Should You Dress for Online School?

In a world where pajamas and no makeup has become the new “business casual”, you might find it hard to get dressed and go any further than your bed. The answer to the question as to why you should dress up for online school will vary greatly depending on who you ask. Some might say it is a good idea, and others are firm believers in it does not matter because you are not leaving the house.With the new semester starting, it is easy to carry the old habit of attending classes or working on projects in your sleepwear, but did you know it could actually be hurting you?


Samantha in 3 different back to school looks
Virtual back to school OOTDs by Samantha Oliveira


Getting Dressed Establishes Routine and Focus

Every morning (before the world-wide shutdown) you would wake up, brush your teeth, get dressed, maybe grab some breakfast, and be on your way. But now, since all our work arrives virtually, there’s no reason to change into something nice when there is nowhere to go. Right?




Have you ever put on your favorite shirt and just felt your confidence levels boost? That is exactly what setting yourself up for a good class looks and feels like.


Almost every student’s routine is disrupted by CoVid-19, and anxiety levels of not knowing what will happen next continue to rise across the globe. Most people find comfort in having a set schedule, but with March feeling like it is still going on, the one thing you can easily have control over is getting dressed each day before class. The National Alliance on Mental Illness is encouraging people to keep their daily routines of getting ready for the day, as it promotes your overall mental health and wellness.


Keeping the routine of getting dressed before online classes gets you in a good headspace to focus and really try your best. The feeling of productivity that comes with putting on a pair of jeans and a nice top signals your brain to go on “work mode”. Trying to focus at home, a place that brings you comfort and relaxation, can hinder your ability to “work as if you were in the classroom”. Getting dressed will not only turn that switch on to “work mode”, but will also help separate your school environment from your home environment.


Dressing the Part Boosts The Respect All Around

When you put on an outfit you feel confident in, you sit up a little taller, maybe hold your head a little higher. Have you ever heard of the saying “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”? It applies to the virtual realm as well.. Essentially, dressing like you are going to the classroom will make you act like you are in the classroom.Dressing nicely boosts self-respect. It doesn’t always mean wearing your fanciest outfit, but it does mean dressing with care. Showing that respect to yourself trickles down to ultimately showing respect to your teachers. You are showing your professors that you care about what they are teaching. When everyone feels respected, the more you can get out of the class and the more productive you’ll feel.


You Will Be Motivated To Do More Things Outside of Online Class

Being virtual *almost* has its advantages— If you have the chance to be more productive, why not take it! If you wake up every morning and never change out of your pajamas or comfy sweatpants, it is hard to get a move on the day in between classes and after school. Comfy “sleepy” clothes invoke the feelings of Netflix and naps in between class, but if you have your outside clothes on, the motivation to get a jump on homework or clean up your workspace increases. When your productivity increases, it makes you feel more accomplished and ultimately you will feel better about your day.

Increasing your productivity increases your creativity. If you can get some work done in between classes, it gives you more time to be creative and do what you want to do: Sew, paint, draw, call your friends, go thrifting, make a charcuterie board, whatever. You will feel better about the assignments you put out and might even be able to learn new things in the process.


In conclusion, you SHOULD get dressed up for online school. If you are still opposed to the idea of putting on presentable clothing just to stay at home, maybe start small. Start by brushing your hair or putting on some mascara. Any amount of effort is a step in the right direction to setting yourself up for a successful semester. Just something as simple as that can ease you into the new habit of self care. It is important to take care of your mental health and make time for all the extras that bring you joy. If something as simple as getting dressed can help nurture those things, ask yourself why not?