Ruth Slavid talks architecture

What to wear – freelance post 10

Posted in Uncategorized by ruthslavid on January 21, 2013

There are always depressing pieces penned by freelances about spending all day in their pyjamas. I am happy to say that that is not a vice to which I have yet succumbed – I wash and I dress every day, whatever the pressure of work. But my outfits at home are certainly not ‘business appropriate’ if I am not going out.

And why should they be? My two most important items are my ‘freelance cardigan’ and my ‘freelance slippers’. The cardigan is great because I can put my home phone in one pocket and my mobile in the other, as I wander round the flat (remember to remove before going to the loo – accidents that can happen will happen). And the slippers are warm lined and good for winter, because somehow homes are never warm enough, and sitting at a desk is, by definition, a sedentary activity.

I still have smart clothes. I even buy smart clothes. And I need them or at least I like to wear them. But what disappear are those smartish clothes that used to do for a day in the office when you felt a bit miserable and wanted to dress appropriately. The ‘I don’t like anything so I’ll wear this old rag’ clothes. Now going out is always a bit of an event, so I want to look good and enjoy putting on proper clothes.

When i was first freelancing I wouldn’t go into the centre of London on a weekday in anything I wouldn’t wear to work, because I thought I might meet work people. A friend, even if she was working at home, always wore  work clothes to drop off the children at school,so that everyone knew she was working and couldn’t be inveigled into cups of coffee. Now I am more relaxed, but not ridiculously so. I think the fashion rule is:

You are selling yourself, so always wear clothes that make you look like yourself.

Of course, if you are fortunate enough to live very centrally you may bump into potential clients even when dashing out for a pint of milk with uncombed hair. But perhaps that doesn’t matter. Even I, on the outer edge of zone two, have bumped into a work colleague when returning sweaty from a run. I don’t look like that when I go to meetings, though.

The other issue with clothes is, if you are going out in the evening, do you slob around in something comfortable all day, and then dress up for the evening out? Or do you put on your smart clothes first thing? (I am talking informal reception, not fancy dinner – nobody would work all day in the female equivalent of black tie.)

The upside is that dressing up makes you feel a bit special when you do it. The downside is that if it is cold and dark and raining outside, having to get changed may be a further disincentive if you are already wondering if you REALLY want to go or not.

I don’t have the answer. I do know that I don’t get to as many things as I should. Time to start dressing up in the morning?

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2 Responses

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  1. Casea said, on January 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    This is an adorably funny post. I agree, in the end wear comfortable clothes but don’t obsess over looking like someone you’re NOT all the time. Ciao!

  2. Deborah said, on January 23, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Nice post Ruth. I know what you mean. The general rule is no pyjamas in the office … and most of the time I’m happy to say I stick to that. Warmth and comfort are key and I have a nice line in comfy fleece-wear and woolly socks that works for me. (Can scare the hell out of the delivery people though…!) However, when it comes to leaving the confines of my home I dress to suit the occasion.


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