How Working From Home Changed Wardrobes

William Miller

As the workplace has become increasingly remote, workers are scrambling to rework their wardrobes to fit this new lifestyle. Some soldier on in office attire, while others give it up and wear sleepwear or athleisure. They may even be sporting a new trend called the Zoom mullet – business on top, party on bottom! While some of these changes may seem quaint, they are bringing new life to an old closet staple.

The era of working from home saw more people opting for this flexible lifestyle. The transition reshapes our wardrobes – we ditched business clothes and shifted to athleisure and pajamas and butt-nekkid work wear. However, as society returns, many businesses are looking to bring employees back into the office. If you’re thinking about working from home, consider these tips for styling your wardrobe.

While comfortable clothes may be fun for a week, wearing them regularly is essential for your mental health. In addition to being uncomfortable, it can also affect your productivity and how you come across to colleagues. Instead, opt for clothes that boost your mood, said Linda Davis, training manager for stylists at House of Colour in the USA. You’ll be glad you did. A comfortable wardrobe boosts your productivity and improves your overall mental state, according to Davis.

As for workwear, polo shirts have replaced collared button-down shirts for men, and elastic-waist work pants are on the rise. Elastic-waist work pants were once a one-to-one ratio in the early 2000s, but now it’s three-to-one. For Emily Kirchner, who works in communications for a large appliance company, this pandemic has resulted in a shift in her wardrobe from casual to designer.

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The clothing itself doesn’t cause stress, but habits are what make us feel stressed. If you’re accustomed to loungewear in the evening, it’s hard to shift back to business casual without making yourself feel stressed. Habits matter, even if we don’t think they do. For example, if you’re in the habit of wearing loungewear at work, you’re not going to be able to switch to business casual again.

Aside from saving money, working from home requires more flexibility in your wardrobe. You may need a more formal button-down shirt when preparing a presentation, but otherwise you might need to wear a less polished outfit. Moreover, you’ll need a different set of outfits for various stages of your work. When you’re working from home, you can wear casual outfits with a professional top.

Students who take online classes may need to rethink their wardrobes if they want to attend classes in person. But, if they’re not going to be attending school in person, then their wardrobes may need to be rethought, too. The good news is that there’s a great chance that your partner might share these thoughts as well. They might even help you decide which clothes to wear!

The new lifestyle requires new wardrobes. A work wardrobe that supports productivity will be essential. But for the time being, wear something comfortable and that supports your productivity. You’ll notice that workplace style is shifting, as you can find less restrictive styles at stores like Old Navy or Loft. The era of the “Outfit of the Day” is over. The modern-day workplace requires new ways to dress. But it doesn’t mean that you should skip your wardrobe altogether.

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Many working professionals in their 30s and 40s have turned to athleisure, which is the opposite of the business outfit. Instead of wearing uncomfortable or expensive work attire, they swapped it for more comfortable clothing that can be machine-washed. Similarly, instead of wearing a blazer, try a cardigan. These two changes in wardrobe style can make you look better every time you get dressed.

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