirt with a jacket,‌ and I'm ready - see my picture below, and share yours in comments!

Are you dressing up differently to work from home than standard office time? If yes, how differently, what changed, and which fashion advice would you give to be more comfortable or productive for telework?

Missy Titus: getting dressed signals that the work day has started

Work from home jeans
Work from home jeans 

No one expects you to work from home in a suit, but they do expect you to look presentable. I know for me, getting dressed signals to my brain that the work day has started, even if I'm not going to see anyone. I recommend wearing nice, but comfortable shirts in solid colors that don't clash with your background. T-shirts are fine, but keep a slouchy blazer or cardigan nearby to throw on for meetings. On the bottom, silk joggers, elastic-waistband culottes, and comfortable jeans‌ are my go-to (just in case you have to get up during a meeting, you don't want to be in PJ pants!)

Video: looking your best on zoom
Missy Titus, Personal Stylist & CEO of Simplified Wardrobe
Missy Titus, Personal Stylist & CEO of Simplified Wardrobe
  Simplified Wardrobe

Nicole D. Vick: on a Zoom call I incorporate a few key elements

Working from home allows me to dress more comfortably. The high heel shoes, blazers, and pencil skirts have been replaced with house slippers and comfortable loungewear. However, there are some occasions where stepping it up a bit is absolutely necessary. On those occasions when I will be on a Zoom call or otherwise need to be seen (from the waist up of course). I incorporate a few key elements into my look:

  • A brightly colored blouse or shirt with some interest such as an interesting pattern or design, puffy sleeves, or some other interesting detail adds a nice touch to a work from home outfit.
  • Some women are opting to wear their hair in protective styles during this time. (Mine is braided away to minimize manipulation and breakage). This is an opportunity to wear brightly colored headwraps or headbands, or to put on a quick and easy wig or hair piece to look put together in no time flat.
  • Statement jewelry such as big bold earrings or a beautiful necklace can also elevate the look of basics such as a t-shirt or button down top.
Nicole D. Vick is a public health professional, adjunct professor, author, and fashionista. By day she works with a variety of stakeholders to improve health and prevent disease. By night she uses her lived experience to inform and educate undergraduate students on the ins and outs of public health and social justice. In her spare time, she enjoys helping women find their sense of style without breaking the bank.
Nicole D. Vick is a public health professional, adjunct professor, author, and fashionista. By day she works with a variety of stakeholders to improve health and prevent disease. By night she uses her lived experience to inform and educate undergraduate students on the ins and outs of public health and social justice. In her spare time, she enjoys helping women find their sense of style without breaking the bank.
  Nicole D. Vick

Jessica Estorga: the key is to keep it simple and easy

Home office suits
Home office suits 

As a litigation attorney I use to spend a majority of my days in suits.‌ Now that courts are physically closed and I spend most days working from home, my daily grooming routine has taken a measurable cut in time. Although there is still an expectation to keep up courtroom appearances and decorum, I’ve learned to get camera ready in much less time than it would usually take me to get ready when going to court in person.

My first trick, the “touch up appearance” option in Zoom. I think the filter works well enough to make anyone look refreshed. Second, even though I almost never wore lipstick preCovid-19, I love to throw on a lip stain before I turn my camera on. Between the “touch up” and lip stain, I feel as though I look like I put in effort. Obviously, I want to be presentable in front of a Judge and court, but right now I also don’t want to invest in spending half an hour primping.

My hair is naturally frizzy and super thick. At night I’ve started braiding my hair so it emulates a wave like appearance. If it is an extra humid day, I add some product and then just go with it. Lastly, I keep a few neutral jackets and cardigans nearby that can match any top. I stray away from graphic tees and for the most part stick to some sort of workout pant (that nobody ever sees) and a plain t-shirt or tank top and just throw the jacket on.

From my perspective, the key is to keep it simple and easy. It is important to be presentable but remember we are all in the same boat and as long as you feel comfortable and confident in your appearance that is all that matters.

