Column: Dress for WFH success


Commentary by Stephanie Grabow

Are you in the WHF forever club? If there’s one thing the last two-plus years have shown us, it’s that you don’t have to be in a corporate office to make your impact on the world.

I decided to work from home beginning in 2008 — the first six years for an international organization and the past nine years for my own small business, so you’re in good company.

Did you know there is science around how the clothes that you wear for WFH impact your brain activity and productivity? Through “enclothed cognition” research, scientists study the link between what you wear and how it affects your brain function, emotions and productivity.

It turns out that when you dress for work and Zoom calls, you’re signaling to your brain that it’s time to focus on the task at hand. The right clothes can improve your self-esteem and give you the confidence to nail your presentation on Zoom and go after your dream client.

Wearing your sweatpants and hoodie can confuse your brain, because it’s thinking it’s time to relax and you’re pushing back with punch lists and performance reviews.

No wonder you feel unmotivated.

Dressing for WFH doesn’t mean that you have to pull out your most uncomfortable pants. It means wearing something on the top of your body in one of your best colors. That gorgeous color will give you energy, enhance your facial features and help you glow from the inside out. Trust me, that beautiful glow comes through on the Zoom screen.

And here’s a pro tip: Staring at your face in your “wow” color on a Zoom call will also impact the way you feel about yourself. It’s an instant confidence boost!

On the bottom, put on jeans with lots of Lycra, or an elastic waist pant. Something comfy, but not sloppy.

And on your feet? Do what feels good. Your fuzzy slippers are calling.

Pro tip No. 2: Pulling on your joggers at the end of the day is a great step to shift your mindset away from work, help you put your laptop away and focus on your family without feeling guilt.

Carmel resident Stephanie Grabow is a former charity executive who took a mid-life turn to follow her passion of breaking the fashion mold. For more, visit