Should You Dress Up To WFH? Here's What Experts Say

The answer will surprise you.

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Here are 20 must-haves for a work-from-home wardrobe and exactly how to wear them.
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So, you’ve been relegated to work from home status for the foreseeable future. On the upside, your commute has been effectively reduced to the number of seconds it takes to go from the bed to the couch. The downside? You're finding it terribly hard to gain the wherewithal to change out of your go-to PJs and pull yourself out from under your fave weighted blanket — and you're wondering: do you even have to? Well, comfy as they are, the rest of your wardrobe is calling. And there's a psychological reason why it's good to get dressed, even if you'll be in your home office (or on the couch) all day. Fortunately, there's no shortage of expert advice on how to put together work from home outfits. Read on for how to get the most out of your wardrobe if you're working remotely.

Best Work From Home Outfits

Your first instinct may be to jump for joy at the opportunity to work in your sweats, but reaching for too casual of a wardrobe can be a slippery slope. It’s totally OK to rock your monochrome sweatsuit every once in a while, but one of the best ways to prevent bad work from home habits is to set a dress code for yourself.

“It’s very crucial,” Dawnn Karen, a fashion psychologist and author of Dress Your Best Life, tells Bustle. “I have a theory in the fashion psychology field called ‘mood enhancement dress.’ Mood enhancement dress is dressing to optimize your mood. So when you desire to get out of a funk, dressing up or practicing mood enhancement dress would be proven most beneficial.”

Karen describes the practice as wearing items that speak to you on a personal level and that can help boost positivity. That could translate to reaching for your favorite blouse, your favorite color, or anything else that has a special, significant meaning to you.

Should You Dress Up For Work If You're Working From Home?

Different pieces of clothing can impact us in various ways, and those effects ultimately come down to two factors: how we look wearing the clothes and what the clothes symbolize for us.

“I think it’s easy [to stay in our PJs all day] because we associate each place and each role in our lives with a uniform,” Karenn says. “[Depending on] the role we are playing when we’re home — perhaps you’re a mother, perhaps you’re a student — we know that home is associated with the uniform of PJs. It’s typically hard for us to feel productive in PJs because the uniform of PJs is not associated with productivity.”

She recommends finding a compromise between getting ultra dressy and being too comfortable when putting together your work from home wardrobe.

“You don’t have to wear a suit and tie in your home, but perhaps wearing a T-shirt and a blazer,” Karen suggests. “It’s okay to wear the same outfit that you wore the day before, especially if you were only in it for just a few hours. This is just to lessen decision fatigue. I would also say take the time to wear an outfit that you always wanted to wear to work, but perhaps due to your work restrictions, you’re not allowed to wear that particular outfit. Have fun and play in your closet during this time away from work.”

Which Pieces Are Most Essential For Your WFH Wardrobe?

“I’m always more productive when I feel dressed,” says Erin Rittling, senior manager of Aerie styling. “Even if I am wearing sweatpants, I go ahead and wear the matching set. You can be comfortable and feel good about your look at the same time.”

If you’re going to stock up on any new apparel, now is the time to bulk up your collection of basics. They’ll be your go-to in the weeks ahead of endless FaceTimes, Hangouts, and Zooms.

“You can layer a cute cardigan, slip dress, or blazer on top of a boyfriend tee,” Rittling explains. “Basics are super easy to dress up or down, and you can wear them over and over again in new ways. If you are looking for something chill, look to an easy slip dress or romper — one and done, and you look put together.”

Set Boundaries Through Your Work From Home Wardrobe

Once you have your work from home wardrobe all ready, it’s time to set some boundaries in your life. One of the most important boundaries you can set — other than with your friends and family — is a start and end time to your day.

When you work from home, you may find yourself happier, but you also may find yourself working longer hours. Don’t let your work spill into what is normally your own personal time to relax and unwind. Creating these boundaries can help prevent remote work burnout.

So, when that time hits at the end of the day, wrap up what you’re doing, change out of your work clothes, and put on those comfy PJs or other leisurewear. Doing this will also train your body to know when it can go into relaxation mode.

Ahead, find 20 must-haves for a work-from-home wardrobe and exactly how to wear them. And lucky for you: they’re all available online, with no in-store shopping required.