Jessica Estorga is an attorney and mediator at Estorga Johnson Law Firm PLLC located in San Antonio, Texas.
Jessica Estorga is an attorney and mediator at Estorga Johnson Law Firm PLLC located in San Antonio, Texas.
  Estorga Johnson Law Firm PLLC

Jason Lee: I get up and get dresses like I'm going into the office everyday

It can be extremely tempting to dress down and rock the PJs when you don't have any meetings or video calls. However, I've found that when I do that, my productivity leaves with the work clothes. Dressing casually tends to make me work more casually, which is not ideal. So, call me a nerd, but I get up and get dressed just like I'm going into the office everyday.

Jason Lee is the Communications Director for Best Online Dating, a company that specializes in Online Dating Site Reviews
Jason Lee is the Communications Director for Best Online Dating, a company that specializes in Online Dating Site Reviews
  Best Online Dating

Matt Scott: simple and elegant basics

Remote work jeans
Remote work jeans 

My latest go-to solutions are simple and elegant basics. Think of cashmere sweaters, woven lightweight T-shirts, and stretch-fit Jeans. You don't need to be awkward living at home so go for comfy fabrics and smooth textures. Clothes may have an effect on our attitude and can also have an influence on how well we function.

The study included two sets of people conducting white coat-wearing activities. Participants of one party had been advised that their coat belonged to a doctor, in the other, a designer. The group of physicians showed an improvement in their capacity to perform a set of activities.

If we have our 'lucky' ring, our suit to shield us, that we put on when we go to fight in the boardroom, our crazy pricey piece that makes us look like a million bucks when we wear it, our fashionable shoes and knits that make us feel open, our athletic clothes that help us succeed — we have added ideals to all these things and they assist us with what we need.

When you pair your work wardrobe with being productive, otherwise you'll focus on wearing it to make you feel successful.

Matt Scott, owner of Termite Survey
Matt Scott, owner of Termite Survey
  Termite Survey

Dr. Vikram Tarugu: the same clothing I would wear on Saturdays at the store

As a doctor doing telemedecine at home on some days, it is really important for me to still look sharp even though I am in the comfort of my own home. Since almost everybody are still operating from home, you are sure to get a few more video conference calls than normal at the moment. A lazy home outfit can always be pleasant, but shifting into your day clothes may make you know it's time for work.

Dressing up at home doesn't automatically involve wearing the same clothing you would want to wear to the workplace, or whatever setting you would typically be employed in.

A full-on style at the workplace might sound a bit like a costume-y at home when the sloth appearance can be demotivating. A nice balance will be comfortable, clean loungewear or more trendy casual clothes. In principle, something you should at least bring to the airport.

I 'm wearing the same clothing I would wear on Saturdays -- just with my white coat on -- at the store. I'd wear something that I'd be delighted to see a customer bumping into me there. Soft slippers are perfect to walk around the house, when you move through your day. If you don't even own a set of wear-at-home slippers, take this chance to select a pair and get ready to change your life.

Dr. Vikram Tarugu is a gastroenterologist and medical professional focused on alcohol addiction treatment. A veteran in the medical field with over 25 years of professional experience. He is a consultant for many South Florida Rehab centers.
Dr. Vikram Tarugu is a gastroenterologist and medical professional focused on alcohol addiction treatment. A veteran in the medical field with over 25 years of professional experience. He is a consultant for many South Florida Rehab centers.
  Detox of South Florida

Loretta Breuning: red creates solidity and good contrast with the background

Habits of a Happy Brain book
Habits of a Happy Brain book 

I wear red because it creates solidity and good contrast with the background. I keep the red top handy to throw on for meetings. Individual factors are relevant. First, I write books about happiness so I want an uplifting background. (It’s boring to see everyone with the same bookshelves!) Second, I’m an older person so I don’t need to zoom in on my wrinkles.

