What to Wear When You Work from Home: 5 Outfit Idea

When going to work is as simple as rolling out of bed and walking across the hall to your home office, it takes time to feel motivated to get dressed. Your pajamas or workout clothes can quickly become your everyday business uniform.

Getting dressed for work is more important than you may think. Putting together a work outfit, even casual, creates a professional mindset that results in a more productive day. Here’s how to dress casually, be comfy, and do the job while working from home.


Work From Home - Yellow Stripes

1. Try a  Long Top with Leggings

Nothing feels comfier when sitting for hours at a computer than stretchy, soft leggings. But they can easily make you look and feel frumpy, too. The trick is to wear them with something other than your basic workout tee.

Try a cheery, trendy top like this sporty, yellow-striped pullover. This top is soft to wear with a laid-back feel, but the chic funnel neck and on-trend drawstring hem give it loads of style. Black leggings are the old standby, but white ones also look great in warmer weather.


Work from Home - Polka Dot Tunic

2. Slip on Stretchy Jeans and a Tunic

If you love to wear jeans, here’s a cute look. Add a flowy tunic to your favorite stretch jeans for a chic black-and-white look. This playful, zip-front top with friendly polka dots will make you look casual and confident as you adjust to your new normal.


Work From Home - Striped Short Sleeve

3.   Stay Relaxed in an Oversized Shirt

You’re at your desk, on the phone,  in the kitchen making everyone lunch, and on the couch with your laptop watching Trump on TV. You don’t want anything tight or hot when you move around so much. A relaxed cotton shirt is an excellent way to go. I love the sunset colors on this boxy, cool shirt worn with your favorite jeans.


Work From Home - Striped Dress

4. Get Comfy in Cotton Dress

Pants and leggings are a no-brainer, but there will be days when you feel like wearing a dress—but not any old one. This vibrant striped cotton knit dress with the bateau neck and 3/4-length sleeves is ideal. And when you are ready to step out the front door for some fresh air, slip on these backless sneakers and take a break.


Work From Home - Linen Pants

5. Log on in Flowy Pants and a  Cute T-shirt

Like this cute blue pair, wide, flowy pants are another great option. These are linen, so they will keep you cool plus the elastic waistband gives you lots of breathing room.

You may have replaced that stressful morning commute to the office with working from home. But that’s no excuse to stay in your pajamas or sweatpants all day. A sloppy appearance equals a sloppy attitude and a poor work ethic.  Here are 7 ways to Look Stylish Working from Home.


Another thing to think about when creating a work-from-home wardrobe:

Don’t Let Comfy Mean Frumpy

Yes, Pj’s and sweats are indeed comfy, and you may not see anyone the entire day, but not getting dressed for work can affect your productivity.  You feel more professional when you look professional, and it shows in your bottom line.

It’s perfectly fine to dress casually and comfortably when you work from home, but it’s also important to look appropriate. In other words, when working from home, you should dress stylishly, pulled together, and well-groomed, not like a frumpy mess.

Stay Tuned Into Fashion

When you are not out and about with others, it’s easy to forget about style.  But you don’t want to go out for a coffee meeting and realize you’ve been stuck in your house for so long; you look trapped in a fashion time warp. Even though you are dressing casually, try incorporating a touch of the latest trends, such as a popular neckline, sleeve, or accessory. When you look dated, people think your ideas are dated.

work from home style

Set a Style Budget

Setting aside a certain amount of your work-at-home wardrobe budget is a great idea because it assures you take dressing seriously for work.  Reserve your work-at-home wardrobe for working only so it feels special.

Punch up Your Wardrobe with Color

Working at home can be lonely, and it’s easy to get into a dreary rut by wearing dull colors. Lift your spirits, and feel more confident, creative, and productive in a bright or multi-color print.

Pay Attention to the Waist Up

With Skype and Zoom calls becoming so popular, you are guaranteed to be showing up on someone’s computer screen for a meeting. You might be wearing jeans and slippers, and that’s okay. But from the waist up, try and look a little special. Think about colors, necklines, and styles that are most flattering on camera. Avoid prints or tops with a lot of detail or embellishment on those days when you’ve planned a video conference.

Have A Jacket Handy

The quickest way to appear authoritative is to put on a jacket. It doesn’t have to be a formal suit jacket, but a casual blazer or relaxed jacket will automatically increase your boss’s power.

Allow Yourself a Casual Friday Outfit

Pick any day- most of the time, Friday- and consider it your Casual Dress-Down day. This is the day when you are paying the bills, cleaning your inbox, and getting ready for the weekend.  Permit yourself to wear a workout outfit, not just any old one. Casual but coordinated is the key.

Make Time for Hair and Make-up

When you look good, you feel good. It also affects how you interact with others, even if it’s just over the phone or computer. While it’s tempting to throw your hair up in a ponytail and forget the makeup, after days and days of this, you will look and feel like someone you don’t even know.

A little blush, lipstick, and some mascara (it only takes 4 minutes) are all you need to freshen yourself up and look fabulous.  As for the hair, if it’s just too much hassle, consider that a sign that you need a new cut that works better for your at-home lifestyle.

Keep a Pair of Chic Shoes By Your Desk

You probably won’t be wearing shoes in your home office, but what if you have to step out? There’s nothing like ruining your credibility by showing up to meet a client in a pair of dirty tennis shoes. Keep a classy pair of chic flats or low-heeled shoes by your side to slip on immediately.

Extend your Style Beyond Your Outfit

Style is not just about the way you dress. It’s about the way you live your life. So, surround yourself with beautiful things like modern home office accessories, flowers, and a stunning view or art to reflect on during the day.

The Final Word on Dressing When You Work from Home

In summary, the details of your work-from-home style make the difference and show others that you truly are professional and not a rinky-dink businessperson running a half-baked business out of your basement. Respect yourself by looking like the business professional you are.

