Working from home is no longer a foreign concept. But these times of uncertainty has definitely impacted our day-to-day lives, while completely altering history and the modern times altogether. Now more than ever, we are embracing technology in the hopes of keeping everything afloat, including our sense of normalcy and the way we dress.
If there is anything that affects my life so much in this year, it is the switch in the “art of getting ready”. If the COVID-19 pandemic teaches me anything, it is that the way we value getting ready every day and planning an outfit the night before, truly speaks more about the decisions we make in our lives more than we initially thought of. Eventually, it is also as much of a transition that we should be adjusting to frequently. This month, I recently published an article in the International Policy Digest on how fashion is not only about the way we dress, but also about the values we stand for.
With virtual meetings being the new normal, the way I get ready for a meeting and work every day has been both an interesting and creative concept. For one, I have always been an advocate for both style and comfort. The question I always ask myself when entering into a virtual meeting is: “Should I dress as if I am in the office or can I pass-off my loungewear as workwear?. After many trials and errors, I realize that the answer to the question is both. As such, below are some tips and tricks on how I have re-navigated the art of getting ready during working from home:
1. Wear What Makes You Feel Good and Bold
One thing that has been the biggest change in how I get ready every day is how much time I end up spending on it. Whether it be starting my 5-minute morning prep a little earlier or sticking to my usual routine, I realize that how I feel in the outfit that I decide to wear on that day is way more important. A pro-tip is that, always remember to dress for success no matter what setting you’re in. For me, I always try to dress as if I am in a boardroom meeting and make sure that I can still exert a level of professionalism.
2. Changing Your Clothes Often = Work Life Balance
Before the virus outbreak, we have always taken work prep for granted. Prior to it, I was not truly aware how getting ready in the morning translates to setting the tone for the rest of my day. A little tip? Change into your work clothes while being on the clock, but once you are done, feel free to casually switch back to your favourite comfortable loungewear. I realize that this routine keeps me in-check for setting the boundaries between life and work.
3. Look The Part & Feel The Part
A full boardroom attire may not seem practical during your virtual meetings, but a bedroom ensemble is not either. For me, I usually go with either a collared blouse paired down with some comfortable slacks. In a virtual meeting, no one is really going to see our entire outfit from head-to-toe, but for me, it definitely helps with feeling more competent. Another pro-tip will be to never underestimate how the smallest of things such as looking in the mirror can help in dressing for success during this uncertain time. The key is to create or re-create a sense of normalcy in our routines albeit the situation.
At the end of the day, what I learned from re-defining my “WFH Style” is that fashion and what we wear every day is a form of self-expression, just as the act of having to assert your ideals and values as human beings. The key is not to embrace the clothing just simply trends, but also to tell a story and your unique narrative. Because for me, to be able to reclaim my space by reclaiming my aesthetic is indeed power.