I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever go back to wearing real "work" clothes. In the meantime, let’s enjoy the opportunity to stay comfy all day – and still impress our work colleagues.
You can hide a multitude of sins under a layer of other, fancier, clothing. Got a button-up pyjama top with a collar? Pop a jersey over it, untuck your collar and voila, a work-appropriate lewk.
It’s hard to hide the fact that a hoodie is, well, a hoodie. But you can cover it with a scarf and boom, you’re just dressing warmly in your home office that is definitely not your couch. Flannel shirts, cardigans, and light jackets also work to cover whatever your base layer is.
Jewellery & accessories
If you have statement earrings or a leopard-print Alice band, use those to trick people. Who would wear earrings with their pyjamas? Nobody. Except us, now. The logic here is that if you’ve gone to the effort of accessorising, that top you’re wearing must be a real grown-up T-shirt and definitely not your ‘daytime’ pyjama top.
Pro tip: keep these items in your desk drawer next to your stationery and other work supplies, so you can reach them at a moment’s notice.
Hair & makeup
A quick slicked back high ponytail or bun will hide unwashed hair and look profesh… and it can be done while the kettle is boiling to make your cup of tea or coffee for your meeting. Adapt this idea to whatever style suits your hair type and length. I often style mine into two braids. It’s really quick to do but it looks like I’ve made some effort and I can keep the braids in for a few days at a time.
My makeup bag is gathering dust, but I often use a tinted sunscreen (yes, you can get skin damage indoors! Wear your SPF please!) to even out my texture and hide my mask-pimples from the Zoom camera. The beauty filter on Zoom doesn’t hurt either. If you’re into it, you can also put on a quick swipe of lipstick.
While hair and makeup won’t cover up your clothes, they can make your overall appearance and outfit look more like a choice and less like laundry day.
If you have daytime pyjamas and nighttime pyjamas, no judgies. But if you’re going to be WFH indefinitely, it’s not a bad idea to invest in some nice-looking loungewear, aka actual clothes, that just feel like sleepwear. Take a look at the beautiful range on NALA, a local, WOC-owned loungewear brand.
While there aren’t many other sustainable dedicated loungewear brands in SA yet, you can look for activewear that’s soft and comfy enough for non-active use. Loose-fit linen clothing is non-restrictive and cute enough to go from bed to desk to beach and back to bed again. A nice tip for women – especially larger gals like me – is to shop in the men’s section for looser fits, sweatpants with pockets and often, lower prices (thanks, the patriarchy).
Of course, first prize is to buy second-hand, like on one of these Instagram vintage stores. Otherwise try to support a local, sustainable brand like Akina, Elio, Graydawn, Nala and Boody. And while buying from small ethical companies can be more expensive upfront, the quality of each garment tends to be higher and will survive repeated heavy wear better than its fast fashion equivalent.