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Currently, we're living through a moment when many of us are working from home, including Team Byrdie. Although working from home does have its upsides (sweatpants, anyone?), it can be tough to retain a sense of normalcy (and keep loneliness at bay) during such an uncertain time—which is why we've enlisted our editors to share the clothes that have helped them feel comfortable, calm, and confident in their new daily routines.
Aside from the below picks, if you're in a financial position to re-up your wardrobe, we also encourage you to support smaller, local businesses during this time. Additionally, if you're looking to donate to the relief effort but don't know where to start, check out Charity Navigator, a nonprofit that evaluates charitable organizations in the U.S.—it has a helpful list of nonprofits working to provide relief to affected areas. If you're simply looking to donate money, we suggest GlobalGiving's Fund, which supports immediate and long-term relief.
Below, the outfit staples beloved by our editors while working from home.
CUUP The Balconette Bra
One of Elspeth's go-tos is this balconette bra from CUUP, a direct-to-consumer intimates startup. “I bought this bra to go under a couple of new spring-y tops I just bought from Staud," she says, "But now I'm just walking around my apartment in this bra— period." The best features? "It's well-constructed, with wide straps and durable details, but it still looks sexy while it's actually performing a literal heavy lift.”
If you're interested in shopping with Cuup but are worried about finding your fit without an IRL consultation, you can book an online video fitting with one of the brand's Fit Therapists instead.
Outdoor Voices TechSweat Flex Shorts
Because virtually all of Elspeth's CrossFit classes are held over Zoom, now, she's been living in these shorts and matching crop top from Outdoor Voices. Both are made with the company's proprietary TechSweat material—a blend of nylon, lycra, and polyester that's lightweight, breathable, and designed for high-intensity sweat sessions. "This duo comes with all of the expected Outdoor Voices perks," says Elspeth. "Comfort, convenient details, and a cool factor."
Lululemon Wunder Under High-Rise Tight 28"
Speaking of leggings—this Luluemon pair is Jess' top choice for at-home workouts: "I love the high waist and skin-hugging fabric," she says. "It helps the leggings stay where you want them to without sliding down. Plus, since they’re super breathable and sweat-wicking, I can easily transition from my desk to a workout session in my makeshift exercise studio (aka my living room) without needing to change."
L.L. Bean Adults' Merino Wool Ragg Sock
For Byrdie VP/General Manager Leah Wyar, a pair of cozy socks is always the move when working from home: "They're like 2021's answer to scrunch socks from the 80s—only softer," she says. "No one can see them on Zoom, but they keep me warm and are like a security blanket during this unsettling time."
Alala Ascend Tight
For Byrdie senior editor Lindsey Metrus, these Alala tights help remind her to take time for self-care during a day at home: "Since my gym is now my living room, I find myself dressing in workout gear early on in the day so that I have no excuse not to get moving after I wrap up my work," she says. "Alala's Ascend tights are perfect for going from work to (home) gym because they're a super-soft polyester blend that's comfortable enough to work in, yet practical (and flattering) for working out. Putting them on in the morning is a reminder to take a moment for myself each day to move and decompress."
Pilgrim Surf Supply Leah Waffle Tee
Byrdie senior social media editor Kelly Gallagher thinks that this waffle-weave long-sleeve tee is perfect for a day working from her couch. "It's made in Japan from 100 percent Supima cotton and is basically the ideal trifecta: cozy, breathable, and super comfy. Plus, paired with the layered gold necklaces that I always wear, it looks chic and cool on Zoom but feels like pajamas."
Parade High Rise Thong
Kelly bought her first pair of Parade underwear recently—and her review couldn't be more glowing. "I can honestly say this is the most comfortable pair of underwear I have ever worn," she says. "It feels like I'm not wearing any underwear which is how all underwear should feel! Also, I love the fun colors!"
Kelly also recommends this scrunchie pack from Slip: "I'm a big fan of Slip's scrunchies for when I sleep," she says," and since I'm not really doing much with my hair these days besides putting it up in a ponytail or a top knot, I'm wearing these bad boys all day. They help keep my very fine, very color-damaged hair from breaking off."
Dior Diorstellaireo3 Eyeglasses
If you wear contact lenses but don't feel like putting them in every day while you're working from home, Kelly swears by this pair of Dior glasses. "I like these ones because they're a unique take on classic gold aviators," she says. "Plus, they're giant, which I love for my face."
Reformation Classic Sweatpant
Byrdie senior editor Hallie Gould had been searching far and wide for the perfect sweatpants, but when she found this pair from Reformation, she knew she'd hit the jackpot. "They're slim-fitting but comfortable, high-waisted, tapered at the ankle—I'm short and I need this for fit purposes—and have no pockets (I don't like the inevitable bulge that comes along with pockets). The heather grey [color] feels classic and clean, and the thick fleece provides comfort and warmth. Plus, Reformation does a good job of creating sustainable pieces (albeit at a higher price tag, but there are financing options)."
