Fashion Confessions: The mailman thinks I never get dressed

In the latest in our Fashion Confessions series, Fashion Police founder Amber McNaught reveals that sometimes she doesn’t bother getting dressed at all…

woman in rollers

I write about fashion for a living.

I also work from home.

Writing about fashion every day means that I’m constantly tempted by beautiful clothes I’m “forced” to look at as part of my job – a temptation that I’m not always particularly successful in fighting, as the overflowing state of closet testifies.

Working from home, however, means that I don’t actually NEED a huge amount of beautiful clothes. In fact, sometimes I don’t really need to get dressed AT ALL – and therein lies the problem.

Not being much of a morning person, I’m in the habit of staggering to my desk first thing in the morning and checking my email/drinking my first coffee of the day while still in my dressing gown. The plan is always to get showered and dressed right away, but like the best laid plans, it often goes awry: there will be emails to answer and blog posts to write, and before I know what happened, it’ll be mid-morning and I’ll STILL be in my dressing gown. Whoops.

At that point, I’ll normally go for a run, then I’ll walk the dog (still in my running clothes), and then I’ll finally make it into the shower before getting dressed.

It’s at this point in my routine the mailman always arrives. Always. As in, I literally can’t remember a time when he’s knocked on the door and I HAVEN’T been fresh out of the shower and temporarily back in my dressing gown while I dry my hair and do my makeup. Sometimes I’ll be wearing a towel turban, other times it’ll be a set of heated rollers, but always, ALWAYS I’m in that darn dressing gown, with no makeup and a generally dishevelled look about me. Every single time. I’m totally convinced the man believes I never actually get dressed at all, and just spend all day, every day in my nightclothes. And let’s face it, I probably COULD if I really wanted to…

That’s not really the subject of today’s confession, though. No, what I REALLY want to confess today isn’t the fact that the mailman (and any other morning caller, basically) has never seen me with my clothes on (ooh-er!). It’s that I don’t actually care. Or not much, anyway.

Now, this may not seem like a big deal to you. Why SHOULD I care what a complete stranger thinks about my clothes – or lack thereof – after all? The fact is, though, that for most of my life, I HAVE cared: quite a lot, in fact. You see, I’m a high maintenance kind of girl: the kind who (up until recently) wouldn’t take out the trash without a full-face of make-up and perfectly styled hair, and who would carefully plan every outfit down to the last detail. If someone had knocked on my door before I’d had a chance to get dressed, I’d probably have pretended not to be in, rather than let them see me in my dressing gown. (In fact, you know those stress dreams people have, in which they suddenly realise they’re out in public naked? In my version of those dreams, I’m out in public in that dressing gown. I’m not joking.)

Lately, though, I’ve noticed that I’ve stopped stressing about these things quite so much. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I dress like a slob now, or that I never make an effort, because most of the time I do. But if I need to run to the store, but I’m still in my workout gear, with no makeup and my hair scraped back, I’m probably not going to take the time to change first. And when the mailman knocks on the door and I’m in a complete state of dishevelment? I won’t think twice before I answer.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing, I wonder? I think it’s a bit of both. On the one hand, I know I always cringe when I see people wandering around the street in their pyjamas, and I find it quite sad that dress standards have slipped so far these days that sweatpants are seen as an appropriate outfit for pretty much everything. On the other hand, though, I don’t think it’s healthy to go too far in the other direction either, and to be constantly striving for a perfectly-styled appearance, even it means getting up in the middle of the night to blow-dry my hair before a long-haul flight that would ruin it anyway. Life is too short, and as long as I can strike some kind of balance, that’s fine by me.

But enough about me: tell me about YOU. Are you the high-maintenance type, or totally chilled out?

i-confess

Image © Vojtechvlk | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

14 Comments

  • Reply July 8, 2013

    Ana

    I don’t know about your country, but in mine I worry to about things like that because people WILL think you’re a slob and worst…they will gossip about it.

    I finished my last college exams like a week ago and now I’m unemployed. But even when I had free days before this I usually sleep late, so sometimes it’s like 1 p.m and I’m still in my pj’s. That or when I know I won’t leave the house that day I wear pajamas at home because I think its stupid to dress up to stay at home. It means I will wash the clothes more times (I only wear the clothes once and then it goes to laundry, with the exception of jeans which I

    • Reply July 8, 2013

      Ana

      … (sorry, pressed enter) can wear for two days). Excessive washing ruins the clothes, so If I’m staying at home i’m going to wear stuff that its ok to ruin, like pj’s, old rock band tshirts and stuff like that.
      The problem is that if my grandmother appears or if the dude that checks the amount of water and electricity that was spent I feel terrible.
      There really is “discrimination” about people who are wearing pjs at home. People will automatically assume you’re an unemployed leech that’s sucking the governments money and never tries to find a job, even though I’ve been looking for jobs every single day.
      But the worst is when people arrive after I woke up…it makes me think that they will think I’m a dirty little slob when I just didn’t have time to go have a shower (which I do, everyday, sometimes twice a day or more when we have heatwaves).

