Tons of you have requested ideas for what to wear for video calls to work from home and be comfortable. That last part is the catch–you all REALLY want to look business casual only on top while being suuuuuper comfy on the bottom. Or, as a PMTer called it, the 2020 outfit mullet. 🤣
A lot of you have also said you want to be able to wear business casual on the top and basically wear sweatpants or pajamas on the bottom–and still feel like your outfit is cohesive and put together.
Well friend, let me start with the bad news: the latter ain’t gonna happen. You are absolutely welcome to wear a business casual top and sweatpants on the bottom and none of us would judge you for it. It’s COVID-19 times and we all totally understand! But if you are ALSO hoping there’s some magical trick to make pajamas look cohesive and pulled together with a business casual top, you’re outta luck. Pajamas/sweatpants and business casual attire is just too far apart on the spectrum of casual to dressy to look cohesive.
The good news is that while pajamas won’t work on the bottom, you don’t have to dress full business casual on the bottom to have a cohesive look either. You can pair nicer tops with more casual bottoms bottoms that may not be sweatpants, but are still pretty darn comfy.
Today I’ll help you identify tops you can wear to look good on video and some comfortable, casual bottoms you can pair them with. These tops will vary for different Business Casual environments, with some being better for more relaxed biz cas environments and others being better for dressier environments. Pick whichever ones are appropriate for you.
P.S. “Business casual” means different things in different environments. Some are way more casual and others are more formal, all under the name “business casual”–it can be confusing. I talk about the 3 levels of Business Casual style in depth in my post What Is Business Casual Style? Check it out for the full scoop. In a nutshell, Relaxed Business Casual is the more casual end of the spectrum, Business Casual is the middle tier, and I call the most formal tier Elevated Business Casual (right before Business Professional).
A couple of general tips that go a long way:
- Wear tops that have a little more interest since that’s basically all people are going to see. Tops with prints, brighter colors, some detail at the neckline, or details at the sleeves go a long way.
- Accessories! Make sure to wear something that sits around your collarbone or above, namely a statement necklace or earrings. These are especially helpful to dress up plain tops, but also polish off more interesting tops too.
Alright, what to wear for video calls while working from home!
SIZING INFO: I’m 5’6″ and usually S/M or 6.
Relaxed Business Casual Options
This is the more casual end of the business casual spectrum, for environments where a nice pair of jeans and a nice top is appropriate most days of the week.
Option #1: T-Shirt + Statement Necklace
This option is for the most casual end of the business casual spectrum, for environments where a nice pair of jeans and a nice top is appropriate most days of the week. Dress up a t-shirt with a statement necklace. Wear a necklace that hits around your collarbone versus a long pendant necklace since you probably won’t be able to see the pendant necklace in a video. This creates a polished look that’s still casual. Whenever you’re done with the meeting, take off the necklace to be more casual for the rest of your day at home!
My favorite necklace for dressing up t-shirts (and nice tops and nice dresses) is THIS metallic statement necklace. I’ve been wearing this for years and continue to get asked about it ALL THE TIME. See ways I’ve worn it HERE. If you haven’t scooped it up yet, get it HERE. It goes in and out of stock, but it has been restocked countless times. If it’s currently out of stock, keep an eye out for when it comes back!
Since this is the most casual end of business casual, you can pair this with joggers, leggings, soft shorts and pants, linen shorts or pants, or stretchy denim shorts or jeans. Hooray, lots of options!
Shop More T-Shirts:
Option #2: Jumpsuits
Another option for Relaxed Business Casual is a jumpsuit! Aim for a dressy casual jumpsuit made of comfy material. If it has any type of interesting details like a print or interesting neckline, even better. The one I’m wearing above is pretty simple, but the v-neck line and the slight dolman sleeves, though subtle on video, help it look at *tad* dressier. Be sure to add a statement necklace or earrings for your video call.
Here’s the full look. The best part about this is that you’ll be EXTREMELY comfortable! This jumpsuit feels like pajamas, but the subtle details that I mentioned before like the v-neckline and dolman sleeves, plus the pleats and jogger style legs, help dress it up a bit. I styled it several different ways from casual to dressy HERE.
Shop More Nicer Jumpsuits:
I rounded up a few options in the widget below. Swipe through and click on the images to shop.
Option #3: Woven Tops
This is a woven top which is a step up from Options 1 and 2 and can more easily transition into business casual outfits with slacks. However, it wouldn’t be formal enough for Elevated Business Casual environments.
While working from home, pair these tops with stretchy denim shorts, and sometimes with linen pants depending on the type of top, or go for twill or chino shorts for a casual look that’s more polished but still casual. They also work well with jeans in cooler weather for an elevated casual or relaxed business casual look.
Shop More Tops:
Option #4: Nicer Tops
This is a good option for Business Casual and Elevated Business Casual looks as you can pair with slacks or throw on a blazer to dress it up even more. But for home, throw on a necklace. The top I’m showing is sleeveless, but if that’s not acceptable in your workplace, just get one with short sleeves or throw on a cardigan.
While working from home, take off the necklace. Then pair these kinds of tops with linen or soft pants/shorts, twill or chino shorts, or jeans. Above I’m wearing it with my comfy linen pants! See other ways I’ve worn the pants HERE.
Option #5: Blouses
A fifth option is a dressier blouse like the one shown above. Typically if headed into work, you could wear this dressed up with slacks, and if you really want to look sharp or closer to business professional, throw a blazer over it. This top looks really polished, chic, and sophisticated, but it is SOOOOOO comfy! It’s very lightweight and has a satin-y feel, which feels great against your skin. The GREAT news is that it’s part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year and will be available in LOTS of colors. Get it when the sale starts, and get it in multiple colors HERE!
Again, if you need sleeves for work, go for a blouse with sleeves or throw a cardigan or blazer over this.
When working from home, you can dress it down with twill or chino shorts, chino pants, soft paper bag waist pants, and maybe linen pants depending on the type of top and type of pants.
Shop More Nice Tops and Blouses:
Shop Comfy Bottoms to Pair With These Tops:
If you’re looking for comfy bottoms, try some of these!