Imagine a world where pajamas are acceptable school attire. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? I have great news for you, working from home has made this concept a reality.
With many of us learning from home these days, the need to change your attire for classes almost doesn’t exist anymore, as one can easily enjoy the comfort of their pajamas or loungewear on Zoom. When it comes to getting ready in the mornings, many UMD students are finding this change as a good thing.
“My day-to-day working attire is, conveniently enough, the same as my sleeping attire,” freshman government and politics major Athanasia Katsafanas said. “I am most comfortable sleeping in sweatpants and a long sleeve tee, and when I wake up I stay in the same clothes, and just repeat the cycle.” Working from home can make it seem almost ridiculous to go through the trouble of wearing more formal attire or even just changing clothes for Zoom meetings. “I definitely value comfort, especially since I’m currently living at home and have no reason to wear anything formal,” freshman biochemistry major Enaya Saleh said. “I do make a point of changing out of my pajamas, though, just so I can feel like an actual human being.” This theme of wanting to stay comfortable when it comes to your working from home attire doesn’t seem to apply to just students. “I like to take advantage of the ability to dress more comfortably since it’s one of the few perks of working from home,” ENGL101 professor Amanda Allen said. “I’m also sitting for much longer periods of time than when I was teaching in-person, so I don’t want zippers and buttons digging into my waist all day.” Working from home creates the opportunity for more freedom with what we select to wear on a day-to-day basis. “Currently, I’m prioritizing comfort. Online school is super stressful and Zoom classes can really drag on, so I don’t want to be tied to my desk wearing anything uncomfortable,” Saleh said. “I definitely change every day and try not to recycle outfits (just for some sense of normalcy), but I’m not going out of my way to assemble a really nice outfit.”
Virtual learning presents its own challenges. From staring at a screen for hours on end to Zoom anxiety, it is definitely a new concept that everyone is still adjusting to.
“Since I will be on my computer for hours on end, taking notes and trying to learn, I want to make sure I am comfortable, to try and ease the stress of school and learning virtually,” freshman business major Kristina Dunne said.
With the transition to virtual learning, the general types of clothes people opt for tend to be a bit different when compared to in-person school and work.
“My style has changed to be more comfortable,” Allen said. “When I’m teaching synchronous classes over Zoom, I wear a lot of the same tops that I did when I was teaching in person, but I’m definitely not wearing slacks or jeans anymore. I’m also either barefoot or in slippers at home.”
Though many try to create a sense of normalcy in our new work setting, it’s inevitable that ones’ day-to-day attire is going to vary from being in-person to virtual.
“I would say my style has significantly changed from in-person classes to dressing from home,” Katsafanas said. “Of course, I would have a lazy day every now and then at school, but most days consisted of me dressing up with jeans, a sweater, boots, and the occasional casual dress. I will admit, although I am much more comfortable at home now, I do miss dressing up and getting ready.” Of course, it is fun to dress up for any excuse we get, even if it is on Zoom, though the virtual format certainly makes it easier to save yourself the effort on numerous occasions. “I do think it’s important to make workdays feel sort of ‘normal,’ though, so I still change out of pajamas, shower and do my hair and make-up,” Allen said. “I also like to think that if I look a little bit professional, Zoom classes will feel more like normal college classes for my students.”
This general shift in types of attire doesn’t only apply to working from home. Many are sticking to this vibe and altering their general day-to-day look as a result of working virtually so often.
“Something funny that’s happened is even my ‘running errands’ outfits have become more laid back,” Allen said. “I never really wore leggings to the grocery store before, but now it feels ridiculous to change into real clothes for that when I was wearing ‘day pajamas’ while working. But I don’t think I’m the only one this has happened to! I’ve noticed the general attire at the grocery store has become more casual.”
Whether it be leggings and a hoodie or your favorite going out dress, wear whatever you feel most confident in. At the end of the day, confidence is key. You need to feel your most confident and comfortable to perform your very best, even on Zoom!