Uninspired: Working From Home

Hello Lovelies! How is your week coming along? Great, I hope.  It’s been a bit crazy for me at work this week, but things are chugging along.  So, you may be wondering? Umm, Eboni, it’s Thursday and we haven’t seen an outfit post yet.  Sorry guys. I am feeling particularly uninspired this week.  It’s probably the dreary weather…actually, inspiration is a constant battle for me, but this week it is worse than usual.  If you are a fan of The Fashionista Next Door on Facebook, you may have seen the survey I posted on Monday.  In case you missed it, here is the question:

If you worked from home (or if you currently work from home), would you or do you “get dressed” every day like you’re going into the office, or would you wear lounge clothes most days?

Surprisingly, 77% of the responses were in favor of wearing lounge clothes.  I guess it is easy to see why the thought of wearing yoga pants 5 days a week might be appealing but after a year of working from home…quite frankly, I am over it! I think it may have been liberating for the first couple months but now it’s just sad. LOL.  In fact, I would say that the lack of inspiration that results from working from home is a major con (right after complete social isolation). If you didn’t get a chance to participate in the poll, leave a comment below telling me what you think…

On working from home in general — I have mentioned this conundrum several times here, but I’ve never gone into detail about my struggle with this… at least I don’t think I have.  I always hesitate to complain about working from home because there are so many unemployed people these days, and I am beyond blessed in that I moved to Atlanta a year ago with the ability to keep my job.  Not to mention all the moms out there that would absolutely LOVE the flexibility to work at home.  But the truth it is, it’s  just me and Fab here, and when he’s at the office… it’s just me.  I don’t have lunches to make, kids to pick up, or homework to help with… and I do laundry on the weekends, but only after it’s overflowing the hamper (don’t judge me!).   For me working from = Mild Cabin Fever.  I would be thrilled to go into an office even just a few days a week.  I always tell Fab, if it wasn’t for my blog, twitter, and facebook, I would definitely be in here talking to myself. LOL!

I stumbled on this cartoon when I googled “Working from home.”  Kinda hilarious LOL!

Okay, I'm not this bad... LOL

Image via The Oatmeal

Anyway, back to the issue at hand – the effect of working at home on personal style.  It seems very silly to get up and get all dolled up to walk across the hall and sit in front a computer in a room with nobody but myself; however, recently I have begun to rethink this notion.  Could it be that lounging around in yoga pants day in and day out could have a detrimental effect on personal style?  If you don’t use it, do you  lose it? Lately, I am beginning to feel a little out of practice when it comes to putting together an outfit on the fly.  I mean, I am a personal style blogger,  so I won’t make it seem like I have just totally lost all sense of style…but I will admit that putting together an outfit takes a lot more effort than it did before.  I mean I used to wake up at 7 am and be out the door by 7:30 (shower included), feeling cute and ready for the world.  Now, I need at least an hour and 3 outfits later, I might walk out the door only 15 minutes late…and felling quite flustered.  Fab even complains about how long it takes me to get dressed to go grocery shopping (what can I say? sometimes that’s all I got).  I hate to say this but sometimes, I get so flustered with trying to get dressed that I just give up and stay home.  I know… very sad! (and un-fashion blogger-like, too!).  I really think I am just out of practice.

I was also thinking that if what they say about personal style is true — that it reflects the person that you are as one of the many ways we express ourselves… one of the many ways we tell our story, then am I unintentionally stifling my own self-expression?  Does self expression require an audience?  I tend to think not, but what do you think?

I am sharing this with you guys for two reasons — 1) I know that many women struggle with finding inspiration for various reasons.  I just wanted you to know that even though I am clearly fashion obsessed, I also struggle in this area.  I don’t have any problem finding inspiration all around me, but I do have trouble applying it to my own lifestyle.  2) I am never one to just sit and mope about  something I don’t like… especially those things that are completely within my own realm of control.  I’ve decided that I am going to do something about it…and you guys will have to hold me accountable.

The Challenge

I thought I’d do a little experiment.  Beginning November 1, I will get up EVERY DAY (or at least Monday – Friday) and get dressed like I was going into the office for 30 days.  Mind you, my job has a casual dress code so jeans, sneakers, sandals, and even flips flops were okay as long as you didn’t look slovenly.  I venture to say my yoga pants and wife-beater would not have been acceptable.  After 30 days, I hope to gain some insight on the following:

  1. Does it take me less time to pick out my daily outfits if I am practicing every day?
  2. Is my overall state of mind more or less inspired?
  3. Do I feel more productive when I get dressed every day? (many people complain about a decline in productivity. I actually haven’t had this issue. This isn’t really an option in my line of work LOL)
  4. Am I more inclined to get out and do stuff after work or even on my lunch break?

