Are Pajamas Professional Wear? A Freelancer’s Dilemma

slippers

I used to dream about having a job that paid me to stay home, sit on my behind and wear pajamas all day. Now that career is mine, and it’s called “freelance copywriter.” For better or worse, the more success I gained in freelancing, the more anti-social I became, the wider my behind became and the more I noticed the thinly veiled sarcasm in my husband’s “you look so nice in that robe” comments when he came home from a hard day of working out there.

Before my dream job took a hard turn down nightmare alley, I decided a few changes were in order. First, I consulted with America’s top scientists and learned there are not yet any magical backside-shrinking lasers available to the public. So—nothing to be done about that. Nope, nothing. Let’s move on.

I wondered if dressing a little better, well, dressing at all, might kill two birds with one stylish stone. Perhaps if I made even a small effort with my wardrobe I could at least open the door for the UPS driver instead of crouching in the hallway when the dogs barked his arrival. Instant social life!

After all, dressing professionally is on just about every be-successful-working-from-home guide along with:

  • Eliminate distractions (turn off the T.V.)
  • Keep a regular schedule (no sleeping till noon)
  • No social media during work hours (exception: Pinterest)
  • Work in remote locations occasionally (get out of the house)
  • Maintain a professional workspace at home (clean your desk)
  • Set and enforce office hours (no, I can’t watch your kids, I’m working too)
  • Avoid completing personal tasks during work hours (the dishes can wait)

Not only did my experiment work—my UPS guy’s name is Dave, by the way—I noticed I felt more professional when I sat at my desk wearing pants and shoes instead of flannels and slippers. It was then I realized making every day casual Friday might have a negative effect on my overall productivity.

Dress for the Job You Want

We all know about “dressing for success,” but that idiom typically refers to life out there. If one isn’t meeting with clients, can attire really make a difference in career success? I’m here to say a qualified yes. Dressing like a professional helps me identify myself as one and not just someone who hangs out in their jammies surfing the Web all day.

If you’re not taking your freelance career as seriously as you need to, or if friends and family aren’t, a change in wardrobe may inspire a much needed change in attitude. You won’t find me wearing power suits and high heels, but resisting the urge to write in the same clothes I wear to bed helps me delineate work life from home life. Plus, I once again get the pleasure of changing into something more comfortable at the end of the day, because I really do look nice in that robe.

Tammie B has been freelancing since 2008 and still hasn’t figured out how to explain exactly what her job is. During non-work hours, please find her in the garden cursing snails and crying over yet another deer-resistant plant that isn’t.


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