We Asked 400 Productive Women About Their Favorite WFH Outfits & This is What We Learned
Most of us have been working from home for more than a year now, and many companies are switching to completely remote work environments (or at least a hybrid WFH model). It might have been fun to wear pajamas to work in 2020, but that novelty has worn off for many women. More women are now looking for the perfect work-from-home outfit to look good, feel comfortable, and stay productive.
To learn more about the best work-from-home outfits, we surveyed 400 women ages 35 and older about what they wear to “work” (even if work is just a laptop set up in the spare bedroom).
All participants work from home full time and identify as being either “productive” or “highly productive” when working from home and were happy to share their style preferences.
One common thread we found was that even if we aren’t going anywhere, most participants (57%) say they are more productive when they take time to get ready for work, even while working from home. 57% of participants also said that they get dressed for work every single day.
What does WFH attire look like for you? Read on to learn more about our survey insights and some tips and tricks for creating your perfect work-from-home wardrobe.
The Anatomy of the Perfect WFH Outfit
Just like in the office, every woman has their unique style when working from home. According to our survey, the recipe for the ideal WFH outfit includes:
- A basic t-shirt or a “Zoom” top
- Comfortable bottoms, such as leggings or jeans
- Socks or slippers as footwear
- Fun accessories like headbands
- Light makeup
Let’s look at each one of these WFH fashion choices in more detail.
Causal Reigns Supreme
We asked participants what types of clothing make them feel most productive at home and the majority (25%) said casual clothing, like jeans and a t-shirt.
Activewear (19%) and athleisure (19%) were nearly tied for second place. The more extreme ends of the fashion spectrum scored at the bottom of the list, including dressier attire (11%) and pajamas (10%).
This research shows that while women like to dress up for work, we still appreciate comfort when working from home and might not pull a full outfit together like we would for the office. However, we also don’t like joining our first video call of the day still in pajamas!
- What types of clothing make you feel most productive when working from home?
- Casual clothing (e.g. jeans and a t-shirt): 25%
- Activewear: 19%
- Athleisure: 19%
- Dressy-casual clothing (e.g. jeans with a nice blouse): 16%
- Dressy clothing (e.g. slacks and a nice blouse): 11%
- Pajamas: 10%
Basic Tees Are Best
Choosing the perfect top or blouse is one of the most crucial aspects of a WFH outfit.
As we mentioned, most participants noted that they enjoy getting ready but like to keep it casual. Basic t-shirts were the most popular top (23%), followed by V-necks (13%), and sweatshirts (13%).
44% of respondents also said that they take a “business on top, comfy on the bottom” mindset when dressing for their WFH job, meaning that you can easily pair your t-shirt or knit top with something comfortable, like leggings or sweatpants.
- What type of tops do you most frequently wear when working from home?
- Basic t-shirts: 23%
- V-neck tops: 13%
- Sweatshirts: 13%
- Sweaters: 11%
- Button-down shirts: 9%
- Collared shirts: 8%
- Statement tops: 7%
- Tunics: 7%
- Turtlenecks: 5%
- Wrap tops: 5%
Leggings: A WFH Love Story
Speaking of leggings, most participants (20%) enjoy wearing leggings to their WFH jobs, with jeans in a close second (19%).
Athleisure has come a long way in recent years and there are so many choices for stylish, comfortable, versatile leggings. And when it comes to women’s denim, nothing beats a pair of classic blue jeans when dressing for a workday at home. Sweatpants came in third (18%), likely because they can be paired with a cute top for video calls but are still comfortable enough to wear around the house.
- What type of bottoms do you most frequently wear when working from home?
- Leggings: 20%
- Jeans: 19%
- Sweatpants: 18%
- Dress pants: 10%
- Cargo pants: 9%
- Wide-leg pants: 8%
- Jumpsuits: 6%
- Culottes: 4%
- Flared pants: 4%
- Stovepipe pants: 3%
2020 Brought the Rise of Shirt Dresses
We also asked respondents what types of dresses they most frequently wear when working from home and shirt dresses with the most popular (20%), followed by fit and flare dresses (14%).
