What to Wear to Increase Productivity While Working From Home

Well, here we are. Back in a sort-of lockdown. No doubt 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 those endless Zoom calls.

In moments like this, there is high chance productivity will start to wane, 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 or small business owners the 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. Keep scrolling for inspiration...

Florencia Cavallo, Golden Edit, Cofounder


(Image credit: @florencia_cavallo)

"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. 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


(Image credit: @projectajna)

"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


(Image credit: @emilyjdawes)

"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


(Image credit: @harriet.davey)

"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


(Image credit: @eniswardrobe)

"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, plus 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


(Image credit: @maxineeggenberger)

"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


(Image credit: @shannonlawlor)

"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."

Next up, the biggest autumn/winter 2020 fashion trends to know.

This piece was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.