Work-from-home fashion: is a dressing gown and underpants the best option?

Some have claimed that you can dress ‘from the top up’ for conference calls – but far safer, and more cosy, are humble jogging bottoms.

Telecommuter-core – the new, angst-ridden fashion trend nobody asked for – is sweeping the globe, and taking once-niche fashion questions to the mainstream. Mainly: is it really possible to dress “from the top up” only for a conference call, as many have speculated on social media?

If Ron Burgundy taught us anything it is that the newsreader look – suit jacket paired with boxer shorts beneath the desk – is a fool’s errand. The poster for Anchorman demonstrates the shortcomings of the style, as have a raft of embarrassed real-life news anchors in their underpants.


There are better ways to compromise between the morale-boosting properties of workwear and the need to be comfortable. The garment you need is a smart pair of tracksuit bottoms. Ignore what Karl Lagerfeld said (“Sweatpants are a sign of defeat”) and look to social media, where these soft elasticated waists appear to be holding us together.

In Instagram accounts chronicling the sudden spike in remote-working chic, tracksuits feature heavily. One account, wfhfits, which has racked up more than 1,000 followers since its launch on Friday, was set up by a group of London and New York fashion editors, so comes fashion-approved. Stylists and editors at British Vogue post photographs in Sprite logo tracksuitsAdidas joggers or tracksuit bottoms paired with knitted jumpers.

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These are fashion people, of course – they can get away with irony and performative slovenliness in the name of creativity and quirk. But even in much more formal jobs, a discreet, comfortable, hole-free pair of tracksuit bottoms will be a balm – the soft, familiar fabric a cocoon against the news. Pangaia’s soft, recycled tracksuits, made with environmentally friendly dyes, are fashion’s gold standard right now, but for most of us this is a shop-your-own-wardrobe situation. Luxe jogging bottoms were very on trend circa 2014 – if you bought a pair then, now is the time to find them. Pair with a smart jumper or a spritz of perfume and you will be pulled together, but comfy, sartorially at least. Fashion even has a reassuringly aspirational name for it , as though we are hanging out at home out of choice: loungewear.

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