Style blogging

January 26th, 2011

You may notice there hasn’t been much of that going on for a while. Boston winter weather plus the freedom to work at home are not good motivators for outfit creation, I must confess!

Mostly, I’ve been refining my at-home uniform. Fellow freelancers, students, stay-at-home parents, part-timers: do you have a default house outfit? I’ve been wearing leggings and layered tanks and long-sleeved t-shirts with cardigans and casual skirts. Not wildly fashionable, I admit, but it’s cozy and reasonably attractive, and I can dress it up with a touch of lipstick and earrings to walk Milo or pick up a coffee. Kind of a ballerina/shtetl look.

Given that style is about clothes for how we actually live, now that I think about it, that counts as success. Style isn’t about dressing as fancily as you can for every single moment, any more than good cooking is about making the richest dishes you can. It’s about using what’s in your closet, or cupboard, to create something that works for you.

What’s your “house clothes,” if you too spend a lot of time at home? Mine are below the fold!

The basics, for sleeping and exercising at home:

Leggings: Steve Madden (Filene’s Basement)
Tank top: Chico’s Travelers (eBay). These are wonderful tank tops for year-round — they are made of a slippery fabric, so they make good undershirts.

Long-sleeved T: Gap Body
Cardigan: Macy’s
Skirt: Target

Hoodie: Thrifted
Pashmina: ??

… and so on, adding layers like a real-life matrushka doll!


9 Responses to “Style blogging”

  1. akmom on January 26, 2011 10:23 am

    When I work from home, or am puttering around the house on the weekends (maybe venturing out to grab groceries or drop a kid off somewhere), I typically wear yoga pants, a t-shirt, and a fleece or sweatshirt. And my UGG slippers (change into appropriate footwear for leaving the house). This is different from my home-from-work-in-the-evening outfit, in that I wear the ratty yoga pants/sweats on those occasions, as opposed to the ones in good condition.

    I know, I know, you are in awe of my stylishness. Not.

  2. EmmaHill on January 28, 2011 8:05 am

    I work from home, have done so for 7 years now. I tried the pjs route but found I never really felt awake, then I tried the sweat pants and fleece route and ended up feeling really skanky.

    Over the years I’ve honed a wardrobe of ‘real’ clothes that are super comfortable but actually fit and look good.
    At the moment I’m wearing:
    * 3 dark skirts that fit on or above the knee, 2 of them lycra, one pleated. Worn with thick lycra tights, often coloured, or wool tights if it’s really cold.
    * one pair (washable) grey wool mix wide legged trousers
    The above all fit such that I don’t need a belt but they don’t pinch anywhere at all, so they’re all of the sweat-pant level of comfortableness.

    On top:
    * a selection of fitted (but not snug) v-necked jumpers in shades of black, grey and brown (because that’s the cut that suits me)
    * a selection of cotton camis/vests in neutral colours to layer underneath, switch to thermal vests when it’s really cold
    * a selection of long-ish loose cardigans in neutrals to layer over the top
    * if I feel the need I have two long scarves in a light cotton/wool mix, one in grey, one in white.

    In the house I often wear slippers. If I’m having an I-need-to-wear-shoes-day (sometimes I wake up and just feel like that) or I need to leave the house I wear shoes by these guys: http://www.thinkshoes.com/.
    They are comfortable, I can fit my special flat-foot insoles in them and they are quirky and all round fabulous. I have bright red shoes with a buckle on the side that look like something out of a European fairy tale, dark green ankle boots that are very Victorian button-boot in feel and dark maroon knee boots with a sexy lace tie up the back.

    It’s pretty much all blacks and greys at the moment as that way everything goes with everything else without me having think about it.

    When it gets warmer I usually gravitate to adding more colour in my main clothes but it’s cold, damp and grey here in Dublin, Ireland and frankly too much colour just doesn’t feel right.

