Many entrepreneurs have been working from home — also known as WFH — for more than six months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Working remote also means embracing a different kind of workplace dress code.
Pencil skirts and ties have been temporarily retired. In their place, as 17 entrepreneurs revealed to me in this post, are clothes that allow for comfort and confidence in every industry.
1. Embrace Your Inner Steve Jobs
“I settled very quickly on that classic, inoffensive smart casual look so beloved by tech startups. Jeans, shirt, and polo neck sweater. I normally deal with remote team members, but there are times I have to speak to external vendors, too. I need to look like I’m making at least some kind of effort!
It feels like the right balance to me in terms of professionalism, while also acknowledging the unusual situation we’re in. This WFH outfit also draws a line between my working and home lives, and represents a uniform that puts me in a producing, working frame of mind.” — John Bedford, Founder, Viva Flavor
2. Comfortable Yet Presentable
“My WFH style is comfortable yet presentable yet can go running at any moment. I choose a comfortable outfit that can quickly be dressed up for Zoom video calls to look presentable, but can also work for being active.
This is because when working from home, my breaks are now doing things like doing a quick yard chore to get outside, taking my dogs for a walk, or even going for a run upon completing a long, mentally-draining task to refresh my mind.
Usually, I rotate between a handful of athleisure staple tops that look like a polished outfit when paired with a simple makeup look and earrings. I wear this with workout shorts or leggings. In between calls, I trade the earrings for Nikes and go outdoors.
I love this style of outfit because it checks the boxes of being comfortable, practical, and presentable. It also takes no time to decide what to wear, giving me time back that I used to spend on deciding on a business casual outfit each day. I’m embracing the flexible aspect of WFH life of being able to do my outdoor hobbies throughout the day, and this outfit style supports that!” — Andrea Barnhill, Co-Founder and Director of Ops, Socratik
“I wear different printed tees every day and denim pants as I need to conduct Zoom meetings with my team every morning. But in each of those meetings, I make sure that I am wearing a black cardigan.
Besides the comfort it offers, a cardigan (somehow) mimics the figure and cuts of formal jackets. For me, it gives my everyday attire a semi-formal look which makes me presentable in front of the camera. Cardigans are good alternatives for jackets!” — Allan Borch, Founder, DotcomDollar
4. Fitting Clothes
“I’ve been working from home since March this year. Initially I wore pajama shirts straight to work, working on the laptop on my bed. I like feeling rebellious against my norm. It’s thrilling to feel absolute freedom for myself. I love being comfortable sitting wherever and however I like, with my legs up! However after a month doing so, the novelty was gone. I started feeling disorganized and I did not like how I looked. Without makeup, and my hair always in a bun, I looked 20 years older in the mirror.
That was it! I started to put on light makeup and wear my hair in an instagrammable way. I dug into my wardrobe to look for fitting clothes. It felt so good just having them on. I felt the rush of adrenalin: I was back on track. This time, I felt more energized and more focused. Now, my WFH look is always a sleeveless top and paired with a pair of hot pants. My office wear still sits in my wardrobe collecting dust, but I never did miss them one bit.” — Jules Tan, Founder, Outdoor Magnet
“I have a huge collection of Polo shirts at home that have become my daily attire. From indigo to navy blue to white, I have all the colors of this shirt you can name.
I love wearing Polos because they are much more comfortable than any other types of shirts. Also, I feel presentable in a casual manner even when there is a need for me to attend an urgent Zoom meeting. Polo shirts just make me feel clean, neat, and comfy all day. I wouldn’t choose any other way to dress than this.” — Daniel Carter, Founder, Zippy Electrics
6. Day Dress
“A simple day dress is my to-go WFH outfit. It is easy to wear, and often very comfortable for long hours spent sitting on a desk. The main reasoning behind this type of outfit is to wear something that isn’t tight and makes you feel uncomfortable, that you cannot wait to take off after work.
I have several loose-fitting dresses that I like to switch between. This also reduces my unessential decision making to a minimum. It lets me quickly focus on the more important aspects of my workday.” — Irina Georgieva, Co-Founder and CEO, Enterprise League
7. Keep It Plain
“I wear shirts, jackets, long-sleeved shirts, and cardigans as long as it is plain when I WFH. I’m not a fan of printed shirts, especially now that I am always attending my meetings online.
I think that plain shirts make you look more presentable on cameras. They help to accentuate your face during calls and establish simplicity in your aura. Plain shirts make you look simple yet noticeable on cams.” — Aaron Simmons, Founder and Editor, Test Prep Genie
8. Two Basic Outfits
“I have two basic versions of my WFH outfit: a nicer one and more relaxed (athleisure) one. I generally like to change clothes every day, as it’s a part of my self-care routine. My work uniform usually consists of changing tops every day and wearing the three pairs of pants I wear for work in succession. The one thing I noticed I stopped using is (almost all) accessories. I’ve totally foregone earrings and bracelets, as they are simply not comfortable enough for home. I do like athleisure, and I wear dry-fit leggings with tunics or other longer tops for work.
Here are my two basic outfit versions, which I choose depending on whether I have meetings or not. The relaxed outfit: leggings, stretch jeans, or mom jeans. A tunic, buttoned blouse, or comfortable blouse, and an occasional headscarf. The ‘formal’ outfit includes stretch pants (no skirts), a blouse and a jacket, and a long necklace.
