Living alone can be great. You get loads of privacy, the remote control is all yours, and you can wear whatever you want without being judged. But it can be easy to fall into certain habits when you live alone that you wouldn’t normally do if you had roommates. Those habits may not necessarily be bad, but they may inadvertently affect your mood and even your productivity levels. For example, you may be tempted to stay in your pajamas all day. While this may be comfortable, studies have shown that it makes it more difficult to be productive, especially if you work from home. When you wear attire associated with certain things, it helps your mind adapt to the task at hand. It can also be rewarding to dress up now and then, regardless of who may see you. As such, here are some suggestions for when to dress up and when to dress down if you live at home.
Working from home means being productive at home. And if you’re still wearing what you wore when you were eating popcorn in front of the TV at 10 p.m., it is going to be difficult to get out of that state and switch your mind to professional mode. Many work-from-home professionals swear by the fact that they’re more productive and ready for the day if they wake up, shower, and dress as if they're going into the office. Some even put makeup on. This doesn’t mean you have to dress to the nines and sit in constricting clothes with high-heel shoes. There are lots of ways to look professional while still feeling comfortable. There are plenty of comfy casual pants that serve this purpose. Look for an elastic waistband and flexible material so you can move around without feeling constricted.
If your body is trying to tell you it needs rest, you should probably listen. A stressful week can affect not only your mood but also your health. Sometimes a day or even an entire weekend spent lounging at home with a good book or an exciting TV show is all you need to get back on track. That’s not to say you should stay in your pajamas all day. Just make sure you dress in your comfiest loungewear so you can catch some Zzzs whenever you feel like it. Come Monday, you’ll feel well-rested and ready to tackle the world again.
Who said you can’t have your cake and eat it, too? You can give the appearance of dressing up while still dressing down any time. This is great for when you have friends coming over, so you can entertain in style while still feeling comfortable in your own home. That means you can wear your most favorite comfy T-shirt as long as it isn’t too wrinkly. Just style it with some jewelry and either wear a button-down shirt over it loosely or with a cardigan sweater. You can even find some nice-looking leggings so you can be extra comfortable and stylish while hanging out with your friends.
When it comes to virtual job interviews, some employers recommend dressing up as if you are going to an actual on-site interview. Others say you should be realistic about how you dress, as some employers see past the smoke and mirrors and want to find out exactly how you present yourself when you are working from home. Some of the best work-from-home outfits aren’t necessarily formal. If the company you’re interviewing with tends to have a casual dress code for its on-site workers, chances are they won’t be impressed by a business suit. Information about the company’s dress code is likely easy enough to find online, so do some research in advance and dress to impress.
No matter how much you try to avoid it, there will be bad days now and then. And although you may feel tempted to dress the way you feel, you may need to actually do the opposite. For example, if you haven’t seen your friends or family in a while and you’re just feeling down and in the dumps with nowhere to go, try scheduling a video chat with them where you all dress up like you normally would if you were to go out. Lots of people schedule nights like these. You can even all cook the same recipe in your own kitchens, and then sit down and eat it while commenting on what you each think about the meal and chatting like old times. This can do wonders for your mood. Sometimes you just need a little help from a little black dress, some jewelry, and the (virtual) company of some good friends.
While the rules aren’t set in stone, knowing when to dress for success and when to dress for rest can help you strike the perfect work-life balance when you live alone.