Recently, I started working from home. I went into the new adventure picturing myself commuting the 50 feet from my bedroom to my home office still in my pajamas and slippers with a cup of coffee in hand. After years of getting gussied up in pencil skirts, blazers and pumps every day, advancing my career without the fancy wardrobe seemed like heaven. But I quickly learned a very important lesson; nothing productive happens in a bathrobe. While I was still ecstatic to send my mountain of business wear to Goodwill, I have a new dress code that maximizes productivity while keeping comfort in mind.
The typical workday
To get your day started on an energetic and profitable note, stick to a morning routine that involves a coordinated outfit, makeup and styled hair. A frazzled appearance often equals a chaotic mind, so tame your locks and apply a little BB cream, mascara and lip-gloss. Forgo loungewear and choose slim-fit pants, such as leggings or skinny jeans, and soft, lightweight tops. Focus on pieces that layer well so that you can toss on a jacket or sweater in case you suddenly need to connect with a client on Skype or run out the door. Finish up for comfortably chic look with a pair of Ugg boots or a set of adorable flats
Out of the house days
Running a solo business from your home office, or logging on to a digital workspace, does not mean that you can completely abandon human interaction. Without a bevvy of coworkers to gossip with, it’s crucial to create opportunities to unchain yourself from the desk and get out in the world. So, stop making wisecracks about the hipster writers soaking up the free WiFi at your local coffee house and join them. Pack up your laptop and find a public spot to work for an hour or two. At least one day a week, try to merge the usual errands and a few hours of work at a library or eatery for a day on the town. A uniform of dark jeans, a silk top, cardigan and a pair of Converse usually do the trick to keep you looking with an on-trend pro and get you out of the house without a lot of fuss. For days when you tack on a trip to the gym, opt for your nicest yoga pants, a tech jacket and Nike athletic shoes for a fit and fashionable look.
Your entrepreneurial dreams will never come to fruition without making contacts and engaging with the public. To get your work out there, join a few networking or community groups and the Chamber of Commerce. Of course, attending networking functions means dressing to impress so you’ll need a wardrobe that showcases you as a professional. In other words, your workout duds and flannel pjs need to stay at home for this one. While you may have hoped to abandon suits for good, keep one of hand for the most professional networking opportunities. Otherwise, a flattering pair of black or grey slacks is versatile enough to pair with a variety of upscale tops, or jackets. Give the look your own spin of personality with statement jewelry, scarves, and a luxe bag. For footwear, try a pair of cute but comfy ankle-strap sandals or d’oesay pumps from Boston Proper.