When people who don’t know me find out I work from home, I often hear about how nice it must be to work from my pajamas all day. Because working from home is synonymous with wearing your pajamas all day? What to wear when you work from home is a personal question, but the answer should never be pajamas.
No, no, friends. I’m about to dispel this myth and take you on a week-long journey with me. Just because I work from home does not mean I don’t work. Let me say that again for the people in the back, just because I work from home does not mean I don’t work.
I read a thought piece many years ago that lamented about the stereotype; it specifically highlighted that people who worked from home often times got the opportunity to load/unload the dishwasher or start laundry while they were working. This is mostly true. It’s not uncommon for the washer to be running in the background of a working meeting or as I’m starting a new project. The ten minutes, though, that I step away from my desk to move clothes from the washer to the drying rack do not disappear though. I make up those ten minutes at work later in the day. When a mastermind session for The Milspo Project happens in the middle of the afternoon, as they usually do, I stay at work late that day, making up the time I spent in the middle of the afternoon. While my schedule is full of flexibility, it is also full of work.
As with the flexibility I have in my schedules, I have tons of flexibility around what I wear to work. While I’m sure there are some people who wear their pajamas to work, I am not one of those people. Occasionally, if I’m sick or just not feeling it, I might go even more lax than I am in some of the outfit descriptions to follow, but those are once-in-a-blue-moon occasions whose instances I can probably count on my hands in my nearly three years of working from home full-time.
As I walk you through the clothes that I wore last week (actually, this is what I wore last week!), there’s a couple of important things to keep in mind:
- I work from home full time. My office is a dedicated room with a desk and my computer configuration (a dedicated monitor, laptop stand, mechanical keyboard, yeti mic, and more).
- I usually work between 8-10 per day and spend the bulk of that seated at my desk. I do try to get up roughly every hour.
- I have daily video calls with my company, so even on the laziest of days, I still have to look presentable from the waist up. Usually, I know that at some point during the day, I’m going to have to roll over to the bookshelves while on a call to reference something, so I try to be dressed appropriately from the waist down too.
- I live in Savannah, GA where it is not even peak-summer yet but already 100 degrees every day. I am a cheapskate and don’t like to spend money on AC. I try to wear fewer clothes and take advantage of fans.
Let’s see what my outfits looked like!
As part of my 25 gifts for turning 25, my younger sister gave me a ton of cute graphic tanks perfect for working out in this killer Georgia heat. On Monday, I wore one of those cute tanks and my favorite pair of norts. Monday, I had a ton to do. It was a killer work day, so I wanted something comfortable, but also presentable. I generally don’t like to wear sleeveless things to work, but my enthusiasm for this new shirt won out.
Body temperature is a weird thing. Clothes are also a comfort thing. On days where I’m really missing people, I’m more likely to wear a sweatshirt because it’s like a hug in a shirt. Tuesday was no cooler than Monday, but I wanted to feel my hug in a shirt. I love my Dreams in Drive sweatshirt. This outfit is slightly more presentable than the previous day’s outfit but just as comfortable.
Clearly, I had still not washed my hair for the week. My solution: a quick bun. This sort of summer dress is one of my favorite kind of outfits because it is only one piece of clothing to wear. Much like my favorite kinds of dinners, it looks good, is quick, and is easy. As bonus points to me, this dress was a hand-me-down from my sister. I don’t know where she got it, but it’s new to me.
My Birthday! I shared that I turned 25 last week. I washed my hair, something you can tell my the fact that it was down. I wore another simple and easy dress. This was also new-to-me from my sister. These sorts of dresses are just as comfortable as wearing norts and a tee but are significantly more presentable.
I originally planned on going to the 4:30 class at the gym on Friday, so I dressed up for a workout thinking I was going to have to run out the door. I got my nails done on Thursday afternoon, and you can see that in this view. In retrospect, this shirt is a little bit more transparent than I’d like to wear to work, but 🤷♀️.
What To Wear When You Work From Home
As you can see from these pictures, working from home doesn’t require an office wardrobe, but it does require putting yourself together every day. It’s a luxury that I can get dressed for my afternoon gym class in the morning and spend the day in that clothes.
I’m able to dress casually for work, in large part because I’m committed enough to be productive independent of what I’m wearing. On days where I feel I’m struggling with my productivity, I will get even more dressed up. That’s not often the case, though, as I’ve become adept at creating a work-from-home environment in which I can thrive.
What you wear when you work from home is ultimately up to you, but it’s important that you wear something that can help set you up for success.
Emilie is an Army Wife, Data Engineer, and CrossFitter with a love for working through her thoughts in this space on the internet. She lives with her husband Casey and their pup Bo in Savannah, GA.