In terms of WFH comfort and style, shirt dresses have it all. Not only do they look polished and professional, but they are comfortable and easy to throw on in the morning. Shirt dresses and other casual dresses are having a moment in our WFH world.
Looking to add a shirt dress or two to your wardrobe? We love this short sleeve shirt dress option.
- What type of dresses do you most frequently wear when working from home?
- Shirt dresses: 20%
- Fit and flare: 14%
- Maxi: 14%
- Sweater: 12%
- Shift: 11%
- Midi: 8%
- Mini: 8%
- Baby doll: 7%
- Trapeze: 5%
No Shoes? No Problem
Even though pajamas fell to the bottom of the rankings when choosing WFH attire that makes us feel productive, one casual style can stay.
The majority of participants (21%) said that they most frequently wear socks or slippers when working from home. Sandals came and sneakers came next (18%) followed by going barefoot (17%). Bonus points if you wear fuzzy socks or socks with your pet’s face on them (maybe that’s just us).
- What type of shoes do you most frequently wear when working from home?
- Socks or slippers: 21%
- Sandals: 18%
- Sneakers: 18%
- Barefoot: 17%
- Flats: 13%
- Boots: 7%
- Heels: 5%
Accessories Are Still Popular
Outside of the clothes participants wear to their work-from-home jobs, the women also agreed that accessories are still essential.
Hair accessories like headbands and clips are the most popular (17%). Participants also shared that they wear glasses (17%), rings (14%), earrings (13%), and necklaces (11%). So, as you’re planning your perfect WFH style, don’t forget the accessories!
- What type of accessories do you most frequently wear when working from home?
- Hair accessories: 17%
- Glasses: 17%
- Ring: 14%
- Earrings: 13%
- Necklace: 11%
- Bracelets: 10%
- Belts: 6%
- Hats: 4%
- Headscarf: 4%
- Bold lip: 3%
With WFH Makeup, Less is More
We are living in a time when our reflection is staring back at us during video calls throughout the day, so it’s no wonder that 64% of participants shared that they wear makeup when working from home.
What’s more, 20% of participants say that they wear a full face of makeup when working from home, meanwhile, 36% say that they prefer a bare face.
- Do you wear makeup when working from home?
- Yes, a full face of makeup: 20%
- Some makeup: 44%
- No makeup: 36%
We’re Feeling the WFH Blues
Do you have a “power” color? When asked what color makes women feel the most productive when working from home, the majority of participants were feeling blue (literally). 22% of respondents chose blue, followed by black (14%) and white (13%). Neutrals are key, and there are so many styles and shades of blue to mix up your wardrobe.
- What color makes you feel most productive when working from home?
- Blue: 22%
- Black: 14%
- White: 13%
- Pink: 9%
- Green: 9%
- Purple: 8%
- Navy: 7%
- Red: 7%
- Grey: 6%
- Orange: 4%
- Yellow: 3%
Experimenting With Fashion Trends Can Boost Productivity
Just because we want to be comfortable while working from home doesn’t mean we’ve given up on trying new trends! The majority of women (52%) agree that experimenting with fashion trends helps them feel more productive. This could include trying a new color or style or branching out with fun patterns for the season.
Shop Our Favorite Work From Home Looks
As the world has changed around us, we’ve traded our power suits for comfy athleisure and t-shirts with a healthy mix of trendier options. Using the data collected, we found that most productive women still get ready for work, even if they work from home, and keep it casual with a nice top and comfortable bottoms. Women still love to accessorize and experiment with different styles, but our preferences have shifted, and we’ve become more comfortable at home (and we aren’t wearing shoes!).
Dressbarn has everything you need to build your ideal work-from-home wardrobe. Whether you’re looking for a stylish top for a big client video meeting or want a cozy sweatsuit you can slip on at the end of the day, we have it all.