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21 thoughts on “What to Wear When You Work from Home: 5 Outfit Idea

  1. Hello from Oklahoma! I love your blog. Please don’t stop! It is helping me fight off my depression during this quarantined time! I especially like the accessories you put on with outfits!

  2. Hi Deborah,

    Great post. I don’t work from home…retired but spend a lot of time on the computer. Sometimes hours go by, and I’m still in pajamas. Not a good look for morale. I’m going to dress better to feel better about our situation. I love the slippers. No one wants to put on street shoes at home. The ballet slippers look comfy. Have a great day, and keep sending your blog. We need it!

  3. I’m headed into week three at home and have stayed close to my routine. When I am supposed to be commuting, I am now doing yoga. It has made a massive difference in my mindset to start the day. Then I get dressed in my ‘”casual Friday” gear and head downstairs to my office. Thanks for the suggestions – I love that boxy striped blouse!

  4. I’ve worked at home for quite a few years now, and sadly, over time, I’ve let my “work at home” wardrobe consist of yoga pants, t-shirts, and long sleeve cotton sweaters. I shower and brush my teeth but no longer wear makeup or jewelry. What aggravates me is when the situation arises that I have to leave the house to go to the post office or the like…I am NEVER ready! I get angry with myself as I hurry with some jeans, a shirt, mascara, and a swipe of lip gloss and swear I’ll never do it again, but before long, I’m back in the cycle.

    1. Hi Judy, I think it helps to get into a routine. What if you create some activity to take you out of the house every morning? For example, Why not leave the house every morning at 8:30 to mail a letter, take a walk, or even visit your local coffee shop where you’d sit down and review the day’s to-do list? Then you have a reason to get dressed every morning. That’s the key. Maybe you could even start a little get going meet-up group like this with other work-at-home friends. Keep your meeting brief- just a coffee and then go home and start your day. If you get in the habit of getting dressed and putting on a bit of make-up, you will feel so much better. It’s also essential to get out of the house. It’s easy to become a hermit when you work from home. I hope that helps you. Cheers! Deborah

  5. This article could not have come at a better time. I’ve never been the type to wear my PJs all day, so I wasn’t worried about that, but I was looking for inspiration for what to wear while on the job. Thanks so much for the information!

  6. I love the sample outfits you’ve shown in this post. Having worked from home as a freelance writer for more than 20 years, I also found that I feel better — and work more efficiently — when I look my best. I wear outfits similar to those you’ve shown: leggings or jeans with short tunics, cute shoes or boots, and friendly/casual jewelry.

    It’s essential to look professional and sharp, even while working at home, as people tend to drop by the house during the day — or I need to run out on errands. In the early days, before email, I would have to drop off my writing on deadline at the newspaper offices, so I got in the habit of looking my best no matter what the day brought.

  7. I am sending this post to my brother, who used to call me “blanket baby.” I work from a home office, and he stopped by one day for a quick visit–unplanned. It was winter, and I was wearing men’s sweat pants with a hole where there shouldn’t have been one, my daughter’s all-girls Catholic high school logo sweatshirt (inside out), and using a throw blanket from the sofa as a shawl. My hair was sprawling in some barette and pins, and I was not even wearing lip gloss. Ugh! It was better than working in my pajamas, though–I no longer own any. Once I stepped into the freedom of my own business, I found a few other nice liberties too!

  8. I love the post! The outfits are adorable! The only problem I see is that the clothing used is certainly not attainable for the average working woman. There must be affordable clothing options for those of us in the real world.

    1. Hi Dana, it’s good to remember that the items shown are suggestions and give us ideas for putting an outfit together. The examples aren’t meant to purchase the items unless you desire to and can afford to. I’ve found many similar items in lower-price stores and can put together my outfit for a fraction of the cost. The bonus is that it looks just as good, and I stay within my budget. Give it a try; you will look great!

    2. Hi Dana, We have readers who buy from various price points, so we hope these fashion boards at least give you an idea of what styles to look for. They are meant for inspiration, although I hear you saying about sunglasses. I don’t mind paying for a good bag or boots, but I don’t splurge on sunglasses as I permanently lose or break them. I go through about three pairs a summer! Cheers, Deborah

  9. Thank you for this article. While typing, I am working from home and sitting in my old pj’s and housecoat. I usually stay in this attire until I am done with most of my work at 10 am when I shower and get dressed. Unfortunately, lately, this attire has been staying on me until lunch and some days later. I agree that it makes me feel frumpy and a bit lazy.

    I am going to try to make more of an effort in the morning, although I do get up for work at 6 am, and some days I am so tired, but I think this will make me feel better and more productive, look nice, even though it is only my home office.

    Thank you

  10. I am retired, mid 60’s, and trying to come out of my frumpy granny style. I like the idea of a shirt, dress, and leggings. I will have to try and decide. Love your pictures, DB.

  11. Thanks for a great, helpful post, and I just wanted to chime in to encourage you to do more like this. I run my business out of my house, and I get so tired of folks assuming I wear sweats all day – actually, no, because I’m a pro, thank you very much! But it is a challenge to find comfy home and business casual outfits appropriate for client meetings after 40. I’m in a very business casual industry, so I can’t do it formally because it looks old, stiff, and frumpy, but I find that my old jeans and jacket uniform can look too unpolished for my age. This is why I’ve taken to reading-style blogs! So thanks very much. Could you keep them coming?

  12. I loved this blog post! It gave me some fresh ideas for what to wear on my days off from nine to five, but I am still running my business. It has classic looks that can still be fun. Thanks for the tips.


  13. Loved your article! I agree, making a little effort can put one in a better frame of mind to tackle the day :)

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