Home Work Wardrobe Journal | Fashion trends

A doctor who was emotionally exhausted from his ongoing work with Covid-19 patients was advised to wear yellow, the color of vitality and cheerfulness, by his ‘doctor in the robe’ Dr Dawnn Karen . Dubbed the world’s first fashion psychologist, Dr. Karen is a proponent of mood enhancement theory. She prescribes colors and styles to her clients to boost their morale and improve their productivity. The recent pandemic ushered in a new culture of remote working, which, with its many life lessons, also exposed the strong relationship between attitude and dress.

18 months is a long time to settle in a new workplace, and so am I – in my home office. I have established routines and disciplines that will propel me through the day. My desk is hidden away in a cozy corner of the bedroom but inspires serious discussion. Maintaining work-life balance involves crossing the few feet between desk and bed to catch a few winks, and effortlessly switching from Zoom to Netflix in the evening. Habits and hobbies have been digitized enough – with YouTube fitness experts governing my workouts, local restaurants providing my palate with home deliveries, and all kinds of geniuses doing my errands. I think I have found my new normal. In this journey of establishing remote working protocols, my wardrobe has also had its share of experimentation. After all, one cannot underestimate the symbolism of clothes and their impact on psychology and productivity.

ALSO READ: Fashion editing: how to change the look of working at home!

Not without my pajamas

The chronicles of a fashionista on her homework experiments

In the early days, as I struggled with the sudden holdback of a lockdown and the chaos that reigned outside, my pajamas and t-shirt added to the confidence that I was comfortable at home. I needed the agility to deal with the aggravated pressures of working online, household chores, and prevalent health risks. All of this while maintaining my sanity despite the growing demands of a stay-at-home family and my own addiction to the endless Netflix-ing. I suddenly found myself in a world where I needed to be a domestic goddess, Zoom compatible and couch ready, all at the same time! The joggers, sweatshirts and pajamas had become a second skin, a skin that I had no intention of losing.

New Cupboard Champions

The next phase was one of acceptance and preparation – which caused me to revamp my wardrobe to focus on easy-to-wear clothes that would take me through the not-so-windy times. Oversized shirts, fitted dresses, flowing skirts deemed too causal for the office, had been in the spotlight. These saved time and effort in getting dressed, while adapting the mind to the grind of a day’s work remotely. This is the phase that rekindled my appreciation for roomy, non-constraining figures – a love that will last for months to come.

Re-emergence

The period that followed was one of the re-emergence, if not the intensification of my game. Fashion brands and designers, seeking to reinvent themselves, were already seducing homebound consumers with practical trends. The vaccine promise was hopeful and inspired hybrid styles. There has been an increased effort to “casual” work clothes from home. Kaftans, loungewear sets, hooded pants, paper pants attracted me through incessant social media ads. It wasn’t long before, a few of them found their way into my closet. I was echoing Dr. Adam Galinsky’s thoughts on “dressed cognition,” that with the rise of video calls, the clothes we wear have a greater impact on our performance because we can now see ourselves.

New York Times fashion director Vanessa Friedman also believes in dressing for a desired state of mind. Her quilted jackets, she thinks, widen her shoulders and allow her to prepare for any mission. While jackets can be overkill for the home office, Friedman is convinced that smart clothing gives us the psychological clues of productivity and success.

Eager to soak up these pro tips, I began to organize my on-screen appearance – I added pops of color to my wardrobe to tone down the melancholy of the times, and I even added a few accessories to add a little sparkle. Soon I started to acquire the “above the keyboard” look.

And after?

Workforce around the world is wondering what happens after months of sweating. One thing you can expect is that people will be less critical and more accommodating with practical work clothes. Rigid formal styles will be replaced by fashion for functionality and safety. It will also be a good time to remake, repurpose old wardrobe items to create your own signature styles, while also contributing to the cause of sustainable fashion. Whether we are preparing to return to physical establishments or have our homes continue to serve as offices until further notice, we can certainly count on the transformative power of fashion to accompany us at all times.

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