Here we are again; after what felt like a brief interlude, we have returned to Working From Home.
So, it’s back to the elastic-waisted loungewear, hair up in a ponytail, and wire-framed specs … or, on second thoughts, maybe not this time.
We’ve been here before, and it feels like lockdown 2.0 requires a different approach. Back in March we started off in our weekend-on-the-sofa best, then pretty soon discovered we needed to change into work mode, by dressing up just enough.
At first we all thought: ‘Hooray, no one can see! All we need is exercisewear and a tidy Zoom top.’ But as the weeks went by, guess what? We missed glamour and colour and those frivolous extras.
Shane Watson shares her advice for updating your Work From Home wardrobe, including embracing influences from the 1980s
We started buying make-up online like never before, as well as earrings and floaty floral dresses, because that’s what helped us maintain our optimism and poise.
It’s the Joan Collins theory of life: put on your best, look glossy and pulled together — even when you don’t need to — and everything will seem brighter.
Now, we need to take it up another notch, to combat the shorter days, colder weather and the grim feeling of deja vu. But no need to panic.
You don’t have to go to any trouble to get this WFH 2 look. Actually, it couldn’t be easier or cheaper.
Jumper, £40.46, gap.co.uk; frill cuff top, £85, meandem.com; hair slides, £9.99, zara.com; earrings, £195, laurence-coste.com; scrunchie, £25, libertylondon.com; AirPods, £159, apple.com; ring (left hand), £40, arlettegold.com; (right hand) gem ring, £245, laurence-coste.com; stack rings, £65 each, shop-daphine.com
Blazer, £149, and shirt, £59.95, massimodutti.com; scarf, £9.99, zara.com; earrings, £61, pdpaola.com; rings as before; notepad, £10, and pen, £3.50, paperchase.com; dish, £48, calculator, £24, and stapler, £27, amara.com
All we’re talking about is ramping up your accessories, having some fun and giving your look some 1980s polish — partly because the 1980s is back, from padded shoulders to fat silk hairbands, and also because accessories are the shortcut to boosting your Zoom look, and your mood.
There are three ways to approach this accessories makeover — Full 1980s Bling, the New Sloane Ranger or the French Look. The Full 1980s Bling is — naturally enough — everything at once: pearly hair clips, a substantial bow or scrunchie, and plenty of gold chains and rings (for inspiration, see above far left and right).
There are no particular rules about what you wear to achieve this look (add fancy specs on a chain and a brooch if you wish), but the difference now is in the tone.
In the 1980s, you wore pearls around your neck and a pie-crust collar. Now you’re wearing gold chains, and pearls and gold in your hair and in your ears.
Dress, £49.99, and bracelets, £12.99, zara.com; Alice band, £7.99, hm.com; big chain necklace, £40, and medium and small chains, £22 each, orelia.co.uk; bangle, £85, oliverbonas.com; rings as before; diaries, £59 each, noblemacmillan.com; dish, £78, amara.com; mouse, £79, and keyboard, £99, apple.com; pen pot, £40, libertylondon.com
Blazer, £114, baukjen.com; jumper, £59.95, massimodutti.com; glasses, £245, alexisamor.com; glasses chain, £55, talischains.co.uk; earrings, £225, brooch, £295, and ring, £75, laurence-coste.com; diary, £15, mug, £5, and coaster, £9.50, oliverbonas.co
It’s a little bit New Romantic, a little bit Country Life and a little bit Mr T from The A-Team.
The New Sloane Ranger look is the tidier, more contained version. You’ll want gold earrings and rings and, instead of pretty hair clasps, a padded hairband (second from right).
This time we’re not talking about a black velvet hairband: go as whacky as you like, embroidery and beading optional. This is meant to be a nod to the 1980s, and a wink at the same time.
Last but not least, we all know the French Look (second from left) by the perfectly knotted scarf and the simple, pared-down jewellery. A scarf tied in the French style (if you’re watching Emily In Paris, you’ll know this is a skill that non-Parisians have to work at) and some classic gold jewellery is all you need to French chic up your look for autumn.
Here’s to WFH 1980s style.
Blouse, £224.94, and Alice band, £78, net-a-porter.com; earrings and rings as before; bangle, £85, mug, £12, and dishes, £16.50, oliverbonas.com; pencil case, £6, paperchase.com; memo block, £15, harrisandjones.co.uk
Dress, £165, Iris & Ink at theoutnet.com; hair clip, £4, accessorize.com; earrings, £70.40, Kenneth Jay Lane at amazon.co.uk; chain necklace, £40, orelia.co.uk; rings as before; watch, £159, larssonjennings.com; notebook, £10, paperchase.com; laptop skin, £16.50, coconut-lane.com