For those of us who've been away from our offices since quarantine started, working from home is finally feeling less like the "new normal" and more just normal. Merriam-Webster even added "WFH" to the dictionary, so you know it's legit. But some things still feel a little tricky—like deciding what to wear while you're on the clock. Dressing up just to sit back down in front of your computer all day doesn't make much sense, but staying in your pajamas is a proven productivity killer. The sweet spot is somewhere right in the middle: business, but make it casual. That way, you're polished enough for virtual calls and comfy enough for the couch to double as your desk. Nailing that balance comes down to three key ideas.
1. Keep it professional on top.
When it comes to video meetings, it’s what’s above the keyboard that counts. Pull-it-together sweaters and statement blouses are still 9-to-5 necessities.
2. Down below, anything goes.
Let's be honest, soft pants are the best part of working from home. Your favorite joggers or leggings are fine; just keep that camera at eye level.
3. The extras are important.
Don’t skip the accessories and shoes. Sure, they may not show on camera, but those finishing touches send a signal to your brain that you’re ready to go.
With this formula in mind, our stylists put together three outfits that illustrate the new business casual.
Blazers Mean Business
If you have a big meeting or you just want to look a little extra, blazers are your best bet. A sharp-shouldered style like this one makes a strong impression, while a neutral hue exudes the kind of calm you want when you’re presenting to your boss's boss. The easy white T-shirt offsets the jacket’s structure, and no one has to know you’re wearing the softest sweatpants down below. This look comes across as effortlessly chic on camera—especially when you add a pop of pretty jewelry—and you’ll feel like you’re getting away with something IRL.
A long, slouchy sweater like this is the cozy chameleon your work
wardrobe needs. You can layer it over a collared shirt for meetings that have
an intimidating attendee list, or dress it down for a low-key catchup with your
coworkers. Either way, we love to play up the oversized silhouette with
slim-fitting pants and sleek accessories.
Tops That Pop
For an on-camera look that’s both dramatic and dead simple to pull off, go for a statement blouse and oversized earrings. Both pieces put the focus on your face and let everyone on the conference call know you aren’t afraid to stand out. White silk gives this top a subtle luster and an easy, unstructured quality that steers it clear of try-hard territory. We also love oversized collars, puffed sleeves and punchy patterns.