Urban Outfitters Perfect Ribbed Baby Tee
Hallie also opts for this tee from Urban Outfitters, which she says is comfortable but also authentic to her personal style. "Ribbed t-shirts are my go-to all the time," she explains, "and I didn't want to feel lost in a sea of ripped sweatshirts and couch pillows—I'm still on the clock, you know? Even just a few days in, I've realized it's really important for my brain to differentiate these WFH days from other time I spend in my apartment. It might seem inconsequential, but putting on this cotton tee (with 5 percent spandex for flexibility) helps."
Free People Hit The Slopes Fleece Jacket
This Free People jacket is another one of Hallie's daily essentials. "I've been wearing this fleece every single day since before our entire world turned upside-down," she says. "It's the perfect layering piece—it's lightweight but warm, has snaps down the front for temperature control, and feels comforting and fuzzy. It has elastic cuffs (so the sleeves don't get in my way) and it's the perfect length to pair with sweatpants, leggings, bike shorts, or jeans. Given the current circumstances, it's usually worn with sweatpants."
Richer Poorer Classic Bralette
"Richer Poorer makes the coziest and most comfortable intimates," says Faith. She lounges in the brand's bralettes, which also come with matching bottoms and are made with the softest, stretchiest cotton. "Having a cute—but more importantly, comfortable—bra on puts me in a different headspace and instantly makes me feel more put-together."
Spanx Faux Leather Leggings
"I'm the master of leggings-as-pants at the office, and nothing has changed now that I'm working from home," says Byrdie associate editor Holly Rhue. "These faux leather leggings are unbelievably comfortable but have a nice fit and sheen that looks like, you know... real pants. During these crazy times, I feel just a little bit more normal when I slip into these before starting my day—and I'll take every ounce of normal that I can get right now."
Birdies The Starling
Working from home doesn't exactly require shoes, but for Holly, these Birdies flats are too cool to pass up—even from the comfort of her apartment. "I've waxed poetic about these shoes for years because they look like a really chic pair of loafers but feel like slippers," she says. "My feet are always freezing, so I can't stand to be barefoot in my apartment, but something about my fuzzy slippers doesn't exactly help me get into work mode. It's honestly such a treat to step into these every morning and feel like a real live human being."
American Apparel Cotton Spandex Jersey Crossback Bra
Elspeth isn't the only one relying on an American Apparel staple during her time at home: "Before the American Apparel in my neighborhood closed down, I stocked up on my favorite comfy bra from them," Kelly says. "There's no underwire and no padding so it's really comfortable, and the elasticity of the whole thing provides just enough support. Turns out, they're still selling them on Amazon, so I'm doing a quick restock."
American Apparel Nylon Tricot High Waist Legging
Another of Elspeth's current favorites is a bit of a throwback. "These leggings are a 2009(ish) American Apparel classic for a reason," she says. "They're extremely high-waisted (which means I can pair them with just a sports bra), their sheen adds an addictive softness, and they're just a little fancy. I pulled them out of a deep dark drawer at the beginning of the week when my Alo leggings were in the wash and haven't not worn them a single day since."
What to Look For in a WFH Outfit
It's so important to take the time to move your body each day, but that's especially true when you work from home. To avoid falling into the trap of staying on your couch all day, pick an outfit that allows for movement, whether it's a cute sports bra and a stretchy pair of leggings for a quick yoga session or a baggy fleece for a jog around the block during your lunch break. Many of the pieces on this list are cozy enough to keep you feeling good but also have performance aspect for when you want to get up and get moving.
Being comfortable means something slightly different to everyone, and a lot of it comes down to our fabric preferences. For some, the cooling feel of leather leggings may be synonymous with comfort, while others may love a pure cotton sweatshirt and joggers. Pick a fabric that feels good on your skin and that you'll want to wear all day. And think beyond your go-to pair of pajamas—more than one of our editors noted the importance of having clothes you wear while working at home versus just hanging out to put you in the right headspace.
Should I dress up while working from home?
While it's totally up to you, some people do find that dressing up like they would for the office puts them in the right mindset to get work done. Others only dress up for video meetings, and some people live in sweats 24/7. It really depends on how you work and your occupation and any dress codes or expectations. The great thing about the items on this list is that they feel comfy but also look chic if you run out for lunch or hop into a Zoom call.
How do I look polished while working from home?
Wearing a coordinated set, like a fitted tee and joggers, for one example, feels basically like wearing pajamas but also looks put together. As another idea, pairing leggings with an oversized sweater or tee can look business-casual over Zoom but still keeps you comfy.
How do you make leggings professional for work?
It all depends on the rest of your outfit. To dress leggings up, go for an oversized blouse rather than a tight t-shirt so the looks is less athleisure, more office-friendly. Spanx Faux Leather Leggings on our list look like dress pants and can definitely work for your home office look.