DIY WORK FROM HOME SUMMER STYLE | 3 DIY OUTFIT FORMULAS

WORKING FROM HOME SUMMER STYLE

I did warn you this post was coming. Oh, was it back in the other life in March, beyond the wormhole of the lockdown happened? Yeah, I had to go back and see what I wrote too. But anyway, this is part 2 of the Working from Home outfits, this time the ‘keeping cool edit’. It seems almost unbelievable how many layers I had on in late March. Now I really can’t think how to keep my body temperature down… What a difference a few months make (and summer!).

I have been working from home since mid-March and although I did go back in the office for a day last week, I think I will be needing all my creativity to style this kind of outfits for the foreseeable future.

But before jumping to the outfits, let me share my ‘Lockdown style principles’.

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Still working from home? And it's getting really hot? Here are some outfit ideas on what to wear to be cool, comfortable and presentable on zoom. And most of them are DIY-ed.
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‘WORK FROM HOME’ SUMMER STYLE PRINCIPLES

1| NATURAL FIBRES

I have never been the enemy of polyester. But since the weather got hot, I can’t even look at the non-natural fibres items in my wardrobe. Cotton, silk, linen, even viscose to some extent, that’s what I am reaching out for. I mean, who wants to sweat in plastic all day long, right?

2| CITY SHORTS IS WHERE IT’S AT

There are shorts and there are shorts. What I mean by city shorts are those that you would not exactly wear to the office (unless it’s your corner cafe), but can be dressed up and you don’t feel like you’re wearing gym kit.

3| VISUAL INTEREST ON THE TOP

For all your Zoom-ers out there, I’m sure you know what I mean. You could even wear pyjama bottoms under the desk, it’s the top that matters. I like to have an interesting detail, like a nice collar, buttons, or lace to make it look if not professional, at least fun. I would also add dungarees or overalls with a nice bib in the same category.

Now, let’s go to the outfits. As in my previous post, I tried to distil them into formulas, so you can use what you have in your own wardrobe. This time I also added shoes, in case you are no longer in lock down and fancy taking your outfits for a stroll.

WORK FROM HOME SUMMER STYLE FORMULA 1 |
STRETCH CAPRI BOTTOMS + SLEEVELESS TOP + FLATS

These are my first iteration of Ginger Jeans, way back in 2015 and I could not have been more proud of them. Not quite jeans, more like jean-like bottoms, they were in heavy rotation for a while, then I kinda forgot about them. But it turns out they are perfect for sitting on my bum all day long. The capri length is perfect for summer, they are made from a cotton stretch fabric that breaths, covers and is still very light.

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I absolutely love the pairing with this Seamwork Addison, one of my go-to summer tops. I am a huge fan of scooped shoulder blouses, plus the Chelsea collar, it just looks so cute. Plus the cotton poplin also helps to keep cool, but also professional.

Footwear wise, this outfit just needs a pair of cute ballerinas, and these are my signature pointy navy flats.

I’M WEARING: Top: Seamwork Addison (previous version here), in navy print poplin (same fabric as here); Bottoms: Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans (see original blog post here); Shoes: very old (model’s own). Earrings: Polymer clay made by me

WORK FROM HOME STYLE FORMULA 2 |
DUNGAREES + T-SHIRT + FLATS

Ok, I know this is not the most professional outfit. Let’s say you can wear it on a casual Friday. I really like this particular version though because it has an interesting front, with the V–neckline and the knotted closure. It’s super comfortable and because it has a side zipper, it’s easy to get in and out for bathroom breaks. It’s also a bit oversized, so I can even sit cross-legged on my desk chair (se demo below).

I usually wear this set of dungarees with a simple white t-shirt (I am actually wearing that as I type), or some sort of stripes. I particularly like this candy striped one, with a ruched sleeve detail. It’s a very old RTW one, but I think the Tilly and The Buttons Agnes is exactly the same if you want to make your own.

As for footwear, I went for some red ones to match the theme.

I’M WEARING: Dungarees: self drafted (see full details here), in cotton jacquard; T-shirt RTW (old) in cotton stretch; Flats (Old) red suede; Earrings: DIY polymer clay earrings made by me.

WORK FROM HOME STYLE FORMULA 3 |
SHORTS + SHIRT + SANDALS

I pretty much lived in these shorts last summer and as soon as it turned hot, they came out again. They are refashioned from a pair of old Levi’s 501 that were donated by my friend CL (Thrifty Stitcher). I didn’t like the bootcut, but they fitted me well otherwise, so cut-offs they became. I even used the leftover pieces to make a pair of espadrilles.

