Going to work isn’t what it used to be. With the pandemic still in full swing, many of us are working from home — and it looks like it might stay this way for a while.
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep an eye on your wardrobe. One of the biggest menswear trends of the season is comfortable, stylish clothing that keeps you looking and feeling your best, even when you aren’t going out.
When having video calls with your work colleagues, they will naturally expect a more laid-back outfit than they would in an office environment. However, it’s important to strike the right balance between casual and done-up. Just because you could roll straight out of bed to your laptop, doesn’t mean you should. You don’t want to look sloppy in front of your coworkers, and certainly not in front of your boss or clients.
Dressing for WFH isn’t just about virtual meetings, either. Even if you aren’t expecting anyone to see you, the way that you dress can have a significant impact on your state of mind. Getting dressed for work sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to get down to business.
Just as you’ll be more productive working at a desk than under your bedsheets or in front of the TV, putting some effort into your outfit can help prevent sluggishness and procrastination, and jumpstart your day.
Perhaps more importantly… it will make getting back into your loungewear after a long work day feel all the more rewarding!
Here’s your menswear guide to essential work-from-home pieces — no matter what your style is.
Every work-from-home wardrobe starts with some good, versatile tops. After all, when you’re on virtual call, your torso and face is what people will see.
Collared shirts are the easy, no-fail solution to make sure you have shirts that are both comfortable and appropriate for work.
Polos are an ideal choice for video calls with your coworkers. Comfortable enough to hang around in all day, but smart enough for work, these are a great middle ground between casual and done-up.
You can’t go wrong with solid colors and clean stripes, which are easy to match with other pieces in your wardrobe, and are conservative enough to suit any work atmosphere.
Feeling a little more bold? Surprise your coworkers with a printed polo in an eye-catching print, or enhanced with alluring metal studs. This is a great way to look cool and snappy in a way that’s still work-appropriate.
No video calls scheduled? If you don’t need to be camera-ready, you can dress down with a t-shirt and brighten up your day with your favorite color. These crew-neck t-shirts are easy, comfortable, great for daytime wear — and you can throw a classy sweater over them if you need to jump on a call.
Make an impression
Got a meeting with the big boss coming up? Or a job interview?
If you expect to be face-to-face (virtually, that is) with someone you’re trying to impress, let your professional attitude come across in a proper button-up shirt.
Keep your audience in mind when making your selection. Is your boss conservative? Openminded and youthful? This can help you make the choice between a simple and sophisticated button-up, and a more adventurous look that suits your personality.
Barabas has a wide selection of versatile shirts which are sharp and classy, with just enough color and attitude to make an impression:
If you’re a little more adventurous, we’ve got your back with bold printed shirts:
Just because your boss will only be looking at you above-the-waist on Zoom, that doesn’t mean you should forget about pants. Get yourself a comfy pair that you can work and curl up in. Don’t underestimate the power of a stretch fabric pant: if you’re sitting around all day, stretch material and a good, stylish fit is essential to WFH productivity.
Avoid anything baggy and loose, and opt instead for a slim fit or straight-leg pant. The goal, when it comes to work from home, is to find something stylish and clean that doesn’t compromise comfort.
Stretch-denim jeans are a great option. Go for a darker shade of blue (or black), for a little added sophistication.
If you think your co-Zoomers might catch a glimpse of your pants, surprise them with a little bit of glimmer, which is sure to catch their attention.
In the mood to dress up even more? A great pair of slacks is your best friend. These Barabas pants have stretch elastic waistbands for added comfort, so you can look good, and feel even better. Sophistication at its self-isolation finest!
Keep it cozy
With winter sneaking up on us, a cozy WFH sweater is essential. If you’re looking for versatility, consider going for a sweater with a neutral base (like white, black, grey or navy) which can work with any color shirt. You can spice it up in the details — like checks, or maybe a sleeve pattern — and little bit of color can go a long way. An eye-catching print can be the difference between a boring sweater, and a cool look.
Have a couple statement-making sweaters on reserve for when you want to make an impression but need that extra layer of warmth over your shirt. A sweater with a bold color, a strong graphic, or an interesting silhouette is an essential piece to have. Throw it over a t-shit and you’re in business.
Don’t be afraid to go bold. Your webcam will inevitably tone down anything that you wear, so something really extra may be just the right amount to make a big statement on the little screen.
Consider what part of your body your camera will capture: that’s the real estate you have available for making an impression. A sweater with an eye-catching pattern on the chest is ideal for virtual meetings.
If you want to make more of a statement, use up all the real estate you have available. Barabas’ Satchel and Nestled sweaters have a professional look with high collars, which means more style on display above your waist.
Bonus tip: Use your environment
If there’s a particular place at home where you usually do your business calls, take the colors and atmosphere of the space into account.
Is there a brightly colored wall behind you? Consider wearing a color that will stand out, rather than blend in to your background.
Is the lighting dim? Wearing whites and bright colors will give more pop and brightness to your video.