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WFH Style: Balance Between Comfort and Professionalism

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WFH Style: Balance Between Comfort and Professionalism

Many forget about the old office dress code these days. Working from home has changed things completely. We don’t have to wear those stuffy suits and ties (or uncomfortable heels) anymore, and it’s a much more relaxed environment. But staying in pajamas all day might not be the best way to feel powerful or get work done. So, the question is: how do we find the perfect balance between feeling comfy and looking professional in this new work-from-home world?

There’s a misconception that working from home means sacrificing professionalism in the name of comfort. However, research suggests that dressing professionally, even in a remote setting, can have positive impacts:

  1. It can increase your productivity. Feeling put-together can boost focus and concentration.
  2. It can enhance your confidence. Projecting a professional image can empower you during meetings and presentations.
  3. It can improve your mental state. Establishing a routine that separates work from leisure can benefit mental well-being.

While comfort is crucial, neglecting professionalism altogether might have downsides. So how do we find that sweet spot?

First of all, it is important to know the different situations you would need to dress differently for. While comfort is a priority when working from home, there might be situations that call for a slightly more formal approach:

  • Video Calls: Dress as you would for an in-person meeting, especially if meeting clients or superiors. A solid-colored top and dress pants or a skirt create a polished look.
  • Presentations: Project an air of authority with a blazer or a dress that commands attention.
  • Casual Workdays: When there are no video calls or important meetings, prioritize comfort with a well-fitting sweater and relaxed-fit pants.

Pro Tip! Keep a “work uniform” prepared as a default fit for when you’re faced with a busy day, and a “power fit” readily available for unexpected video calls or presentations.

Here are some essential pieces to create a versatile WFH wardrobe that blends comfort and professionalism:

Tops: Button-up shirts (in wrinkle-resistant fabrics for minimal ironing!); Blouses in various styles and textures; Different colored T-shirts for a comfy choice; Polos, a classic choice that offers a balance between casual and professional; and well-fitting sweaters for added warmth and style.

Bottoms: Tailored chinos for a polished look; Dress pants in classic cuts and neutral colors; Sweatpants for a simpler and comfier option; and midi skirts, a comfortable and versatile choice.

Dresses: Wrap dresses that flatter most body types; and shirtdresses offer a polished yet comfortable option.

Outerwear: Cardigans for easy layering and added warmth; and blazers elevate an outfit instantly and create a more formal look.

Accessories: Statement necklaces can elevate a simple outfit, and a polished watch adds a touch of professionalism and sophistication.

Here are some outfit inspiration:

  • Polished Casual:
    Combine a simple t-shirt with dark-wash jeans and a cardigan for a relaxed yet put-together look that’s perfect for everyday video calls.
  • Smart Casual:
    Dress up a flowy blouse with tailored chinos for a comfortable yet professional vibe, ideal for casual meetings or brainstorming sessions.
  • Business Casual:
    Elevate your outfit with a polo and a blazer for important video calls or presentations.

Ultimately, fit is key! Clothes that are too tight or too loose can look sloppy. Invest in pieces that flatter your body type and make you feel confident. Another pro tip: embrace flexibility! Opt for cozy clothes on lighter days, but keep a blazer or a cardigan handy for unexpected video calls.

Looking sharp isn’t the only thing to consider, professionalism goes beyond your WFH attire. Here are some additional elements to consider that contribute to a polished and productive work persona:

  • Maintain a neat and polished appearance, even if you’re not leaving the house.
  • Create a designated workspace that’s free from clutter and distractions. This helps establish a work-life boundary.
  • If you have video calls, ensure your background is tidy and professional. Consider using a virtual background if needed.

Paying attention to these details can help a professional work environment, even from the comfort of your home.

Striking the WFH style balance is an ongoing process that requires continuous experimentation. Start with investing in creating a wardrobe that blends comfort, confidence, and professionalism, so you can empower yourself to thrive in your home office. 

Remember, your WFH style reflects your personal brand. Don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun! Discover what makes you feel your most professional and comfortable self. With a touch of planning and creativity, you can master the art of WFH style, creating a workspace that fuels productivity and success. 

Happy working (in style) from home!

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