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Do you work at home? How do you dress?

By January 28, 2009 - 11:14am
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I work at home, and there are many things about it that I absolutely love.

Something that I struggle with, however, is my wardrobe -- or lack of one, to be more truthful. Since I work at a computer and don't often go out during the day, I find myself resorting to the sloppy habit of wearing sweats all day. I've fallen into the "if no one sees me, what's the point?" trap, and I can't really find my way out.

Do you work at home? What do you normally wear? Is it hard for you to "get ready" for a day if you aren't going out? I sure would love tips and encouragement on this issue. I sense that I'd feel better about myself, but sometimes it just seems pointless.

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EmpowHER Guest

I have been working at home for a number of years and start very early in the morning but no matter what, at 9:00 A.M. I am in the shower and getting dressed in my sweats again though with makeup on and hair done-it just makes me feel more productive if I have "cleaned up my act."

February 18, 2013 - 12:41pm

Thank you so much for all these thoughts. I found a lot of them very resonant with what I'm experiencing.

I started today by starting to set a schedule for myself as to when I'm going to get ready for the day, regardless of my activities for that day. Susan, I love your idea on just declaring (in my case, to the dogs, lol) that "I'm taking a shower now." It's funny, but darn it if it didn't work. And Kristin and Alysia, you're so right about the mental difference in attacking the day's tasks. I guess the reason to get dressed for the day is not "because someone will see me," but because it makes me feel differently. That's a huge realization.

Interesting, the biggest lessons sometimes come from the tiniest things.

January 30, 2009 - 9:38am

After leaving the corporate world, I worked from home for a dozen years. Personally, I found that relaxing my garb tended to relax my work habits. So, I practiced what my DH did on the days he worked from home: dressed as though I was going to my office. It made me feel more productive, focused and professional.

Sure, I sometimes "attended" conference calls in my jammies or running clothes, but felt better about attacking the day's tasks when I got dressed. Funny how that works.

January 29, 2009 - 6:42pm

After 20 plus years of getting dressed up first with Navy uniform and later with executive suits, this home-based work is heaven! I teach online for the university and consult with clients mainly on the phone. Starbucks is my office if I need to get away from home, but sweats, Crocs shoes and no make up are a great start! I love it!

Last week I had to attend a medical conference and found myself struggling with selecting what to wear, I refused to wear my suits, so I picked very comfortable, casual clothing that I dressed up with scarfs. The first day I wore high heels...BIG mistake, my feet have lost the habit and are probably wider now, so came back home with horrible pain on my feet. The next morning, I attended the meeting but wore my Crogs, doubt anyone noticed...who cares, I was comfortable and my feet appreciated it.

January 29, 2009 - 12:16am

You're right, it is easy to fall into that "if no one sees me, what's the point" trap. I worked from home for several years and I found that if I got ready for my (showering, dressing, etc.) as if I were going to an office, then I would actually be more productive during the day. I have no idea why -- must be a mental thing. Or maybe when I hung out in my sweats, it was too similar to a lazy weekend day and I fell into that mode too easily. In any case, I agree with SusanC that you should try getting out of your sweats rut and see if you feel any different.

January 28, 2009 - 9:47pm
HERWriter Guide

For some odd reason, this has never been a struggle for me, and I am a stay at home/work at home parent.

Patti - it takes about two weeks of a certain daily activity to make it a habit. So if you get up, get showered and dressed every morning for two straight weeks, you'll be surprised at how habit forming it is - and how good you'll feel.

I get up every morning and tell my kids "I'm going to work out!" - I blurt it out so that I have to go and do it (my kids forget nothing, if I say something and don't follow through, the result is about 1.5 million questions from them - so not worth it!). I wear yoga pants and a tank and work out. I work up such a sweat that I have to shower; I'm literally drenched.

I dress in my own style; I'm not a suit person, but it's normal for me to throw on a short skirt, a fitted top and a little vintage jewelry. Or some funky jeans and a scarf in my hair. I like modern style mixed with vintage and it doesn't cost much at all. And this is how I dress everyday, whether I'm rolling around with the kids, tap taping on my laptop, or working from my laptop at a coffee shop. I suppose it's because I've always been like this, since I was a little girl. I never had a tomboy or sweatsuit phase. I also like to be ready for anything. What if the weather clears and we want to head to the park or take a picnic by the river? If I'm unwashed and unkept, I'm unlikely to bother. If I'm ready to go, then what's stopping me? My kids benefit too.

And - as ostensibly shallow as this may seem - how I look ties into how I feel. Most people feel that way; it's ok. It doesn't mean we're superficial.

Patti, give it a shot, just for two straight weeks. And say it aloud, even if no-one is there. "I'm taking a shower now". If you go ahead and do it, it makes sense. If not, you're the crazy work-from-home lady who says stuff for no reason! lol.

January 28, 2009 - 1:22pm

I work at home and know EXACTLY how you feel. Some days, I throw on my workout gear, as during my break I usually take the dogs for a hike, so I am extra sloppy! And I am super vain normally! I find that if I shower early on in the day and put on clean clothes and make up, that I feel better about myself. Also, since my boyfriend comes home near dinner time, I have more incentive to look nice, as we might go out for dinner.
It is really hard though to make an attempt EVERY day! I suppose that the only way is to get into a habit of showering every morning, getting properly dressed and trying to look decent. Maybe if you take a break by going out for lunch or even going for a coffee, you are forced to make more effort as you will be seen?
I feel ya though.....I struggle with this all the time....
To compensate, when I DO go out at night, I really go all the way; sexy heels, pretty hair, full make up and a dress! And I LOVE it! LOL

January 28, 2009 - 11:58am
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