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.
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?