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Does Work-at-Home Workwear Really Matter?

by Byrne Anderson
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If you have been working at home since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, what constitutes your work-at-home workwear? Be honest. Have you found it easy to stay in your pajamas, only dressing from the waist up when it is time for a video call? Have you spent your days in track pants and tank tops?

The last six months have given many of us the opportunity to rethink workwear. Undoubtedly, some have asked whether or not it matters how one dresses while working at home. If you are not going anywhere or seeing anyone, one outfit is probably as good as the next. At least that’s what we are tempted to believe. But is it true?

Dressing for Success

The phrase “dress for success” is well known in the business world. Our parents and grandparents drilled it into our heads when we were young people looking for our first jobs. The thinking was that we would rise to the level of our clothing in how we presented ourselves as job candidates. Back in the day, you wouldn’t even think about going to an interview in casual clothing.

The PopSugar website recently ran a piece tackling this very subject. The piece cites numerous studies that have looked at the psychology of dress over the years. Much of the research concurs that what we wear has an impact on how we think. Clothing certainly affects how we feel about ourselves.

The writer of the piece even mentioned throwing on a dress and completely changing direction on an otherwise bad day. One of the psychologists she interviewed for the piece explained the value of making yourself feel better by treating yourself well.

Dressing in Company Uniforms

Salt Lake City-based Alsco says that the psychology of dressing for success even impacts company uniforms. Workwear uniforms that simultaneously protect workers and reflect company branding encourage workers to identify personally with the companies they work for.

Likewise, many companies require branded uniforms because of the professional image they present. Employees dressed in branded uniforms present themselves more professionally. They tend to be more conscientious about the image they project because their uniforms remind them that they are representing their employers.

Still, working from home with only limited contact is a different ballgame. Add to it the fact that the modern definition of workwear encompasses just about anything you might wear to work and there are legitimate questions of how one should dress while working from home.

A Work-at-Home Uniform

The general consensus among the psychologists interviewed for the PopSugar piece is that a work-at-home uniform can be a positive thing. They stressed the need to establish a regular routine to overcome the negative effects of less socialization, and dressing up for work can be a part of that routine.

Even though you can go an entire workday in your pajamas without anyone knowing, doing so may not be such a good idea. Not getting dressed for work could be hindering your ability to achieve maximum productivity. It might also contribute to anxiety, depression, and more.

The interviewed psychologists recommend getting dressed for work as part of a daily routine. They also suggest experimenting with different colors. Dressing in certain colors can boost one’s mood and productivity. During those times when team meetings or client contacts are made via video calls, the right colors can boost everyone else’s mood as well.

Finally, the PopSugar piece recommends wearing clothing that makes you comfortable. In addition to dressing for success, it helps to avoid being distracted by uncomfortable clothing that makes you feel odd in your own skin.

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