What Do People Actually Wear When They Work From Home?

Comfort AND style.

For those of us who go to school or work however many times a week, choosing what to wear day in, day out, can be a real source of stress: Do you opt for comfort or style? Does this suit the uniform requirements? Is this too informal for this setting? Did I already wear those pants three times last week? The struggle is real. 

Imagine if there were no regulations or restrictions, wouldn’t that make those early-morning sartorial decisions so much easier? With the number of people eschewing the traditional 9-to-5 on the rise, we decided to find out what it is really like to work from home and, more importantly, what people actually wear when their commute is fewer than 10 meters from their bed. 

We spoke to three Paris-based freelancers who shared with us their work wardrobe essentials. We wanted to know whether it was true that everyone with a home office gets to wear their pajamas all day, and how to avoid accidentally binging on Netflix all afternoon instead of working on that really important thing. 

Stephanie – Photographer

What are the qualities you want from an at-home work outfit?
Non-restrictive clothing is key, so I’d say comfort and flexibility! A lot of my work is either done behind the camera or on the computer and requires moving around in unconventional positions or sitting for long hours, so I tend to be attracted to pieces that are efficient for [doing that].

What are some essential items in your wardrobe for work?
Throughout my career in fashion, an “all black” dress code [has been the go-to]. So generally, my wardrobe consists of black, black and more black... sometimes with a bit of color. Also, I try to choose pieces that are versatile enough to be worn either at home or on location for a job but, most importantly, still express a part of my personality.

How does your beauty routine alter between days when you’re working from home and going out? 
Well, it doesn’t alter really, unless I’m working on a project with a tight deadline. Then usually, I’ll skip putting on any makeup while working from home. But normally, either at home or going out, my beauty routine consist of softening my skin with a natural sugar scrub and applying simple makeup, such as black liquid eyeliner and colorful lipstick, depending on my mood. For my hair, I keep that pretty simple too by having a cut that enhances my natural waves and adding a bit of Indian oil to reduce frizziness.   

What advice would you give to someone who’s about to start working from home?
Set some time apart for yourself everyday, and indulge in whatever makes you happy. 

Katy – Writer

What are the qualities you want from an at-home work outfit? 
I want to be comfortable but also self-respecting. Anyone who works at home will also tell you, then, that it's important not to be too slovenly. It is easy to become complacent, bordering on depressing, to work alone where no one sees you or gives a damn about your outfit. In other words, it's necessary to still get dressed and be respectful to your invisible public.

What are some essential items in your wardrobe for work?
Since it is easy to become lazy and complacent with your at-home wardrobe, what follows is that it is easy to become lazy and complacent in other things, too, including the quality of the production of your work and, in short, your sense of self and dignity. Therefore, essential items in the at-home work wardrobe include those items [that are] standard for a go-to office but with a bit more flair, character and sustainability. 

Have you ever had any funny or embarrassing mishaps because you’ve been caught unawares in your home office?
On [one] occasion nearly a year ago, I had just explained to my then-three-year-old that I would be having a very important video interview with a potential publisher late that evening and that she was under no circumstances to interrupt me. Halfway through the call, she began trying to get my attention, as I expected might happen, but I didn't divert my eyes once from the screen. Finally, she leaned in toward my head from the side, carefully staying out of view of the computer's camera, and whispered in my ear very quietly, "Mom! I have to go poo-poo!" I'll leave the rest of the story to your imagination.

What advice would you give to someone who’s about to start working from home?
Working at home is still working. Therefore, bring to it not only your work ethic but also your self-image and body-image. Dress the part, but also feel the part. Present yourself to yourself in the same way as you would if you were out and about, minus what holds you back – this is your space after all! Make it work for you. 

Nia – Academic Writer and Editor

Describe a typical outfit you would wear when you’re working from home?
I often dress in my running gear in the morning to convince myself that I will leave the house at a certain point later on in the day. Otherwise, I like to wear comfortable trousers and thick brown socks.

What are the qualities you want from an at-home work outfit? 
Colorful outfits are a yes – working from home is depressing and a splash of color never hurt anyone!

What are some essential items in your wardrobe for work?
Generally, clothes that are easy to put on and take off, such as cardigans. If I have a work deadline coming up, then I also wear hats to hide the fact I have not had time to do my hair. Padded cycling shorts are also great as an occasional treat, I definitely recommend this for anyone with a sit-down job.

What advice would you give to someone who’s about to start working from home?
Don't work your life around work. If you work [from] home, you can work work around your life.

What are three items you couldn’t work from home without (clothing or otherwise)?
My office chair, a good pair of socks and dried eucalyptus leaves to burn over a candle to get rid of the smell of coffee or other unsightly odors.

You've got the job, now get the look. Shop our selection of comfy-but-stylish clothes to add to your home-office uniform:  
Silence + Noise Knotted T-Shirt Dress - $49
Pixie Market Black Ring Belt Slouchy Tee - $65
Mango Side Slits Sweater - $20
Out From Under Jojo Oversized Thermal Button Front Top - $44
Ninii Boxy Fit Glitter Crop Top - $127
Eloquii Katya Midi Skirt - $90
Topshop Glitter Welt Ribbed Ankle Socks - $6
American Needle Ballpark Varient NY Baseball Hat - $29
Pearl iZumi Women's Escape Quest Short - £40

All images by Diana Liu.