Back of the Closet: Don’t Sweat It, Cozy to Couture

By Jylian Herring

Staff Writer

What does a typical work-from-home outfit look like? Has anyone found an acceptable way to pair a blazer with plaid pajama bottoms yet, or button-downs with boxers?

Instead of dwelling on the new working environment, celebrate it by getting creative with work-from-home outfits. Leisure and loungewear have changed the fashion industry (and revolutionized the new workday,) so stay in comfy sweatpants and sweaters if the job allows. If any old pairs are just lying around the house, give them new life with some tie-dying. Up until now, everyone’s lived by a socially constructed dress code, but not anymore.

Now is the time to have the creative freedom and wear whatever to work. The beauty of virtual meetings is that people can only see from the chest up, allowing the opportunity to stay in pajama bottoms all day. The only person that might shoot a couple of weird looks at a dress shirt and elastic-pant combo is a furry friend at home.

There are many opportunities to still look presentable in virtual meetings while still being comfortable. Challenge the old saying, “when you look good, you feel good,” by thinking “when you’re comfortable, you feel good.” Brands such as Loft, Aerie, and Nordstrom have created specific online shopping categories that sell clothing catered to this new lifestyle.

“It’s really nice because the leggings and sweatshirts I’ve been buying are a lot cheaper than the dress up, bar scene clothing I usually buy,” Ohio University senior Abby Dawson said.

If wearing makeup these days just isn’t the move, Zoom even has a feature called “touch up my appearance” that polishes faces, almost like a filter, for others in the call to see.

Sitting in pajamas all day can be easy, especially if there’s no need to virtually sign in and actually see other people. However, changing out of pajamas can psychologically trick the brain and trigger productivity.

Dr. Karen Pine, a fashion psychologist and professor at the University of Hertfordshire, told Forbes magazine that people form associations with clothing and the activity they wear pieces for.

The article reported, “A lot of clothing has symbolic meaning for us, whether it’s ‘professional work attire’ or ‘relaxing weekend wear.’ So when we put it on, we prime the brain to behave in ways consistent with that meaning.”

Rolling out of bed to sit behind a computer screen for class or work can feel less than motivating, so make it a challenge to get ready or create a schedule for days to dress up on. Having different themes such as, “polka dot Monday” or “denim Tuesday” can make it fun to get ready for the day. Look on the bright side; getting more sleep and not having to drive to work is saving time for other activities.

Finding a new routine is the key to being successful when working from home. Making even the slightest change in the work-from-home outfits can help benefit overall happiness and promote productivity. While we can, stay comfortable!