Working from home comes with perks untold. In the last snow-covered week I set-up a bed desk and worked from under the comforter refusing to get up except for tea. There’s something to be said for putting in the 40 hour a week from the comfiest spot in your home in the winter, but it also lends itself to a rather slovenly appearance. As someone who used to pride herself on putting together delightfully colorful outfits and makeup, my stylish heart sometimes weeps whenever I walk by a mirror and get a load at the hot mess staring back at me.
To combat my decline into bridge troll, I’ve picked up a few tricks over the last four years of working from home. So if you too are starting to resemble a rabid squirrel in your day-to-day life and you fear you’re losing your ability to interact with outsiders, here’s a few tips.
Keep Buying Clothes
When you stop going into an office it starts to feel like an unnecessary expense to buy nice clothes. No you may not need a closet-full of pencil skirts or blazers anymore, but that also doesn’t mean you should go cold turkey. For one, hopefully you will actually leave your house at some point in time after work and on the weekends, but if you never update your wardrobe, you’re going to fall into a despair of dumpiness. When you do get dressed up, it’s going to feel even better than when you’re used to always looking nice, so keep some cash in the budget for clothes.
If you’re a morning shower person to go into the office, be a morning shower person to work from home. It’s going to give your day a sense of routine and purpose, as well as waking you up. Also if you’re smelly and your hair’s dirty and itchy, you’re not going to be able to think about anything else. You’d be amazed at how much clean hair can improve your mood and looks.
Invest in comfortable & cute pants
No one likes sitting around the house with tight pants and waistbands digging into you if you don’t have to. However living in pajamas or sweatpants isn’t going to do much to help you feel good about yourself. Invest in good quality and cute leggings, dress yoga pants, or upscale joggers that you’d be willing for other people to see you in. If you wouldn’t go to the grocery store or run into someone you know wearing them, don’t put them into your daily rotation. Even working at home, you somehow end up seeing more people than you expect, from neighbors to delivery folks. Don’t share your slovenly appearance with them.
Collect stylish, relaxed tops
Your tops are where you can really shine in not looking like a hot mess. I’m quite keen on button downs—I have half a closet full of cheap Old Navy ones and they pair very well with leggings. You can easily add flats and a scarf and run out of the house if need be in any weather. I’m also a big fan of loose sweaters. You can throw them on top of your button downs if it’s cold, wear them on their own, and be comfy and cute. The trick is to avoid things that are super snug and uncomfortable.
Do something with your hair
Nothing says “I’m a disaster” like having rat’s nest hair. No, you don’t need to do a full blowout or curls, but it’s pretty easy to make the messy look work for you. As someone with long curly hair, I like to get out of the shower and put my hair in a bun. It can then live in it for a day or two, and if I go out I pull it down, and have gorgeous curls ready-to-go. If you’ve got short hair, something as simple as a hairbrush and a headband makes a big difference.
Let’s be honest, makeup is expensive and putting it on for the dogs is a waste of money. However there’s nothing wrong with putting on a little mascara or eyeliner around the house. I also recommend putting on something if you leave the house for any reason (if you wear it regularly). My makeup routine is pretty quick, about 10-15 minutes max for face makeup, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara and lips, but even if I’m just running to Starbucks I try to at least put on lipstick or mascara. No one else may notice, but it helps me feel more comfortable and part of the world.
Work out of the house at least once a week
You don’t need to have an office or a co-working space, any cafe or coffee shop with wi-fi will do. Get up and get the hell out of the house one day. Set your alarm early, put on your face, do your hair, pick out an outfit the night before and pretend you’re out to impress. Getting out and seeing other people will remind you that you have a style that isn’t limited to elastic pants or bad hair.
Go big when you go out
As I mentioned at the start, keep shopping and buying clothes even if you won’t wear them everyday. Let these be your killer dinner-out and weekend adventure clothes. Dress up for these events more than you used to when you’d go in the office. It’s the opposite of normal, instead of using the weekend to be more comfortable and getting away from work clothes, put on that dress and heels. Seeing yourself looking awesome is important to keep you feeling good about yourself.