Dressing For Work While Working at Home

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Are you self-employed and working from home? Maybe you’re a SAHM or a WAHM? If so, you’re among a growing population; more and more companies are allowing and even encouraging telecommuting as work option.  But with this option comes an unexpected challenge—what is the appropriate work at home wardrobe?

It’s easy to fall into the trap of throwing on sweats or workout clothes in the morning and staying in them all day long.  After all, these clothes are really comfortable.  Some people even stay in their pajamas all day when they work from home. It’s tempting to be comfortable sitting by your aquarium in the living room with nice aquarium lighting, but unfortunately sweats or pajamas are not the ideal work at home wardrobe.

The way you look directly affects the way you feel and act. If you dress like you are taking the day off, you are subconsciously telling yourself that’s where you’d rather be rather than working. It probably won’t be blatant, but it may come across in your work and in your voice on the phone.

You don’t have to go to the other extreme of dressing in a suit or a skirt just to sit in your home office, but somewhere in the middle of these two is a good compromise. Business casual is a great way to give your body and mind the signal that you are ready to work—no matter what your location.

Business casual presents its own challenges as there is no clear definition of what it means.  In some offices it means literally anything goes. Others have guidelines for example they may have ruled out certain items like capris or flip flops noting them to be not enough “business” and all “casual”.

A good idea is to create a few guidelines for yourself that will keep you in “business mode”.  For example, you might still feel professional in a pair of jeans, but not the paint-stained or ripped ones you wear on the weekends.

Ultimately, the key to your work at home wardrobe is to actually pay attention to it and not let it be an afterthought.


Ellen is a blogger who works at home with her two dogs.   

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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  1. I would love to work from home, and I wouldn’t mind an aquarium either, good fend shui I hear.

  2. I work-from-home and I work in my jammies. :D I just find it a lot more comfortable. But, I’ll try this out too.

  3. I never tried working at home. But I think you got a point in saying that how you dress up gives you the kind of mood you are in/ or you should be in. If I were a WAHM/ SAHM, I would definitely dress up a little bit while working.

  4. I would love to work from home as well. When I am home on breaks I do get into the yoga pants and pony tail funk though. I think you made good points about your clothes being a reflection of your mood and professionalism.

  5. Kaye Figuracion says

    I work at home using my everyday clothes. I’m more comfortable with that.

  6. I work at home, and I know how hard it is to be on work mode when my little office is just beside our bed. It takes a lot of discipline to be able to accomplish a lot in one day. Dressing for work while at home is actually a good idea to jump-start my work day.

  7. This is very true! Not necessarily saying that you have to be business wear, but pull yourself together, get ready. I know when I was even doing school online at home, sitting in my pajamas way no doubt a lot more comfortable but I did take it more serious and was more alert when I had gotten dressed and ready for the day, rather than just lounging around in the pajamas. The same went for when I was working at home when I first had my son.

  8. I usually just work in my pambahay clothes. Tamad magbihis e. Hehehe! =)

  9. work at home using my everyday clothes. I’m more comfortable with that.

  10. love your site, i would love to keep in touch.

  11. The way you dress deffently will impact the you work and feel. Even if you work from home or work online it is essential to dress you best for that specific occiasion. I have a pinterest account that allowes me to stay on top of the latest fashion in spots wear, causial and formal fashion, shoes and accericeries. I make a digital file on all my favirote fashion ideas and then pull togeather my best picks when shopping. Dress you best at home or out on location to look and feel your best.

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