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?