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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Dress Up for Work (even when you work from home)

 


You've heard the saying, "All dressed up and nowhere to go", right? It makes me think of a question I was recently asked by a client who has found herself in a style rut. Because she primarily telecommutes to work, she dresses super casual. Meaning mainly sweats, leggings, sometimes pjs. She asked me why she should dress up with nowhere to go.

I get it, sweats are an easy answer. They are comfy and cozy and feel like a warm blanket for your legs. But for the love of all things stylish, step away from the sweats on a daily basis. Sweatpants have no place in your professional wardrobe and even if you work from home, you are still a professional. Dress like one. No exceptions to this. None. There's a time and place for sweats, coffee and a messy bun - it's called Sunday morning (and I'll even throw in a rainy Saturday on occasion for good measure!)
I know she looks happy, but no...just NO!
Some of you are scoffing and others of you are rolling your eyes and thinking "Is she seriously suggesting that I put on a dress or a suit to work at my home desk/kitchen table/couch/bed?" Again, I get it, dressing up is one less thing that you need to worry about when you telecommute so why do it? But don't do it and pretty soon you will find yourself in the same predicament as my client, with a closet full of clothes and no idea what to do with them anymore.

Being stylish is just like working out. You're using muscle memory to accomplish a task but in this case the muscle is that amazing matter called your brain. It takes creativity to not have the same look day after day - if you don't exercise the creative part of your brain like, any other muscle it gets lazy and weak.  It becomes so easy to grab those comfy sweats and open up your laptop.  When it comes time to go into the office, you are so in the habit of dressing all the way down that you find it difficult to come up with an appropriate outfit.   
You DO NOT want to be her! LOL!
You should be striving to present yourself as a credible professional at all times, even if the only person in your home office is you. You could suddenly be called into a meeting at a client site - in most business industries, sweats, pjs and leggings ain't gonna cut it. Will you have the time to figure out what to wear? If you're already dressed business casual, you're halfway there. Or what if you're minding your business, taking a quick telecommute work break stroll through your local Target and run into a potential client? What is her first impression going to be of your comfy cozy work wear? YES, you should be judged solely by your skills, expertise, and personality, but we all know that at the end of the day appearances matter. And let's be honest, you've pre-judged a date's potential by looking at his shoes. 

Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick, etiquette expert and founder and president of The Etiquette School of New York, says, "If you look the part you’re more easily able to act the part. You’ll have more confidence, you’ll gain respect from co-workers, and you’ll make a better impression on clients. We’re in a very fast-paced world. We look someone over very quickly, and even though we’re told not to make judgments of people we are making assumptions about them."
Work from home wear is just this easy and still comfy.
 I could easily swap the pants and heels for jeans and flats and still be stylish. 
Of course there are always exceptions to any rule, but when it comes to your work wear, it's better to be safe than sorry even when you work from home. So why not err on the side of caution AND style! 
Don't know where to start to achieve your perfect business casual telecommuter look? 
Contact me, I would LOVE to help!

2 comments:
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  1. Great article! I’ve been thinking of hiring you to help me with this. What you said is so true. Is does affect the way I think/feel.

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    1. I am here when you are ready! thanks for the feedback - I am glad you liked the post!

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