  3. EmmaHill on January 28, 2011 8:13 am

    Oh, I just remembered, US readers won’t know what a ‘jumper’ is, sorry. Jumper = sweater. Mine are light-weight, usually acrylic/cotton mix as wool makes me itch. Basically slightly heavier than a long-sleeved t-shirt but not much. And think shoes also have a US site.

    Oh the cold weather issue, temperature wise it’s rarely below freezing during the day here (although before Xmas we had 2 weeks of that and snow) but what we have is a wet cold which gets into your bones in September and refuses to leave until March. I have Canadian relatives and they all bitch about how cold it is here when they visit.

  4. Robin on January 28, 2011 10:38 am

    EmmaHill, your outfits sounds terrific. And those shoes look amazing. I’m bummed that they aren’t sold in the US.

  5. akmom on January 28, 2011 10:58 am

    EmmaHill makes a good point – I do always shower and do my normal hair/makeup routine when working from home. I just don’t feel productive in my PJs, either. There’s something about the act of showering and changing clothes that helps me shift into ‘work mode’ – even if the clothes are comfy workout clothes. I find that I’m much more productive working from home now that I’ve cleaned most of the junk out of my home office and can work from there instead of from the couch. For me, that’s the bigger factor than what I’m wearing.

  6. akmom on January 28, 2011 11:01 am

    Robin, it appears that Think! Shoes are available in the US:

    http://www.thinkshoesusa.com/

  7. EmmaHill on January 28, 2011 11:50 am

    akmom, like you I need an actual office desk. I cannot work from the couch (even though I need nothing apart from a phone and a laptop). I had to work from the kitchen table for a couple of months while we renovated my home office and that was a staggeringly unproductive time. My ‘office’ is a corner of a room, but I have sole use of that room during the working day. Weekends/evenings the room is a ‘quiet room’ for reading/napping away from the TV or radio.

    I don’t usually wear make-up at home but I do shower, do my hair and dress before hitting the laptop. I read emails and then the (online) paper while I eat my breakfast – OK I skim emails to check nothing major happened overnight (I work with an international team) and then read the paper. At weekends I very deliberately read a physical paper over breakfast while still wearing PJs. Helps to make the weekend feel like the weekend.

    My work-from-home wardrobe also becomes my work-from-office wardrobe simply by swapping the cardigan for a jacket and if it’s warm the jumper/sweater for a dark fitted t-shirt.

    I work for an IT firm so dress codes are pretty relaxed. I’m in HQ in the bay area of California for meetings 2 to 4 times a year and have found that colleagues regard me as someone who is particularly stylishly dressed, which I find amusing as my lyrca looks an order of magnitude more comfortable than the button-down shirts, polo shirts and often-too-tight khakis or jeans that my male and female colleagues seem to stick to. Plus my stuff never needs ironing!

  8. EmmaHill on January 28, 2011 11:54 am

    Oh Robin, how come you don’t get cold feet? I love the look of the leggings but my feet would freeze if I wore shoes without socks or hosiery/tights.

  9. Rubiatonta on January 28, 2011 2:43 pm

    When I’m working at home this time of year, I can usually be found in a pair of heavy-weight, boot-cut yoga pants and a cashmere sweater (for me, fleece is for hiking and working out – go figure). If it’s cold, I often throw on an alpaca shawl that has every color in the rainbow in it. Sometimes I wear slippers, but usually I have on Klogs or ballet flats. I do my hair and minimal makeup (mineral powder, eye pencil, and lip gloss), and put on jewelry. I learned a long time ago that I need to make the effort so that I actually get some work done, and so that I can run out quickly without feeling too schlubby.

    To be honest, I don’t dress that differently when I’m teaching, except I wear “real pants” and a few more accessories, like a watch. And occasionally a dress or skirt. (I wish the snow would go away for a few days so that I can wear a skirt, tights, and cute shoes or nice boots versus my hiking boots, but I’m just south of you in Providence and as deep into winter as you are. Bleh.)

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