Dressing for Work at Home: What message will you send your employer?

Working from home on Over 50 feeling 40

New day, new life, new world.  I am discussing today some tips to remember if you are now working from home and what your choice will tell your employer.  From looking at various blog and brand posts, there seems to be a myth that it is all about comfort and leisure once we are home behind a computer.  But, for many wearing sweats and yoga clothes the whole day simply does not work, and I submit to you doesn’t help your state of mind either.  What messages you send with your at home wear are still very important!

What to Wear to a Video Conference

Pamela Lutrell in White House Black Market jacket for video chats

This White House Black Market  jacket is a great professional piece for my in -home -work- life now…here is why.  Many of you know I have two lives…a daytime professional job, and a lifestyle blogging job.  I was set up in my office at home for the latter, but have now reworked some things for both.  First let’s look at how a typical work day may go for me now.

  1. I will begin with a great palette underneath.  On this day, the palette was black Soft Surroundings jeans, and a black Ming Wang knit tank.  
  2. For my video chats with my daytime team, I wore a white jacket with an interesting neckline at the top and a simple short necklace.  The eye line is now on my face and upper portion of my body. For professional video meetings, I still want to send a message that I am a professional and completely engaged with the work at hand. The messaging for my professional dress has always been to look intelligent, strong, and in-charge (I am not a boss, but dress for the job you want and not for the job you have…right?)  I do not want to send a message that I am at home watching movies and eating ice cream, but joining in for your video chat.  I want to use this time to further at least one of my careers…not end them all.

I like what designer Diane Von Furstenberg says about dressing with the intention of saying “I am in charge.”  She said, ” To be “InCharge is first a commitment to ourselves.  It is owning who we are.  It is respecting and trusting our character, knowing that it is forever the home and the core of our strength.”

The Woman I Wanted to Be by Diane Von Furstenberg

Diane Von Furstenberg on Amazon

Another note about video meetings and chats, pay attention to what is behind you!  Previously, I had behind me a clothing rack with the outfits I was going to blog about for the week on that rack and any extra pieces to blog about in the future.  My day boss immediately commented in front of everyone that I needed to hang up my clothing!  That rack has now been moved and the painting you see below is what he will see this morning.  This is the painting my dear friend Gail did from a picture I took at a Neiman Marcus Fashion Show years ago when Gail was a regular personality on the blog…she moved away and took my heart with her…such an amazing, talented, dear friend.

NEXT, RELAX A BIT

Pamela Lutrell dressing for work at home on Over 50 Feeling 40

3. When video chats are over and I am just about doing computer work, then I can remove the white jacket and the necklace, and replace with a beautiful topper like this Soft Surroundings kimono I have owned for several years. I still look and feel my best, but can relax a little bit more. If I was not social distancing and was going out more, then I would add some fun jewelry to this kimono-style.

PJs and workout wear do have their place and time in this new life we have.  But, dressing for the day is mentally a healthy thing to do…it helps to keep us active and involved.  It is just too easy with no makeup and in loungewear to “shulp” (is that a word?) into a chair with a blanket and withdraw from life.  Then it becomes easy to turn on 24-7 stressful news…which can ultimately lead to depression.  Avoid it…plan for your professional workplace.  It is ok to switch out the video wear and the comfy wear as long as you are communicating to yourself and others that you are still in the game!

WEAR JOY!

Pamela Lutrell wears joy to her in home job

No matter what you wear…remember to wear joy.  As I said yesterday, smiles are now our hugs.  The way we reach out and embrace others.  So put on your smile every morning with whatever you choose to wear to the job and use it as your way to touch co-workers or clients.  

Does anyone else have comments about what to wear for working at home?  Please share!  

MORE READER STYLE INSPIRATION

Let’s get back to sharing some style inspiration for the readers who have asked for it.  Today, Sue wants to tell the world with her fashion that she is confident, striking, intentional and streamlined.  I can tell from her adjectives that she is a strong, confident woman already, so I hope I get this right.  Wanting to look streamlined means no oversized garments…fit is important. It took me awhile to find outfits I truly thought were striking, but found some!  I hope this slide show will inspire Sue and women like her

.

Remember everyone, stay safe, stay home, stay hopeful……………………………………………………..and 

KEEP HUGGING OTHERS WITH YOUR SMILE!

By Pamela Lutrell

 

26 Comments

  1. Very good advice! That’s a great jacket, and column dressing is always a good idea, it works for everyone. Your post points out the problem I always had with “casual Friday.” This was not done at any of the places I worked, believe it or not, and I was glad because I liked to dress up (which I’d have done even if they decided to do ‘casual Friday’!) I think when you take the time to dress nicely, you move out of weekend mode and into professional mode, and that’s a good thing. You are taken more seriously and viewed as a professional person. I know that’s not what everyone is after these days, but there is something to be said for it. It’s possible to relax a tiny bit and still appear professional. Good point about what is seen behind you! That could be easily overlooked, but it’s the first thing we notice when we’re on a video chat. Since so many people are working remotely now, this is a very helpful post! It will be awhile before I can get back to volunteering, but I’m still taking the time to dress nicely even though most days I’m at home. I do get out to the park and the stores that are open, but the number of those is shrinking daily!

