The year is 2020. You haven’t showered in +/- three days. You’re wearing the same sweatpants you slept in. That top knot is still holding strong and the Amazon boxes full of cozy socks, craft kits, and elderberry gummies are collecting on your doorstep. You feed your sourdough starter, eat a slice of banana bread, and hop on Zoom for your morning meetings.
Perhaps that paragraph should have come with a trigger warning. But isn’t it great to know how far we’ve come?! We went HARD with the sweats and swung the pendulum over to donning black-tie gowns in grocery stores just to feel something. Then, we found a new work-from-home rhythm as many of us stayed remote or hybrid. Now in the year 2024, we wear sweatpants when we want to, thankyouverymuch. And for the most part, we get dressed. Still, no matter which way we get the job done, we all face the same question every morning. What am I going to wear?
I can help you with that. I’ve worked fully from home for five-plus years before moving to the hybrid model two years ago. As a “professional” WFH-er I’ve collected a few rules and standards for work-from-home clothes. Let’s review.
The Rules of Work-From-Home Clothes
- No Hard Pants. There must be room for easy movement and therefore this COVID-era rule remains. Urban Dictionary defines hard pants to perfection: “Pants that don’t have a stretchy, elastic waistband. During any pandemic, the desire to wear only elastic waistband pants instead of pants like jeans. During the pandemic, Victoria refused to wear hard pants.“
- Wear Easy Layers. The thermostat does not care that you set it to the same temperature every single day. It will always be colder in one room and warmer in the next. Layers are key for comfort.
- Clothes Must Be Versatile. Your clothes need to take you seamlessly from Zooms to coffee dates to errands to lunches. From sitting to standing and sitting again. A solid collection of basics mixed with fun items makes for a closet full of options.
- Opt For Casual Yet Professional. This one should be pretty obvious—no need to wear a pair of heels down the hall to your home office—but we can also try a smidge harder than three-day-old pants.
- Clothes Should Make You Feel Like You. It’s at the bottom of this list but consider it rule number one.
Work-From-Home Clothes IRL
I have a few essentials that I’ll recommend, all of which check off all the rules. I still LOVE my nap dress, for example, and I’m obsessed with these tailored pants. But there is a particular pair of pants I see on just about every WFH outfit list that I had to go try for myself.
I went to the store to try them on and… yeah. They were not as dreamy (pun intended) on my particular body as I hoped they’d be. However, I did discover these incredibly comfortable and versatile trousers (above!) that I immediately loved. They only had petite in the store so I’m planning on ordering the 32″ inseams, but I also don’t totally mind the shorter length. (I’m 5’8″ for reference.)
Work-From-Home and Office Capsule Collection
Behold the ultimate collection of work-from-home clothes for the modern gal. I gathered my personal favorites alongside some everyday essentials, then polled my very fashionable and amazing colleagues via Slack to share any pieces they swear by. I’d first encourage you to shop your own closet for items in these particular categories and then decide what’s missing. (P.S. Don’t sleep on a red power dress. In a sea of neutrals sometimes you need to opt for something fiery and strong!)
Check out the entire collection below and scroll on for three great outfits to get you started.
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