What To Wear To Work At Home

Hi Susan,

I’m a long-time reader of Friday Playdate; love the Friday Style idea. Here’s my dilemma, which is nearly the complete opposite of the at-home mom conundrum. I’ve worked for 25 years, in a profession where I dress in suits, or skirts and jackets, 5 days a week. Now, I’ve obviously been living right, because I have been given the opportunity to telework 3 days per week. At home! What could be better? Except I have no idea what to wear! My wardrobe for weekends is pretty sad, mostly jeans, shorts for summer, t-shirts. On the days I’m home, I’m likely to visit my son’s school, run errands, and generally see dozens of people I know in my small southern college town, so I’d really like to look at little better than weekend leaf-raking garb. Also, let’s face it, I’m not all that young any more for the jeans thing. I’m 48 (but a *young* 48, I have a 9-year-old, for crying out loud). Other data: I’m a curvy size 6, and have never really embraced chinos…they don’t do much for my small waist/larger hips. I live in the deep south.

Please help me figure out how to get out of my PJs!


I think Julie knows the answer to her own question; what she needs to do is spiff up her weekend wardrobe with some great basic pieces that she can mix and match with her work clothes.

Julie should start with some terrific jeans, at least two pair, one hemmed for flats and one for heels. She should think about trouser jeans with a wide leg and a dark wash, which is a more grown-up look than the typical weathered flare or boot-cut styles. Julie can pair them with a slim sweater or one of the jackets already in her closet.

Gap trouser jeans
Gap jeans, $68.00

Julie could also opt for wool trousers instead of jeans; hemming them for flats makes them a little more casual. I would also suggest that Julie give chinos a second chance; she should look for a pair that are cut slightly low on the waist, with a wide leg to balance her hips. A longer length will also draw attention away from her hips and give her a nice lean line. Banana Republic carries a fit specifically designed for girls with curves. Chinos are a nice alternative to jeans; if basic khaki seems to Mom-ish, think about color. J. Crew offers a wide range of colors, including butternut. How fun would YELLOW pants be?

Or maybe that’s just me.

Julie should also look around for some great tops to wear both with her jeans and with her work skirts. I love the idea of a cozy turtleneck and a pencil skirt, in wool or denim, with a pair of pointy toed flats, or a cardigan and a white tee with jeans or chinos. Julie can choose sweaters that are more casual than what she would wear to the office, like a cashmere hoodie or a patterned cowl neck.

Finally, Julie should get herself some cute shoes, something in between her work pumps and her leaf-raking sneakers. Ballet flats are huge this year, and a good pointy-toed flat or kitten heel is always worth having. Julie wants something stylish AND comfortable, something she can wear with skirts and jeans and wool trousers. Come to think of it, she might need several pairs of shoes. Or, again, that may just be me.

Julie has the right idea here; she wants to balance being comfortable with looking professional and put-together on the days she’s working from home. I just want her to promise that she won’t leave the house in her pajamas. Okay, Julie?


2 responses to “What To Wear To Work At Home

  1. Susan, LOVE the yellow pants…I’m going to have to have them. And yes, I do think I’ll need more shoes; I think I’ll put that on my list for lunch hour today! Seriously, thank you. Those Gap jeans are perfect. I think sometimes living in a college town makes it easy to be confused about what’s appropriate when you’re not 20 anymore.

    Thanks again,

  2. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

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