Hello there, friends! I know, this is crazy. A fashion post on a home decor site - it's nuts. I've had this post in my head for a while but kept pushing it back thinking what in the universe do I have to share about clothes. Because that's a thing now - sharing about clothes. And there are some seriously well qualified people out there doing a darn good job of helping us all get ourselves dressed in the morning! But I've discovered a new perspective on my wardrobe that maybe some of you can relate to. You see,
I work from home. Like this guy:
Yup. I can work with anyone anywhere in the world right from my own living room, and it doesn't matter a squawk what I wear.
But there's been a changing wind comin' around since the Fall started! Seems this is the season for a decorating refresh as the StyleMutt Home team has been busily responding to daily inquiries about our design services. I've been scheduling and handling each consultation and lunch meeting on behalf of the team and its been almost one every day. And sometimes the clients are individual home owners/renters, other times they're an entire production network, building management company or corporation. As someone who's first post college job was personal training, followed by staying home to raise our three babies, followed by this work which my soul LOVES, I haven't had a lot of need over the past decade plus for particularly nice clothes. I LOVE fashion and being creative with putting outfits together, but I've never ever had a need for 'creative professional' attire. So, to all you friends recently entering a different kind of workforce - the work from home and sometimes in front of people force - I'm sharing a quick round-up of 5 days worth of presentable, not too businessy, comfortable, multi-functional outfits.
1. Casual Networking
I'm easy, guys - it takes one hand to count the number of individual pieces I leave the house wearing on a typical day, (I count the hair as one), and social-professional gatherings aren't much different for me. We get invited to a lot of local events at some of our favorite shops and meet-and-greets with other designers in the area, so it's helpful to have easy-on outfits like this that I can comfortably mingle in.
2. Laid Back Client Consult
By laid back, I mean the client. If the client is a fellow casual bohemian, I let my earth Mama come out. This one is my favorite and feels the most 'me'. It's my natural style; simple pieces, simply styled, let the hair down and namaste. LOL! Seriously though. This is my comfort zone.
3. Get In the Game
Moving on, this is my least favorite outfit of the bunch. It just doesn't feel 'me'. But in this day and age of "You do you!", I'm calling BS. If you own a business, particularly a creative business where you are virtually selling your own self, you have to be willing to play the game, or at least ride the bench. Hear me out - Yes, you want to represent you, and your individuality and unique style. But if your unique style is so far out there, it can push people back a bit. This wouldn't be such a big deal if you didn't need those people to trust where their money is going. Your presentation, personality, pricing and portfolio, (I swear I didn't intend the 'p' thing), aren't strong enough to stand on their own. It doesn't matter who you are or how amazing your work is, (unless you're Lady Gaga); you must look like you care. You must appear to be a responsible adult who knows how to show up and get stuff done. If I don't know a lot about the potential client I'm meeting, this is what I'm wearing, or some variation of it. It's safe, which perhaps is the problem I have with it, but I doubt anyone else will so I'll wear it.
4. Step It Up Client Consult
If I'm ever facing a potential design project that challenges my confidence, this is what I'm wearing. Because I know I can deliver what the client is looking for, I just need their trust. And nothing says "trust me, I can get the job done" like a shift. I mean, if Hillary Clinton had just shimmied herself in a shift...But seriously, a well fitting shift helps me lift my head a little higher. And well fitting, by the way, doesn't necessarily mean stiff. This one's made of jersey!
5. Installation/Photoshoot Day
And you'd better believe there are snacks packed in that satchel! Unhealthy ones, no less. This is a tricky one because on installation day, (and even when I'm just taking pictures!), I sweat. It's usually fast paced work and I don't want to intrude on a client's space any longer than is necessary! I'd rather wear an old race tee and running pants, to be honest. But the next best thing is trusty jeans and a tee. Denim with a bit of a stretch so I can move free is a must, and a couple layers up top so I can pare down when I start getting warm.
That's a wrap, folks! I don't know if this was helpful for anyone but it sure was fun for me! Hah! I think photographing a few favorite outfits and defining out loud how they are a useful tool for this business has helped me at least get a clearer sense of my own professional style. If nothing else I would highly recommend this exercise yourself, even for private documentation, so you can find a comfortable direction for your professional style.
Thank you all so much for coming by today! This was by far my most vulnerable post, but you guys are a fun group and I thought we could AT LEAST laugh about the dude in the first picture together!