It’s safe to say that 2020 hasn’t brought us quite what we expected so far. We’ve all spent the greater part of two months indoors, with kitchen tables and makeshift desks becoming our new workspaces. Even if you’ve been one of the few physically going to work, or if you’ve unfortunately not had any work to be getting on with at all, we’ve all been spending a great deal more time within the confines of our homes, with a newfound freedom in what we’re able to wear. It’s almost impossible not to get yourself into a bit of a rut when you can just pick your laptop up off the floor next to your bed and get on with your day with no shift in mindset or real preparation. The lack of rules when it comes to our wardrobes can result in a serious decline in productivity, whether it’s work-related or not.
When I lived in London and worked from home for a year, I went through a phase where I was rolling out of bed and working from the sofa in my pyjamas. It seemed like the ideal setup at first, but slowly I started to spiral into other bad habits, and I felt it taking a real hit on my mental health and general wellbeing. The temptation to stay in your pj’s all day is as strong as it’s ever been recently, but I’m a strong advocate for making that very important physical and mental separation between work/productivity and downtime. Whether you choose to designate an allocated space in your house to only work, or begrudgingly change into new clothes every morning, both will undoubtedly help restore a sense of structure and normalcy to your day, as well as help with any recently brewing anxieties.
I’m the kind of person who can’t work productively if I’m distracted by even a little bit of discomfort; be it an itchy fabric, uber-tight trousers, or a suffocating neckline. For instance, jeans are personally out of the question for me; I just can’t focus and sit comfortably in them. You want clothes that are comfy enough for the house but smart enough that you wouldn’t silently panic if a colleague or friend asked for an impromptu video call. It’s not like you need to wear a two-piece suit and heels, but pyjamas aren’t the only comfortable option you can turn to, and you’ll find it can actually be quite fun and uplifting to give some other pieces in your wardrobe some attention.
Slowly I started to spiral into other bad habits.
First up though, the long-awaited wardrobe clear-out. Now’s a good time to really delve into the depths of your wardrobe and evaluate what you have in there, from the abandoned archaic pieces picking up dust, to new purchases you haven’t yet had the opportunity to wear. It’s time to Mari Kondo it and whittle it all down to throw/donate/keep piles. A decluttered wardrobe equals a decluttered mind! Side note – it’s also a great time to clean all your shoes; I know mine definitely need some attention.
For an outfit that promises a pyjama-equivalent level of cosiness while still looking the part, it’s all about loungewear and ‘athleisure’. A good old trackie presents us with functionality and comfort in equal measures, and luckily, picking out some home-appropriate pieces within this sartorial genre has been made much easier over the past few seasons thanks to a major shift and rise in popularity within the loungewear market. Gym gear is great to wear around the house, not only because it’s comfortable, but also because it’s more likely to result in you doing some form of physical activity. I’m much more likely to flick on a YouTube workout video or take my dog out for a walk if I’m in my leggings and tank top.
Drawstring loose trousers and flowy linen shirts have been my vibe these days. Not only do they make me feel like I’m about to head off to a chilled beachside spot (a girl can dream right?), but they’re also insanely comfortable, and easy to pair with a fitted tee, chunky cardigan and snug slides. If you’re feeling extra cute, go for a matching set.
Cardigans and jumpers are still in the uber-comfy category but somehow makes you feel much more put together than a standard sweatshirt or hoodie. One of my favourite combos right now is a pair of leggings, a comfy tee and one of my old vintage grandad jumpers or cardigans. On a side note, colour palette is also important to consider; bright colours have an innate ability to really lift our mood without us even realising it.
You want clothes comfy enough for the house but smart enough that you wouldn’t panic if a colleague video called.
DRESSES & JUMPSUITS
Jersey or knit dresses and elasticated jumpsuits or boilersuits have become a bit of a go-to recently when I’m feeling in a bit more of a treat-yourself mood; they’re easy to throw on, and as we’re not out in Chatham, the panic that sets in when the inevitable toilet situation arises is no longer in the equation.
It’s the smallest of changes that can sometimes have the biggest impact on us. Consider embarking on the cleansing process that is a wardrobe clear out; take the opportunity to donate some of your old clothes to charities, while finding some comfy gems you can both laze about and work in!