What the well-dressed homeworker is wearing 7 – Friday

5 Comments

It’s the end of my week of well-dressed homeworker posts. I’ve had great fun writing these – hope you’ve enjoyed reading them! I’ve also thought quite a lot about image, clothes, dressing up, etc. And I’ve learned a few things along the way, too!

And I WAS established in 1972 myself!

First off, today’s outfit … I started off the day in pajamas and fleece for a pre-breakfast transcribing session, transferred to yoga kit for the breakfast-to-yoga period, then moved up to my slightly-less-than-shabby set of comfy clothes I bought to homework in back when I started doing this one day a week.

The lining is so fleecy-warm, though …

No Horror Pinks for me this week … but here’s a photo of them anyway!

What are you wearing today? What’s your most disreputable homeworking outfit?

What have we talked about?

On Saturday I introduced the series and shared what I was wearing.

On Sunday I got inspired and started to plan the week’s posts

On Monday I shared my levels of clothing depending on context, and everyone else talked about this like mad!

On Tuesday I talked about my transition from office suits to home office tracksuits, and asked you about your journeys …

On Wednesday I explored with you whether we’re hired for our appearance or our brains. Does it matter what we look like? And I shared a pic of myself “au naturel”.

On Thursday I asked what you wore when you got out of the house to networking events, etc., and realised I had a uniform for that, too!

… and today I’m rounding things off and seeing what I can draw from the whole process!

Which has been your favourite post?

And what have I learned?

I am really comfy living the way I live and dressing the way I dress, and I’m comfortable with that, too.

We all get cold and we should all wear more wool, silk and thermal undies.

We all have pyjama days if we can get away with them.

What’s all this “getting away with it” mentality anyway – we’re not hired for our looks, we’re hired for our brains!

Most of us like it best this way.

We are still able to get out of the house, dressed in a conventional / tidy / decent manner that sometimes doesn’t even involve any fleece!

Have you learned anything from reading these posts and comments?

And finally, a small gallery …

Tony from Alago Tony from Alago was sporting a nifty Darth Vader Tshirt on Tuesday … and we found out that lots of us are happy in our Tshirts and hoodies and fleeces.

Embedded image permalink

Matthew aka HistoryNeedsYou relaxing at home …

Matthew aka HistoryNeedsYou likes to relax at home in something comfy. Or maybe this is what keeping standards up is all about!

Embedded image permalink

Liz from Kidsontalks

Liz from KidsonTalks sports a kimono for homeworking, and says it gives her lots of options for layers.

Sloves!

And here are the famous SLOVES! How exciting! My friend Sian’s Mum made them for her. She (Sian, not her mum) popped round for a cuppa yesterday and posed for a photo in the sitting room. I’m glad I got them in! Any knitters out there like to be commissioned to make me some?

You can keep up with this series by clicking on the category “clothing” to the right. And do share / comment / both – I want this to be about us, not me!

What the well-dressed homeworker is wearing 6 – Thursday

3 Comments

I Can Haz Accessories!

Welcome to Day 6 of my week of posts on the well-dressed homeworker. We’ve talked about all sorts of things this week and I’ve really enjoyed reading all the comments and hearing what you’ve got to say – thanks for taking part (and if you’re coming to this later on, please do still have your say!).

Today I want to talk about what we wear when we do get out of the house. The main thing I do out of the house is networking. Well, networking might be a fancy word for it: I’m quite well established now and not always out touting for new business, but I like to get out and about, chat with my peers, exchange ideas and find out how everyone’s doing. I also love putting people together who could help each other. So, yes, networking.

What do you wear when you’re out and about on business?

For networking, I seem to have developed a bit of a uniform: skirt or trousers (usually my trusty black-jeans-that-don’t-look-like-trousers), a jersey top, and a cardigan. You can see from the top picture that sometimes I even manage accessories: there I’ve managed a brooch, a ring and a watch! Wow!

A skirt!

Sometimes I even manage a skirt. Actually, even I, devotee of hoodies and fleece, like to get a bit dressed up now and then, and I do have some lovely things in my wardrobe which aren’t really that suitable for my everyday activities of sitting at my desk or going to the gym. I love my bright skirts from H&M and don’t really care that the A-line knee-length skirt is out of fashion. I have also admitted in the past that the Social Media Cafe, run by the always exquisitely groomed Karen (see  her link to her lovely nails in the comments on Monday’s post) is the only thing that makes me pluck my eyebrows and makes sure I can still get earrings in.

