I was going for a walk the other day and it was still chilly outside. I got all bundled up in layers, wore my wide legged jeans and said to Russ, “Do you think I’ll scare any neighbors in this outfit?”
He said, “You scare me and I know you! But I know you’re not as crazy as you look.”
We had a giggle; I left the house, clocked in 6,303 steps, and I don’t think I scared anyone … well, maybe one person.
Russ is my friendly at home fashion police officer. He’ll make comments about goofy combos I might be wearing behind closed doors. He’ll say, “Should we take a picture of this and put it on Instagram?” Right, Honey.
He doesn’t catch me in too many embarrassing style snafus. But I’m pretty conscious about it. I don’t want him to see me dolled up to go to work and then not have any color or style interest on me once I’m home and it’s just the two of us.
An early lesson in considering loved ones
I remember a client I had early in my career. She had a high-up position in a bank and loved dressing for work. She wore great colors, great accessories and her makeup was impeccable. I was doing the style interview with her and was starting to wonder why the heck she’d hired me. She was a lover of fashion, not afraid to try new things, she looked fabulous to me. I couldn’t see room for improvement. But then I asked her a question: What do you wear when you come home from work?
She said, “Oh gosh, I get right out of my clothes, take my makeup off, get into my robe and stay in it the rest of the night.”
“Tell me about the robe,” I probed.
“Oh, it’s really worn and ratty and my kids and husband hate it, but I’m comfortable,” she said.
Gosh, I thought about her family members and how they were seeing her during family time, maybe the only time they were together each day. Every day she was in the ratty old robe. Is that how they’d remember her? I felt a little tightness in my chest.
“What if I could find you comfortable clothes to lounge in at night. Do you think you could retire the robe?” I asked.
She said yes and there was our work!
What do we wear at home?
I was influenced by another woman who had specific ideas about what she wore at night when her husband came home from work. She was a professional homemaker with three young children. She had every right to be in cozy clothes when her husband came home at dinnertime. But she told me, “I may be in super casual clothes in the daytime when I’m home with the kids but I believe my husband deserves to see me looking put together and nice after work, reminding both of us who we were before we were parents.”
That really stuck with me.
Finding middle ground for at home clothes
Given those two memorable conversations, I think about what I wear at night when I come home from work. I may get out of my work clothes before dinner but I’ll put on flattering jeans, a nice sweater, or a decent T-shirt and a cardigan. This post-work outfit will be cat-proof because Bella will certainly want to crawl all over me the first chance she gets. I’m still comfortable, but I’ve alerted my brain that I’m in relationship-time with Russ, relaxing, catching up, hanging out together with a TV show we want to catch up on. He’s a night owl and I go to bed before he does. When I kiss him goodnight, I’m still in my relaxed-but-looking-decent clothes.
When I enter the bedroom I slip them off and get into my pajamas.
I’ll be in those jammies when I wake up before Russ, make my morning coffee, and head to my writing table to spend forty-five minutes or more in quiet time with my thoughts, my pen and notebook, and Bella perched in the window sill keeping us all safe from intruders. If it’s chilly in the house, I’ll pull out my quilted lightweight jacket from the hall coat closet rather than turn the heat up.
So when Russ wakes up, the scariest thing for him to face is my odd hair. He’ll often question me. “Have you taken a look at your hair yet today?” he’ll say. That prompts me to look in the mirror and see what it’s been up to after my eight hours of beauty sleep.
Yikes!! Now that’s something that would scare the neighbors for sure! But that’s why we wear baseball caps on our walks, right? As long as the scariest moments are walking outfits and early morning hair, I feel pretty good about my at home clothing habits.
What are you wearing in the evening? Would love to hear your at-home outfit recipes. And if you don’t live with anyone, does that make a difference in how you dress at home? Do share!