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BellaOnline's Small Office/Home Office Editor

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The Official Work-at-Home Uniform

Guest Author - Deborah Crawford

I have read several books on working from home, and many of them advise getting fully dressed in business attire each morning before going to work in the home office. I am sure that there are people who do just that. This article is not for them. This one is for the rest of us. (Wearing business attire in your home office puts you in the same frame of mind as everyone at “work” and everybody knows that’s no way to get anything accomplished. But, I digress.)

On days when I am meeting with clients or attending business events, my wardrobe is pretty much like everyone else’s. I blend. But I do so with far fewer items of clothing now. I have learned that one pair of black pants is pretty much just like the others and if you are wearing them once a week, you really do not need twelve pair. The same thing goes for shoes and cute jackets. You just need three or four and you’re pretty much set. At least, that works for me. Your mileage may vary.

For the rest of my working time, my only audience is Sadie, my dog and very occasional visits from the UPS girl (why can’t I get a cute guy like everyone else?) or, magazine-selling kids who have no intention of going to college with the money they make selling magazines.

So, I wear the official work-at-home uniform. The spring/summer collection is primarily shorts and t-shirts. Capris and tanks may be substituted depending on one’s personal preference and/or heat tolerance. Shoes are optional unless you are leaving the building or haven't vacuumed in a really long time. Colors, fabrics, and design—all up to the individual business owner. How cool is that? You decide if paisley goes with stripes, or if blue goes with violet.

For fall/winter, add in sweats, threadbare jeans and long-sleeved tees. Get a ratty old sweater for days when it’s especially cold in here. Oh, and lots of socks. Fuzzy house shoes are optional. You get a special prize if you have to change clothes before you go to Wal-mart, or if you check to make sure nobody's looking before you check the mail.

My personal quest is to buy no item of uniform clothing that costs over eight dollars. New. Thrift stores no longer carry such shabby clothing, so you have to buy it new at discount stores or on clearance racks, or on clearance racks at discount stores, and shabby it up yourself. (Trust me, if you buy good stuff, it will last forever and you’ll never need anything new unless you lose twenty pounds. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, . . . . )

If you want to wear the official work-at-home uniform, too, click here to subscribe to Entrepreneur Magazine to get some ideas on how to join us.

(Wardrobe not included.) :-)
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