Bags!

I look quite the businesswoman here, don’t I, with all my bags! But I’ve still got my trusty DM shoes on …

But looking through the photos from the Cafe (all taken by the lovely Adam Yosef from Punk Zebra – if you ever need fab photos of yourself, go to him) I do notice a horrible reliance on a few cardigans that crop up time and time again. Do I need a new “capsule wardrobe” or is it not worth it for about 20 outings a year (I did do a presentation a while ago and really struggled to find something to wear to that. I was being a case study of someone who’d used social media for her marketing, I was among other small business people, and I could only find one outfit I thought was suitable.)

It’s tricky, because it’s not the suits of my formal office days, or the polyester trousers of my office girl days. I want to look a bit nicer, a bit more informal, maybe a tiny bit more up to date (although I’ve been ranting about the prevalence of smocks and puffed sleeves and detailing in current clothing for a couple of years now, none of them good for a short, high-waisted, small lady with broad shoulders!).

Do I need to go personal shopping or just trawl through TK Maxx? Has my trousers-cardi combo got stale? What should I do? What have you done in this situation? Would you like to take me shopping? Help!

And …

What are you wearing today?

Should I just stick with my homeworker uniform for all occasions? (Picture to come)

You can keep up with this series by clicking on the category “clothing” to the right. And do share / comment / both – I want this to be about us, not me!

What the well-dressed homeworker is wearing 5 – Wednesday

12 Comments

Public image of Liz (courtesy of Adam Yosef)

Today I’m going to talk about something that’s always been close to my heart:

I’m hired for my work and my brain, not my looks

Yes, I’ve written that big.

I’ve always struggled with this corporate image thing, especially for women. Being expected to dress a certain way, to put on make-up, to look “right”. I’m not talking about my right to be dirty or unkempt here, but to not dress up in what sometimes feels, to me, like drag. And I’m not criticising people who like to dress smartly, and especially not those people who dress very individually and interestingly – I’m talking about me and my resentment of the fact that I have had to present myself in a certain way in order to engender respect.

I’m lucky: I’ve not had many times in my life when I’ve had to dress up in office, suity attire. I do make an effort when I go to networking events or to do a presentation, but now I can pretty well choose what I want to wear. But I can remember times at trade shows where I’ve been openly criticised for wearing a dress and jacket, not a suit – “SO unusual”, when it wasn’t.

I’ll openly admit that I’ve not had the courage to be different and stand out; I’ve always toed the line and slunk around in my suit and heels, trying to be invisible. I’m fairly introverted and quiet,  and I don’t really like to attract attention by my physical appearance. I do know businesswomen who have brightly coloured hair or unusual outfits and can manage to sail on past the criticism. I salute you!

Anyway, I’ve always maintained that it doesn’t matter what people look like, but what they ARE like. Again, no to smelly and unkempt, but yes to pretty much anything else. And working invisibly like I do, on the other end of a wire(less), behind an email address, means that people probably don’t know what I look like, and hopefully don’t care. They hire me for my mind and my abilities.

Of course, human nature being what it is, I have been advised to, for example, have a photo on my About Me page of my professional website. And I have got one. And I am lucky enough to know Adam Yosef, who takes jolly good photos of me, looking like me. Cardi and scarf, a bit of make-up because, yes, I have got brainwashed into the whole image thing, and frankly it does make me look more awake these days, and we do have to present something of an image to the outside world, still, but it’s me, I think. But I hope that my clients, and potential clients, have a look, OK, she’s a human, a woman, about whatever age I look to be … and then concentrate on hiring the mind inside the outer casing.

Private image of me – can this woman spell less well?

This is a bit unfocused, but it’s been interesting jotting my thoughts down. I know I’m the same person with the same gifts, mind and talents as when I was sitting at an office desk stuffed into a suit – but I’m a more comfortable and relaxed home for those gifts, mind and talents now.

You can keep up with this series by clicking on the category “clothing” to the right. And do share / comment / both – I want this to be about us, not me!

