Home office outfits: a woman wearing smart clothes and working from home.

Home office outfits: smart casual clothes for working from home

People often associate working from home with casual clothes because you are in your own home where the atmosphere can feel more realxed than in an office. A lot of people who work from home often feel unsure about what they should wear. A smart business look with a suit or a smart dress can seem a bit overdressed when working from home, whereas a casual outfit with a t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms might seem a bit too casual. You ideally need an outfit that is comfortable and doesn’t restrict your movement. In this article you will find helpful tips on how to create a comfortable and smart outfit you can wear whilst working from home.

Rea­sons for dress­ing smart­ly when work­ing from home

Lots of people who work from home have the freedom to enjoy the comfort of their own home. Therefore, quite a few people prefer to wear casual clothes instead of suits. However, when putting the perfect home office outfit together, it is important to find a good balance between wearing something comfortable, but also something that looks professional. Below you will find a list of reasons on why it is a good idea to always wear casual, but smart clothing whilst working from home:

  • Wearing smart clothes for work will help you to feel more confident. This can help you to feel confident whilst working with colleagues, your boss or customers.

  • Whilst working from home your choice of outfit will help to create an overall impression of you. If you continue to wear smart clothes when working from home you will look respectable.

  • Business wear can help to have a positive influence on your mindset. This will help you to stay mentally focused during working hours whilst working from home. By wearing such clothes, you will feel more motivated and eager to get on with your work as most people tend to associate casual clothes with free time and relaxation.

  • Changing into casual clothes after work can also have a positive effect on your work-life balance. Changing your clothes at the end of the working day will help you to switch off from work. This will give your everyday life more routine since most daily routines have changed since you have started working from home.

When working from home it isn’t always necessary to wear a suit. You could choose a smart outfit and tone it down a little bit for working from home. Depending on the field you work in, you can adopt a smart causal style when it comes to choosing your outfits. It is important to remember not to overdress when working from home. If your office, for example, has a "Casual Friday" you can use this dress code to help you dress appropriately whilst working from home.


Bear in mind that...

Even though most of the time only your upper body is visible on webcam it is still not advisable to combine a smart business look with tracksuit bottoms. You may also have to stand up during video conferences (e.g. if the doorbell rings unexpectedly). In order to avoid any embarrassing situations, you should also choose smart casual trousers or skirts.


Wearing casual clothes whilst working from home: a woman taking part in a videocall.

The perfect home office outfit: an overview of the dos and don’ts

You don't have to dress as formally when working from home as you do in the office, however, working in your own home gives you the opportunity to combine your personal style with something smart to create a smart casual look. Casual clothes that are still suitable for the workplace are the basics for a fabulous home office outfit. Below we have listed the dos and don’ts to help you put the perfect home office outfit together:

Home of­fice: dos

  • Baggy or loose fitting clothes provide the comfort and freedom to move about in, which is ideal for home office. However, make sure that your clothes have a great cut or shape so that they don't appear too baggy.

  • Make sure to choose high-quality and soft fabrics when putting your home office outfit together. This will help to get you in the right mindset for working from home. You should feel comfortable in your clothes so that you can concentrate on your work and be able to relax in stressful situations.

  • Natural fibres like cotton, viscose, linen or wool are breathable and skin friendly. They are therefore not only comfortable to wear, but they are also high-quality and an ideal combination for your home office outfit.

  • Choose clothes in light, friendly colours. Pastel colours or earth tones such as camel, khaki or reddish brown suit most people.

  • Dark colours such as navy blue or black are generally considered smart, safe colours.

Home of­fice: don’ts

  • Avoid wearing jumpers, hoodies and t-shirts with prints. These are usually too casual for a home office working environment.

  • It’s best not to wear check patterns or very stripy clothes as they can appear too busy.

  • Prints that stand out such as animal, floral, batik patterns and neon colours can also have a visually overwhelming effect, which can be quite distracting when you are in online meetings.

