How to look (and feel) good in lockdown: Designer Laurent Guinci’s top WFH tips

It’s lockdown part two, and many of us are working from home again (if we weren’t already). Find out how to look and feel good while you do.

Working from home can be a double-edged sword – there are of course both positives and negatives. One of the biggest challenges includes getting the right balance between being comfortable and still feeling professional.

Top designer Laurent Guinci, founder of Lolo creative, has worked on numerous high-profile projects (from Harry Potter and Bridget Jones to James Bond) so he knows exactly how to dress someone to make them feel and look the part. Here are his top work from home tips.

1) Don’t fall into the sleep trap

When in Lockdown it can sometimes be difficult to stick to a regular routine and maintain enthusiasm for work. To maximise your workday try not to give in to those extra hours of sleep that you would usually spend commuting.

Instead keep to a regular morning routine, get up at the same time you normally would for work (or earlier if you can). Leaving enough time to prepare yourself will help kick off a productive day. 

2) Ditch the PJs

Don’t go for the PJ party look. Yes, we know they’re comfortable, but it can make you feel sluggish. I would only wear them for bedtime or a relaxed day on the sofa catching up on Netflix. You wouldn’t turn up to the office in your pyjamas, so don’t do it at home.

If I need to work from home I get fully dressed for work, with proper trousers (except for shoes as I have a “no shoe” policy at home). I am obviously not saying that you should wear a skirt suit or be absolutely dolled up, but casual attire is nice and more presentable. It’s all about mind set – dress properly and you’ll be in the zone ready to go into action! 

3) Dressing well works wonders

Looking good can truly make you feel good (and there’s proven psychology around this). So, wear something you look nice in and that makes you feel confident. Think about colours and shapes that suit you – I would never wear something just because it’s fashionable if it doesn’t look good on me.

Also, you’re at home at the end of the day you do not need to overdo it, a skirt is probably not necessary, trousers will be more comfortable anyway. Guys, bear in mind, I still believe that pairing fitted jeans and a T-shirt is one of the sexiest combos.

You honestly don’t have to try hard and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune either, my favourite white T-shirt is from H&M in premium cotton and only costs £12.

4) Choose the right materials

If you want to stay comfy look at the labels, favour more natural materials (apart from linen I hate it with a vengeance it creases and looks untidy) and avoid unbreathable synthetic fabrics like polyester. Although some tops do need a bit of polyester in them to keep the colour, it’s fine as long as it’s not 100%.

Go for fabrics mixing cotton and elastane, which allow fitted shirts to have a bit of a stretch. And if you still have to wear a blazer, find one in jersey fabric. Uniqlo has some great ones. They are comfy and look professional enough without being too strict.

Talking about blazers, I would go for softer colours. If you go for a white blouse, a nice marl grey blazer could look very nice. I feel it should always be darker than your top, or the same colour. 

5) Focus on your top half

The best thing is that you’ll be behind your computer, on your Zoom meetings no one will even see your bottom half, so you do not have to wear suit trousers or a skirt. This means you have a bit more flexibility when it comes to your bottom half as you should put more effort into what is seen.

However, I’d still avoid joggers and instead invest in a pair of jeans you feel good in. Nowadays, they do great denim fabrics with lycra, it’s really handy for comfort. That said, you now find some really nicely cut classy trousers (Uniqlo again) with stretch in it. They look the part and are super comfortable.

6) Keep it formal if it’s important

Important virtual meeting? Say no to a T-shirt! Opt for a blouse, a nice top or a really lovely polo shirt. I’d also probably avoid loud colours or prints. A fine knit jumper works well too. It’s cool, it’s modern, it’s sexy. Go for a navy or a dark blue colour. Something classic.

Be well groomed and if you want to wear makeup keep it nice and soft you don’t want to look like you’re about to go clubbing. Make sure your hair is done too, no wet hair or bed hair.

You’re selling an image; this is especially important if you haven’t met them before and this is the first impression they have of you. Me and my team always make sure we look the part when we meet clients, no matter the weather (Universal in Orlando for example).

Nicely fitted trousers, a beautiful light cotton knit polo shirt and impeccable shoes will do the trick. Even though on Zoom they may not necessarily see the full outfit. It’s all about yourself knowing and it will empower you and give you more confidence trust me.

You’re now ready to work that lockdown look.

Laurent Guinci is the founder of Lolo Creative.

Photo by Sincerely Media