How to Make Activewear Look Professional When Working From Home

How to Make Activewear Look Professional When Working From Home

The first step to elevating activewear to workwear is to think of your athletic-inspired pieces as a base. T-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, polo shirts — on their own, these closet staples may not pass a business casual dress code test. But combined with outer layers and colorful accessories, activewear can be an integral part of your remote wardrobe. Learn how to maximize your current closet for professional, work-from-home style.

Just Add a Scarf

Scarves are must-have accessories for virtual meetings — upgrade active tops with one simple addition. There are no hard and fast rules about mixing and matching casual shirts and scarves, but we love the simplicity and versatility of neutrals and solid colors. A small collection of women’s cotton sweatshirts in grays, creams, and beiges will get you through the winter season; pair with bright, solid-colored scarves for a pop of freshness.

With bulkier sweatshirts and sweaters, it’s fine to choose a heavier winter scarf. During transitional seasons like spring and fall, try lighter scarves paired with fitted long-sleeve or short-sleeve tees. Zip up sweatshirts or half-zip pullovers can also benefit from a strategically placed scarf (just be sure to zip to the top!).

Reach For a Cardigan

Like scarves, cardigan sweaters deliver a quick layer of style. Whether you prefer a traditional button-up or an open, flowy variety, cardigans can be easily slipped on before the camera rolls. Combine with graphic T-shirts for a quirky yet professional look, or with plain T-shirts, tank tops, or bodysuits for a streamlined fit.

Chambray All The Way

One of our favorite work-from-home looks is the chambray shirt. Perfect for business casual atmospheres, chambray delivers classic coverage with slight vintage vibes. Wear over active tops like T-shirts and tanks, or with athletic dresses and skirts, for a nice contrast of fabrics and styles. Rolling up your sleeves delivers a more casual, lived-in look — perfect for creative meetings or brainstorming sessions.

Speaking of Dresses

Who says your favorite tennis outfit can’t also be your favorite work outfit? Incorporating athletic dresses, skirts, and skorts into your daily look is a smart way to get more mileage out of your entire closet. No longer relegated to the “after work” shelf, these pieces will bring style and practicality to your professional attire. Throw a denim jacket or structured blazer over an athletic dress to up the business casual vibe before your virtual one-on-one; when it’s time for your lunchtime neighborhood walk, ditch the jacket and head outside.

T-shirt dresses are another great addition to your remote work wardrobe. Just like the name implies, these dresses are essentially long T-shirts, providing cool, casual comfort as the weather warms up. Add a scarf, cardigan, or blazer to complete your virtual look.

Layer Those Leggings

Leggings have long since transitioned from activewear to business casual staple. The key to rocking a pair of leggings in the workplace, like most other athletic-inspired clothing, is in the layering. Cozy, loosely cut sweaters and women’s tunic tops balance the skinny fit of leggings, delivering a classic contrast and all-day comfort. For virtual work that requires true business attire, feel free to dress the part on top while staying comfortable on the bottom. No one has to know that below your collared shirt and blazer are your comfiest five-year-old leggings!

Stick to Shorts

One of the best parts of remote work is, of course, the fact that nobody sees one whole half of your daily outfit. Meaning, when your air conditioning is on the fritz, you can absolutely wear your comfy women’s shorts all day long. For those moments you may have to travel to the physical office, wear longer biker shorts, Bermuda-length shorts, or Capri pants for extra coverage.

Accessories and Hair

Often, putting some effort into hair and makeup, or the addition of subtle accessories, is enough to present a polished appearance on camera — no matter what you may be wearing. Can’t bear to lose the warm hoodie on a cold winter morning? Don’t worry about it! Keep the fleece, but give your hair some curl and throw on some bright lip-gloss to balance your super casual outfit. A sleek black pullover is instantly elevated with silver hoop earrings and a casual updo. If you’re typically a contact user, switch to glasses for your weekly team chat — a bold pair of trendy frames can go a long way in upgrading your professional look.

Use Your Current Clothing to Your Advantage

We all tend to categorize our clothes into distinct sections; loungewear, gym clothes, work clothes, special occasion items, the “good” jeans vs. the ones we should’ve purged a while back … learning to look at your whole closet as potential business attire opens up a much more versatile world of possibilities — and, believe it or not, allows you to streamline your wardrobe and remove the things you don’t actually love. Make the most of remote work by incorporating activewear staples into your professional look.

Related Articles