Stylist and Fashion Director, Tarryn Oppel joins us to discuss your ultimate work from home wardrobe and the future of fashion post COVID19.
One of the perks of working from home during the national lockdown is that you can be comfortable all day. But as tempting as it is to stay in your PJs - your wardrobe can boost your mood. Stylist and Fashion Director, Tarryn Oppel knows how to dress for every occasion and she is joining me now to give us some tips and tricks on how to be comfortable, but yet stylish while working from home.
Q: Tarryn, we have been in lockdown for nearly seven weeks now. How has this changed your personal style?
I’m sure I can speak for a lot of people when I say that I have a new-found love for sweatpants! I’ve always been known to toy with gender neutral silhouettes – usually a mix of oversized jeans, tees and sneakers or dresses with chunky boots which I think has served me well during this time, because it still works for me. My shoe collection is however gathering dust as we speak (socks are my new shoes) and I’ve only worn red lipstick once during an online house party for a friends’ birthday. In a way it’s been such a relief not having the time pressure of deciding what to wear every day, but it’s made me miss dressing on the weekends even more now and is something I’m looking forward to doing with my friends.
Q: Even though some of us aren’t physically going to a big office space, why is it necessary to still try and dress like we are?
When we get dressed every day, what we choose to wear should work hand in hand with our intentions or objectives or goals for that day, so if you’re currently working from home, but you’re used to going to an office, it’s important to stay as close to what once was normal as best you possibly can.
When working from home, especially when it’s new to you, it’s very easy to go from pjs to pjs or give a whole new meaning to working from home by simply working from our beds in loungewear all day. But 90% of the days where that happens, nothing we intend to do, gets done…
So it’s vital to get motivation from somewhere and I really do believe that our wardrobes can play a big part in achieving that.
Q: What sort of pieces would you say helps to stay motivated while working from home?
Whatever makes you happy or instantly boosts your morale is a great place to start.
One of the things that works quite well for me is colour. I’m a big fan of punchy or pastel colours that put me in a good mood and when I’m in a good mood, I want to make the most of my day!
For a comfort that meets confidence look, I reach for a super soft knit in my favourite colour that I pair with roomy trousers or your comfiest jeans.
If you have a hectic schedule & have quite a bit to cross off of your to-do list, you’ll need a serious motivational push which can come in the form of what I call a power piece. It can be something as flamboyant as a voluminous or printed blouse or as classic as a boyfriend blazer that instantly means business but still remains comfortable.
And then thirdly, on days when we can afford to work at a slower pace and maybe even from the couch, but would still like to be a bit productive, then matching that intention when getting dressed by pairing your sweats, gym tights or cargo pants with a boxy shirt or shacket for example, creates that perfect balance between structure and comfort. What we’ve also seen a lot of are co-ords, which is essentially a top and bottom made to be worn together, usually in a knitted fabric. It’s become a WFH uniform.
Q: For some of us, our bedrooms have become the new boardrooms with online meetings replacing conference calls. What does this mean for our outfit choices?
The great thing about Skype or zoom meetings is that your colleagues can’t see your entire outfit, so people have adopted a ‘dressing from the waist up’ approach. There are a few quick fixes that require minimum effort with maximum effect before joining your next meeting.
Puts you in a good mood, so why not extend that to your co-workers
Just like colour it can uplift your mood and expresses a sense of confidence
You can wear a T-shirt, pop on a bold lip colour and turn your look around.
A Statement earring or a necklace will attract the right amount of attention and adds a fun element.
This is what I call the forgotten accessory that is very much on the forefront this year. It also adds a necessary pop of colour or print to a plain foundation.
I’ll say it again - a blazer instantly means business, so even if you give your hair a quick fix and throw it on for a very early meeting, no one will even know that you’re still probably wearing your pyjamas.
At the end of the day it’s all about what works for you and helps to keep you going - hopefully some of these ideas will help. There will be days where all we want to do is stay in bed and that’s ok too, as long as we can pick ourselves back up, reach for a few power pieces or quick fixes and try again tomorrow.
Q: Tarryn, all industries have been affected by the outbreak of COVID19. How do you see the fashion industry changing post the pandemic?
Yes, unfortunately it’s had a devastating impact. We saw the closure of Associated Media Publishing just last week; retailers have suffered tremendous losses and small businesses have shut down.
I do however want to point out, without dismissing the losses the industry has faced, is that the fashion industry has never and will never be short of creativity and innovation. Turning the effects of COVID-19 into an opportunity to test new methods is what we’re seeing unfold daily.
We’re all being forced to think outside of the box! Just one example is London Fashion Week which until now has always had a dedicated men’s and womenswear event but instead, will join forces this year and be completely digitised. So, what was once seen as something highly exclusive, with extravagant runway shows will now be open to everyone and anyone, whether you’re familiar with a front row at fashion week or not. Designers will be a lot more vocal with online interviews, webinars, podcasts and digital showrooms, which is all a big step in the right direction. The downside to all of this is that we’ll be deprived of all the great street style, but maybe Fashion Week is the perfect opportunity for all of us to dress up like we’re getting our picture taken.
Watch Tarryn's interview: