When we talk about dressing to impress, we're really talking about how to know yourself and know the times we are living in. From Zoom calls with your team to podcast-led socially distant walks in the evening, it can be challenging to know how to bring your own personal style to your home office. Even over Zoom, what you wear has a lot to do with the impression you make. Just like the old saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” So read on for details on how to balance form and function while your only commute is from your bed to your home office.
Learning How to Let Go
When it comes to dressing to impress, certain situations may require you to abandon elements of your personal style, even if only temporarily. For example; for that 7 a.m. Zoom call with a potential client, you may feel like rolling out of bed in your pajama pants. Don't do this. Instead, throw on some biker shorts and a tank top, dab on a touch of makeup (if that's your thing), and throw a blazer over top to make yourself look more polished and alert.
Angels are in the Details
Since you're representing yourself and your business, a "clean and crisp" style direction is vital. This doesn't mean all your business wear ensembles have to be boring. Simply be aware of the various elements of your presentation and how they come together. Grooming is a major part of accentuating your business wear. For men and women, keeping your hair and nails manicured by either yourself or a professional consistently, in a way that is true to you, can allow you to keep your own personal flair. This will boost not only your confidence but the wardrobe you have. A win-win if we must say so ourselves.
Stewarding your Finances
Dressing to impress may seem like a lofty investment-- but it doesn't have to be! The beauty of working from home is that you don't have to spend lots of money, or any money to look great and feel fresh. Lots of awesome business and business casual wear (that is name brand) can be found online, or purchased via curbside during seasonal sales or at discount stores like TJMaxx, Marshalls, Nordstrom Rack, etc. A lot of stores have opened up and you are able to shop in person, but we encourage you to shop safe, wear a mask and wash your hands, especially if you're going to be trying on clothes in-store. Another option to consider is subscribing to a clothing service such as Rent the Runway, MM LaFleur, StichFix, Trunk Club, and or Le Tote.
Taking Care of Business
Some days you may feel like dressing up. Throw on that perfume and dab on that makeup! You may even want to throw on some slacks or a dress, especially if you plan on going out in public! When meeting with a client or vendor partner the sage advice still stands; dress to their level—or better yet, one step above. Pair a suit jacket with a nice pair of clean-cut jeans or a skirt with a simple t-shirt. Match your mask to a pattern or solid color complementary to your outfit. Knowing how to boss up your wardrobe can add a simple elegance to your presentation. Adding one element of professional wear to a casual outfit can be vital for an informal meeting.
When dressed professionally for any situation, it's good to be stylish but not at the expense of function. Dressing to work from home should be comfortable. Now is the time to experiment with style, especially if fashion brings you joy in these challenging times. If all else fails--it's better to be over-dressed than under-dressed, so wear that bold-colored dress and slather yourself in that great smelling lotion. Don't be afraid to add color, print, or texture to your workwear. The most important thing is that you feel confident and true to your own sense of self.
Hero image courtesy of Broma Bakery