What the well-dressed homeworker is wearing 4 – Tuesday

11 Comments

This week is going really well, with lots of comments and interest so far. I’m finding it all fascinating. I’m trying to have a little theme each day, and today I’m going to talk about …

The transition from office wear to home wear

What was your journey? Here’s mine …

Corporate Liz

I started off in a university library, not really any dress code but I changed from a goth look to trousers and jumpers, having panicked I wouldn’t fit in. Then the call centre was “anything goes, no one can see us!”. At the Cable Company I recall skirts, tops and cardis, and I haven’t changed much since then. At the Library Suppliers it was smart business wear at first, so suits or suit trousers and tops, and then when we got a new boss it change to business casual, so that was mainly an a-line or long skirt, top and cardi.

Library Liz

Then at the University Library again it was jeans or black polyester trousers, top and cardi, so I haven’t really slipped far from there.

I did buy some “smarter” loose jersey trousers, tops and hoodies when I first started working from home a couple of days a week. This was to give me something special to wear for my new job, and to keep me out of manky house-cleaning / gardening outfits. I’m not sure that worked entirely, but I do wear them, and I will be sporting a full set tomorrow (today is a difficult mixture of personal training at the gym and helping out at the Social Media Surgery, so no room for jersey trousers there).

Question 1 – do you miss your suits?

What about you? Did you find the move from office formal to home casual tricky to navigate? Do you miss the power suits and heels (or ties and cufflinks for the guys)? Or do you love slumming around in fleece all day (like I do)?

Question 2 – what did you do with it all?

I’m sorry – “timeless classics” are not timeless, they just last a few years longer than cheap fashion items. It’s like when M tried on his black tie outfit, purchased while at University, ready for his brother’s wedding a few years ago, necessitating a cry of “The 80s called, they want their dinner jacket back” (and the trousers! Crikey! Post them back to MC Hammer!) and a swift trip to Moss Bros. I had various suits left over from the library supplier days, but they went off to the charity shop a white back. I kept my black polyester trousers from the library years, but, again, haven’t felt the need to indulge in their chilly static electricity since I’ve been working from home, and those will be trotting down the road soon enough. None of it was suitable for the occasional client meeting and networking event I attend now (more on what to wear for those on Thursday).

What did you do with all your office gear? Do you sit in your home study, shoulder pads at full cock, expensive watch glinting on your hand. Guys, do you wear Pink’s shirts to do the gardening or under four jumpers?

Question 3 – and what are you wearing today?

A new day, a new work-from-home outfit … or maybe not? I’m in my gym kit at the moment; later it’ll be jeans/top/cardi for popping out to help people at Social Media Surgery …

You can keep up with this series by clicking on the category “clothing” to the right. And do share / comment / both – I want this to be about us, not me!

What the well-dressed homeworker is wearing 3 – Monday

28 Comments

Sunny dormer

Good morning! It’s cold, cold, cold here in Libro Towers this morning! But I’m lucky, in that my office faces south and has a big dormer window, so I will be getting the benefit of the solar gain soon …

I was all set to have my shower early, before M left for work, as I was going to be waiting in for a parcel for him, and I knew that if I didn’t take the chance to grab a shower, it could get pushed back through the whole day until the delivery guy came (especially as I am bathing rather than showering at the moment owing to a water pressure problem which means the shower doesn’t work) – ugh. I do have some standards!

This got me thinking, and the theme of today’s post is

Keeping up appearances

I’ll go first! I’m quite happy to mooch around in pyjamas until lunchtime, and am often to be found in gym kit when it’s yoga or gym day (which is most days). After getting up / getting back from the gym, especially in the winter, it’s often straight into tracksuit bottoms and a fleece. But I do have limits …

  • There are certain outfits which only go into the back garden and no further. This includes the famous Horror Pinks (very warm, fleecy-lined tracksuit bottoms in a lurid shade of hot pink; they only came in that colour, m’lud!) and crocs shoes with brightly coloured socks (actually, they go to the gym on yoga days, to ease speed of changing, but nowhere else)
  • Other items will go to Sainsbury’s and other basic shops, including the Post Office depot (which is a rare trip for me now*) – these include all tracksuit bottoms and gym outfits
  • I will wear gym outfits, i.e. yoga trousers and a gym top with a cardi over it, to meet my friend Sian for a coffee on the High Street, but no further afield
  • If I’m going into town, I will at least wear jeans/top/cardi or jumper (unless I’m doing the half marathon, in which case it’s running leggings all the way, and a MEDAL on the way home)
  • When we were having work done on the house in the summer, even though I know Terry, our workman, well, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t care what his customers look like, I felt the need to shower and dress semi-properly (jeans and a top or gym kit) before he got there
  • While I don’t mind what I look like opening the door to the postman or delivery men (*, again), when we were doing the Jubilee Party and I had neighbours dropping by at all times, I did realise I’d shocked one with my outfit (the bunches probably didn’t help) and tried to be more conventional-looking when people were likely to ring the doorbell. That’s all gone, now, though!
  • None of this stopped me finding myself on the front step of my house in trackie bottoms, pink socks and crocs, merrily on my way into town to meet Ali. It did send me back inside to change, though!

