What to wear while working from home

LogoIt may seem frivolous to be writing or even thinking about fashion in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, but I believe that maintaining some sense of normalcy in these trying times is wise and helps alleviate stress. For many of you, your new normal includes working from home, perhaps for the first time. While it might be tempting to let your appearance go, I’d like to suggest that you’ll probably be more productive and feel better about yourself and your current situation if you don’t.

If your workplace has a strict dress code, this might be a time to enjoy a more relaxed look, but that doesn’t mean lounging around in pyjamas. Instead, perhaps think of every day as casual Friday.

As a retiree, except when I go to a student’s home to tutor, which obviously isn’t happening right now, I “work” from home all the time. Once I retired, I didn’t need a career wardrobe anymore, but I still wanted to look like I mattered; like I cared about myself. Now I try for a classy casual look even on days when I have no plans to leave the house and I’ll continue to do that through these days of sheltering in place.


This week, my “job” has included doing reams of paperwork related to the settling of my father’s estate and my temporary office has been the kitchen table. The animal print top and cardigan that I’m wearing here have both appeared on the blog before. They’re comfortable workhorses in my day to day wardrobe. Though you can’t see them in the photos, I’m also wearing dark wash jeans.


I’ve always been a minimalist when it comes to makeup, but even on stay at home days I use mascara and a bit of blush. I also wear accessories. Layering necklaces is a thing right now, so I’ve been experimenting.

IMG_0892 - Version 2

Both these necklaces have special significance to me and lately I’ve been enjoying wearing them together. The string of pearls was a gift from my grandmother when I was just a girl and I was given the pendant necklace by a very close friend who died of breast cancer in 2006.

During my teaching days, I had a small home office in the basement, but when I retired it became a playroom for the grandchildren when they come to visit. Nowadays, when I’m not working at the kitchen table, one end of the living room couch is my “office”. This is where the blog happens and here’s what I was wearing as I finished up this post.


Again, everything I’m wearing has been seen on the blog before, in this case skinny grey jeans and a favourite sweater both from past seasons of cabi. I could be working in pyjamas or sweats, but it only takes a few minutes to dress for the day and even if no one but hubby sees me, I feel better about myself and I like what I see when I pass by a mirror!

If you have school age children, you’ve probably had a second job thrust upon you in these unusual times; that of teacher or learning coach. As important as maintaining routine and some sense of normalcy is for adults, it’s even more important for children and getting dressed for school is part of that. Here’s what’s happening at my daughter’s house.


photo: Melaina Graham

These three love to lounge around the house in their pjs, but right now they’re up and dressed for school each day in their new “classroom”. Mom and Dad are both working from home and each has a separate workspace in this same room.

How are you faring in these unusual days and what are you wearing?

13 thoughts on “What to wear while working from home

  1. Love the picture of the grands studying. By the way, you have lovely, thick hair. A little envy here as I am hair-challenged. ha! The Urban Farmer and I are retired, so except for going to the grocery, not a lot has changed for us (well, the lack of available toilet paper, ha!). We are pretty much homebodies and find things to do and especially with the weather warming up, gardening. Our days begin with feeding the Chihuahuas Riley and Jacob their breakfast, feeding the chooks their morning spinach and policing their coop (ugh), breakfast for ourselves and then Scripture study. After that, we tackle whatever household chores need attending. Some folks might find our lifestyle very boring, but we are very comfortable with it. So far as outfits, I am still wearing my everyday things with a little bright lippy. No all day pyjamas here! Once a person stops caring about her appearance, it’s a downhill slide. Bloggers have all sorts of posts about how to deal with the current crisis; some are slightly frivolous and some are very insightful and helpful (yours is in the latter category). I appreciate the time you put into your posts.

    • Thank you, Donna! I love writing the blog and especially the opportunity that it gives me to connect with people like you.

      Thanks for sharing a glimpse of your life here. I think that the current situation is easier for we retired folks than it is for younger families. Like you, my daily routine isn’t as disrupted as theirs would be. As time goes by though, I think being constantly cooped up at home is going to begin to wear on me.

  2. Caring about one’s appearance also helps with depression – if you look good you feel good. I also love the picture of your Grand-kids at school. I feel so sorry for parents who are not only working from home in their day job but are also teaching their kids. Ah, the retired life.

    • I totally agree with you on two counts, Anne. Taking care with our appearance definitely has a positive effect on our mental well being and yes, retirement is the best!

  3. Great topic Elaine and I totally agree.
    As a Stylist, Dressing women is my business but it’s so much more.
    It’s a “mindset”. When you think about it …. we take on the Attitude of what we’re wearing so if we’re in sloppy PJ’s all day – every day … guess what? If we “Dress for Success” our attitude takes us down a different path…. Successfully.
    We stand Straighter, we sit Straighter even our vocabulary is improved. It’s a Mindset!
    I saw a fb post yesterday where Dressing in the Medieval Style of Extreme Hoop Skirt Gowns… some of us were married in that style of gown … would provide the “Social Distancing” that has become necessary since the Corona Virus. Yikes, skirts with a 12′ diameter at the hem as everyday fashion??? Say it’s not so!!
    As you’ve suggested Elaine, Casual Friday attire is perfect. That clean, polished casual style that gives us the Mindset of being Ready for Anything the day has to offer.

    Stay Stylish, Stay Well Elaine,

    p.s. I Love that you’re still enjoying your Tea in your cabi cup!

  4. I detect Uncle Bill’s approach to dressing neatly, even if you don’t need to. (For those who never met him, he was a true gentleman who wore a collared shirt and tie, well into his senior years. )

  5. Clothes do carry message weight, and not just to those we pass on the street, but to our own minds and spines. I recently read this bit of dialogue from O Douglas ‘The House That Is Our Own’: “But you are very far from being either plain or dowdy, Kitty. All you need is to be more clothes-conscious. No, not self-conscious, quite the opposite. When you’re sure your clothes are right you can forget all about them. When you’re wrongly dressed you’re miserably aware of it all the time. Clothes psychology is rather an interesting thing.” Thank you for sharing a bit of yours. KB

  6. Pingback: Dressing up and dressing down | Following Augustine

  7. Pingback: Who do we dress for? | Following Augustine

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