So, Fridays will be easy because you guys will keep on styling me for Style Me Friday, right?  So that just leaves Monday – Thurs.  Some days will be more casual than others, and I am sure you’ll be seeing plenty of leggings in the rotation, but overall I think I’ll be flexing my personal style muscles again in no time! (Let’s hope!)  Honestly, just the excitement of getting up in the morning has got my wheels churning. I started jotting down outfit ideas from magazines using pieces from my closet.  By the way, I told Fab about this idea and he didn’t get it.  He said, “you’re gonna get dressed, in actual clothes? Every day? Why?”  I think in the end, he wrote it off as a woman thing. LOL!

 P.S. Next week is Reader Appreciation Week.  I’ve got a couple fun giveaways in the wings so be sure to check back!

P.P.S Big shout out to Ashley over at A Sassy Woman.  She gave me a Kreativ Blogger Award last week.  THANK YOU!!!! xoxo

The Fashionista Next Door

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24 Responses to “Uninspired: Working From Home”

  1. Hey absolutely love your blog! Anywho, I see your dilemma, have you ever thought about going to a telecommuting hub/co-working space(Coworking is an emerging trend where individuals and small teams work in a collaborative, shared work space.). I know there are quite a few in the Atlanta area – check these out: http://wiki.coworking.info/w/page/16583399/Cowork

    P.S. I also name checked you in a post on finding my personal style – http://www.glintoflightblog.com/2011/10/i-like-yo
    My recent post Sweatpants, hair tied, chilling with no makeup on…

  2. Tyra says:

    I hear exactly what you're saying! I've been "working" at home for almost two years, and I really wrestled with this very idea – getting "dressed" to stay at home. Going to work gives your wardrobe (and your shopping for that matter) "purpose". Without that act of going to an outside office, putting together outfits seems sort of trivial – after all, I'm not a style blogger. On the other hand, when you are a girl who loves clothes and personal style (like me, you, and whomever), you are sort of in a state of redefining. For me, that has come down to casual, sporty chic, which is kinda my true essence anyway – skinny jeans, extra cute flats and cool sneakers/flat boots, definitely leggings, over-sized men's shirts or v-neck/Henley t-shirts for a hint of sexy.

    Your blog is awesome so I'm sure you will weather this period :-) Keep us, uhm…posted!
    My recent post Husband, Brother, Father?

  3. I can totally see your dilemma! And to answer your question: YES! I would absolutely get dressed and put a bit of make-up on to work from home}. I am a total “when I look good, I feel good” person and it drives me crazy to not put on a cute outfit after a day or two of wearing lounge outfits. I know a lot of bloggers are in this same predicament {Keiko Lynn for example, who actually started her blog as a way to motivate herself to get dressed every day, while working from home.}

    Also, piggybacking off the idea above, shared work spaces! Such a great idea… and a reason to get out of the house to get to work.

    I think your challenge/experiment is a great idea. Good luck!!!!
    My recent post Let's Talk: putting outfits together

  4. sundaze says:

    My best friend works from home. She's always been a jeans kinda gal though, so it's not a huge issue for her. She lives close to my office, so we meet for lunch about once a week which gives her an excuse to put on something fancier than normal if she feels like it, but most of the time she's content with rocking jeans and a cute top, maybe a sundress or capris in the summer. She mostly misses designer handbags because she used to be a junkie but says she can't justify dropping hundred of dollars now on something to carry around Publix.

    Good luck with the challenge!!

  5. @Shalilac says:

    OMG Eboni! I totally feel you! The job I got is a work from home job and it's only been 2 weeks and I am dying LOL. The co-work thing sounds great, but I have to have my phone line for work because of the calls I get and have to make. I may join you on this challenge just because it would force me to not end up like the guy in the comic. Great post!!!

  6. Lela says:

    I had a job where I worked from home 2 days and was in the office for 3 which was a pretty great balance. I have to admit, the days I worked from home I basically took a shower and put my bathrobe back on lol. But I really looked forward to going in to the office and wearing real clothes, especially on Fridays because I would usually go out for drinks or running around after. Excited to see how your challenge goes!

  7. Jarette says:

    if i worked at home I would definitely have my yoga pants and a wifebeater on …. but i think you can use your experience to help others.. blogging is about real people showing there style and lifestyles. Show us the yoga pants and show us how we can spice it up a little to make yourself look stylish if your running out to the grocery store etc. Active wear is huge these days because so any people are on the go and they dont have time to throw on heels and flat iron there hair everyday … I think you do at fantastic job with your posts and you keep it real with us and for that you will always have an audience…
    My recent post Sweet Dreams GAP Giveaway…

  8. I've been working from home for a while now (I do have an outside office as well though) and I rarely get dressed in anything on these days…or shower for that matter. I've been making an effort to change this though because I do feel I work better when I'm dressed like I'm going to work!!!
    My recent post Casual Change

  9. Dominique says:

    Great challenge for you Eboni and yes you are very blessed to have kept your job with the move. I wish I worked at home or at least could wear jeans sometimes. I think you should get dressed up everyday or at least most days to make yourself feel more like YOU. What about commuting to your local Barnes & Noble or Borders, use their free wifi and work from there sometimes or plan a lunch trip there to write or read so that you will get dressed knowing you will be going out? I totally feel you though about being uninspired, sometimes I wear an outfit, take a picture and still feel blah about it, especially on this 30 for 30 challenge. I have so many outfit pics that I don't feel worthy to post, yet that is what I wore and my facial expression tells it all lol

