Posts tagged #stylish work outfits

What to Wear When You Work From Home

PJ’s or Suits? What to wear when you work from home. 

Throughout my career I’ve worked in different settings. As a buyer and merchandiser I worked in an office setting in NYC where I had to maintain an executive, yet fashion forward, attire. In other words, black suits (it was NYC after all) and fabulous shoes.

Fast forward to my days as a fashion blogger. My “office” was any one of the fabulous coffee shops that Seattle had to offer (Top Pot Donuts and Café Fiore being two of my favorites). I was also out and about taking street style fashion pics while toting along my laptop, camera and then 20 month old daughter… Needing to be comfortable, weather friendly (yes, it rains in Seattle) and maintain my own personal style I turned to jeans, Hunter boots, plaid shirts and quilted vests as my work attire.

Here I am now, I own a business and work from home. I have nothing to schlep and my commute consists of a flight of stairs :) (yes, you heard angels singing). Yet another switch in my work wardrobe.


I Work From Home, does it matter what I wear?

When I meet with clients it’s easy to figure out what to wear, I’m in full wardrobe consultant mode.  But, then there are those days where I’m pulling clothing items for a client or blogging and there’s not a whole lot of human interaction... For my first day on the job as founder and owner of 344pm I chose a rather casual outfit. Not PJ’s, but still a bit more casual than what I usually wear out. I chose jeans and a sweatshirt. I made myself a cup of coffee and went to work! What did I do all day? I was on Facebook. All. Day. The most unproductive day I’ve had at work ever. Chalking it up to a new work environment I wore a similar outfit the next day and the day after that and well, all week I was in some sort of sweat shirt / sweat pant ensemble, and I wasn't getting a lot done.

I instantly realized what I was doing- I got all wrapped up in the fact that I was working home that I felt like I could dress for home. That put me in the “relax you’re at home” frame of mind when I really should have been in the “you just launched a business, you need to hit the ground running” frame of mind. The following Monday I wore black trouser pants, a cardigan, a necklace, make-up and “commuted” to my home office. Guess what, my day was productive.

I’m living proof that what you wear does affect how you work. But, don’t just rely on me... In a study conducted at Northwestern University, researchers gave out lab coats to a group of people, those people were told they were wearing doctor’s lab coats. A second group was given the same looking coats, however they were told the coats were painter’s coats. The group that was told they had doctor’s coats had an “increased sustained attention” as compared to those wearing the painter’s coats. As stated in the study, “The influence of clothes thus depends on wearing them and their symbolic meaning.” 

Looking at my outfit choices, sweatpants symbolized relaxation and comfort of home to me. Work clothes symbolized, well, working! 

All of this reminds me of a client of mine, she asked me for recommendations for a “Power Suit”. Something she can wear to high level meetings that she had to lead. She was looking for something that would help her display her confidence and when she would wear it she knew it was “game time”. We found the perfect suit and she wears it every time she has to lead. Clothes really do help to put you in the right frame of mind.


What Should I Wear When I Work from Home?

First and foremost, always remember to stick with your personal style. Your clothes represent you, not the other way around. 

Things to remember when you are choosing your work from home outfits:

  1. Be Comfortable- Whether you work from home or in an office, comfort it key. When you’re sitting at a computer all day you don’t want to worry about not being able to breath in your super skinny jeans. 

  2. Layering- This really is the key to dressing. Period, end of story. Going from a Google Hangout with a client to spending the rest of your day writing a blog post? Start with an outfit and layer on a blazer and jewelry for the Hangout and take them off when you’re done. Presto, two outfits in one. Need more tips on layering? Check out this post.

  3. Dress for the day- If you have back to back conference calls all day, wear something that will allow you to be in the “conference call” mindset. If you’re in your office clicking away at your laptop you can take a little more relaxed (yet work like) approach to your dressing.


Outfit Ideas

Here are some outfit ideas I put together to help you see that just because you work from home you don’t have to dress super casual. However, you can be bit more relaxed than what you would wear in an office setting with a strict dress code. 

