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Dress for Success

Posted on 27 March, 2020

Dress for Success

As the majority of the country adjusts to working from home, we take a look at “what to wear” when you don’t need to adhere to your office dress code.

Generally, it is accepted that there are three styles of dress that people adopt when working from home, particularly for an extended period of time.

Firstly, many of us opt for the ‘casual’ look; over the last decade the rise of ‘athleisure’ has meant that comfortable, often elasticated, clothing has crept its way into the wardrobe on a regular basis and is no longer exclusively for exercise or gym sessions.

Best described by Deirdre Clemente, a fashion historian at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, she said: “One hundred years ago, you would have day clothes for the street, dinner clothes for the restaurant, theatre clothes and so many genres of dress. Those barriers have come down; athleisure is the ultimate breaking down of barriers.”

For some, choosing to wear casual clothes, whilst working from home, gives them a sense of freedom and gives them more time and energy to be able to juggle the challenges of adapting to home-working, especially if sharing their office space with children, loved ones and pets!

However, adjusting to working from home can be challenging, and some people prefer to dress in their usual work wardrobe as part of maintaining their morning routine, which can help to mentally prepare them for the day ahead. Research has also found that people feel more competent when wearing business dress.

However, being suited and booted may not be wholly practical when working from home and can sometimes be uncomfortable, therefore, most people choose to wear a combination of office wear and casual clothing.

A straw poll of the Dimensions team, saw that almost 70% of those that will be taking part in regular video conference calls will be sporting the ‘business-casual’ look; office wear from the waist up, but more comfortable casual clothing from the waist down. Many choosing to pair their favourite jeans or leggings with a t-shirt & blazer, open neck shirt or loose fitting top.

Not only can the choice of your work-from-home uniform have an influence on your day, but so can the choice of colour (https://www.dimensions.co.uk/news-media/news/2016/the-influence-of-colour). Depending on the colour you choose to wear, it can have a positive impact on your day and it can make a difference to how you feel:

  • Red is a dramatic colour and is most commonly associated with energy, power and confidence
  • Green has been shown to inspire creativity and productivity, as it is a restful colour for eyes
  • Orange is a colour of stimulation and enthusiasm and has been proved to produce an energising effect as it increases oxygen supply to the brain
  • Yellow has a warming effect and is known to encourage creativity, cheerfulness and positivity

And, it’s easy to bring colour to your wardrobe too, simply add a bright necklace or scarf – or even a pair of socks!

Finally, many people find that disengaging from work can be a major challenge when working from home, but what you wear can help with this too! When you leave the ‘office’ simply change out of your work clothes to signal that you are now at home.

By developing a capsule working-from-home wardrobe and being creative with ways to look professional whilst being comfortable, you can dress for success and not have the worry of what to wear each morning.

Ultimately, it’s not what you wear that matters the most, but it’s how your clothes makes you feel! Experiment with styles and combinations to find out what suits you, so that you can love how you look at work, even when you are working from home!

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