For busy work at home moms, aka WAHMs, it’s easy to get lulled into complacency. On my two telecommuting days per week, complacency rears its ugly head in the form of yoga pants, UGGs and a fuzzy pink robe. We all know that once the kids are safely on the bus, we should clean ourselves up and put on a semi-professional outfit, but with piles of laundry, barking dogs and emails galore, that shower just gets lost in the shuffle.
But the hard facts are in. There is a clear correlation between your clothing choices and your emotional state. In a Northwestern University study, 96% of women “believed that what they wear affects how confident they feel.” And “happy” clothes aren’t those yoga pants we moms adore. So, here are some fashion tips for working moms everywhere that will keep you in top form and productive—even when you’re working from home.
1. Ditch the sweat pants and mommy jeans. Oh, the temptation to just stay in your PJs and lazy jeans! But a recent study shows that “depressed” women reach for baggy clothes and old jeans. Start your day off right with a form-fitting pair of dress jeans, printed leggings or comfortable trouser pants that look and feel fantastic.
Real Simple has some great non-mom jeans for Moms here. My personal work-at-home favorites are printed leggings and soft trouser pants.
2. Opt for figure-flattering tops in great colors and prints. If you’re like me, your home office is really the “virtual office,” thanks to modern video conferencing tech. To look great (and feel fantastic), opt for colorful, figure-flattering tops to make an impact via webcam. Think tailored button-ups and colorful, textured cardigans.
3. Get a fashionable haircut and a makeup makeover. No makeup and a ponytail is a fall-back for the busy working mom, but does it really make you feel like you can conquer the world? Every morning, put on your easy, breezy makeup (foundation, blush/bronzer, eyeliner, mascara and lip gloss—five minutes, tops!). And a fabulous haircut actually makes your hair easier to manage and style, so hit the salon and ask for a stylish but drama-free cut.
Harper Bazaar’s top hair trends for 2013 that make great style easy for busy WAHMs.
- Funky braids
- Cool knots
- So slick
- Rock n’ roll waves
- Quirky headbands
4. Wear cute ballet flats or wedges. Nothing makes me feel like a million bucks more than adorable (but comfy) shoes, but most moms forget about one of our favorite wardrobe accents when working from home. Ballet flats and wedges are the perfect option for a blend of work-at-home comfort and a little glamour.
Zappos offers adorable, yet comfy, flats of all colors, textures and prices here. (I’m obsessed with the UGG Indah Marrakech flats – comfort and style in one!)
5. Accessorize. We have great earrings, funky watches and cool necklaces to look fab on the weekends. So why skip that warm-and-fuzzy feeling when working from home? One of the fastest ways to feeling great and empowered when working at home is to put on your favorite accessories.
Pinterest is my go-to for finding great accessories for my budget. InStyle Magazine’s boards take the fashion cake.
If you are what you eat, then you feel what you wear. For busy work at home moms, balancing carpools with work often forces us to go months without a wardrobe update, much less actually taking a shower in the morning. I’ve said before that if you sacrifice yourself for others, even those adorable little munchkins, everything else starts to fall apart.
Dress to impress yourself first. And, I promise, you’ll feel the difference in your own emotions, and that confidence will trickle down to your ultimate success in the office and in your life.
If you liked this article, you’ll love the free eBook The Yin + Yang of Telecommuting. Get the expert’s advice on how to achieve work-life balance when working from home.