Home Office vs. Office Office

Would it be ridiculous to say that one of the best learning experiences I had as an intern through the course of my tenures at four separate places pre-Man Repeller was picking up on the nuances of that which makes an outfit day-to-night appropriate? It’s actually not day so much as it is office, which assumes a level of sophistication completely devoid of the former. And that’s not easy to make up.

The look is supposed to be equal parts function and charm — and if you work in fashion, “cool” is an important one too. So this is a look that at once makes you seem charismatic, cooler than the other side of your pillow and ready, willing and able to roll your sleeves up should you need to. I know what you’re thinking, that seems like it takes a unicorn to achieve!

Personally, I worked from home for three years before moving into an office and though I have often waxed poetic on the importance of getting dressed even if you anticipate staying home all day, every day, (it helps you stay motivated! Feel more important! Not fall asleep at the hand of your computer!), when push comes to shove, forcing yourself to get dressed, especially in the wake of frigid temperatures really is a feat — if for no reason other than the fact that you’re at home, so JEEZ, MAN why in the good name of podiatrists everywhere would you put shoes on?

Frankly, I was starting to feel slightly envious of women who’d gotten office style down pat. You walk into the Hearst or Condé Nast buildings in New York and you immediately understand that those women know what they’re doing. Their outfits are that perfect aforementioned combo platter. The longer I stayed in solitary confinement, the more certain I was that I’d forgotten how to sartorially multi-task.

If I’m being really dramatic, it doesn’t seem outrageous to suggest that there should definitely be a MacArthur Fellowship prize awarded to she who can throw on one succinct outfit and have it function for both a full work day and a robust evening. I’d hope that moving into an office has been a great opportunity to me to flex those dormant muscles and get my game face on.

You be the judge, though.


Blue and white sweater by The Row, red and white sweater by Vince (you see that, right?), jeans by Rebecca Minkoff, choker by Delfina Delettrez, and the shoes are Thakoon from four score, seven years ago.

Actually, don’t. Just tell me how you dress for work. Is it a home job or an office job? Have you mastered the art of office-to-night? Can you send me a selfie?

Do you want to see my office?

Fine! Here!


Office by HomepolishWorkstead Brooklyn chandelier, Dwell Studio chairs & wall sculptureWayfair end table & sheepskin throw, The Sill planters, Poppin desk supplies, Uprise Art wall piece and whiteboard wall by Inside Squad.

  • Quinn Halman

    It looks beautiful, and mazel tov! such an incredible achievement! I also agree with what you said about dressing yourself even if you are just staying at home, that just epitomizes the whole “dress for yourself” mantra.

  • shelley

    I work from home! and I’m wearing black silk pants, a striped top, my lucky scarf and loafers. I am always freezing cold so I have a blanket on as well.

    the number one thing people say when I tell them I work from home is “oh I bet you sleep in and wear pajamas every day” and it kind of just bugs me. nope, I always get up and work out and get showered. I try to bother looking decent enough to go out to lunch (although I never do) 🙂 LOVE your office!

  • Jerry Emeka

    I enjoy working from home and from the office. When working from home, though, I work extra hard on how I look to make sure I feel like I can crush it! You look good, you feel good… it’s all GOOD!

  • I work from my bed…lol. Your office looks so cool!!


  • You created such a beautiful space!

  • Beautiful work space you lucky lady. Took me a moment to spot the sneaky red jumper – you really are the master of the layers.

  • Natali

    Very pretty office!! I wish I could even have space at home to have an office, but there’s no space for that :/


  • Jessica Rose

    Looks very clean and tidy….does it always look this way!?! 😉
    http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk Jess. x

  • The Fashion Panda
  • Stylish, simple and neat. Not to cozy to procrastinate but not too sterile to be a ‘work at home’ douche. Good job!


  • Guest

    The problem with staying home working on cold day is: pj’s. Algo.. why get out of bed? *sigh* it’s painful!

  • belulopezchamba

    The problem with staying home working on cold days is: pj’s. Algo.. why get out of bed? *sigh* it’s painful!

  • cute office! clean and chic


  • I can not wait to decorate my home office. It will most likely be my favourite room in the house! I’m a work in pjs kind of girl but slowly trying to change that! Office-esque clothes are pretty cute.

  • Irene
  • Dressing to stay motivated at home is great, but it reaches a point where you realise you have no clothes, and that’s more demotivating than working in your pyjamas for a week.

