Even if you’ve mastered the art of turning on and off mute for group conference video calls or fine tuned your home office workstation for optimized productivity, surely there’s still plenty of room for improvement when it comes to mastering the art of working remotely. Personally, I had little experience working from home prior to the coronavirus pandemic and it has been a learning process and a daily experiment. More permanent work from home situations have forced many to adjust to a new way of working, including getting dressed for work when that doesn’t involve going to an office, or even, leaving the house.
Many have been working remotely for four months, and returning to the office still seems far off for many who have been able to adequately and comfortably work from home. It’s time to look to the experts, in other words those who have always worked remotely, to ask advice. We’ve turned to four writers and editors to get some tips on how to successfully, stylishly, (and comfortably!) work from home for the long haul. Here, they’ve shared their thoughts and solutions: ones that always involve getting up and getting ready even if you have no plans to leave the house. Whether you’re planning to go back to the office this fall, the beginning of 2021, or perhaps never again, here’s 5 tips for working from home to consider for whatever your future of working from home might hold.Get Ready for Work Mode
It’s important to not lose sight of the act of “getting ready for work” says Louryn Strampe, a product writer and reviewer for Wired who has been successfully working from home for the last four years. Whether it’s slipping on a pair of flat WFH shoes (despite not having to commute) or applying a little bit of makeup each morning, getting dressed will help you “mentally switch over to work mode” according to Strampe. Vogue’s own beauty assistant, Akili King suggests a few strokes out Pat McGrath’s mascara or drops of Perricone MD’s No Makeup foundation serum to achieve this.
Full-time freelance fashion writer and editor, Ray Lowe, used to scoff at the idea of making an effort to get dressed to work from home. But now, Lowe says that, “a year and a half into my freelance career and I can admit I was sorely wrong”. Even if you have no plans to leave the house that day, getting ready each morning will never leave you in a scramble for last-minute video calls or Zoom meetings. Stampe jokes, it’s better to be a “working human” rather than a “couch potato with a laptop”. Vogue’s contributing editor Chloe Malle adds, “showering is also a good idea!”
Pat McGrath Labs FetishEyes Mascara
Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation Serum
Shop NowGo Out of Your Comfort Zone
Despite the major trend of pajamas and loungewear in the beginning of the pandemic, this group of seasoned work-from-homers unanimously advised to stay away from pajamas or sweatpants. Adrienne So, Senior Writer and Reviewer at Wired has avoided them for her decade-long career working from home, as tempting and cozy as they may be. Malle agrees, and changes out of her pajamas and “always puts a bra on,” which makes her feel dressed each day. So also recommends avoiding working from an overly comfy surface like your bed or your couch. She notes, being “a little uncomfortable” will remind you that you’re still technically at work. She favors wearing a pair of high waist jeans all day (really!).
& Other Stories boxy oversized linen blazer
SLVRLAKE London stretch high-rise jeans
Madewell high-rise skinny-crop jeans
Shop NowOr At Least Strike a Style-Comfort Balance
Since working from home likely means working from whichever surface you might have readily available rather than a properly-equipped desk and an ergonomic chair, Lowe recommends finding comfort where you can. In her mind, finding a “healthy balance between comfort and style” is key, as is opting for pieces like linen or silk pants, cotton button ups, fitted cardigans, and modern day house dresses (a favorite among Vogue staffers) to keep comfortable. The items “must be soft enough to withstand mid afternoon poor postures” and pass what Lowe calls the “stretchy enough” test.
Cushnie silk-charmeuse wide-leg pants
J.Crew Perfect piece-dyed linen shirt
Shop NowEstablish a Uniform
You might not be around people everyday, but a foundation of high-quality essentials you can always rely on and rewear often is key. According to So, having a uniform “lends structure to the day” especially for those of us who are used to an office or corporate environment. A go-to uniform of solid leggings, a great white t-shirt, and a comfortable-yet-polished cardigan works well for Strampe, while Malle prefers tailored pants, a blazer, suede loafers and personal jewelry. Plus, wearing something that you won’t get sick of will prevent you from being “tempted to binge-watch in yesterday’s sweatpants or pajamas,” Strampe says.
Totême Capri button-down striped shirt
Frances de Lourdes Martin slub modal and silk-blend T-shirt
Vince ribbed cashmere raglan cardigan
Shop NowLook on the Brightside
Last but not least, colored or striped tops are sure to make a statement when it comes to video calls, and they’ll certainly make getting dressed at home a little bit more fun even if your calendar is meeting-free. Malle, who was seven and half months pregnant during the height of the pandemic, started a “rotating uniform” of “striped boyfriend t-shirts”. Many of my colleagues among the Vogue editorial staff have gravitated towards bold printed shirts, striped sweaters and bright colors as well while working from home. So states “bright colors look better” and we couldn’t agree more.
Stine Goya Magdalena striped knitted sweater
Everlane cashmere crew-neck sweater
St. John Collection Galway cable cardigan