Via government orders, anyone who is able to is being asked to work from home right now, and for many of us, it is a completely new experience. The temptation to stay in your pyjamas all day is rife, as is the desire to wear slippers non-stop and only actually style your hair for that one daily skype call your colleagues have initiated.
In moments like this, there is high chance productivity might be waning, so we thought it would be best to consult a few experts and tap into the knowledge of women who have been working from home long before it was government-mandated. Whether they be freelancers, small business owners or working mums, the 11 women below have a wealth of understanding about what it means to be productive in a home environment and unsurprisingly, for many of them, it all starts with the way in which they get dressed in the morning.
From having a specific pair of WFH ballet flats to pulling their looks together with a bold red lip—or even wearing a suit to the home office—here are the ways stylish women stay productive at home.
Jasmine Garnsworthy, Digital Consultant and Writer
"During normal times (which these are not!), I bounce between a coworking space called The Wing and my home office. However, even when I don't leave the house for work, I make a conscious effort to get dressed as the morning routine keeps me focused and motivated. Styling my own outfits brings me a lot of joy, and choosing what to wear each morning is the bookmark dividing relax-at-home time and work-from-home time. Right now, maintaining this routine is helping control my anxiety and instil a sense of normalcy.
Suits from Suistudio make me feel in control, while loose, beautiful dresses or colourful sets by Lee Mathews, Farm Rio, Keepsake, Fame and Partners and Ulla Johnson are more comfortable and creative. Since our current times are anything but normal, I've found myself also gravitating towards cosier, more comforting and comfortable outfits, including layered loungewear and lounge jackets from NeuNomads, Luna Atelier, Maison Essentiele and Olivia van Halle. I still feel as though I'm 'dressed' in these outfits, but they're much lower maintenance than a suit."
Gemma Rose Breger and Samantha Silver, This Is Mothership, Founders
"We work from home really often, at least twice a week, as it's where we create lots of our content and where we knuckle down to emails. It’s important to get in a 'work' frame of mind, when working from home and distinguish sofa clothes from work clothes to really be productive. Then you mentally draw a line under work when you get changed at the end of the day and flop onto the sofa.
"Our work-from-home uniform generally consists of jeans with jumpers so we are comfy, but the outfit will always need to feature something a bit extra. From a jazzy hairband (we love The Embellish Studio) to a red lip (Estee Lauder Poppy Sauvage and Bobbi Brown Fever Pitch are our favourites), or a statement vintage Chanel necklace from Susan Caplan. "
Florencia Cavallo, Golden Edit, Cofounder
"A classic white linen shirt and denim is my go-to WFH outfit. It feels polished yet casual and it’s a perfect look in case you ever need to quickly jump on a video call. If it’s a little chilly, I might throw on a sweater, but I like to avoid being too warm, as I find it kills my productivity. I like to add some layers of jewellery for good measure. Putting on a bit of gold and my favourite summer shells or beads keeps things fun and reminds me summer is around the corner.
"I avoid wearing makeup and instead opt to keep my skin super clean and hydrated. I always have a basked bag by the door in case I need to walk out the door to run an errand!"
Giselle La Pompe-Moore, Freelance Beauty Editor
"Seeing as I am yet to understand why athleisure is a thing, my friends often laugh at how extra my house clothes are. When working from home, I rarely follow the rules of sitting at my desk but I do get dressed. The outfits I wear are inspired by the recording artists on my 'Working Girl' Spotify playlist, a mix of Stevie Nicks, Florence and the Machine and Kate Bush. Think loose printed wrap dresses, vintage dressing gowns and my leopard-print shirtdress. They're comfortable enough to balance my laptop on my lap on the sofa but also stylish enough to signal to my postman that I've made an effort (possibly too much). I've always been inspired by the glamour of Old Hollywood and when I'm knee-deep in deadlines or writing client notes, my clothes certainly make me feel more put together."
Emily Dawes, Freelance Editor
"I like to feel comfy but like I've still changed out of my pyjamas. So I usually wear a smart jogger from somewhere like Me & Em or Ninety Percent with a cute knit or cardigan. I also like an all-black legging that I can get away with dressing up by throwing over a smart coat if I have to nip out for a meeting. Sweaty Betty has the perfect all-black workout leggings, but I'll definitely be investing in some of Zara's new split-hem styles now that leggings are becoming fashionable again. Another trick that makes me feel more pulled together is a co-ordinating set—especially a cashmere one, which means that you look chic even if you're only in a hoodie and joggers. Topshop and M&S have great sets!"
