The Dressing Well Blog

The Work-From-Home Wardrobe: 5 Ways to Get Out of Your PJ’s & Bring Structure to Your Day

It’s always nice to have a break from having to dress in anything other than loungewear for a few days. For many of us, that’s what snowstorms are for.

Yet as winter has become spring and important social distancing mandates continue to stay in place, the “new normal” of working and being at home day-after-day and week-after-week has become less novel. As we all settle into new routines for at least the next month or two, developing strategies for keeping mentally and physically energized while creating boundaries between work and personal time is warranted. Clothing and accessories, along with a few simple wardrobe organizing tips, can have a significant impact on your mindset.

We hope a few of these ideas resonate with you and help you move through your days with greater ease. Here’s to dressing at least a little better as we continue to get through these challenging times.

#1 Make a Pact with your PJ’s
Let’s start with the obvious. If you find that you are changing out of nighttime pj’s and into daytime pj’s for days on end (or even skipping changing out of one pair for several days – we’ve all been there!), vow right now not to wear pj’s more than 12 hours in any given day. Period. You will thank us if your goal is to be back in regular pants at the end of all this! Pants with buttons do not lie after months of pajama wearing! It’s actually not a bad idea to wear regular pants from time to time as a way to manage your waistline too.

#2 Curate Your Closet
If you don’t have the energy to completely switch over your closets for spring right now (mental health experts are already talking about the increased amount of stress caused by feeling you have to do certain things at an accelerated pace while home with unexpected found time), do a mini-transition by assembling 5 fresh work-from-home outfits that are polished enough to make you feel professional while still being comfortable. Hang every piece of your outfit together—top, bottom and layering pieces, if any, and accessories too if that’s your jam—and hang them together in the front of your closet so they are easy to grab and put on. Even if you don’t end up wearing them all, you’ll feel more organized and prepared for your week.

#3 The Zoom Wardrobe
For those of you with Zoom calls and webinars, having a few outfits just for this medium set aside makes sense too. Our blog, Dressing From the Waist Up for Videoconferencing Calls, gives some tips for men and women looking for extra guidance. We are fielding many inquiries about this dressing need in particular. An extra tip in this department is to have three tops for every bottom for variety—and sanity! Color goes a long way toward lightening your mood and helping you stand out in just the right way on these calls. Shop in your closet for sweaters, blouses and other tops that you might not typically grab for face-to-face meetings but that can be leveraged to brighten you up for this type of setting.

#4 Create Structure to Your Day with Wardrobe Planning
Changing into specific outfits at specific times to match designated activities is one idea for helping you transition between work, outdoor activities, exercising, family time and down time while creating good boundaries for yourself and others. One of our clients, an early bird with kids, told us she gets up at 6 am to work out before the rest of her house is up. She then gets her family settled before getting ready for her now at-home work day. While she dresses pretty much the same on top as she did when her office was in a large open environment filled with colleagues, she wears yoga pants on the bottom to get out the door quickly with her family for a walk before dinner. She keeps sneakers and jackets at her back door to save time. She slips into loungewear that doubles as pajamas at dinnertime to mentally signal that her evening/down time with family has begun.

#5 Stockpile Appropriately
Finally, being home more than usual can require stocking up on a few staples. Don’t forget your wardrobe when you’re taking inventory. If you are in pj’s and loungewear more than usual, you might as well feel good in them. It’s actually nice to focus on categories of clothes that many of us often neglect during most shopping trips. Other items we are currently helping clients source online are well-made and comfortable shoes and sneakers, rain jackets and other lightweight outerwear options for walks, bright colored tops for spring, sweaters with zippers for both men and women (many of our clients are indeed “Zooming” and cameras love vertical lines that draw the eye up), vests that allow for comfortable typing for hours on end and, of course, yoga pants!