Casual and Dress Mix- The leather moto jacket, tassel necklace and gold glitter belt dress up this denim on denim outfit. The athletic sneakers are trend right and comfy!

What to Wear When Working from Home-1

Game On- On conference calls, Hangouts, Skype sessions all day? This leather inset top with a statement necklace paired with dark wash, tonal stitch denim puts you in work mode. Fur lined boots add the comfort factor.

What to Wear When Working from Home- 2

A bit of this and a bit of that-  All shades of red and sangria are key colors for this season. Pair a cranberry swing sweater with a long necklace, cargo pants and riding boots for a day that's a bit of this and a bit of that.

What to Wear When Working from Home- 3

A Casual Day- Sitting in front of the computer all day and not a meeting in sight- Wear a printed tunic with relaxed khakis (instead of sweatpants). A casual outfit, but one that still mentally puts you in work mode. 

Outfit 3- USE THIS.jpg


I’d love to hear your thoughts on what to wear when you're working from home. Do you agree that clothes have an influence on your state of mind? What are your go to work from home outfits?

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Posted on October 31, 2014 and filed under What to Wear When.

Stylish Work Outfits

According to a survey conducted by the Bureau of Statistics in 2012, married women living with children under the age of 6, and fall into the “working full time” employment status spend, on average, 8 hours a weekday doing work and work related activities. In other words, a 1/3 of working moms (mom working outside of the home) spend their weekday at work. That’s a lot...

As soon as I started writing this post on stylish work wear, I quickly noticed that things were not adding up… Some of the occupations that moms have require strict dress codes, or mandate a certain “professional” look. Sometimes these dress codes clash with mom’s personal style. Taking it a step further- personal style is something that represents who you are, and if you’re spending a 1/3 of your day wearing something that doesn't represent you, that really doesn't seem like a great way to be spending your day…. 

No matter if you’re a doctor, teacher, lawyer, WAHM, etc and your personal style is traditional, modern, trendy etc, rest assured, you can maintain a professional look while letting your personal style shine. While professional dress codes and personal styles vary, here are just a few overall ways to achieve the winning professional / personal style combination.  

The Blouse Switch- A business suit is a business suit, it could be a bit boring. One way to let a little of your personality be seen, is to wear a blouse that represents you. Pick a blouse in your favorite color or pattern or print and pair it with a traditional suit for a professional / personal style balanced look.

Add a feminine floral printed blouse to a navy pant suit for a whole new professional look.

Add a ruffle blouse to the staple black suit for a fashionable work look.

Ditch the Blazer- If your dress code allows it, leave the blazer at home and instead, pair your button down shirt with a colorful cardigan, wrap sweater or crew neck sweater.

Pair a grey skirt and white button down with a cobalt blue (or any color of your choice) cardigan.

Forget the button down and blazer all together. Wear a turtleneck with dress pants for an updated professional look.

Accessorize- Accessories are key to any outfit. Whether you’re trying to figure what to wear to work, or to a summer barbecue, it's always a good idea to add an accessory. You don’t have to go over the top with accessories, something as easy as adding a watch (see my post on accessorizing with a watch here) or simple earrings can allow you to bring out your personal style.

Add a belt, watch and refined bangles to a classic black dress and you have a transformed look. Don’t forget to add the classic, yet powerful, trench coat for a look that will command attention. 

Update the Basics- Depending on your personal style and workplace rules, one way to update the basics would be to switch out the traditional cut pant suit for one with a slimmer silhouette. Another way is to update your blazer- go from a traditional lapel to a narrower one, or a different collar all together. Also, have a little fun and really bring out your personal style by mixing and matching your basic suits. A camel blazer paired with navy pants a fun twist on a traditional look. 

The black and white trend continues this year. Let your trendy side come out at work with black pants and a boucle black and white blazer.

Update your black skirt suit with a flare skirt and shawl collar blazer.

Are there any other things you do to transform your work wear to bring out your personal style? I'd love to know!