I suspect I am in a minority in my work from home wardrobe being very similar to my work in an office wardrobe. In fact, it is the same.
The early mornings are spent in running gear (it is still making me giggle when I write as if this has been happened for years, the last few early mornings I mean!). Then I am getting dressed into my normal work clothes, which are fairly casual anyway, so very easy to wear wherever I am. Then at the end of the work day I am getting changed again into ‘home’ clothes. Definitely no pyjamas all day.
I am going through the hassle of getting changed a few times a day in an attempt to create some mental boundaries to my day. I don’t think I am more able to focus when dressed in the ‘right’ clothes, I don’t need the structure of a uniform for work.
But the opposite is definitely true, I do definitely need the moment of changing clothes in order to switch off. And right now, the hardest thing is moving my brain from a work day into an evening. Usually, my daily structure is provided by the journey home from work at the end of a working day. The journey home is rarely at the same time every day, but nevertheless it happens. And when I arrive home, I tend to get changed. Usually because I have been in those clothes for 12 hours and could do with a change, or the evening activity needs different clothes for whatever reason.
There is no real need to change now, I haven’t travelled across the country or raced to and from stations. The clothes that I have comfortably been wearing all day, I could comfortably wear all evening. But, I still need that signal that I am switching off the work focus for the day. And changing my clothes is a good way to do that. For this week at least.
I am very grateful that I have a wardrobe full of clothes I love and we have had a beautiful sunny week so far, so we’ve got lots of washing done and dry in the spring sunshine.
One of my goals for this year was to be slower in life, to do things with more intention and more deliberately. A surprising manifestation of this has been in shopping. I am not a lover of shopping, I found it stressful – there is too much choice, too much expectation to be buying things to make life better. That never sat comfortably with me.
Somehow this year, I am enjoying shopping. I have not yet managed to totally overcome the impulse to just buy things mindlessly and then feeling guilty afterwards, but a few things have definitely helped.
A decision to be more ethical in my purchasing, specifically about environmental impact of what I buy has been a transformation in my mindset. The fashion industry is one of the major environmental culprits, guilty of mass-producing clothing in appalling working conditions, using and damaging a wealth of natural resources and all with the intention of forcing a complete change of wardrobe every month or so. It seems that a seasonal wardrobe is no longer enough, we now have transition wardrobes, party wardrobes, holiday wardrobes. I struggled hugely and refused to buy anything for ages and then overbought on impulse. I have found a form of clothes shopping I love – charity shops. Not just any charity shop, but a specific few close to home, which I visit in a specific ritual involving hanging out with a teenage son, him browsing for vinyl and DVDs and us both having a fortifying coffee before we even contemplate shopping. So, a new wardrobe and a shared hobby with a teen. Great result.
It is rather odd to realise that I look forward to clothes shopping, but I do. I changed work hours this year and changed them to make sure I could still go shopping. Ok, the coffee and hanging out with the teen are crucial parts, but still, there is also weekly shopping involved.
And it turns out that I have so much to say about shopping that this is going to be a two-part blog post – which is astounding me. Part two tomorrow.
I hate buying clothes. I think I always have. As a young person it was lack of financial resources that seemed like the problem. Now I am really clear it is the process. I feel overwhelmed with choice, I feel confused by what will suit me, I loathe the whole trying it on process. The problem gets worse because I go shopping for clothes so rarely that the pressure on each shopping trip is way too high. I have to find something that suits me/fits/is affordable/right for purpose of the outfit and it all feels like the last chance saloon, because if I don’t find it today, I ain’t coming back.
Online shopping doesn’t seem any easier. I buy things and leave them in the parcel for days whilst I pluck up the energy/courage/enthusiasm to try them on. I feel like a failure when I have to return anything.
This is all totally ridiculous and I have no idea where it comes from. Right now, is a crisis period, I need some new clothes and it all feels far too difficult. I suspect the old problem of lack of financial resources is a problem still. In order to find bargains it seems like you need to really shop around, and that is just not going to happen. I love the concept of a capsule wardrobe, but lack the confidence to decide what goes into it.
For a while a friend sold seconds of high street brands and she had an excellent eye for what suits me, so it was like having an amazing personal shopper with really bargain prices for the clothes. Sadly, for me anyway, she decided to move on from that venture.
I probably just have to bite the bullet and blinking well go shopping don’t I? Wish me luck.