We asked fashion industry professionals who work remotely if and how they stay chic without any coworkers to impress.
Moving to Los Angeles two-plus years ago brought about my first experience working from home on a regular basis (well, unless you count homework), and I became a little obsessed with having a stylish work-from-home wardrobe. I began following a slew of comfy-chic brands, and whenever I met someone else who worked remotely, I immediately wanted to know what they wore. I also thought a lot about the Kardashians: With their high-waisted sweats and full glam, born simply out of the fact their day jobs consist of being filmed while hanging out in their Calabasas mansions in between personal training sessions and trips to Epione, had they practically invented the ideal looking-good-at-home aesthetic?
I digress. But when I did chat with other WFH professionals, most of them brought up changing clothes as a crucial step in their morning routines, which makes sense. For most, changing out of pajamas is helpful in getting into a productive mindset and not feeling like a complete slob, but getting dressed to the level you would to go into an actual office seems excessive. So what’s the happy medium? To find out, I asked nine friends and acquaintances, all of whom work in fashion and dress very well when I see them out in the world (or in Instagram world), what they wear to feel professional, motivated, comfortable and chic at home. Read on for their responses, and to shop some of their picks, below.
Chelsea Mak, Founder/Designer, Chelsea Mak
“When I’m expecting guests, which is almost everyday, I usually wear the Chelsea Mak Anita Blazer in Navy over a slip dress or vintage trousers with whatever Chelsea Mak proto I am wear-testing at the moment. I’m a trousers girl so I always have a good pair on rotation, usually vintage. I love a good ’90s Jil Sander or ’80s YSL dress pant; over the years I’ve collected many from local vintage spots like Sleeper and Passenger.
When I’m not wearing Chelsea Mak at home, I’m wearing Entireworld — one, because I love the brand and have a lot of friends who work there, and two, because it’s comfortable and all the colors are so good. There’s really nothing else out there like it.”
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Connie Wang, Senior Features Writer, Refinery29
“I work from home a couple days a week when I need to take meetings or interview sources closer to home. I know there’s a certain kind of person who needs to apply lipstick and put on proper clothes in order to get in the work mindset, but if I’m home, I feel like I’m punking myself if I’m not full-on cozy. To that end, my WFH look is a slight upgrade from my college days. When I have video conference calls, I’ll usually wear a massive T-shirt that looks like a minimal top on a webcam, but feels like a nightgown otherwise.
But as soon as I’m by myself again, I usually put on what I call a ‘focus hoodie’ that I will chew on or hide under, depending on how painful the writing process is. When things get serious, I pull on the hood, tighten the strings, and put headphones on over it so I look like an agoraphobic DJ. I usually also always have on a pair of house-only shoes, because the sensation of being barefoot makes me a little too relaxed. Is this look cute? Absolutely not. But it works, and helps me blast through what I need to get done. And, if I need to leave the house, I can easily make it presentable by throwing on a pair of pants (because, lol to the idea that I’d wear pants in my own home).”
Alyssa Coscarelli, Influencer/Consultant/Freelancer Writer
[Disclosure: Coscarelli occasionally writes for this website.]
“Comfort is the name of the game, but since I’m usually still posting on IG, what I wear when I work from home has got to be cute, too. I’ve fallen in love with the organic cotton basics from Arq, especially the crop tank and the high-waisted briefs. And since it’s winter all of a sudden, I’ll layer on top with either sweats (LHLL is the comfiest!) or a fleece (I love Outdoor Voices.)”
Lisa Marie Fernandez, Founder/Designer, Lisa Marie Fernandez
“When I am home in Los Angeles, I like to be comfortable. But my comfortable is a bit bohemian and elevated. Even though I am home working, I still want to look and feel good for myself. Plus, this is the space that LMF exists in: Luxury lifestyle. There is no distinction between my brand and me. I am my brand and I live that lifestyle, especially at home. I work by the pool outside on the dining table. And I am always barefoot. I wear one of my many dressing gowns from my own brand. I mainly wear LMF around the house and around Malibu. And I have on a bikini under my dressing gown, as I try to swim every day.”
Emme Parsons, Founder/Designer, Emme Parsons
“I work from home and have noticed that I tend to be the most productive when I wake up and get ready for the day before jumping immediately into emails. When I’m working at home, it’s important to be comfortable but still feel put together because it helps me maintain a professional mindset. Plus, I never know when a last-minute meeting will come up so I need to be ready to run out the door.”
Sara Tan, Senior West Coast Fashion & Beauty Editor, Bustle
“I’ve been working remotely for six years, so I’ve gone through several stages of WFH attire. At first, I would stay in my workout clothes, or worse, pajamas, and realized that it didn’t make me feel great — I felt like a slob and as a result, wasn’t as motivated to work. Now, I’ve figured out that wearing something that’s stylish and presentable, but also comfortable works best for me. This is especially important because I’m bouncing around from appointments to events and back home to my laptop a few times a day.
I am so grateful that athleisure remains fashionable, because I am a huge fan of matching sets, particularly of the sweats or knit variety. I’m also a huge fan of jeans and a soft white tee — that’s what I’m wearing right now as I’m typing this out. It never fails me. In summary: something that is relaxed, but presentable, so that I can pop out for a coffee meeting and still feel cute — but also something that I can sit on the couch comfortably in with my laptop.”
Evelynn Escobar-Thomas, Social Media Strategist
“My aesthetic when working from home can only be described as glorified pajamas. Crewnecks, sweatpants, oversized vintage tees — you name it, I’m wearing it. I’m always striving to be as comfortable as possible, especially when I’m in my own home.”
Stephanie Beard, Founder/Designer of Esby Apparel
“Well, first and foremost, I require comfort, but I never want to look sloppy, even while at home or if I’m taking the pups for a walk. I always get the most done when I’m dressed for the occasion, so I’ll usually toss on a pair of vintage Levi’s with either Esby’s Jane tee, if Austin is being Austin, or our Nina cotton rib turtleneck. It looks so chic but feels as comfortable as if I were in a sweatshirt.”
Melissa Chataigne, TV Host and Stylist
“Working from home has become a way of life and getting dressed in an outfit that makes me feel confident to crush my day with personal styling calls to showroom visits. Preparing myself for work and changing out of my PJs changes my mindset to conquer the day. I want to feel confident and fashion-forward so I’m always on brand. I’m either rocking jeans and button down blouse or, for a more casual day, a leisure kimono set.
I love the raw hem Good American jeans. They are easy to dress up and stretch for long hours at the computer. Red is my power color and love everything Baacal. It is more casual Friday. I’ll rock this PJ set from Lucy Paris at home with a cami and style it for a quick meeting with white sneakers. It’s my go-to elevated style uniform.”
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