Elevating loungewear into professional outfits is honestly a breeze. With simple layering, key basics, and a palette of neutral colors, your work-from-home wardrobe will look great on-screen while still feeling comfortable.
The king of the loungewear crowd is, of course, the humble T-shirt. Perfectly able to stand alone in casual settings, T-shirts can be instantly upgraded to meet workplace dress code standards. Remember when mom said to dress in layers? Well, it turns out she was right. A layered look is key when it comes to turning your tees into professional attire.
Before a virtual meeting, reach for a men’s button-down shirt to wear over your T-shirt. Button all the way to the top and add a tie if you’re feeling super-fancy; otherwise, leave the top couple of buttons undone with a hint of T-shirt peeking through. Slightly rolled sleeves will keep your fit solidly in the business-casual category. In the case of neutral or solid-colored tees, you can leave the button-down open for a casual, retro look.
A men’s cardigan sweater is another great stand-by option to spruce up a basic T-shirt. We recommend stocking your closet with a few sweaters in neutral colors—think black, gray, navy, and tan—that can be easily mixed and matched with your current collection of tees. Buttoning up the cardigan will deliver a more traditional look, whereas leaving the sweater open will appear more casual. For those days you might have to visit the office in person, or run a few errands, pair a T-shirt and cardigan combo with slim-cut, dark wash jeans, or dress pants for a simple, yet modern, fit.
If you haven’t worn corduroy in a while, now’s the time to welcome the heavyweight fabric back into your life. Corduroy shirts offer excellent coverage in colder temps, and present a professional look without being boring. Like button-down shirts, the sleeves can be rolled up to keep things casual.
Are denim jackets work-appropriate? Well, like anything on this list, the answer depends on your office dress code. For business casual environments though, we say, “Yes!” Pair a well-fitted denim jacket over a graphic tee or a long-sleeved tee for a structured look that’s still fun. In addition to ensuring your jacket fits you well, be sure it’s clean and unadorned—patches and pins can be distracting on screen.
And finally, the biggest flex of the T-shirt cover-up game: blazers. Yes, we are here to tell you that it’s okay to throw your favorite men’s blazer over a plain T-shirt. Stick to basic colors (no graphic prints here) and slim cuts for a streamlined silhouette.
There’s nothing cozier than your oldest, roomiest flannel shirt. But when it comes to working in loungewear, oversized clothes can appear sloppy and too close to actual pajamas. Stick to men’s flannel shirts that fit closer to the body for workday meetings. You can look for “tailored” or “slim cut” tags when shopping to ensure shirts will fit properly. Wear over T-shirts or long-sleeved thermal shirts in colder seasons, or roll up the sleeves on warmer days.
When it comes to sweatshirts, we like to follow similar patterns: Shoot for neutral and solid colors, and ensure sweatshirts fit well. That crew neck that looks more like a V-neck at this point? Sorry, but that one needs to stay in the after-work/gym pile. Dress up basic sweatshirts and fleece with a nice wool scarf; scarves draw attention up to your face, and add visual interest with almost no effort.
A look we always love is a full-zip hoodie paired with a button-down shirt. A little bit sporty, a little bit cozy, and still well within a business casual dress code. Leave the hoodie open or zipped up half-way, roll up your sleeves, or don’t—it’s a super versatile combo. Also, this is the time for patterns and colors to shine; match solid hoodies with fun printed shirts. Substitute dress shirts for fitted flannel shirts for extra warmth. Wear with joggers at home, or with khakis, jeans, or dress pants if you need to go out. You can channel the same vibe with half- or quarter-zip pullover sweatshirts, but you’ll definitely be a bit more locked in.
Working from home means no one really sees your pants (not that we’re saying you shouldn’t wear them at all!). But, on the off chance you need to visit the main office or the delivery guy drops by, there are plenty of loungewear bottoms that can pass as professional attire. Elastic waist pants, flannel-lined jeans, and slim-fit joggers all offer a cozy feel while looking business casual.
Transitioning to a remote work wardrobe is easier than it sounds. Stick to basic colors, make sure each piece fits well, and incorporate new closet staples slowly to gauge how each piece works with your current look. Good luck!