Suit or PJs? What to Wear While Working From Home

April 8, 2020 Updated: April 8, 2020

Working from home can be tricky. The environment is relaxed and we keep watching the news to monitor the evolution of the pandemic. That can easily put us in a “oh-my-the-world-is-crazy-now-I-can’t-work” mood. 

The dress code you choose for yourself every day will help you manage your time well and stay productive.   

Here are some tips for those telecommuters—whether you’re a boss, an employee, or self-employed—who may be scratching their heads as to what to wear. 

For Bosses

woman on laptop
(LinkedIn Sales Navigator/Unsplash)

It’s not easy for company leaders to see suspended operations or unwanted lay-offs. But they still have to get going, and motivate and inspire staff.

blouse
Printed Blouse by Luisa Cerano, $205. (Courtesy of Farfetch)

Choose an outfit that is office-appropriate and professional. Ladies can ditch the heels and switch to flats, like ballerinas. You don’t have to wear a suit; a nice blouse and dressy pants will do. It is spring and you are working from home, so your blouse can be a bit casual; try one with delicate prints or small florals, a nice alternative to the dark suit required at the office. Makeup should be light.

businessman
(Stockfour/Shutterstock)

For men, a blazer is “de rigueur.” This must-wear item means business and reinforces the professional dress code. But again, gentlemen, you are working from home and the situation is more relaxed, so you can wear your blazer with a dark T-shirt or a crisp white shirt.

blazer
Slim Fit Virgin Wool Blazer by Paul Smith, $1,095 (Courtesy of Matchesfashion)

Grooming is essential; not shaving for days might send a message of despondency or loss of motivation to the team. It is very important to appear strong in front of your team members to reassure them. Another tip: ironing is critical, whether you opt for a T-shirt or a formal shirt—no creases allowed.

For Employees 

woman working
(LightField Studios/Shutterstock)

Employees can opt for a casual-chic style, especially if you have multiple video conferences during the day. 

shirt
Short Sleeves Knitted T-shirt by Dolce & Gabbana,
$975. (Courtesy of Farfetch)

Ladies, choose colorful tops, to show your enthusiasm. For bottoms, you can get away with casual pants, like dressy joggers or khakis, or a skirt. The most important item is your top and its vibrant tones. You can wear jewelry with these bright colors, but opt for a natural look for your makeup (red lipstick should be put in quarantine!).

Epoch Times Photo
(goodluz/Shutterstock)

For men, a nice flannel shirt with khakis will do. A flannel shirt is neither too dressy nor too relaxed; it’s the perfect item to wear for video meetings. Grooming is also important. Nails should be clean and your hair well-trimmed.

dunhill shirt
Chest Pocket Cotton Blend Flannel Shirt by Dunhill,
$380. (Courtesy of Matchesfashion)

For the Self-Employed

woman in pjs
(LightField Studios/Shutterstock)

Ladies, with no video conferencing to do, no one knocking on your door, and the fridge and pantry full, yes, you can lounge in your pajamas. Keep your look nice, though, just to remind you that, after all, you are the CEO of your own company. Opt for silk PJs, or light, soft flannel if it’s still cold.

pyjamas
Bianca Striped Cotton Poplin Pyjamas by Emilia Wickstead, $780. (Courtesy of Matchesfashion)

Gentlemen, you can don your favorite lounging clothes—a henley shirt and sweatpants. Make sure the pants are in good condition, without holes, discolorations, or ironing burns. At some point during the day, you will go out for a walk or do some errands, and you want to look decent. Complete the look with a nice pair of running shoes.

Epoch Times Photo
(goodluz/Shutterstock)

No matter what style you opt for when telecommuting, what is most important is to separate your private life from your professional one. Remember to take breaks, and not work too late, just because you are home.

henley
Indigo Long-Sleeve Henley T-shirt by Orlebar Brown, $225. (Courtesy of Mr Porter)