  10. Tammie says:

    I am the complete opposite.
    My conundrum is wearing work clothes to go out.
    Every job I've held has a dress code, so I dress the part…Sometimes I over-dress the part to add my personal style to what I wear at work.
    But when I want to go out, mind is programmed to wear wok clothes.
    Annnnnnnnnd I'll shop for cute options to go out in, do my test run in front of the mirror that day. and when the time comes, I forget my ideas…I finally get it together, but it takes a long time.
    I too have gotten discouraged and just stayed home…

    My recent post Me the REBEL…

  11. I would absolutely love to work from home. I was a stay at home mom for about a year & I found so much that I could go out & do and reasons to get dressed! However, I do hear complaints from others about this issue. Good luck with your challenge. Who knows? While you are doing that, I may even do a workout challenge!

  12. Nikell says:

    My husband owns our business so, I work from home. I find that by reading style blogs and browsing Polyvore, I still have style inspiration. But I hardly ever get dressed. I laughed at the little comic b/c after I left my retail job in 2008, I started to gain weight. I didn't realize it b/c since I rarely got dressed. I didn't notice my clothes getting tighter. I have since gotten the weight under control (still got a few pounds to shed but my clothes fit again). I love the freedom that working from home gives. But, I miss the social interaction that working outside of the home gives. I try to put on some jeans and a cute top every now and then to give Husband something cute to look at. ^_^
    My recent post Mod.s.t Fashions’ Look of The Week: Over Sized Clutches/Thinking Pink

  13. Jules says:

    I love this post! I was actually thinking of doing something similar. You might just be inspiring me right now! I recently quit my job (of 9 years!) in August. I am currently unemployed. I started a blog in March and, although it isn't my job, I figured that I should take advantage of my time and give it my all. Sadly… this never happened. I wake up early every day, but I don't get dressed unless I have somewhere to go. I have no desire to do anything really. In the past 3 months, haven't blogged nearly as much as I did when I was working. So I totally agree that staying inspired and productive while not getting up, getting dressed, and getting out the door is hard to do. I have a few interviews coming up, so I was going to try and force myself to get up and dressed every day from this point on as if I have work. Otherwise when I actually do start work, it is going to be extremely hard to do!

    Shoes and Jules
    My recent post Work It! With Express

  14. […] Lovelies, I am feeling a lot better last week.  I’m not sure what my deal was last week, but I am glad that uninspired feeling has passed.  Could it have something to do with the sunny […]

  15. […] one of the reasons I get so frustrated with getting dressed these days is because I am suffering from inspiration overload, and I don’t have an outlet […]

  16. Tiffany says:

    I really loved this post and it got me to thinking. I have been off from work for about a year now do to an injury and as if that wasn't enough I just recently had baby #3. I have begun thinking about going back to work around the 1st of the year and it would be great to get back in the mindset of getting up and getting dressed for the day everyday. My days currently consist of cooking, cleaning, taking care of the baby, picking my son up from school, football practice repeat, repeat, you get the idea; with all that going on you can only imagine what my wardrobe must look like. Therefore I have decided to include myself in your challenge. Wish me luck!

  17. […] Office Style” challenge (I just came up with that on the spot. LOL!)  In case you missed my post a couple weeks ago, I am basically challenging myself to get up and get dressed as if I were actually going to the […]

  18. Mia says:

    OMG I just want you to know that I'm going to post this challenge on my blogger because I want to see if others are in the same situations. Every point you made I've totally have asked myself the same questions. Today was actually my first day getting up getting just and you know what it does make for a productive day. I think this challenge will say a lot about myself. I will link your blogger from my page so people can read what you have to say. I can't wait to check in on you everyday to see how you do in this challenge.
    My recent post

  19. Great post! I can related to your dilemma. I have worked at home off and on and during those times I work from home, I am basically at the computer in my pajamas. I can imagine how you must miss the stimulation of having others around you.
    My recent post Jewel Tones

  20. […] I ran across the Fashionista Next Door’s Home Office Style Challenge (yes another thing to add to my growing list of November commitments). I’m excited about […]

  21. Erica says:

    Ok I know I'm late! I love your blog, I stalk.. oh I mean check it out often. I worked from home fulltime for about 5 years, now I'm back in the office commuting daily and I hate it. Even though I have a NO Traffic commute in ATL (no highyway!). Though the advantages are great, I try to explain to people about the stuggles of working from home only to get blank stares. My biggest was keeping good social skills and fight the urge to multi-task while in face to face meetings or pick up my phone while at lunch with friends.
    Truth be told, I spent most of my working hours in my bed knocking out the stresses of the day, LOL!

    Hang in therem and enjoy!

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  24. […] you’ve been reading TFND a while, you may recall the Home Office Style Challenge I did last year (I thnk!).   Basically, the idea came to pass because I was sick of waking up […]

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