Work-at-Home Wardrobe: A Launching Point for Success

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One of the biggest benefits of working from home is the fact that you do not need to purchase expensive business attire. While you don’t need to buy a whole new wardrobe, an unfortunate stereotype of work-at-home professionals is that they hang out in their PJs all day and are generally “slobbish” in their attire. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to be able to roll out of bed and walk down the hall to the “office” and get started for the day. But that great feeling tends to fade when you look at the clock and realize it’s 2 p.m. and you haven’t showered in a couple of days or brushed your teeth yet today and the UPS guy shows up at your door with a package. Beyond causing the “what am I doing with my life” shame spiral, I think this issue prompts an interesting discussion. Can what you’re wearing affect your job performance? I will answer with a resounding yes! Please let me expound.

I recently read a published study by some professors at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. It was absolutely fascinating to me. Their study looked at something called “embodied cognition” or the concept that your bodily sensations can affect how you think and feel. In their study they tested performance between groups of individuals based on wearing specific articles of clothing. In some of the experiments, they had the subjects wear lab coats and called them doctor’s coats. They found that the groups wearing those had increased sustained attention as opposed to the group wearing lab coats described as painter’s coats or artist’s coats.  The way you dress can affect the way you feel about yourself, interact with others and perform tasks. So how can you avoid the pajama shame? Here are some basic wardrobe suggestions to help you feel good and maybe even help you work better!

If you’re a fan of wearing pajama or yoga pants…

Try trading them out for some fun, colored stretch jeans. Any cut will do, so just pick the fit that feels best to you. I find mid and high-rise stretch jeans most comfortable when sitting.

If you’re in to wearing a pajama top or oversized t-shirt from that concert you went to 20 years ago…

Try trading those out for some ultra-soft v-neck t-shirts or scoop-neck t-shirts. The ultrasoft fabric will help you feel comfortable even though you’re wearing something a lot more structured.


If you love to wear that threadbare chenille robe you’ve had for most of your adult life…

Try a Mister Roger’s cardigan or oversized wrap-around cardigan. I’m a huge fan of the Mister Roger’s style cardigan because they’re comfy but stylish.

Those are just a few quick tips to help you get up and ready for your workday. Career Step has curated a really awesome board on Pinterest of ideas for dressing for success. Check it out and let us know what your favorite work at home wardrobe consists of below in the comments.


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