Exploring the new world of work-from-home wear
I started a new job on 1 July, and for the first time in months I had a morning commute. For four days. After that, Melbourne was plunged back into lockdown, and I’ve been working from home. I feel incredibly lucky to have a new job, in a new country, especially in these circumstances. Though I was excited to be getting back out into the world, with the diverse interests of office life, exploring some of Melbourne’s renowned coffee shops and more, I am so grateful to be in a job with the flexibility to work from home.
But working from home does need to be treated with some caution. It is all too easy for ‘work’ and ‘home’ life to blend into one, and to find yourself burning out from the need to appear ‘productive’. I have so much sympathy for working parents who have suddenly had to take on home education on top of all their work responsibilities. The boundaries have all slightly melted away.
So I’ve been trying a few different tricks in an attempt to maintain a degree of separation between work and home. One of these is ‘dressing up’ for work. I’m trying hard to resist the draw of athleisure and jeans. So far it seem to be helping. Even something as simple as putting on ‘proper’ shoes and swapping them for slippers at the end of the working day seems to be helping to enforce some differentiation. In terms of comfort you don’t really need much more than you would for sitting at a desk in the office, but I have noticed that in the Melbourne winter, I do want to incorporate quite a few layers into my outfits.
So here are the outfits I wore over a full week of working from home. Let me know what you think in the comments! What approach do you take to WFH outfits? I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions! Apologies in advance that the photos in this post are a bit grainy, something didn’t quite work in my camera and I didn’t realise until I transferred the photos at the end of the week! Hopefully they are still good enough for you to understand the outfits.
Monday – Floral and greens
I realised that it’s all to easy for me to wear black literally every day, especially when it’s cold. My new colleagues had only ever seen me wearing black in video calls, so I decided to liven things up a bit with some print and a splash of colour. This dress is one of my favourite – it’s just a fairly cheap one from New Look, but I love the ditsy print and the length. It verges on being too small, especially in the chest area, so pairing it with this cardigan allowed me to undo the top button or two. Fine with the vest I was wearing underneath, but not a particularly tidy look. The cardi over the top served to neaten it all up a bit. The cardi is from Princess Highway, and I was delighted to discover that it almost perfectly matches the green leaves on the dress. Together they made for a comfy and cosy but still quite ‘put together’ outfit. Finishing off with my new(ish) black faux-suede boots, this was I think my favourite outfit of the week. Mondays aren’t exactly the best day of the week, so it was nice to start on a high.
This outfit was pretty much a variation on the theme of Monday’s. This is another one of my favourite dresses – it has a really easy elegance to it. The sleeves are a great length, and the slit stops it from looking too frumpy. I love the way it looks with these suede lace-up boots. It was however a little too cold for bare arms, so I popped this black jumper over the top. I secured it with a knot at the front to define my waist, and let a bit of the dress peek out at the neckline for some visual interest. There’s a reason this dress featured in my Reclaiming Dresses as comfy casual post: it’s just super easy to wear, and great for a day at the desk.
Wednesday – Warm winter vibes
I am only just getting the a point where I feel comfortable in turtle necks. I’ve always been super self-conscious about my general chin area, to which these tops really draw attention. But they are so warm and cosy that I’m managing to overcome my doubts. Here I paired the top with a printed skirt from Princess Highway, thick tights, and those boots with which I am officially obsessed. I like the 60s meets modern silhouette of this outfit, and the way the print livens up the otherwise quite sombre look. It’s called ‘Medieval’, and is covered in plants and animals, lending a pleasingly whimsical touch. The skirt is a tad too big to sit exactly where I want it to, but it has pockets, and is so cute I couldn’t part with it. This outfit feels a bit more ‘work wear’ than Monday and Tuesday’s, but there is still ample room to express myself, so that’s no bad thing.
Thursday – Off-duty 40s lady
Aware that I hadn’t worn trousers all week (and that I was running out of tights!) I put together this loosely 40s inspired look. I’ve been watching quite a few Rachel Maksy videos recently, and love her vintage and thrifted looks. It was in one of her videos that I discovered the term ‘Hobbitcore’, and I think with a few small tweaks this outfit would definitely count as that. I’d kind of love to live in LOTR inspired outfits, but I think in this outfit I managed to skew slightly more towards Katherine Hepburn than Sam Gamgee. This cardigan is a new purchase from Cotton On, and I am totally in love with it. The sleeves make me feel like a fancy older New York lady – and when would you not want to feel like that? The shirt is another find from Princess Highway, and the trousers are an old pair from years ago, bought from M&S. They came with a fabric belt in the same material, but I decided to swap it for a wide black belt, which I think pulls the outfit together a bit better. This outfit felt slightly more ‘sophisticated’ than my others, even though it was looser and more casual in some ways. But I felt great in it (and warm!), so it’s definitely one I’ll be repeating.
Friday – Slip Dress and sleeves
By Friday I think I was starting to lose steam a little. This ones makes 3/5 of my outfits this week monochromatic – I think I might have a problem! I honestly didn’t realise how much I depend on black until I documented a whole week like this (and as I write, I am wearing black!). This was probably my least favourite outfit of the week, but it had some plus points. This is really a summer dress I’m trying to get more use out of, and I’m not entirely convinced that it works with this top underneath. But it felt good to use something that would otherwise be sitting at the back of my closet. Slightly bizarrely this dress has one giant pocket, big enough for my UK and AU phones together, so that’s something. I like the more modern shape of the dress, with slits down both sides, and even though it’s yet more black, I do like the stripes. As usual I popped my suede boots on with it, which I think leveled it up a little. All in all not my favourite outfit, but one that worked perfectly well for getting me through the last few working hours before the weekend.
So there you have it, my week in WFH outfits. I’ve enjoyed carving out a bit of time to think about what I’m wearing, and not just falling back on my go-to jeans and a sweatshirt (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). Pleasingly most of these outfits include things I re-discovered through Shopping my Shipping. Until I stopped and documented it I realise quite how much black I wear on a day-to-day basis – I’ve always thought I was quite pro-colour. But I guess that’s a bit harder in winter. I might do more of these posts going forward; it’s been a good way to motivate myself, and in lockdown I delight in any little thing to add a bit of variety to my days! I’d love to build some outfits around your tips and suggestions, so if you have any ideas please do leave them in the comments! What do you wear for working from home? Have you changed what you wear now we’re all doing so many Zoom meetings? Or have you embraced the potential for casual comfiness? I’d love to hear about your experiences and how you’re adapting!
Thank so much for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed this snapshot of my WFH wardrobe. As I said above, I’d love to hear about your WFH outfits and any tips of suggestions you might have, so please feel free to share them in the comments below!