If You Work From Home, Do You Have To Get Dressed?

It depends on how you define “dressed.”

If you believe anything Fifth Harmony says about working from home, you don’t, really.

A quick question — if you don’t have to go into an office or get on a train or in your car to see other people, is it absoutely necessary to get dressed?

This extremely important question is largely ignored by those who write about working from home, telecommuting and the freelancer economy. Two days ago, Forbes published “3 Things No One Tells You About Working From Home” which addresses three very important issues, but leaves the one that I find the most compelling on the table. Nicole addressed this topic last year, singing the praises of Old Navy (same!) and getting dressed when all you’re doing is sitting in front of a computer in your own home with no one else around.

Sometimes, it’s nice to get dressed! Working in the same gross shorts and weird shirt you slept in for too long feels like taking an extended sick day. But there’s always this strange feeling of “wasting” outfits. I could put on clothes that I’d feasibly wear out of the house, but if all I’m doing is sitting at my desk alone in my apartment until the first one of my roommates comes home from work, then what’s the point?

House clothes are an easy answer to this conundrum. All summer, I wore the same pair of ratty denim cut-offs and rotated through sheer tank tops with holes in them. This was a “look” born out of the necessity to cover my body in something in case I had to run downstairs for UPS. In the winter, I resort to leggings and shirts I got for free at the gym I don’t really go to anymore. If I was being generous, I’d call it atheleisure, but that phrase implies intent. It’s sartorial laziness and nothing more.

Working from home is freedom to do whatever weird things you want to do when no one else is around. That includes wearing — or not wearing — clothes. Is it necessary to wear like, “real clothes,” when you work from home? Do you have to get dressed as if you were actually going somewhere when really, all you’re doing is travelling from desk to bathroom to kitchen and back again like a Roomba? I know how I feel, but I’ve always suspected I was in the minority. What say you, friends?

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