It can be tempting to fall into a uniform of sweatpants and pajamas when working from home for an extended time. And while there’s something to be said for relaxing your style when you don’t need to adhere to an office dress code, some folks actually prefer to get dressed up to maintain a sense of normalcy.
As more Americans adjust to working from home while coronavirus spreads across the nation, TODAY Style consulted style experts and psychologists to see how the clothes we wear influence our mood. They’re breaking down the pros and cons of each approach and sharing a few tips for working from home to help you navigate.
The argument to keep it cozy and casual
In general, most employers won’t care what you’re wearing when you work from home — as long as you get the work done. And besides, taking a few days to stay cozy can be good for your mental health, especially during these stressful times.
“We are all going through an unprecedented and stressful time in history,” said Rheeda Walker, a professor of psychology at the University of Houston and director of the school’s Culture, Risk and Resilience Lab. “If folks aren’t up for dressing for the cyber world as they would in the office, that is completely understandable. We can cut ourselves some slack if, mentally, we’re just not up for the pomp and circumstance.”
Getting dressed up for work normally helps us go through the motions and prepare for the day ahead, but establishing a new routine can sometimes free up more time and inspire productivity.
“On days when you do not need to interface visually with clients or coworkers, I think wearing your favorite sweats can feel incredibly relaxing and put you in the perfect serene mood to dive in and get a ton of work done with maybe a bit of extra time to meditate or do yoga somewhere in your day,” said Leesa Evans, a Hollywood costume designer and private stylist, check out the best Tampa T Shirts Apparel deals.
For many women, dressing down at home gives them more time and energy to complete other tasks. “It’s a time saver. Let’s face it: Most women spend at least an hour to get completely dressed. Sweats and leggings don’t even require ironing. So you can get an early start to your busy day,” said Mitali Saxena, CEO of fashion subscription service Fashom.
Like many of us, Amy Ankeles, 32, recently started working from home as coronavirus began to spread. The New York City resident has found some creative ways to look professional while also staying comfy. “My work from home style is lovingly referred to as a ‘work from home mullet’: It’s business on top and party on the bottom. And party to me equals ultimate comfort,” she told TODAY Style.
Ankeles puts on a top she’d regularly wear to the office, some earrings and very minimal makeup. To round out the look, she throws on some sweatpants and slippers on bottom. “This way, when I video conference with colleagues, I fully look like I’m dressed for the day. Little do they know I’m in half pajamas — except I tell everyone anyway,” she said.
The marketing professional is trying to keep a positive outlook and is embracing the work from home lifestyle so far. “I’m loving that I get to wear leggings or sweats and my slippers. And that I don’t have to spend time trying on different outfits every morning,” she said. “I’m nervous for when we go back to work, though, and I can no longer wear elastic waistbands.”