Though offices no longer have the 33 per cent cap on the number of employees working at a time or during a shift in Lockdown 4.0, workplaces have been encouraged to implement work from home (WFH) whenever possible. WFH requires work discipline, including your work wear and many people have been practising it from day one of lockdown. But on the other hand, summer heat can be tough to handle and wearing the wrong clothes can have an impact on your productivity. To help you balance both and get the most out of your wardrobe while you work from home, experts share some tips.
VARIETY IS THE KEY
Sharing her views on the importance of choosing the right clothes while working from home this summer, Akrati Rawat, fashion stylist, designer and faculty of Times and Trends Academy, says, “While working from home, you mustn’t completely forget the office environment. Which is why you need to put on comfortable yet professional work wear.”
Talking about summer-friendly outfits that women can wear at home while at work but not when doing a video conference with co-workers or the bosses, Rawat says that baggy men’s shirts are the best option. “You can steal that from your brother, husband or dad’s wardrobe. Pair it with your favourite jeans. If you are getting bored, try to button down the shirt backwards. Or style your shirt like a cardigan, layer it with a beautiful bralette or a square halter neck top. Mixing prints and colour blocking could be a fun way to play with your clothes.”
To bring in more variety, try stripes or polka. “Polkas can give a fancy touch to the basics. A soft pastel kurti paired with high rise acid washed jeans could be a good choice too. For a soothing calm feeling, wear a pastel paisley mini dress.”
Rawat suggests natural fabrics such as cottons and linens over synthetics to beat the summer heat. Accessorise with mix and match earrings.
Ayesha Munshi, fashion designer and educator, says that in summer, finding clothes that look good and feel comfortable can be a task. “But of course, fabrics like cotton, rayon, linen and other moisture-wicking fabric like dri-fit will allow air to flow through them easily and speed up sweat evaporation, and keep you cool. Fabrics like polyester and other synthetics are better forgotten and also avoid heavily embroidered garments and chunky neckpieces. Heavy makeup, thick eyeliners and dark coloured lipsticks are also a no-no. Wear minimal makeup if you are attending a work video conference,” she says.
Talking about colours, Munshi says, “WFH isn’t a fashion parade, so choose the right clothes and the right colours. And remember, what you wear has an impact on how your colleagues perceive you, say, in a zoom call. Black symbolises power and sophistication. It is also known to have a slimming effect which can boost your confidence and productivity. Yellow is seen as cheery and warm but beware that it is the colour most likely to cause eye strain and encourage feelings of anger or frustration. Red is a powerful colour associated with speed, aggression and excitement. Red is a colour that provokes strong emotions. This makes red a great colour to wear for negotiations and sales pitches. Brown is a colour that symbolises age and maturity and this can make someone wearing brown seem wise. Orange is one of the safest colours to wear. It is associated with warmth and enthusiasm and has very few negative associations.”
Shamika Pradhan, head of fashion department, INIFD Deccan, says, “My first priority is comfort; therefore, I opt nothing other than cotton clothes. It keeps issues related to sweat at bay. I choose full sleeves loose kaftan style kurta which makes me feel at ease.” Avoid fitted clothes When working from home you can’t keep the air condition on for the entire day because at the end of the month you don’t want a steep electricity bill. So your best option is to choose comfortable clothes.
“Wear clothes that are skin friendly, breathable and loose to keep the heat away. Avoid wearing fitted clothes that can cause you to sweat more. Avoid wearing polyester or polyester blend clothes as they can be itchy and distract you from work. You can wear a nice summery cool blue or rose-pink printed knee-length shirt dress, a pair of resin earrings and add a pink pop of lip balm on your lips and your hair done in a nice top knot,” says Pradhan, adding, “One can choose to wear romper, either printed or in solid colors like soft mushroom or light lilac. One can also wear over-sized crisp white shirt or simply a white t-shirt paired with beige or tan colour linen shorts. Linen gives a very cool, classy yet comfy vibe.”
WHAT EXPECTANT MOMS CAN WEAR
For would-be moms working from home, Pradhan suggests, “Expectant mothers can wear printed loose low calf length cotton dresses. You can select empire line, tent, A-line, boxy silhouette instead of going with stretchy fitted dresses. In summer season, avoid wearing stretchable clothes. Instead, go for more loose fitting clothes as this will keep you and your baby comfortable.”