  • When working from home it is also a good idea to not wear clothes that you wouldn’t wear to work. This includes, for example, low-cut or crop tops, very close fitting or tight clothes or old or ripped clothes.

  • In most cases, you don’t need to wear high heels or formal shoes when working from home.

A woman wearing a smart casual outfit and working from home.

Stylish home office outfits

The ideal outfit for home office is something smart, but not too overdressed. The outfit should also be stylish and comfortable at the same time. By choosing the right fabrics and cuts, you can easily create numerous home office outfits that will have a great smart casual look. Below we have put some home office outfit ideas together to help you get inspired:

Women’s home office outfits:

Men’s home office outfits:

Home of­fice style tips for hair­styles, make-up and ac­ces­sories

Most of the time you will only see your upper body and face during video conferences. So when it comes to getting ready it is important to focus on these areas. A simple but elegant top and some smart jewellery will help to make a good impression in your video conference. Below we have put some helpful tips together on what you should be mindful of when it comes to hairstyles, make-up and accessories:

  • Make sure your hair is tidy and does not cover your face. You don’t really need any elaborate hairstyles when working from home.

  • Slicked back hairstyles can appear a bit one-dimensional and unimpressive in video conferences as you can only be seen from a certain angle.

  • Beards should always look neat and tidy and they should also be trimmed.

  • If you normally wear make-up a subtle daytime make-up that makes you look fresh and awake is the ideal choice when working from home. Make sure to check the lighting conditions when working from home to see what your make-up looks like on webcam.

  • If you would like to keep warm whilst working from home a scarf can be a great finishing touch to your outfit. However, it is better to take off scarves and neckerchiefs for important meetings, as they make your upper body look a bit frumpy.


Did you know that ...

By following a few simple steps you can put a smart home office outfit together that will help you be prepared for any sudden meetings. Combining plain t-shirts and long-sleeved shirts with a smart cardigan, blazer or jacket will always make you look smart and it will also help to make a good impression.


Home of­fice out­fit tips for video con­fer­ences

Make sure to always check your outfit in the mirror and also on the webcam before attending any video conferences. Sometimes computer screens can make the colours or patterns of your clothes look different. Before attending a video conference it is also important to have your webcam at the right angle and to make any last-minute adjustements to your background. Below we have put some helpful tips together on what you shouldn’t wear to a video conference:

A man working from home and wearing a smart casual outfit.
  • Avoid tops with stripy or checkered patterns. These types of patterns can create a so-called moiré effect on your webcam, which will cause an unpleasant flickering effect.

  • Long and dangly jewellery such as dangly earrings, long necklaces or bracelets are not suitable for online meetings as they can interfere or clank against the microphone or table. This can create distracting background noise.

  • Sparkly tops and jewellery with glitter and sequins can cause reflections depending on the lighting conditions in the room.


Bear in mind that...

If the internet connection isn’t great, then it is a good idea to have a profile picture for your video conferences instead of trying to fix a pixelated webcam image. It is more environmentally friendly during video conferences in larger groups, for example, team meetings or important firm meetings if everyone doesn’t have their webcam switched on. When only a couple of participants have their webcam switched on this will help to produce fewer emissions. For profile pictures you can use the photos of your members of staff off the firm’s website or any recent job application photos as a suitable alternative. It is a good idea to clarify in advance with your employer whether you could attend the online meeting with your webcam switched off, however, make sure to be prepared in case you have to switch your webcam on.


Con­clu­sion: com­fort­able and smart ca­su­al home of­fice out­fits

Dress for success - this well-known advice also applies to home office outfit choices. How you dress whilst working from home not only has an affect on how you are perceived by colleagues, managers and clients, but it can also have an effect on your approach to work. If you wear smart clothes whilst working you will feel more confident and focused than when you are wearing clothes you would wear in your free time. However, this doesn’t necessairly mean that you have to forgo comfort whilst working from home. By choosing the right fabrics and cuts, you can create smart casual home office outfits, which look professional but are also very comfortable.

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