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If you’re new to the work-from-home lifestyle, it can come with a whole host of challenges: when do you need to wake up when there’s no commute? Is 10.30am an appropriate time to make lunch? Is playing Netflix in the background ever going to be a good idea? And what are you supposed to wear?  

There are the people who can roll out of bed and start the day without ditching their PJs, whilst others need a little more structure to get stuck into their routine – at least when they’re about to hop on a Zoom call with their boss. If you fall in the latter camp, you’ll be asking yourself how you can maintain a semblance of your office wardrobe (and the attitude you had in it) without slipping into your Oxfords. Luckily, there’s a middle ground between slobbing out in sweatpants and comfy old tees and putting on a suit and tie – and yes, it’s still entirely sofa friendly. 

Make simple switches

Let’s face it, the outfits we wear to the office aren’t always the most comfortable. When selecting smarter pieces to work from home in, find something that falls between full comfort-wear and stuffy formal attire. For example, switch sweatpants for relaxed trousers with a drawstring waistband that feels comfortable, yet smarter than leisure-wear. Throwing on a collared knit instead of a tee will also help you maintain comfort and a smart element.

In lieu of a blazer, a loose-fitting chore jacket is a favourite with Thread stylists. It adds a smarter finish to your look than a sweatshirt, but is still light enough that you won’t feel restricted in it. Similarly, a polo shirt feels as comfy as an old t-shirt, but the smartness of the collar makes all the difference to your presentation.

Don’t lose the shoes

It’s said that putting on shoes when you work from home is likely to make you more productive, as they give the feeling that you’ve got fully dressed to go to work. Whether or not this is true for you, you probably don’t want to sit in the living room wearing stiff leather brogues. 

Instead, opt for something comfy and practical, like slip-on sandals from Grenson, or if you prefer something less slipper-like, canvas shoes like Converse are lightweight, versatile, and appropriate for popping out on your lunchtime walk.

Elevate your layers

If you’re still feeling a chill in the spring air, keep a good quality knitted cardigan or jumper close at hand. Don’t fall back on your favourite baggy sweater, no matter how comfy it might be. Instead, pick a piece that’s more casual than you’d usually wear to the office, yet not quite as relaxed as your off-duty hoodie – a cosy cashmere knit is ideal as it brings a luxury feel to your comfortable wardrobe.

Strike the smart casual balance

As a general rule, a shirt and relaxed trousers strikes the smart-yet-comfortable balance better than smart trousers with a more casual top. Your clients and co-workers will see your smart top half in video calls, while more casual bottoms, like elasticated chinos, will keep you comfortable whilst sitting in one place all day. 

A camp collar shirt is another great choice for laid-back home-working wear. The revere collar and button-up front give it a classically smart look that’s sure to impress, while the loose, unstructured fit feels far less stuffy than your usual Oxford shirt.

Words: Ella White
Photography: Andras Hari
Styling: Alexander McCalla