    1. I liked what you said Karen about moving from the weekend mode to the professional mode…I do think it helps! In my first video meeting today, we discovered a button to blur the background! Who Knew? It worked great…though my clothing rack is no longer there.

  2. Absolutely great advice! We can anyways count on you to offer sensible and useful tactics and strategies. Thank you. Had to chuckle at a colleague noticing the clothing rack…..,need some levity at this time.
    Love your blogs!

  3. Good morning. I love the slideshow today. i didn’t think Sue’s adjectives applied to me, but I would seriously wear any of those looks you chose for her.
    I do have a question. I am older now than when you started this blog. 65! I can barely believe it. But, I have absolutely white hair which I dye back to my natural red. I go every 4 weeks. I missed my last appointment due to illness, so I was already flirting with root growth. With the current situation, I am looking ragged. My pixie cut is growing, and those white roots are outrageous. When I see suggestions about minimizing the look
    of root grow out since no one can get to a salon, it is always for longer hair and darker roots. I am not into drug store hair color, especially for red hair.
    If you or your readers have any suggestions short of a ball cap, it would be appreciated.
    Love this blog and have followed you since the beginning when you wouldn’t show your face at all.

    1. Wow…you have been faithful!! I will have some suggestions for you tomorrow…thanks for asking Mari!

    2. One of the salons in my town is offering a “grey repair” kit! I thought that was so creative. They will put together the color you need, small brush for application, and even a small bowl to mix in. If you have a regular salon or stylist, maybe they’d be willing to put something similar together. Good luck!

      1. Thanks Carolyn. These are the businesses who will survive…meeting needs and being creative during difficult times.

  4. Good Morning,
    The cream colored jacket is gorgeous on you and reminded me of a beautiful nubby raw silk jacket my college boyfriend gave me our first Christmas together. It went with so many things and I’ve ever since loved having cream or creamy-white jackets, vests and sweaters for that reason. They bring light to the face and a certain cheer.
    Have a calm and productive week, and thanks for morning fashion show!

  5. You look fabulous for working at home! I feel so much more energized after reading your posts. I am wondering if you are thinking of the word schlep. In Yiddish, שלעפּ‎‎, shlep is usually used as a transitive verb for carrying (or dragging) something else, while the English term, “schlep”, is also used as an intransitive verb, for dragging oneself. In Yiddish, גליטש‎‎, glitsh means “slip”, while the English form, “glitch”, means malfunction. (Source Wikipedia) Enjoy your day. We are off to the drive-through at Meijer to get the Urban Farmer’s prescription. After that we will isolate a chicken who is being beaten up by her coop mates. I definitely will be wearing my barn boots and old jeans for that. Oh the glamour!

    1. Thanks for the education on the word…love it. I promise, I would not dress nicely to isolate a chicken!!

  6. You were right on in the looks you chose for me. If a stylist were to bring them to me in the dressing room I would have tried on everything except the green crop pants. I nixed them only because there was too much going on at the waistline with the self belt. My absolute favorite look was the pale blue dress with statement necklace. It’s a perfect Wow look! Simple, slim fitting, suitable for creative accessorizing. Striking! Thanks.

  7. Sue again here, I also would choose your white jacket for a look for myself. I love the interesting neckline. Makes for an upscale striking look.

  8. I like to use the word “presentable” about how I dress to leave the house for work(when I had a semi professional gig) or for errands,groceries.etc. Clean clothes, appropriate to the situation,hair and makeup in place,accessories if needed.in short all the items that will make me feel good about myself. I am not a model,clothes horse,etc. but I do love to look nice,i.e.presentable when I leave the house. I do love your white jacket, Pam, I also have sticky fingers, so you would have to watch out for that jacket. Will be happy when all this passes.Just more stuff to remember! Stay safe,etc. Smiles are so nice too.

  9. Once retired, it is imperative to get up, get dressed in something nice, add your jewelry or your makeup or whatever signifies you are in society. If you don’t do so, you will find yourself in the dreaded drift, doing nothing with yourself and your days.

  10. I had a little talk with myself earlier this week! I had let things slide while recovering from surgery and now in lock down. For the past few days I’ve been doing my hair, wearing something other than sweats and my jewelry is back. I like what I see in the mirror now. It’s slippery slope out there.
    Keep that Kimono- its fabulous!

    1. LOL…I have owned this one a long time. In fact, I don’t think I have ever donated away a Soft Surroundings kimono…love them! Keep on keeping on, Janet. It does help the state of mind…doesn’t it?

  11. Love this post today! I worked from home for 12 years, but most meetings were audio conferencing. I did try to dress nicely because, as you noted, this really encourages professionalism. Occasionally I used Skype video with a colleague and once showed her my “corner office” – the corner of my living room with my green Lazyboy recliner set up with headphones, microphone and laptop! After that, she always teased me about my job perk of a corner office. Thanks for all the positive thoughts you spark with your blog!

    1. Thank you, thank you for the encouragement Christine. I so appreciate it and really need it right now. Thanks. Love the story you shared!

  12. I’ve also had to shift to online video for work and very much appreciate this post. I wore a long necklace today, because that usually elongates nicely, but it was lost on the video. I now see how a short necklace will be better. I’ve also put my computer with camera on a book, so people are not looking up at me. I find I prefer my appearance if the camera is more directly at my level or slightly higher.

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