Loretta Breuning teaches people about the brain chemicals that make us feel good. She’s Founder of the Inner Mammal Institute, Professor Emerita of Management at California State University, East Bay, and author of Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin and Endorphin Levels.
Loretta Breuning teaches people about the brain chemicals that make us feel good. She’s Founder of the Inner Mammal Institute, Professor Emerita of Management at California State University, East Bay, and author of Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin and Endorphin Levels.
  Inner Mammal Institute

Sharon Haver: jeans and a nice top... that could even be a T-shirt

Home office yoga pants
Home office yoga pants 

It's really pretty simple, being polished to help boost productivity and be ready for video and still comfy. For me, it's jeans‌ and a nice top...that could even be a T-shirt but as long as the overall look is pulled together. If you have a modern haircut, cool glasses and for women, everyday makeup then you will instantly upgrade even a white T-shirt. For media interviews, student and client days I make an effort to put on a more interesting blouse or sweater and jewelry. What you never want to do is wear pajamas‌ or yoga pants‌ all day as it really chips away at your productivity and self-worth. Look good, feel good, do good.

I have been working from home since I founded FocusOnStyle.com in 1999. As a former fashion stylist and style expert who now works solely on what makes an online business successful, my entrepreneur and small business owner audience often gets stymied on what to wear when you're not technically in a real office.
I have been working from home since I founded FocusOnStyle.com in 1999. As a former fashion stylist and style expert who now works solely on what makes an online business successful, my entrepreneur and small business owner audience often gets stymied on what to wear when you're not technically in a real office.
  FocusOnStyle.com

Steve: dressing up to work from home is actually important for productivity

Telework shirts
Telework shirts 

It may seem silly upfront, but dressing up to work from home is actually important for productivity. Furthermore, if you're conducting or participating in online meetings, you have no choice! If you want to be taken seriously, that is.

Over time, I've learned to find a middle ground - where I dress casually, but in a semi-chic way. I'll wear freshly-pressed pants or shorts and always with a collared shirt. The shirts I fancy the most are made from a sporty, breathable material that still have a sense of sophistication to them. I ensure that my clothes are comfortable, but also presentable.

I'm able to stay cozy all day, while maintaining a sense of professionalism at the same time.

My name is Steve and I'm the owner-publisher of a site called BootMoodFoot which is dedicated to all-things shoes and footwear.
My name is Steve and I'm the owner-publisher of a site called BootMoodFoot which is dedicated to all-things shoes and footwear.
  BootMoodFoot

Baron Christopher Hanson: setting up the right newsdesk studio

Work from home jackets
Work from home jackets 

I have been dressing somewhat differently as I work and consult and negotiate and even give speeches from home, only traveling minimally by car to seasonal homes to self-quarantine and work remotely as well. For management consultants, airplanes are to us what a water hose is to a fireman in a blaze.

Even though I'm grounded, it's still important to dress professionally during this COVID nightmare –– and yes, even put pants on –– for any FaceTime or Zoom video calls over the Internet.

I've been far more able to exercise, jog, work outside, water the garden, and especially cook three meals a day from home during COVID workplace and travel freezes, which of course calls for a different summer wardrobe than my usual tie and blazer consulting attire. For me, it's been Vilebrequin linen shorts and swim trunks, Jimmy Buffet sandals, and Carerra sunglasses by the beach during non-video business calls.

Of course the main visual area over the Internet is your face and hair, dress shirt bust and jacket,‌ any lapel pins, and especially the surroundings of books and photos behind you in any online video frame.

Dressing up to work from home is about setting up the right newsdesk studio to accentuate and support your professional wardrobe and brand. Our company engaged a professional photographer to retake our COVID-era headshots in a less formal wardrobe, and to stylize and consult on our overall video background and audio presence.

On the rugby field, I wore the very best metal-spiked ADIDAS cleats to ply my trade on the pitch and in the scrum for 16 years. At work, having polished business shoes on, even over the Internet, is a mindset that's simply ingrained in me.

