with Susan Wagner
The Working Closet is your source for the best of what's hip and fresh in fashion and beauty. Susan Wagner keeps you up-to-date on trends and offers tips and tricks for making everything in your closet truly work for you.
You can also catch Susan over at Working Closet.
One of the hardest parts of working from home is balancing the working part and the home part. And — let’s face it — it’s the home part that makes it hard. During a normal work-at-home day, we not only do the work that pays the bills, we also clean and cook and sort laundry and hug sticky children. And we sit on the floor an awful lot, and sometimes even venture outside.
That is a lot to get dressed for.
Most of the time, moms default to dressing for the messiest possible kid thing. I see moms all the time who look like they are ready to fingerpaint with a hyperactive toddler — they are wearing worn out sweatpants and stained tee shirts, as though they are just waiting to have something disgusting wiped on them. And while motherhood is often about the wiping of the disgusting substances, you don’t have to turn yourself into a walking Kleenex. In fact, I wish you wouldn’t.
How do you avoid looking schlumpy on days that you just don’t want to put real clothes on? Simple: choose loungewear that FITS. There is nothing wrong with a tee shirt and a pair of yoga pants for a day home with your offspring (or a day home with your laptop) UNLESS the yoga pants don’t fit and the tee is one you stole from your husband.
Yoga pants are a godsend for mothers; they are nicer than sweatpants but not as dressy as trousers. They are machine washable and stretchy and kid-friendly, but they are also a step up from sweatpants or pajama pants.
As with any pants, fit is crucial — your yoga pants should not bag across the backside, nor should they reveal every roll and dimple. For those of us whose tushes are not what they were before the baby, yoga pants with a little extra spandex can be a godsend. Be sure to check the rear view on ANY pair of yoga pants. As with jeans, a mid-rise, straight leg is the most flattering shape on the majority of women.
Pair your yoga pants with a tee, one that fits properly — shoulder seams should hit at the shoulder, not halfway down your arm, and the hem should cover your stomach even when you are reaching up over your head. A graphic tee can be fun with your yoga pants, for a little extra something; I often wear my Writing well is the best revenge tee on days when work is really pushing my buttons.
Keep in mind that yoga pants are ACTIVE WEAR — they are meant for doing yoga — and that there is no way to dress them up (I don’t care what Lloyd Boston and Oprah say). While you can add a cute cardigan to your outfit to pull it together, keep your shoes in the athletic range (no ballet flats or Mary Janes). Any shoe that you would wear with a skirt is too dressy to go with your yoga pants.
I am all for being comfortable and kid-friendly, but I don’t believe that playing with children requires moms to look like slobs. Go ahead and wear your yoga pants to work at home, but wear a pair that fits, and replace them when they start to look tired and worn. One day you might be at the playground with your child and run into a client, or someone who would like to hire you. Wouldn’t you like to look reliable AND kid-friendly?
Coming Tuesday: what to wear if you are OVER the yoga pants.
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