  • Frida

    I looooooooooooooooooooooooooooove the detail with the red and white stripped sweater

  • Brie

    i wondered when i would see those wonderful Thakoons again. they haunt my dreams Leandra….

  • A beautiful, simplistic space. I’d love to see a behind-the-scenes post on how you go about doing outfit posts, how you and your team come up with ideas and even meet some of the people that write for you.

  • aletha

    I work from someone else’s home, as a nanny. But I refuse to ‘dress down’ in sweats and ill-fitted comfort. Despite having the luxury to stay in my pjs, the luxury of dressing like what I am worth is greater. Besides, Id hate to see beautiful clothes sit alone in my closet.

  • I work from a home office I usually manage to keep tidy (not like yours, though (love it)), and I always strive to put on something nice with my obligatory jeans. Usually things I have decided not to wear outside anymore (because I got something better?) and … slippers. Black slippers.

  • Anonymous

    not pictured: buttoned collar, warby parker bensens, red lip. for night, the red lip gets a touchup. (this is hip as fuck in midwestern office culture where the most stylish ladies wear tory burch ballet flats. you guys in manhattan should praise the gods every day.) leandra: your writing makes me smile in my innards. please never stop.

    • Anonymous

      hmmm pic didn’t load, trying again.

  • Anonymous


  • I’m still figuring out the office style myself.

    College instructors and professors have a pretty wide variety of dress codes. I work in the English department at two very different colleges, and tend to dress differently depending on which one I’m working at.

    Community College? I dress slightly better than the students. Anything goes, as long as you don’t wear jeans and a hoodie. I get complimented a LOT by other teachers and students for how I dress. I feel like a fraud because what I wear isn’t much better than how I dressed as a student, but whatever…if it works, it works.

    4-year University? It’s tricky, since the English department prides itself on maintaining a level of “realness” and “individuality.” I wear a lot of office staples (black trousers, black blazer, heels, etc.) but mixed with things that have a bit more style, if you will. Also get complimented a lot by students…but not teachers. I’m not enough of a hippie for many of them. Polished nails denotes a certain disrespect for the environment, and hairspray is downright genocide. Pretty sure one of them muttered “whore” under their breath once when I showed up wearing red lipstick. I roll with it anyway, and laugh it off by reminding them that they just pulled into the parking lot in a gas-guzzling SUV.

    Next semester I’ll be bouncing back and forth between both schools. This is my version of “day to night” – dressing good enough for the big-league school, while keeping things more toned down (and less alienating) for the smaller school.

    I see a lot of sweaters, trousers, and shooties in my future…

  • First off, gorgeous office!

    I’m a director & pianist and I work from home, and I usually just try to avoid wearing PJ’s at my desk/piano!

  • Amelie

    Beautiful! I’d get a home office any day over an office office if I could choose.

    The Neon Guava


  • Leandra! The office looks great — so professional and simple. MR just keeps growing and growing! Do you feel that getting out of the house has made you more productive? It must also make coming home feel extra special after a long day, too!
    I find that I am way more productive when in regular clothes. After practice, I shower and then usually pop on normal clothes instead of resorting immediately to the pajamas. I find myself getting cranky and losing focus if the PJs go on too soon. And if they do go on, then I definitely need to wear shoes for some reason — usually Birkenstocks.
    I, for the past few weeks, have been keeping a tube of lipstick on my desk for when I need to stay up quite late and work on an essay or math homework or whatever it might be. Sometimes just applying lipstick helps me feel like I am doing something important, and that I need to get it done.
    P.S. Are those Chihuahuas on your feet, or are you walking???

  • Zahra Rajabi


  • Nicole Watkins

    I love the clean, zen space! It looks like a space that will entice new, exciting thoughts into existence.

    As far as combining function and form in fashion, I have a question. If you sell vacation, waterfront real estate, your day may unexpectedly may include jumping in and out of boats, looking for boundary markers in the woods, jumping over rivers, as well as writing contracts in the office. What can you wear that makes sense, is professional, appropriate to your business, and won’t make you look like a professional eccentric and manrepeller?

    (I’ve been working for years in the second home luxury market, but still have to ask myself this question every day.)

  • Maya

    Exactly my point. I work at a very boring serious boring silent office. I need to start dressing up for myself to feel important and satorially multi’task. Well put!