I've always considered my business shoes to be a psychological working tool. Serious shoes equals serious business, and I frequently walk around my office or pace outdoors on the deck in my Allen Edmonds, not my Jimmy Buffets.

Baron Christopher Hanson is the principal and lead strategist at RedBaron Advisors in Washington, DC, Charleston, S.C., and Palm Beach, Fla. A former rugby player, Harvard graduate, and expert on workplace and small-business turnarounds.
Baron Christopher Hanson is the principal and lead strategist at RedBaron Advisors in Washington, DC, Charleston, S.C., and Palm Beach, Fla. A former rugby player, Harvard graduate, and expert on workplace and small-business turnarounds.
  RedBaronUSA

Mikkel Andreassen: Blue-jeans and fancy shoes have indeed been substituted for sweatpants and sandals

Home office pajamas
Home office pajamas 

Even though working from home provides you with certain facilities that you wouldn’t have while working in an office, such as drinking as many cups of coffee as you want, taking recurrent short breaks or just spending all day wearing only your pajamas, the latter is something that psychologist advice not to do. Advice which I follow to the letter.

Studies have shown that not getting properly dressed when working from home can harm your productivity, and even worse, your mental health. That’s why not much of my routine has changed since the Covid-19 outbreak forced me to work from home.

Blue-jeans‌ and fancy shoes have indeed been substituted for sweatpants‌ and sandals (not always, but the majority of the time) however I’ve tried to keep my life’s routine going as it always has, and I can say it has definitely helped me stay in a healthy and productive path. The reason why I encourage you to try the same if this is your case and avoid working on pajamas‌ and straight out of bed.

Mikkel Andreassen, Customer Experience Manager @Dixa
Mikkel Andreassen, Customer Experience Manager @Dixa
  Dixa

Zach Reece: the same business casual attire helps me take my work seriously

Telework suit
Telework suit 

I continue to wear the same business casual attire that I used to wear to the office, because I really think it helps me stay in a routine and take my work seriously. I wasn’t doing this when I first started working from home and I noticed that it was easier to get lazy and not maintain my productivity. There is something about wearing professional attire that puts me in a professional mindset and ready to really attack my workday.

  Atlanta Roofers

Alina: I learned that dressing the part was actually a mood booster

Home office shirts
Home office shirts 

When I first started working from home, I loved the idea about bumming out in my sweatpants, to be completely honest. But I quickly realized it made productivity extremely difficult.

I learned over time that dressing the part, much like I would in an office, was actually a mood booster. I don't get quite as dressed up but I do try to wear a freshly ironed shirt with a skirt and flat shoes for example.

Comfort is key, of course, so I don't let that slide, either.

My name is Alina, and I'm a work-from-home web developer over at the Clever Sequence website. I've spent most of my life working remotely, in technology and marketing. Mostly for start-up companies.
My name is Alina, and I'm a work-from-home web developer over at the Clever Sequence website. I've spent most of my life working remotely, in technology and marketing. Mostly for start-up companies.
  Clever Sequence

Daniel Juhl Mogensen: A nice shirt or sweater and some sweatpants or denim jeans

Work from home jeans
Work from home jeans 

Typical 9-5 work clothes are very different from work at home clothes.

Working at a restaurant you have to wear a specific uniform, which can be uncomfortable, and depending on where you work, get sweaty and stinky very quickly.

Office attire is formal and can be a bit bland depending on office attire regulations, but can be either comfortable or not. As a work from home dad, I wear what is comfortable, but still acceptable for if I need to make a video call with a client or run an errand. A nice shirt or sweater and some sweatpants‌ or denim jeans- no shoes required. I also keep my hair tidy, and not a disheveled mess. For anyone working from home, don’t go overboard with your attire. Keep it simple and comfortable, but also make sure it’s something you’d wear to run errands or pick up your paycheck like from a typical job.