This is the first shirt I ever made, way back when I started sewing. It’s been at the back of the wardrobe for ages, as I cannot deal with the wrinkles. However, spurred by the most linen obsessed person I know, my friend Kate (@timetosew), I took it out and ironed it (mostly). In this heat, linen is a great fabric to wear, so I gave it another chance. I’ve always loved the colour, so I made myself not care about the creases. Who’s gonna see them on zoom anyway?

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To tell you about the clogs a bit as well. i snapped them in a fashion swap last year, they were brand new and my size. I haven’t worn them outside yet, but very chuffed with my first pair of clogs!

I’M WEARING: Top: button down shirt (I can’t remember the pattern, some Big 4) in rust linen; Shorts: refashioned Levi’s; Shoes: Swapped clogs; Earrings: DIY polymer clay made by me

BONUS: MORE SHORTS

I wanted to show you these shorts as well, because I wore them the most along the denims. Each summer, they come with me on every city break, or for weekend in the park. I’ve had them ages and still love them and wear them loads. I love that they go with anything, are stylish and classic and so very comfortable. I paired them here with a bit of a fancier top, a cotton crepe jersey with a set insert. And the scarf is for bad hair days, of which even people with very short hair suffer from time to time.

I’M WEARING: Top: lace and jersey blouse (Burda Style, original post here); Shorts: RTW (old); Sandals: Clarks (old); Earrings: DIY polymer clay made by me.


WEEKLY ANTI-RACISM ALLYSHIP RESOURCES

This week, a bit shorter section, because I started an online document where I am saving everything I’m reading and bookmarking. I will continue to update this as I go, so please keep checking the doc.

CHECK OUT THE FULL ANTI-RACISM RESOURCE LIST

However, I do wanted to share a story I posted on Instagram as part of my guest feature for the #Cocktailsandcaftans2020 challenge.

If you are still confused about white privilege and many other terms such as tone policing, centering, etc, hope this analogy helps put things into context. I know it did for me. This is an extract from Guide to Allyship by Amelie Lamont. Words by Prestley Pizzo.


Imagine your privilege is a heavy boot that keeps you from feeling when you’re stepping on someone’s feet or they’re stepping on yours, while oppressed people have only sandals. If someone one says, “ouch! You’re stepping on my toes,” how do you react?

Because we can think more clearly about stepping on someone’s literal toes than we usually do when it comes to oppression, the problems with many common responses are obvious:

  • Centering yourself: “I can’t believe you think I’m a toe-stepper! I’m a good person!”
  • Denial that others’ experiences are different from your own: “I don’t mind when people step on my toes.”
  • Derailing: “Some people don’t even have toes, why aren’t we talking about them instead?”
  • Refusal to center the impacted: “All toes matter!”
  • Tone policing: “I’d move my foot if you’d ask me more nicely.”
  • Denial that the problem is fixable: “Toes getting stepped on is a fact of life. You’ll be better off when you accept that.”
  • Victim blaming: “You shouldn’t have been walking around people with boots!”
  • Withdrawing: “I thought you wanted my help, but I guess not. I’ll just go home.”
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In reality, most of us naturally know the right way to react when we step on someone’s toes, and we can use that to help us learn how to react when we commit microaggressions.

  • Center the impacted: “Are you okay?”
  • Listen to their response and learn.
  • Apologize for the impact, even though you didn’t intend it: “I’m sorry!”
  • Stop the instance: move your foot
  • Stop the pattern: be careful where you step in the future. When it comes to oppression, we want to actually change the “footwear” to get rid of privilege and oppression (sneakers for all!), but metaphors can only stretch so far!

Reacting in a fair and helpful way isn’t about learning arbitrary rules or being a doormat. When we take the politics out of it, it’s just the reasonable thing to do. Still, it’s hard to remember in the moment, because these issues are so charged in our society. As such, it may be helpful to reframe the situation so that you don’t feel defensive.

You may have noticed it’s easier to handle being corrected about something you didn’t know if you’re grateful for and even open to the opportunity to learn rather than embarrassed to have been wrong. Being able to let go of your ego is an incredibly important skill to develop.

Try starting with “Thanks for letting me know” to put yourself in a better frame of mind. If after you say that, you need to take some time to think about the situation, that’s fine, too. Just remember that this isn’t about changing the other person’s frame of mind. They’re allowed to be upset about being oppressed.


SO HOW ARE YOU DEALING WITH THE HEAT? WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO FORMULAS FOR KEEPING COOL WHEN WORKING FROM HOME? TELL ME IN COMMENTS.

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