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It can be tempting to fall into a uniform of sweatpants, lounge wear and pajamas when working from home for an extended period. And while there’s something to be said for relaxing your style when you don’t need to follow an office dress code, some people prefer to get dressed up to maintain a sense of normalcy.

As more people adjust to working remotely, we should consider how the clothes we wear influence our mood and productivity. Ultimately, there are pros and cons to each approach, lounge wear vs professional clothes.

 

The argument to keep it casual and cozy

In general, most employers won’t care what you’re wearing when you work from home – as long as you get the work done. Additionally, taking a few days to stay comfy can be good for your mental health, especially during these stressful times. However, sometimes establishing a new at-home routine can free up more time and inspire productivity.

“On days when you don’t need to interface visually with clients or colleagues, I think wearing your favorite sweats can feel incredibly relaxing and put you in the perfect serene mood to dive in and get a ton of work done with maybe some extra time to meditate or do yoga somewhere in your day,” said Leesa Evans, a Hollywood costume designer and private stylist.

For many of us, dressing down at home is a time saver. It can give you an earlier start to the day and in some cases, it can mean more time and energy to complete other work tasks.

The argument to dress for success

Adjusting to working from home can be challenging and some people prefer to dress up to maintain a small semblance of their daily routine. It can help you feel more at ease to throw on something you’d typically wear at the office.

Getting dressed up for work normally helps us go through the motions and prepare for the day ahead. “Keeping a routine helps us maintain a sense of control and degree of normality in times when we are feeling a lack of control, which leads to stress and even anxiety.” Said Professor Carolyn Mair, author of The Psychology of Fashion. “What matters more than the actual garments we wear is that they helps us feel good.”

Since you don’t have to worry about dress codes while working remotely, stylists say this is the perfect time to experiment with your own look and style. You have more time to shop from your own closet and test drive new creative combos.

Additionally, a business casual look can help you feel more productive while working from home. Getting decked out in full-on boardroom attire might not be the most practical option. Something like a blouse and dressy leggings can be a nice transition, especially on days when you have multiple virtual meetings.

 

Why you should dress for your mood

The great thing about fashion is that you can always switch up your look based on your mood. While working remotely, you will likely have days where you just don’t feel like getting dressed up; and that’s OK!

These are interesting times and clothing can be a source of comfort, whether that means putting on your softest sweats and favorite sweater or choosing an item you haven’t had the chance to wear yet. “If I’m feeling down, I usually dress up to feel more put together. Tuning in to how you feel each morning can help you dress for success during this uncertain time.” Said Kesha Linder, merchandiser at online thrift store thredUP.

As with most things, figuring out your ideal work from home style is all about balance. Naturally, we all love to feel comfortable, so opting for looks that combine fashion and function can help you get the best of both worlds. Moreover, dressing business casual or semi casual at home will help keep your sense of office fashion – you’ll be one step closer to stepping back into the office with ease and style.

Your uniqueness is also your personal brand. Maybe it’s time to bring that back. Remind the world who you are, that you are moving forward in this new normal and that you mean business!

Remember, if you look good, you feel good! When you feel good, you are more likely to be positive; and positivity is directly linked to productivity!

 

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