      So I perfectly understand why you stress. (sorry for any mistakes, english isn’t my native language)

  • Reply July 8, 2013

    Lu

    At home, I look like a total slob. My mum always made me change into “home clothes” then I was little and I still do that. It’s to prevent my “outside clothes” from being worn out and being washed too often. My outside clothes are also far more expensive than my home ones. Usually my home clothes consist of ex-outside clothing that doesn’t look good enough to be worn in public anymore, cheap primark shirts, and some sport clothes. I don’t mind if the postman sees me in those clothes, but if I expect guests, I’ll wear outside clothes.
    For my outside clothes, I have two poles from which my styling can range: looking not slob-like (jeans a nice, not worn out shirt, make up not necessary) and being “properly” dressed (here are all my dresses, skirts, blouses, suits, blazers, make up and nice hair do).

    • Reply July 8, 2013

      Itzel

      I work from home as well so if there’s a deadline to be met, and I still havea lot of work to do I can spend all day in my gown typing like mad. I also have home and outside clothes. Some days I just know wearing a nice dress and shoes is gonna be a waste, so I turn to my not-so-nice jeans and t-shirts I don’t care to be seen in, but that I wouldn’t miss either.

      • Reply July 8, 2013

        b.

        Another one with home clothes and outside clothes. I teach at a uni, and my work hours are much more flexible than those at a regular 9-5 job, so that I often stay up all night, writing, and then sleep during the day, thus technically eliminating the need for clothes. :) But still, I don’t like sitting around in my nightie, and I don’t want to get cat hair or spill something on my nice clothes, so I usually reserve only the most appalling pieces for staying at home. For instance, I wore a really pretty dirndl-like dress with matching shoes at work today, but when I got home, I changed into a little off-white playsuit my Mum bought me when I was 13 (almost two decades later, it still fits!). If I needed something from the shops, though, I would totally change into something at least a little bit more presentable.

  • Reply July 8, 2013

    Nicki

    Seems like a couple of fun caftans or attractive dressing gowns would be the best of both worlds.

  • Reply July 8, 2013

    lizvocal

    Caftans! Great idea. I work from home as well (online teacher and student) and comfy clothes are very important to me. I sleep late, check email, exercise, shower, and then put on clothes. My usual at home wear is a t-shirt with shorts or stretch pants. Now that I think of it, I go from a long T shirt as a robe, to T-shirt and shorts for working out, to a T and shorts for lounging around the house. LOL

    I am not a huge fashion dresser in general, but since I am home slobbing out most days, I dress a little better now when I go out, just because makes for a change.

  • Reply July 8, 2013

    Eleonore

    i’m the opposite of the others readers. I don’t have outside clothes and inside clothes. When i get back from work, I keep my clothes on, even my heels, until it’s time for bed ! When I work from home on weekends, I can’t really “work” until i’m dressed and a little made up ! but just like you Amber, when I was younger, I would never have gone to buy my baguette at the boulangerie – ;-) – without my whole face on. Now I don’t care about that and I can. I just hope I won’t meet the future love of my life on the way. Whenever I leave home to go to my sport, I already wear my sports clothes on. I’ve changed !
    Just like you too, I’m so sad dress standards have slipped to wearing crocs to walk around !!

    • Reply July 10, 2013

      Claudia

      I have also been raised to change from my “good” clothes (for school) into “old” clothes for play. It’s ok for kids, better than to restrict their adventurous pusuits out of fear for their clothes. Then I am a chemist, and for years I wore only rags to work, because clothes would be ruined in the lab. It was very difficult to switch to really dressing again, instead of just covering up certain body parts, and took some getting used to, but it is possible. Now that I work mostly from home, I dress at least in good jeans and a t-shirt or sweater (with the padded bra without which I’m… er…), with some accessories, and see that my hair is at least presentable.

      The reason for this is that my husband also works partly from home, and I do not want him to see me as the perpetual mess, and other women as groomed and pretty. But my comitment ends with my shoes – I wear Birkenstock sandals at home, as does my whole family. We do not enter the house with outdoor shoes.

