What’s the proper attire for your remote job? Pajama bottoms and ratty t-shirt, right? Sometimes. But there are other times when you have to think a little harder about what to wear.

The rise of remote work has put many long-standing office conventions in question. In many ways, employees are rewriting the rule book for a virtual age.

However, this freedom can also lead to confusion and a lack of clarity. This applies to many aspects of the job — even seemingly simple questions, like what to wear. With that in mind, here’s a guide to proper attire when you’re working remotely:

A Look at Proper Attire for Your Remote Position

Virtual Meetings

There is one major barrier standing between you and your dreams of spending the rest of your professional life in t-shirts and pajama bottoms: the virtual meeting. At some point, you need to appear on camera in front of your coworkers. When that happens, it’s probably best to comb your hair and put on something a little more presentable.

But what clothes should you wear for a virtual meeting? Unlike in-office work, which often comes with a formal dress code, these rules will likely be more informal. Some people will likely dress as they would for an in-person meeting. Others will likely go for something more casual.

Over time, you’ll learn how others respond to the remote structure and can fit your presentation to match the overall standard. If you’re not sure, it’s better to err on the side of more formal attire. As it becomes clear what to expect, you can loosen your rules a bit.

Meanwhile, you can’t go too wrong by mirroring the boss. See what your supervisor wears during virtual meetings and let that provide a guide.

Dress to Boost Your Productivity

Even when you’re not on camera, there are some benefits to garner from dressing up a bit. A full suit or a skirt and blouse might be overkill if you’re just working alone at your kitchen table all day. However, having “work clothes” can help you organize your day.

Dressing for work every day can help you get in the right mindset. This strategy also helps maintain a clearer separation between work time and non-work time. This can contribute to a better sense of work/life balance.

Know Your Company’s Culture

Each company will have different approaches to virtual work. Knowing these details will help you gauge the ideal balance of comfort and professionalism you should hit in your day-to-day routine.

It’s important to understand that the topic of what to wear gets tied up in many other aspects of the job — ones that often don’t seem specifically related to your wardrobe. For instance, consider questions like:

  • Does your specific job require a lot of direct collaboration?
  • How often do you have virtual meetings?
  • Do people generally turn their cameras on for virtual meetings?
  • Are all video meetings scheduled or do you sometimes get called into surprise discussions?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you gauge what you need to wear on a daily basis. If you spend most of your days in solitude, with little risk of surprise appearances on camera, you have a broad choice in your outfits. Otherwise, you might need to have some work clothes ready for the occasional virtual meeting.

Looking for the Right Job and Work Structure for You?

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