Success Dressing for the Work-at-Home Professional

working at home in pj's
5 Good Reasons Not to Wear Your PJ’s to the Office


Did you start your workday at the computer in your snugglies this morning? Convenience is probably one of the reasons you started working at home in the first place. You can stumble from bed, to coffee maker or kids’ room, to your office in less time than it takes most workers to plan their morning commute. It goes to follow that comfy clothes are a regular workday temptation. But like many temptations, giving in is not always in your best interests.

Just as having a clear-cut workspace delineates the separation in mental focus from personal to business, “getting dressed for work” can shift you into a more purposeful mind space for the professional goals you’ve established.  A well-put-together personal appearance boosts results in tangible ways.

Consider the impact on these five success-boosting qualities:

  • Confidence. In a study of 100 women ranging in age from 21 to 64, a whopping ninety-six percent majority “believed that what they wear affects how confident they feel.” (Most of us are aware that we’re judged significantly by appearance. Whether you’ve been ignored at a store in favor of a better-dressed customer, or passed over for a promotion in the workplace, it’s likely you’ve had some direct run-in with the effects of appearance and dress.)

When you’re in clothes that make you want to hide from others, it’s going to come across in your interactions – phone calls, emails, even your work product. If you in any way feel inferior, your behavior will reflect it.  Let your brightest energy lead your workday choices by beginning each morning in top form.

  • Readiness. It’s 9 a.m. Your competition gets an invitation to pitch new business work at home styleat a prospective client’s office in an hour. It’s a client you’ve wanted to work with for months. Your competitor is out the door and enroute before you’ve figured out where you last stowed your mascara.

Starting your workday with a ready-for-anything appearance puts you in the power position. Own the role. Your client roster and bank account will thank you.

  • Consistency. Your business’s brand is more than your logo or glossy brochure. YOU are the living, breathing version of all that your company stands for. That impressive photo of you on your website is only valuable when it, and the “you” that shows up in real life, look like both might in fact be the same person. (In this arena, the word “consistency” can easily be swapped for “credibility,” which is quickly lost when you’re not diligent with your personal brand.)
  • Excellence. Casual is as casual does. A state of mind has a ripple effect. A body of study called “enclothed cognition” has documented as much. Dr. Adam Galinsky and his team at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University concluded, in their 2012 research that “clothes systematically influence wearers’ psychological processes.”If a high-quality, successful appearance can manifest successful thinking and results, why not take advantage of such an easy-to-mange tool?
  • Boldness. It’s how risks are taken and successes won. It’s elusive, though, whenwork at home you feel shame around how you look. You weren’t born yesterday; you know others draw conclusions based on appearance (and, now, science supports your instincts). Will you be proud and confident to tell the person behind you in line at the coffee shop what you do for a living? If you’re feeling less than stellar about the impression a stranger will get from you, you’re not as likely to put yourself out there and seize the opportunities when they present themselves.

Choose the gainful version of a guilty pleasure next time you’re tempted to don your old college sweats in the office. Go casual with a professional edge. Like switching from milk chocolate to dark, you get to indulge in the yummy, comforting treat, but with future-reaching rewards.

Want to learn more? Work with me.

Patty Buccellato Image CoachPatty Buccellato is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls! To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit or contact Patty.

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