People who felt restricted by the strict policies of office life were suddenly freed from these restrictions with the implementation of Work From Home (WFH).
Among the realized perks of WFH is the elimination of the tiring daily commute and savings from costly everyday expenses, ranging from fuel and public transportation fare to daycare services.
One of the main boons to come out of WFH is freedom from in-office attire. No more stuffy uniforms, cats, ties, pants, skirts, and heels.
However, even if you are WFH, your choice of clothes is crucial not only to maintain comfort while working, but also help you to maintain a veneer of professionalism and boost your productivity. Realizing the importance of having proper WFH attire, some employers have even gone so far as to create a dress code for working from home.
But even in the absence of such a dress code, if you’ve been thinking that your pajamas or shorts are your new WFH uniform, guess again!
Here are the dos, don’ts and what to watch out for when it comes to WFH attire.
1) Discover and then maintain a balance between comfort and professional attire.
For the first couple of weeks of WFH, experiment with the clothes that you find in your closet. Start with your regular office attire and see what works and what is uncomfortable for you. Most people find pants and stiff, buttoned-up office shirts to be a problem. So you can gradually switch the uncomfortable garments for something else, like pants for sweatpants and joggers and a cool collared tee or polo for your regular office shirt.
2) Check out great combos from your closet.
You don’t need to buy new clothes for WFH. Instead, check out the clothes that you have in your closet and work out great combinations that exude casual pro chic. Let’s say you have a nice frilly blouse that you used to wear with a shirt. See if it matches well with a pair of skinny stretch jeans. If you’re going for a T-shirt and sweatpants combo, you can top it off with a blazer or coat.
3) Wear clothes that help boost your mood and make you feel good overall.
Think of the clothes that can boost your mood. A great mood booster is color. Mix bold, striking colors with neutrals. For example, if you are wearing a shirt or blouse in a neutral color like white, beige or brown, add something in a striking color, such as a colorful scarf or a red headband. Take note that hot shades, such as red, orange, reddish purple or yellow boost your mood and make you feel energized. However, if you prefer a more relaxed shade, you can do well with blue or blue green.
4) Be creative in your dress style.
The great thing about WFH is that you can get very creative with the clothes you wear so that you exude a style that defines you as a unique individual. Let’s say you are wearing a nice blouse or a tee. Accessorize with some jewelry, like earrings or necklaces, or you can add a scarf or headband.
5) Always practice good personal hygiene.
What’s the point of being a stylish dresser if your face looks haggard, your hair is a mess, and you haven’t shaved? Make it a point to observe good personal hygiene. Strive for neatness in your physical appearance. Comb your hair. Ladies can add some light makeup. Men with facial hair should always keep their beards trimmed.
1) Don’t get over-creative.
You may find yourself going overboard with the mixing and matching of colors and attire. With this said, avoid clashing colors and patterns that may prove to be distracting especially during virtual meetings.
2) Don’t wear clothes with writing.
You may have bought a T-shirt or two with a funny quote or other witty line printed in large font in front. Again, same as above, clothes with quotes can also be distracting, In some cases, what quotes may seem funny to you may be insulting to someone else, so do not wear them during virtual meetings.
3) Don’t wear pajamas or other sleeping attire.
While pajamas are comfortable, you might find yourself getting too relaxed for work and even end up sleeping. Switch your pajamas to leggings or sweatpants if you want to be comfortable.
4) Don’t wear a hat.
Hats, while stylish, may end up shading your face so that it is not too visible when meeting with bosses and colleagues online. Hats in splashy colors and with writing can also be distracting. It is better to ditch hats while WFH altogether.
What To Watch Out For
When it comes to dressing up for WFH, what you specifically need to watch out for is your appearance when you attend a virtual meeting. It is only natural that you need to look your best during teleconferences so you need to make sure that you look your best.
Here are some important tips to keep in mind:
1) A day before the meeting, already determine what clothes you will be wearing. Again, take note of our dos that we mentioned above.
2) Check out your clothes on your webcam. Sit in front of your computer so that you see your image on the screen. Make sure that you look neat and professional on your screen. Always maintain proper posture.
3) Adjust your room lighting. You need to be clearly visible on screen. While natural light is still the best, you can add an additional light source, such as a lamp, so that your face can be seen very well on the screens of the meeting attendees.
4) Check your background. You certainly wouldn’t want your bosses or colleagues to see the clutter in the room behind you. You might want to consider moving your laptop to a room with a bare wall. Another option is to choose a virtual background image. However, make sure that your background image is simple in design and color so that it does not distract everyone during the meeting.
5) A little makeup can help. This is not only for the ladies, but seriously a little makeup can help you to look good on screen during virtual meetings. For example, if you are pale and/or have pale lips, some powder, blush, and lipstick can bring life and animation to your face.
Let these tips help you in determining the best WFH attire for you!