No matter what the fashion blogs say, I’m here to tell you that you can wear yoga pants or leggings to the office. Also, wearing tracksuit pants everywhere seems to be the fashion now so that can only be good news for us! I’ve recently finished working, at least for a while, so I thought I’d write this post while I still remembered!
I graduated from not being able to work at all, to a few hours at home, then a few hours at home and at work, so I hadn’t been in the office for more than a year. I found clothes uncomfortable so couldn’t get back into fitted shirts, suits or high heels, just too painful.
Instead I wore yoga pants, long silk and modal blend t-shirts, loafers or flat boots with socks (poor circulation so I always have cold feet) and to make it professional, I add a blazer and colourful pashmina or scarf. The idea of the colourful scarf was also to distract from the fact I don’t wear make-up any more, plus it is warm and comfortable.
Loose dresses or long elastic-waist skirts are comfortable (as well as hiding hairy legs – who has the energy for hair removal!) and maternity trousers have a lovely comfortable stretchy panel that is kind to the midriff. Sorry fellas, maybe just stick to elastic-waist trousers.
If you are transitioning from home back to the office, it is a little like dressing for long haul travel! Wear layers so you are warm enough. I tire out so quickly if I’m cold, and it stiffens my muscles which causes pain. You might also want to take an eye mask if you are planning a little shut-eye under the fluorescent lights. I used to nap in my car.
Also like a plane, it will be full of germs. Take anti-bacterial wet wipes or hand sanitiser, who know who has been using your desk!
I took a hot water bottle to work instead of heat packs (I didn’t want my heat packs tainted with the horrible smell of a work microwave!), or maybe a small blanket.
Pack things you can eat. I couldn’t eat anything at the work cafeteria, nor did I have the energy to walk up there. Pack painkillers and any medication or supplements you need to take. I kept a little jar of D-Ribose in my work bag.
Make it comfortable for you. I didn’t want to cart too much stuff to work, but it was worth taking a tea pot and some peppermint tea and a packet of gluten free biscuits. Be kind to yourself. A cup of tea and a biscuit can make a difference!
If your desk hasn’t already been set up for you see if you can have a desk assessment, or even better an assessment from an occupational therapist, to make sure the conditions are best for you.
Take enough breaks and leave enough energy to get home safely!
Really, what you wear to work is the least important thing. Just make sure you are as comfortable as you can be in the environment, then you can concentrate on being productive.
(I wrote more about getting back to work here if you are interested.)