Why I Get Dressed To Work From Home

There’s a quote that’s been floating around Instagram and Twitter recently: 

 

“You are not working from home; you are at your home during a crisis trying to work.”  

 

My first co-op and the global COVID-19 pandemic are currently happening at the same time.

Coming from someone who is working full-time for the first time, ever? It’s been interesting to say the least. It’s also been incredible to see how companies that had previously denied that their employees could feasibly complete their tasks from home have pivoted to make sure that the wheels still turned despite nobody being able to meet in person, but that’s besides the point.

To paint a picture of the fashion industry right now: loungewear sales are rising nonstop, outpacing most other apparel categories. Retail is taking a significant hit as brick-and-mortar stores are forced to close due to the stay-at-home order from their respective states. Brands have pivoted email headline marketing from saying things like “Hot Days, Hotter Deals on Swim!” to “Staycation Essentials” and “Everyday Lounge,” and I think I can speak for a good chunk of the population when I say that a collective sigh has been let out as we ditch underwire bras and stiff denim for stretchy leggings and college sweatshirts. 

 

So you might be asking, then, “Hannah, why did you get dressed today?” 

Great question. 

The short answer is that I needed to toss my fleece Christmas pajama pants in the laundry. (Glamorous, I know.)

 

The longer answer is that clothing makes a statement about what I can achieve for the day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as much of an advocate for comfort as the next girl, but I’d be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t harness the superpower of changing out of my pajamas for a clearer, more focused mental state. Getting dressed helps create some normalcy and routine, and I’m pretty sure my shoes think I’m dead so it doesn’t hurt to take them for a spin through the hallways every once in a while.

I’m currently working as a remote intern and running an online shop. Every day is different but on this particular day working from home had come to a squealing halt. My productivity had dropped close to zero as I sat in front of my laptop, trying to research international department stores that sold evening gowns within the $500-$2500 range. I’m a big fan of all sorts of productivity techniques - to-do lists, waking up early, Pomodoro, you name it - but surprisingly what worked for me was a simple task that most of us used to complete every single day.

I closed my laptop, opened up my closet, pulled out a bunch of hangers and 10 minutes later I was finally dressed in a way that signaled to myself that it was time to enter the mental space to work. My work uniform for the day consisted of a soft blue vintage men’s button down tied at a cropped length with black breezy pants and pearl earrings. I snapped a few pics (for the gram, obviously) and thanks to the outfit switch that took me from work-from-home sloppy to vintage-inspired creative, I was ready to reopen my laptop and get to work. And that, ladies and gents, is the power of clothing.