A techie since his younger days, Daniel's passion for coding and all things futuristic lead him to start-up Kodyl, a boutique prop-tech development firm. As a forward-thinking JavaScript developer, he focuses on developing mobile and web applications using cutting edge frameworks and innovative technology for his clients.
A techie since his younger days, Daniel's passion for coding and all things futuristic lead him to start-up Kodyl, a boutique prop-tech development firm. As a forward-thinking JavaScript developer, he focuses on developing mobile and web applications using cutting edge frameworks and innovative technology for his clients.
  Kodyl

Kendra Bruning: as long as we’re all business from the waist up, anything else goes

Home office sweatpants
Home office sweatpants 

We have only one real rule for our dress code: as long as we’re all business from the waist up, anything else goes. Going pantsless is one of the best parts of remote work. But my partner and I find that wearing business-appropriate top, jacket,‌ or tie has a number of advantages. Most obviously, we can easily answer any unexpected business calls at a moment’s notice without looking like we just crawled out of bed, haven’t groomed in days, or barely survived a zombie apocalypse.

But the routine of dressing up, even if it’s only half of our bodies, also gets us in the right mindset for starting our day. My partner is more alert after a shave and a cup of coffee, and I find that putting on some makeup, doing my hair, and having a light breakfast set the mood for a productive work session. So whether I’m in sweatpants‌ or just a pair of underwear and socks, I still feel like I’m prepping my mind for a busy day.

Kendra Bruning, Founder of GameCows. As cofounder of the board game website GameCows, I I often work from home with my business/life partner.
Kendra Bruning, Founder of GameCows. As cofounder of the board game website GameCows, I I often work from home with my business/life partner.
  GameCows

Melanie Musson: business on the top, party on the bottom work from home attire

Work from home leggings
Work from home leggings 

Putting on professional attire helps me get into “work mode” even when I’m at home and not at work. But I’ve slacked a little bit in my work-from-home attire. I keep a professional appearance but have put an equal emphasis on comfort.

I can get away with leggings‌ and shorts when I’m at home. So, similar to a “business in the front, party in the back” mullet, I have a business on the top, party on the bottom work from home attire.

When I have a video meeting, I look professional and I feel professional, but I’m also much more comfortable than I am at the office.

I would recommend getting dressed in the morning and fixing your hair to help you get into the working groove, but I also recommend being comfortable and taking advantage of the good side of working from home.

There are a lot of negatives about working from home, but one of the positives is the ability to be as comfortable as you’d like, so embrace that perk.

Melanie Musson is a writer and insurance expert for CarInsuranceComparison.com
Melanie Musson is a writer and insurance expert for CarInsuranceComparison.com
  CarInsuranceComparison.com

Jim Sullivan: put on something you would wear to visit with friends and family

Home office suit and tie
Home office suit and tie 

While it isn’t mandatory, getting dressed up for working from home can really boost productivity and help sustain positive mental health.

I recommend all remote workers wake up at a reasonable time and continue a regular morning routine, like showering, shaving, brushing teeth, etc.

This can help tell your brain that you are about to start the professional part of your day and to get focused on being productive. You don’t have to wear a suit and tie,‌ or even fancy dress clothes, but just put on something you would wear to visit with friends and family.

Jim Sullivan is the President, CEO, and Co-Founder of JCSI. In 1999, he founded JCSI to capitalize on his experiences working in all aspects of the recruiting industry.
Jim Sullivan is the President, CEO, and Co-Founder of JCSI. In 1999, he founded JCSI to capitalize on his experiences working in all aspects of the recruiting industry.
  JCSI

Mason Culligan: jeans and shoes to differentiate that I’m at home but working

Telework jeans
Telework jeans 

Even though I work at home, I usually do not wear pajamas‌ or undergarments like most people I know of. I like wearing jeans‌ and shoes in particular to differentiate the idea that I’m at home but working. Wearing clothes I don’t usually wear when I am at home, I realized, made me develop a mindset that I am here to work and not to relax. This strategy allowed me not to disrupt the workflow and differentiate work from non-working hours.