Ancient, cosy, hoodie

Do you have levels of clothing depending on where you’re popping out to? Or do you just not care, and go to the supermarket in your pyjamas?

* one downside of working from home – the postman and all delivery people seem to share the knowledge that you’re usually at home in the daytime, and deliver all your neighbours’ parcels to you. But it keeps you close to your community, I suppose …

Oh – today’s update: pyjamas at the moment, and lovely warm grey and white hoodie that I’ve had since pre-M days, so we’re talking 13 or so years. It’s still cold, and a hood is good around the ears, although I might get a bit tangled up when I try to do some transcription!

You can keep up with this series by clicking on the category “clothing” to the right. And do share / comment / both – I want this to be about us, not me!

What the well-dressed homeworker is wearing 2 – Sunday

7 Comments

There had to be some pyjamas in this series ... Welcome back to the new instalment of my week-long series on what the well-dressed (or not) homeworker wears to work from home. This is meant to be a light-hearted series in which we share those winter warmers and things you may not wish to pop out to Sainsbury’s while wearing … but actually I’m feeling quite inspired, and I’m going to write some posts on these topics (and possibly more) over the coming week:

  • Don’t worry: you’re employing my brain, not my fashion sense: why it doesn’t matter if I actually AM wearing pyjamas while editing your book
  • How did we cope with the transition from office wear to home office wear?
  • What do we wear when we DO go out or meet customers?

I’m finding this quite interesting, and I hope you are, too. I had some great responses to my first post, and you can find the whole series under the category “clothing“.

So, what am I wearing today? I admit that I did a bit of work before breakfast, and yes, I was transcribing in my pajamas (see illustration at top), plus thick socks, plus a fleece. With the heater on. Well, it was 9.6 degrees C in the kitchen this morning!

All the sleeves!I went to meet a friend for a coffee in a nice warm cafe, so put on jeans, socks, a long-sleeved brown top and yesterday’s black jumper, and now I’ve come up to the office to do blogging, book reviewing and a bit of light work (writing some articles for a website and a bit more transcription) and it is a little chilly, so I’ve added an extra, red, jumper on top of the other two tops. Nice and warm, but not too restricted.

Did you work from your home office today? What are you wearing? Do share – and share this post and its alerts, too – we’re all in it together!

What the well-dressed homeworker is wearing 1

7 Comments

Best working at home shoes EVER

This is going to be a light-hearted exploration of what I and my fellow homeworkers are wearing, now that autumn is changing into winter, those home offices are getting chillier, and the layers of fleece are getting piled on.

Reassure me that my office uniform of pyjamas ‘n’ fleece, gym kit ‘n’ fleece, normal clothes plus a few extra layers are NORMAL.

Wow us all with your amazing winter warmers (I know someone whose mum knitted her woolly arm warmers – the wonder, the joy!)

Or do you sit there in full make-up with all your nails done … and that’s just the boys.

I’m going to share my homeworking outfits for a week. Please pop by and comment and share, otherwise I’m going to feel a bit silly …

So, today, for me, it’s

  • Long sleeved black cotton top from Primark, a bit baggy with extra long sleeves coming down over my wrists; black skinny rib v neck jumper
  • Black tights under black jeans, stripey socks I borrowed from my friend, Margaret, in 1994 – these initial layers are normal person’s warm day wear, because we walked to a distant Sainsbury’s this morning
  • Homeworker specials – my beloved Sketchers Shape-Up sandals – they are loose fitting (well, adjustable) and rock, so I can move around when I’m sitting at my desk or stretching, and my ankles don’t swell up any more; and a blue bodywarmer (OK, now it’s called a gilet) which, amazingly for me, matches my shoes

So that’s me, what about you? Go on, do share!

Look – I am coordinated!