Editor’s Note: New for Spring 2020: $99 Virtual Styling Special
In response to the COVID 19 pandemic, we have created this special package for those looking for help assessing and enhancing work-from-home (or stay-at-home) wardrobes and any other fashion or style assistance you’d like while we are all shut in. Included is a 30-minute Zoom or Facetime call followed by an emailed call summary that includes links for up to 5 items to add to your wardrobe. Additional 30-minute sessions (ideal if you want to send photos of yourself in clothes purchased or would like to get more advice) are billed at $49/session. Once you purchase this package, you will be sent a short style questionnaire to fill out. Once we receive it back, we will schedule your session. We welcome the opportunity to be of assistance to you.

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Cindy Brinkhaus 2020-04-01 14:01

Love this article. Everyone needs to read it.

Sarah Zengo 2020-04-01 16:44

Hi Cindy, thanks so glad you enjoyed it. We are employing so many of these strategies at our firm in our own lives. Every little tip helps! Stay healthy and thanks for your comment.

Mary Lou Andre 2020-04-01 18:39

Thanks, Cindy. This blog was a group effort for sure. Our stylist team has been meeting weekly via Zoom to support one another and to develop timely content and ideas for our community of fashion and style enthusiasts. This feedback really keeps the wind in our sails. Hope you and your family are doing well. Stay safe!

Paula Kaeser 2020-04-02 06:29

Couldn’t agree more! I’ve been getting up and getting dressed every day albeit slightly more casual than the office. However, I make a point to put on earrings and shoes so I feel complete and (more importantly) I feel that I’ve shifted into work time. So happy Spring is near too, I’m ready for the switch to lighter, colorful pieces to lift the mood. Thank you for the great article!

Mary Lou Andre 2020-04-02 17:00

Hi Paula! Happy spring. I know it comes earlier for you in Kentucky than it does for us here. You were born to wear spring colors so I say wear them at home too! Glad you enjoyed the article. We are trying our best to do our part in helping people make the most of these difficult days.

June 2020-04-02 07:34

So excited about the virtual products. These products will help us keep our wardrobes fresh and up to date.
Thank you for always being ahead of what’s happening in the “Dressingwell “ field.

Mary Lou Andre 2020-04-02 17:09

Thanks, June. We are using this time to say current with technology. We are sure grateful for its advancements as it allows us to stay in touch while hunkering down. Hope all is well in Florida. Missed seeing you this March.

Bobbi Smith 2020-04-02 08:47

Mary Lou, always love your blogs....practical, always new ideas, and always something to make me smile. I hope you and your team are staying healthy, safe, and sane. Bobbi

Mary Lou Andre 2020-04-02 17:02

Thanks so much Bobbi. Thinking of you and hoping you are well. We sure like to make people smile, especially now. Stay safe and I will look forward to seeing you soon.

Christina B. 2020-04-02 15:06

Thank you for this blog which gives me ideas.

Two days into the shutdown I was able to order online for 60 percent off ($27/total) a blue-and-black sweater from Banana Republic that was delivered one week ago. I have a rose-pink color sweater. A neon yellow sweater from Uniqlo. Other colorful sweaters as well to cheer me up while staying indoors.

Engaging in self-care rituals at this time of sheltering in place is more imperative than ever.

Mary Lou Andre 2020-04-03 13:15

Hi Christina – self-care is something all of us here are very committed to as well. We will likely blog about some of our best practices in the upcoming weeks. So happy you are taking good care of yourself. Important! Best for the weekend ahead.

Alexandra Taussig 2020-04-03 10:46

This is a great post as always. And I love your new virtual offering. And the tip about pants with a button to help manage our waistlines. Have you heard of the Covid 19 like the freshman 15? I agree that color is key as a mood brightener.

Mary Lou Andre 2020-04-03 13:16

None of us could escape “the freshman 15” and I’m afraid this one is equally impactful. Just yesterday I went to “dress up” for a zoom call and not one but two pre-virus fave pants didn’t feel so great. Back into my black leggings I went! At least I had a nice top on. Stay well my friend. We love hearing from you so please keep your great insights coming!


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