Even though it’s just in my mind, this practice allows me to have this mindset that I’m not in the house to relax—thus isolating working hours from leisure.

Anyways, I hope I was able to contribute to your article with my tips regarding this matter. I am excited to see how your piece turns out to learn how other telecommuters are doing it differently.

 I am Mason Culligan, founder and CEO of a multimedia company called Mattress Battle. I mainly run my multimedia company at the luxury of my home office.
I am Mason Culligan, founder and CEO of a multimedia company called Mattress Battle. I mainly run my multimedia company at the luxury of my home office.
  Mattress Battle Inc.

Nicholas T: Carhartt pants, a T-shirt, and either hiking boots or no shoes at all

Hiking boots
Hiking boots 

When I transitioned to working from home full-time in April, my wardrobe transitioned as well. I used to wear slacks, a button-down shirt, and fancy shoes. Now I wear Carhartt pants, a T-shirt, and either hiking boots‌ or no shoes at all.

My transition was one of practicality. I wear Carhartts to do chores, work in the garden, clean the chicken coop, etc. I like to punctuate my workday with these chores to keep my body moving and my mind fresh. I'll go on a hike after work, so it only makes sense to have my hiking boots‌ on.

While I used to put on a button-down shirt for virtual meetings, I've noticed that a T-shirt is now the standard working-from-home attire. Even people who would never have been seen wearing a T-shirt at an office show up wearing one on Zoom.

Nicholas T is the founder of My Dissertation Editor (mydissertationeditor.com). He has started several businesses and recently served as the Editorial Operations Manager for Syndicate Media Group.
Nicholas T is the founder of My Dissertation Editor (mydissertationeditor.com). He has started several businesses and recently served as the Editorial Operations Manager for Syndicate Media Group.
  My Dissertation Editor

Michael James Nuells: our fashion should be equally as daring, stylish, and chic as women`s

Home office sweat suits
Home office sweat suits 

Since the beginning of COVID-19 lockdowns, I`ve been busy working from home. Everything has gone virtual, which has meant no in-person meetings, auditions, filmings, etc. for the foreseeable future. As unfortunate as this has all been, there have been a few blessings that I`ve come to love - most importantly, being able to dress even more comfortably to stay as productive as I possibly can! To start, robes, sweatsuits,‌ athleisure, etc. are IN & with such major statements. Sales for & new customers buying these items have increased drastically & the long-term investment factor have made them popular go-to items during our COVID pandemic. More unique styles, prints, designers, etc. for these items are showcasing everyday, which has become beautiful to witness & indulge in!

Men have been even more enthused & inclined lately to settle into their new telework fashion senses! The realization is that our fashion should be equally as daring, stylish, and chic as women`s. Our fashions are just as high & important, especially after working in our homes for the last few months. When you look great, you FEEL even greater, and this is no different for anyone with the confidence we all want to exude!

@michaeljamesnuells on Instagram
Michael James Nuells is a professional actor & special events manager residing in Toluca Lake, CA. He`s recently featured in international news stories for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Yahoo! Lifestyle. Check him out as Tim in his newest feature Scare Me out now, via Amazon Prime.
Michael James Nuells is a professional actor & special events manager residing in Toluca Lake, CA. He`s recently featured in international news stories for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Yahoo! Lifestyle. Check him out as Tim in his newest feature Scare Me out now, via Amazon Prime.
  Michael James Nuells
What Can I DO ?
About the author - What Can I DO ?
Former international ERP and Web project manager, he is a digital nomad and world traveler for more than 6 years: one year long world tour, 650+ flights, 1000+ hotel nights, all self organized. Working remote is a way of life, and he wants to share with you his best tips to work from home, telecommute and work remote as digital nomads or home office workers.
 

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