  • Reply July 9, 2013

    Kota

    If I’m not going to work or needing to go somewhere fancy, then I spend most days in comfy jeans and nice t-shirts. I tend to take a shower as soon as I get up in the morning, even if I’m not feeling well. So, since I’ve already gone that far, it’s just as easy to look somewhat presentable as it is to put my nightclothes back on. I don’t wear much makeup (if any) and my hair is a simple bob style, so a quick wash-n-dry and getting dressed are all I really need to get ready in the morning.

  • Reply July 10, 2013

    Lovisa

    I emailed this to you bad i got a mail back from the “postmaster” saying something about a delay so i just post it here.

    Hi, Amber! This is my fashion confession, also i would like to add that english isnt my first language, so the grammar is not so good. But ive tried my best to write something that maybe can be published. Thank you :) //Lovisa

    I have a fashon confession to make
    Before I confess what it is I have to tell something about me. Im 15 years old, currenty living in Sweden and me and fashion haven`t always been so close. In 6:th grade i had awful fashion sense. Once I wore a pink tshirt with a print in black text and spangles that said “I love myself” And It seriously gets a lot worse, i matched my ego/snobby tshirt with a cheap purple heartshaped plastic necklace. I bought it for 7 dollars at the childs department on H&M. I know right, who shops there? I did, but in my defense it was just a few times! However to my obviously showing plastic necklace i wore washed-out jeans with real holes on the knees. I was so not cool, And had the lowest self-confidence in the world! I was the most shy kid in school. I kept a lot to myself and sneaked away to be alone so I could read. I loved Meg Cabots books (still do) The princess diares was my everything back then. I read all the ten books in 4 months.

    Other outfits i remember is My the animal printed tank tops with cardigans and shorts with tights underneath. I wore tights with different funny patterns… And the worst. Gladiator- sandals with socks. Not lowcut socks even, really high socks. I could post picture of my outfits if it will make someones day. And the funny/sad thing in this is that i had a fashion blog. Couldn’t someone just tell me my outifts were really ugly? That’s was the bottom of my fashion disaster journey, and then it actually started to get better. My fashion sense just kept improving and my self-confidence got better and better, atleast in my opinion.(About the fashion sense) Maybe in three years i will be ashamed of my outfits today. I reallly hope not, becuse im proud of my style today. It’s like a wonderful mix of preppy clothes and casual chlothes with a little punk edge.

    You might think my fashion confession is about the fact that I had horrible bad fashion sense when I was 12, which would be a really funny story. But It actually isn’t, my confession is also a problem. I can put it like this, my favourite movie is confessions of a shopaholic. The movie is about Becky a journalist and also a shopaholic. Right after she finds out she has spent 900 dollars she go right to a store to buy more. She has a problem, just like me. But Im the opposite of a shopaholic, im a “can not buy-holic”. If that’s even a word. (I checked it isn’t.) That is my fashion confession. I can’t buy stuff. It is a real problem for me! If I go to a store thinking that I desperately need new socks or a new winter-jacket. I pick one out then I check the price, then I put It back and I try it on ,I put it back I check the price, and then I stand there for 30 minutes making a list in my head with reasons if I need it or not. “Do I need this?, do I really need this?” And I don’t buy it, i go buy something that is cheaper but i really dont need it. And the next day in school im freezing because instead of buying that jacket I figured I could save money and wear my old hoodie. Its not that i cant afford it, i just cant buy it.

    PS: If this actually gets published could you sign it as by “the girl in the green scarf” Or “The girl in the cheap scarf” It would be really funny.

  • Reply July 11, 2013

    Clawdeer

    Just curious about the mailman. Does he knock on your door every day? Do you not have a post box by the door into which he could deposit the mail?
    What happens to them mail if you are not in to answer the door when he knocks?

    • Reply July 11, 2013

      The Fashion Police

      He knocks on the door if he has something that needs to be signed for or a package that won’t fit through the mailbox. If no one’s home they leave a card saying when they will re-deliver, or how we can pick up the package.

  • Reply July 11, 2013

    Annette Tirette

    I think my mailman thinks the same. I work from home as well and prefer to work late-sleep late so I’ll often be fresh out of bed by the time he gets there.

    As for clothes: I managed to find a sort of uniform that’s comfortable enough to wear all day and work (drawing is hard when you’re not 100% comfortable), but still appropriate enough to go outside in. I’ll usually wear a t-shirt or tank top with a wide skirt, and add leggings and a cardigan in the winter.

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