Harriet Davey, Freelance Fashion Editor
"As someone who has worked from home on and off for the last two years, I feel like I've mastered the art of dressing for comfort. Usually, when I'm in the office, I wear printed midi dresses and mules and mainly tailored pieces, but my WFH outfits are simple and minimal. It's all about the loungewear. My number one tip is to get up, showered and dressed as if you're going out to work as normal. This puts a sense of structure into your day-to-day from the beginning. Take it from someone who knows: The novelty of staying in your PJs all day soon wears off.
"I love a good cashmere knit or hooded two-piece (with elasticated trousers), and places like Marks and Spencer and Chinti and Parker are my go-to. I like to try and always wear a bra but I swap my usual T-shirt style for a super-comfy bralette from a small female-led brand called Lemonde Dolls (they're home to the comfiest style I've ever worn and it's under £20). I layer with T-shirts from the men's section at Arket (yes, for extra comfort) and I always wear my everyday jewellery. This consists of my Daisy necklace, Monica Vinader earrings and my layered vintage rings. I like to feel slightly polished even if I am sat at my kitchen table listening to Capital FM surrounded by snacks."
Eni Ilori, Petite Blogger and Stylist
“I feel that just because many of us are working from home now doesn’t mean we should neglect the way we usually dress. So for me, a pair of denim jeans and a white camisole is my go-to while working at home. I also like wearing dresses—strapless, long dresses. The weather is finally great outside and it’s a bit warm, so it’s nice to wear something that makes you feel comfortable. I’ve also brought out my Gucci slides with the fur and it makes me feel very cosy at home.”
Maxine Eggenberger, Freelance Editor and Contributor, Who What Wear
“I’ve spent the last year largely working from home, and honestly, my clothes don’t have the biggest impact on my productivity. My footwear proves to be the catalyst for a successful working day. I don’t know what it is, but if I wear slippers, it’s like being in slow motion. Instead, I don ballet flats, which I don’t wear outside (I specifically bought them for working from home). I’ll pair them with comfortable but chic cropped navy trousers, a Breton striped top, gold hoops and a slick of red lipstick—all of which make me feel pulled together, even if the only other contact I have during working hours is with my at-home colleagues: my two miniature dachshunds.”
Shannon Lawlor, Freelance Beauty Editor
"I am literally 'a work in whatever is comfiest' kind of gal! I live in APC tracksuit bottoms and then soft roll-neck jumpers. I really struggle to work and concentrate if I'm uncomfortable in my clothes so I invest a lot of time (and sadly money) into finding the perfect work-appropriate loungewear. Making sure it still looks chic and presentable is key to making me feel together. Plus it means I rarely have to get changed for quick dashes to meetings! If I'm going out I'll just layer on a smart coat, throw on a scarf and team it with some smart trainers. I'm all about being comfortably pulled-together."
Rosie Butcher, Fashion and Portrait Photographer
"I like to get up early and get dressed in the morning, as it makes me feel motivated for the day. A big snuggly jumper and jeans are my go-to, however, by about 4 p.m., I find myself somehow back in my PJs and still at my desk if I haven't got any plans in the evening!"
Elinor Block, Who What Wear, Assistant Editor
"While some of us might be working from home right now, I'm quite used to it, as I always did two days per week at home already. On these days I have to be as productive as possible, as having a toddler means I literally have no time to do my job other than my working hours allow. To really hit the ground running the moment I sit at my desk, I need a decent breakfast. My favourite is to soak oats the night before in either water or oat milk and then add some sultanas. I also need great coffee and a lot of water to feel fully awake. After that, it's all about a quick 20 min workout. Right now, that means doing HIIT on YouTube in my kitchen. I find Joe Wicks's videos some of the best. Next up, a shower, a bit of makeup (concealer, mascara and bronzer) and wearing something I feel smart but comfortable in is ideal before I start up the computer. I have a pair of Ganni track pants I love, they're smart but super comfy. I will also wear loose shirts and smart T-shirts on top. A cardigan over my shoulders if I get cold is imperative to have on hand. I'm also wearing a smartwatch, as it really helps with reminding me to get up and move "