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High-Waisted Leggings

The truly great thing about these high-waisted leggings (besides the 4-way stretch and sweat-wicking technology)? They come with pockets big enough to hold your smartphone.

Aerie Play Pocket High-Waisted Leggings ($29.97)



This isn't just any T-shirt: it's structured enough to look like you tried but comfy enough that you'll want to live in it.



While you might very well want to walk around your house barefoot, there is something to be said about the productivity level that you’ll be able to reach if you are fully clothed. For that, consider the trend that’s the perfect amalgamation of slipper and loafer: the backless mules. It’s almost as if it were created just for all of those chic working-from-home professionals.


Printed Leggings

Go big or go home when it comes to your leggings. Opt for a fun print like leopard or stripes.

The Upside Tobacco Leopard Print Leggings ($80)


Comfy Pants

If you’re not into actual joggers, and want something more tailored than leggings, consider a pair of track pants that won’t wrinkle as you curl yourself up on your couch for days on end, laptop in hand.


Colorful Top

Why not breathe a little more life into your working-from-home wardrobe by choosing a bright and colorful top in lieu of a black or white one? Splurge on this unforgettable sweater by celebrated designer Christopher John Rogers.



Whether or not your office job allowed jeans, now is the time to get on the denim bandwagon. Dress them up with a silk button down or down with a hoodie, but these classic wardrobe staples are about to get a lot of use.



For a throw-on-and-go look, consider a cozy hoodie. Instead of your old college hoodie (or the one you stole from your ex-boyfriend of seven years ago…), update your look with a cropped style that feels more pulled-together than the rest.


Cardigan Sweater

An update on your zip-up hoodie, a cardigan still retains that same cozy yet well-ventilated quality. They’re comfy enough to wear with leggings or track pants, but elevated enough to pair with your more tailored looks for quick coffee runs or on-screen video conferences.


Chunky Knit

When you're working from home, a great knit top is the perfect way to dress up while still remaining cozy. And it's the perfect waist-up look for all those Zoom meetings on your calendar.



You can finally bring your favorite weekend staple into the work week. Though they might not have been office friendly, they’re perfect for your at-home workspace.


Silk Blouse

You don’t want to be caught on a video conference call in a vintage T-shirt you slept in for the past five days. Keep it simple with a classic silk button-down to pair with everything from jeans to track pants.


Pullover Sweatshirt

A cozy alternative to sometimes fussier sweaters, update your sweatshirt game with a soft-as-anything Springtime color that feels more pulled-together than basic gray.


Breton Stripe Top

If you’re looking to breathe new life into your wardrobe but still maintain the comfy work-from-home loungewear vibe, opt for a classic Breton stripe top.


Wrap Dress

Even when working from home, some days call for a little dress-up fun. In an effort to stay comfortable and easy, though, opt for a wrap dress that’s a true one-and-done.


Whimsical Earrings

Even if you’re on that video conference wearing a T-shirt and blue jeans, you can upgrade your look from the neck up with a pair of whimsical Springtime earrings.


Statement Top

When you feel as though you’ve been living in the same leggings or jeans for ten days straight, trade in your T-shirt for a statement top that will make you feel a little more pulled-together than the day before.


Slip-On Sneakers

If you’re not into walking around the house barefoot, but still want to take advantage of that no-heels lifestyle, reach for a pair of slip-on sneakers in a bright color or fun print.


Tailored Shorts

While shorts might be a no-go in a more corporate setting, they’re just fine for your at-home workstation.


Cozy Slippers

Just because you’re on a video call doesn’t mean your feet can’t be nice and comfy, right?


Classic Mockneck Top

A mockneck silhouette works year-round and is the perfect piece to layer under a blazer or cardigan. It achieves the pulled-together turtleneck look without the bulk.


Layered Necklaces

Simple layered necklaces are an easy add-on to upgrade your waist-up look for video calls.


Boho Blouse

A flowy top isn’t too constricting but still looks professional enough for that one-on-one with your boss.


Patterned Blazer

Toss on a blazer with a bold pattern and your WFH look is handled in one easy step.


Geometric Earrings

Don’t be afraid to get playful with your accessories — the quirkier they are, the more of a conversation starter they’ll be.

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