Generally speaking, WFH clothes are not so much about choosing particular fashion items. It’s the gesture of dressing for work. Anything other than t-shirts and pajamas works well because it signals that the time for work has come. You can quickly switch to a working mode. A sense of slipping into a set of clothes that has a purpose of working in them does the trick to your brain. It sets you up for doing business.
The clothes can be a bit comfier or more athleisure than what you’d wear to the office, as long as it looks neat, clean, and thought-through.” — Tina Nikolovska, Founder, TeamStage.io
9. Black Sweatshirt and Black Jeans
“My signature work from home outfit is a black sweatshirt with black jeans. This puts me in focus mode right away, like a player putting on their uniform for the big game. And this way, I can do slight variations like wear a sweater or long sleeve shirt and mix and match the jeans.
In this outfit, I’m always prepared for video calls, plus I feel like myself.” — Brian Robben, CEO and Founder, Robben Media
“A monochromatic outfit whether it’s black, grey, or white offers a cozy, professional aesthetic that’s ideal for WFH situations.
I often rock a warm black-colored sweatshirt with a set of black sweatpants. The idea is to look presentable while still remaining comfortable at home, which this type of outfit guarantees.” — Sara Bernier, Founder, Born for Pets
11. Leggings and Slippers
“I’ve worked from home for the majority of my career. My go-to WFH outfit typically includes comfortable leggings with pockets to hold my phone so I can walk and talk during meetings. I’ll also wear a large sweatshirt or sweater, and my Isotoner slippers (necessary to wear at my standing desk).
I like this outfit because it’s comfortable enough to wear around the house while being acceptable to wear outdoors in case of an errand or if I want to take a walking meeting. If I have an important video work call, I’ll typically throw on a nice shirt or dressy sweater—and leave the leggings on.” — Allie Decker, Freelance Content Marketer
12. Knitted Sweater Polo
“Male business owners may struggle with knowing what to wear during the workday. It’s essential to be comfortable and look professional if a business owner has to hop on a video call.
The best choice is to wear a comfortable knitted sweater polo in a solid color. Alternatively, a fleece hoodie can also be sleek and comfortable. For the bottoms, sweatpants might not be appropriate if someone has meetings during the day. Comfortable linen trousers are also a great option if you have to stand up during a video conference.” — Grant Aldrich, Founder and CEO, OnlineDegree.com
13. Road Warrior Travel Ensemble
“In my former job as COO of a global franchisor, I was on the road 60-75 percent of the time. So, I needed a road warrior outfit that I didn’t have to think about as I raced to airports. It had to be comfy, anti-wrinkle, have pockets and mix and match with both business and casual wear. It’s an ADAY shirt (I have in four colors), a Patagonia fleece vest (also have it in two colors), and dress leggings and/or yoga work pants, plus shoes from Allbirds or Rothy’s.
The collared, but comfy shirt could work under a suit in a pinch. It is handwashable and dries in a few hours — no wrinkles! The pants (or dress leggings) could also work with a suit jacket. They were comfy on planes, and the long shirt covered enough to be age/business casual appropriate! Now that it’s work from home, it’s easy to pull on one of my travel outfits.” — Diane Danielson, Chief Strategic Advisor & Founder, Future Proof Research Collaborative
14. Button-Up Collared Shirt
“I try to dress in something that is comfortable but professional, almost exactly what I wear day to day in the office.
My WFH uniform is a button up collared shirt and either a sweater or a jacket with jeans or slacks. I need to feel like I am dressing up for work so I can differentiate work time from home time when I spend so much time at home. It is a mental shift that happens and dressing well helps me feel more focused!” — Ian Kelly, VP, Operations, NuLeaf Naturals
15. Dressing For Every Day
“I feel it is important to get dressed every day. It makes my day go better.
If I’m training clients, I wear workout clothes. If I’m not training clients, I wear comfortable dresses (nothing tight around the waist). I like to wear dresses that have embellishments around the neck or with bright colors. I also wear big earrings!” — Tammy Foxx, Owner, Bridal Fitness Coach and Eden Fitness Studio
16. Sleeveless Undershirt Paired with Trousers
“My go-to WFH outfit is a sleeveless undershirt paired with trousers. A sleeveless undershirt is a comfortable outfit to wear for most WFH professional’s working hours.
If I have a video call scheduled, I don’t need to change clothes. I put on a long-sleeved button-up shirt on top of my undershirt in less than three minutes. The outfit is a practical choice since I no longer need to waste time undressing my attire to appear professional.” — Yaniv Masjedi, CMO, Nextiva
17. Wear What Makes You Feel Confident!
“Ha! I didn’t realize it, but I do have a go-to look! I have been working from home full-time since before the pandemic in 2019. In the beginning it was staying in my PJs most days unless I had to go out! Then I realized that I couldn’t hang out in pajamas all day, so I switched it up to jeans and some nice tops just in case I had to be on video.
Every now and then I would put on some dressier attire just to feel better or more normal like I was going into an actual office. I had worked in corporate for so many years that was what I was used to. Today, as the owner of two companies, things change day to day depending on what I have going on. One day, it may be jeans and long sleeve tops. Other days, it’s athleticwear so that I can work alongside my clients.
My opinion, being comfortable allows you to be productive. Wear what makes you feel confident, powerful, and working in your purpose.” — Tahnya Brown, CEO and Founder, We Will Inc., Phoenix & Maven Consulting
Ready to start a WFH business where you can dress for comfort? Let MyCorporation assist with your incorporation filing paperwork! Visit us at MyCorporation.com or call at 1-877-692-6772.