Working From Home & Still Having Style

When I first started working from home while finishing up grad school last year, we were hit with a horrendous winter that left me in yoga pants and bulky sweaters nearly every day.

It was depressing.

The weather sucked, I wasn’t sure how to get clients, and when I did have writing work, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wasn’t actually in work mode when I was dressed in sloppy clothes or straight up pajamas.

When spring rolled around, I started a blog about personal style, but I didn’t keep up with it, mainly because I felt embarrassed writing about clothes, style and fashion when my dog and husband were the only ones seeing me most days. Seemed pointless.

Over the past 6 months, I’ve shifted my thinking about this, however. Now I get dressed every morning as though I’m heading to a casual yet professional office (which I am, even though it’s a 12 second commute downstairs). Even if the only people who see my ensemble are me in the mirror, the dog, my husband, the Starbucks barista and a stray neighbor or two, I still get dressed.

Why?

Because having style is important, even if you don’t care about fashion and even if no one sees you. What you wear plays a role in reflecting who you are. You have complete control over this form of self-expression. Hear that? Complete control.

If you like black, wear black. If you like color, wear color. If, like me, you scour style blogs for ideas and waste time on Pinterest building up your style board, then do it. Don’t be ashamed to wear what you like and have an opinion about something as aesthetically pleasing as your clothing.

It’s not silly to like style. It doesn’t make you look shallow. It shows that you’re strategic with your image and you want to control the way your image travels through the world.

And for me, getting dressed in “real” clothes is the only way to mentally shift myself into work mode. When I head downstairs in my pajamas, I’m much more inclined to lounge around than I am once I get dressed.

I got out to meetings with clients and connections a lot more often now, but even if I don’t have a meeting on my schedule, I still like to dress as though I could run into someone important at any moment. I’ve been in coffee shops with friends when someone they know walks in, and boom– there’s a new contact who may need a writer for their business, or may know someone who does. I’d rather they remember me as that writer who looked pulled together instead of that writers who could have tried a little harder to look professional.

I don’t know about you, but it boosts my confidence when I’ve taken time to put an outfit together.

By the way, I’m not suggesting you dress in business suits and wear sheer pantyhose around the house.

I certainly don’t.

But think about what you like, what feels good to wear, what expresses who you are. Wear what makes you feel powerful.

It takes just as long to put on a pair of dark jeans and a nice top as it does to pull on yoga pants and an old tee, right? Why not put in the effort?

For those of us who work from home, it becomes easy to pretend we don’t care about our looks. But if you view style as a form of self-care, self-respect, and professionalism, it might transform how you view yourself.

How do other home-workers deal with style and the lack of a dress code? What’s your go-to uniform?

5 thoughts on “Working From Home & Still Having Style”

  1. “I don’t know about you, but it boosts my confidence when I’ve taken time to put an outfit together.”

    Yeah it does! It’s so easy to become a slob when you work from home, but I do feel much more “with it” when I’m dressed as if I am going to work off-site or get out for the day, even if I’m not going to.

    I just had a baby, so I’m still in this transitional phase clothing-wise. A lot of my old clothes don’t fit still and I’m sick of my maternity clothes. I usually just wear a cute, comfy pair of jeans and a shirt that’s flattering for me right now, and that does the trick. I also try to get out for a walk every day with my baby for the exercise and vitamin D.

    What helps me in the morning is to throw on my clothes before I come downstairs to work, then get my coffee and breakfast going. Otherwise, if I go straight to the computer, the morning will fly by, I’m looking like hell and I won’t have eaten anything by noon.

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    1. I’m the same way, Margie! If I don’t get dressed before I come downstairs, I throws me off, too. Getting dressed and putting some effort into my outfit helps put me in work mode. I used to get dressed later in the morning, and I found I just wasted time until I got dressed. It’s such a mental thing for me!

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  2. I am in LOVE with your pinterest style board! I wish I dressed that well. I’m wearing jeans with holes and Uggs and no makeup right now, because I had on business clothes at the conference. If I ever quit my day job I think I’ll probably love the luxury of PJs for a while, but then I’ll keep this in mind and try to get dressed. :O)

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    1. There are definitely days I don’t make it past the yoga pants in my closet! I just can’t let myself off the hook too often or I feel like I’m not really working. And oh my god, my Pinterest board makes me so happy yet so sad! I wish my closet had all those things in it haha🙂

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  3. Oh man, I definitely struggle with this. On the one hand, it seems to silly to get dressed since sometimes my boyfriend is literally the only person I’ll see that day. On the other hand, pajamas all day is…not a great idea either. Lately, I’ve managed to put myself together mid-afternoon, so that I’m dressed by the time my bf gets home. Haha. Maybe it’s time for a routine shake up?

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