When it comes to style, there’s a renaissance of workleisure as many of us continue to work from home and blur the boundaries between our professional and personal lives. Just like athleisure (which is short for “athletic leisure” and officially defined as “a style of clothing worn as athletic apparel, but also suitable for casual, everyday wear”), workleisure still has the same mindset of incorporating comfort into your daytime wear. However, unlike the workleisure wave that tried to catch on a couple of years ago, the new take on the trend isn’t about wearing clothes that feature sweat-wicking, athletic fabric into your workwear. This time around, the trademarks of the style are basically what you might’ve worn to a nice weekend brunch — pre-athleisure, pre-pandemic.
Here are some ideas on what to wear during your next video meeting if you’re feeling inspired to take your style up a notch. And it’s not just for the sake of style experimentation: Studies have shown that what you wear can correlate to your work performance, ability to concentrate, and even your confidence. With the state of everything, don’t we all need that motivation right now?
If you’re used to wearing stiff, starchy button-downs, swap them out for fabrics and styles that you can move around in. We love the slinky, silk blouses that magically make a pair of jeans look more dressed up. Everlane makes extra-soft blouses that feel like they’ve already been lived-in, plus the collarless style gets you the same crisp look like a button-down without any of the fuss.
Sweatpants and leggings aren’t the only pant options that will leave you comfortable (we’ll hold off on the “leggings aren’t pants” argument). Despite the fact that your colleagues won’t notice what you’re wearing below the waist on Zoom calls, pairing a pretty blouse with say, pajama pants, doesn’t quite make you feel ready to conquer the day. A pair of elastic-waist trousers in a more structured fabric and wide leg (so your calves don’t feel suffocated) offer the perfect compromise between leggings and more traditional trousers. Now that we’re officially embracing the cooler weather, many styles like this pair from Banana Republic Factory offer warm and cozy fabrics.
What happens when you’re just wearing a basic white T-shirt and your manager wants to video chat with you right now? Throw on a statement necklace, like this option from LOFT. Normally accessories might have been an afterthought during your pre-quarantine days, but a bold necklace could be your new at-home styling staple. It’s perfect for when you want to make it feel like you put in a major effort with your look, but in reality, it took all of five seconds. We also love that it’s a great way to show off your personality in a sea of squares during a group video meeting. And if it happens to add a little sparkle to your day, even better.
The beauty about breaking out your dresses while working from home is that you don’t have to worry about wearing pantyhose or tights underneath to keep warm during your commute—score! A shirt-dress comes in many different lengths and fabrics, but the common denominators that make it different from other dresses are the collar and button-down style. Shirt dresses, like this printed leopard by Zara, are usually a looser fit, making them comfy for working from home. You can even repurpose your summer shirt dresses by layering a sweater on top, which makes two outfits out of one.
A Versatile Jumpsuit
When you love the comfort and coverage of having both a top and a pair of bottoms on, but you don’t have the time to mix and match your closet, the jumpsuit comes to the rescue. Like a dress, a jumpsuit can simply be slipped on and voila, you have an instant outfit. It also has the versatility of trousers as you can sit cross-legged at your desk while you’re working and crawl after your kids at home with ease. To embrace the changing seasons, we gravitate towards one in rich shades and cozy fabric, like this velvet H&M option. The surprisingly best part about finally breaking out your jumpsuit when you’re WFH? Going to the bathroom is no longer such a pain when you’re in the comfort of your own home.
Sweaters are the ultimate comfy wardrobe staple as they completely envelop the upper half of your body in a soft knit. Lately, we’re all about upgrading our basic sweaters with interesting details. Take this J.Crew half-zip, for starters. The zipper transforms the collar so that it can become an easy turtleneck or folds down if you want a little more breathing room. The ribbed detail makes it casual, yet adds structure to your style that makes it perfect for video conferences.
There are many obvious reasons why people don’t wear shoes in the house, but if you’ve stepped on one too many Legos, you’ll understand why some people do. (And if we can be indulgent for a sec, perhaps the pandemic gives you a good case for buying a pair of shoes you only wear indoors to eliminate the spread of dirt and germs? Just sayin’.) These loafers from Birdies come in 19 different colors/patterns and are designed for both indoor and outdoor wear. It doesn’t have a heel (those shoes have been abandoned under our office desks for months now) and it features seven layers of arch/heel support so it literally feels like you’re walking on clouds.
A Sweater Blazer
When you want the sharp look of a blazer, but none of the stiffness, look to a sweater blazer, like this one from Banana Republic. It’s basically like a cardigan, but it looks more chic and streamlined. It’s perfect for the one you have a presentation or interview where you want to look and feel your best, but not have to succumb to a stiff suit. Sweater blazers don’t have that interior lining that inhibits the stretch and though it feels soft, the fabric isn’t slouchy like a typical cardigan so it looks more professional. Keep it hanging off the back of your chair for a quick outfit change.
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