Has working from home made me frumpy?

Is it just me who finds wearing clothes tiring?!

No, I’m not about to reveal that I’m a secret nudist!

This is about the effort of choosing clothes to wear, putting said clothes on and walking about in them all day.

I saw a mum the other day. She had high heels on, a knee-length patterned skirt and a short jacket. She looked amazing! But as she tottered along, I thought ‘Flip, that looks tiring!’…

Having to be careful how you tread. Walking like a ‘lady’ (unlike me, charging along always late!). Legs rubbing in scratchy tights, a bit sweaty and prickly. Skirt fabric swishing around, riding up, VPL. Jingling bangles…

This mum (and most other people in fact) wear a different outfit every day – different tops, bottoms, shoes, bags… I expect even matching underwear…


I LIVE in jeans and t-shirts!

I must admit, I’ve been feeling a bit frumpish lately – mostly down to having a shapeless, post-baby body and a shapeless wardrobe to match. I think of my hubby working with nicely dressed women all day, coming home to me in an oversized hoody and jeans, not that he minds but it’s hardly feminine! (And I’m sorry, but I think femininity is important.)

I’ve had the days of fashionable, and downright skimpy, dressing at night clubs in my teens and power dressing at work in my twenties, but now I’m a very busy mum who works from home, meaning I don’t have much time to shop or work out to get my figure back. (I’m sure there are many mums with children and jobs who still find time for all this, but I don’t.)

I need my clothes to be comfortable and practical, but does that mean I’m now a frump?!

I expect because I’m out of shape and out of the habit, I would find it tiring to hold ‘an outfit’ together for a whole day. A bit like when you go to a wedding and you’re counting down the hours until you can get your bodyshapers off!

I’ve been working from home full time now for over five years. And as I don’t go to see clients or colleagues anymore, I don’t need to worry too much about having a ‘wardrobe’ – not even a ‘capsule’ one!

I don’t slob about though! I shower every day and wear a bit of makeup. I wear jeans, plain tops and flats. It’s comfy and practical but also smart enough to me get focused into working. I’m certainly not one for working in my pyjamas (not that I wear any)!

Years ago, I loved spending my lunch hour at work browsing the shops in town. I had child-free time to search for a bargain or try something on. But now I’m a new mum again, shopping with a bored baby in a pushchair is an ordeal I’d rather not put myself through (plus, have you tried going into changing rooms with a pushchair?!), and my self-employed working hours are so sporadic that lunch hours are a thing of the past!

I’ve tried shopping online, but I find it a real hit and miss affair. Taking stuff back is another pain, so I end up keeping clothes I don’t really like because I forget to return them, and then stick them in the charity bag a year later hardly worn!

It doesn’t help that my confidence in myself is on the floor. I pick clothes off the hanger with my negative voice. Before long I found I’ve bought over-large shapeless T-shirts because that’s how I feel. I don’t feel my body deserves having money spent on it.

As I’ve got older my understanding of fashion has changed. I appreciate that if we look good, we feel good, but I don’t get the need to have so many different items of clothing just to make up one outfit. I look at the hundreds of clothes rails and think ‘landfill’.

My ‘wardrobe’ consists of three pairs of very worn shoes: one pair of flats, one pair of ankle boots and one pair of running trainers! I think I have a pair of flip-flops somewhere.

One blue summer coat, one blue winter coat. Three blue hoodies. A couple of blue cardies. Three pairs of blue jeans and a handful of blue t-shirts. A few items that don’t fit me. And I don’t own a single skirt or dress, unless you count my wedding dress! Admittedly this is a post-maternity wardrobe, but he’s 15 months old now and I still haven’t got round to buying clothes for my new shape!


Run, sun, rain – Imelda Marcos I am not!

I feel totally overwhelmed by the choice out there. I get fussy because I want one item to fulfill all functions – look good, keep me warm, right colour, goes with jeans, made of comfy fabric, affordable (aka ideally in the sale or on offer)… !

And did you notice? Everything I own is navy blue!

With little time on my hands, I grab the reliable clothes off the rails and have realised my entire wardrobe is now blue! I can’t bring myself to wear a lighter colour. I’m a mid sort of overweight – where my normal size clothes cling to my mummy tummy and highlight the wobbles, and loosely fitting tunics make me look pregnant, ‘booby’ or five sizes larger than I am! The same goes for prints, frills or embellishments. I seem to get swamped by them and they irritate me. (This post lends itself to some pictures of me, but I’ve realised that I don’t have any – not from the neck down anyway, as I tend to hide from the camera – besides they’d be very dull!)

But I look at other women of all shapes and sizes either celebrating their curves in wellcut, brightly coloured clothes or making dressing looking easy in light-coloured floaty tops and leggings with accessories. How do they do it? Either I missed out on the fashion gene, or working from home has obliterated my style sense!

And don’t get me started on accessories! I own a few pretty scarves. I wear one necklace and my wedding rings. I own a lovely Pandora bracelet which I wear occasionally. I have a watch but I don’t really wear it as it pinches. But that’s it. Again, I have no reason to wear accessories – who’s going to see them except the kids, the dog and maybe a shop assistant or two?

I’ve had such a problem with fashion that I now hate going to the shops and have pretty much put myself out to pasture.

But it’s sad. I’m 38 not 78!

I feel I should want more than this for myself. Perhaps I’m in limbo land: I’m too old (and wide) for the younger high street shops, but too young for older shops and as I can’t fit into the ‘fashionable’ clothes easily I end up buying ‘frumpier’ clothes. I can’t wear polyester so the cheap shops are out, and can’t afford cashmere so buying one or two ‘statement’ items is also a no-no (not least, because anything I do wear is covered in baby snot or biscuit within twenty seconds). Where’s Gok Wan when you need him?!

I reminisce over the time when my body was in better shape and I had more time and choice but writing this has helped me realise just how I really need to get my mo-jo back, so perhaps I’ll try booking some time out to go shopping. Any tips on how you other busy mummys find time to shop for yourselves would be greatly appreciated!

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3 thoughts on “Has working from home made me frumpy?

  1. I can relate to a lot of this! I have 3 pairs of jeans, about five hoodies in different colours and a pile of Tshirts in various colours. I wear the same jeans all week and often the same hoodie too. I usually wear my Tshirts for two days, so, at the end of every day, I put all my clothes on the end of the bed and the next day I put them on again! When I first started working at home, I took a bit more care, then I developed this habit and was slightly ashamed, now I couldn’t care less! It doesn’t matter what I wear and it works well for me!

    • Thanks Sarah, I’m very similar. It doesn’t really matter but I would like to not feel quite so er, blue about it. I don’t need many clothes and I suppose that’s a good thing!

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