keeping it real - the in and out of the home office day

Keeping it Real: the in and out of the home office outfit

Nikki Parkinson Everyday Style, Fashion 44 Comments

I love working from home. I really do.

People say to me, “don’t you get distracted and do other things?” and I answer, “yes I do”. That’s what makes it fun. I love a good distraction. And by distraction, I don’t mean hanging out the washing, preparing dinner at lunch time or anything that could be misconstrued as contributing to the general running of our house.

No, by distraction, I mean flicking the TV from Kylie and Larry to the girls on the Circle. Although, truth be known, I’m really not coping without Chrissie sitting on that couch.

Anyhoo … where was I before I got distracted.

Working at home. Right. This is what I mostly do. In the corner of my lounge room. The kitchen is behind me (feng shui experts, please only contact me if this a good thing).

My day is normally book-ended by the school run. Between 9am and 3pm I should be glued to my computer, fingers like dancing spiders on my keyboard (this is what a former chief-of-staff used to say to us at 3pm each afternoon before the day’s newspaper deadline … it was far from funny or even slightly amusing at the time. In fact, mine would do more of a trembling than a dance).

But … some days I MAY be required to attend a meeting at a cafe or in someone’s office. In which case I do put in a slight effort. I don’t want to look over-dressed but I don’t want to look like I do on a Sunday when I’ve just come off the beach.

At this time of year I find my obsession with all things nautical comes in very handy for such days.

Anything in a red or navy stripe is still casual enough that I don’t feel like a try-hard in front of my computer but has that touch of French Riviera chic to it, should I need to head out … like to France or somewhere 😉

Which is why the tee below and its navy-striped sister are now getting regular outings from my wardrobe. Best of all they only cost $14.98 from Emerson at Big W. (I was in my local store on the weekend and they’re still there … just saying … )

keeping it real - the in and out of the home office day

Emerson @ Big W | NYDJ | Mezi | Dinosaur Designs | Country Road | Avon

Do you work from home? What do you like to wear if you do? Are you easily distracted? Obsessed by stripes?

PS. Make sure you head over to A Beach Cottage today where I’ve “virtually” helped Sarah de-clutter her wardrobe.

  • Love these posts, Nikki!

  • I have a Dolce and Gabbana stretch denim skirt that I bought over 10 years ago in the US. At the time it cost the equivalent of $350NZD! But I’m still wearing it and it rocks. It’s the perfect pencil shape and shows of the pins perfectly.
    Quite often I’m at the computer in my PJs – fail.

  • Polecat

    Nice work with the denim skirt Nikki. I have one from Sussan that is just like yours and I find I can dress it up quite nicely for work (non-office environment). It works for my style.

  • jen

    Nice breezy outfit! I know what you mean about the denim skirt. ditto the denim jacket. Having said that i have a STRETCH denim skirt (sounds awfully ‘red light’ doesn’t it?) its from sussans and i love it. light weight. no buttons or zips, just (wait for it) an ELASTIC WAIST. sounds hideous but i assure your it works in so many glorious ways! jxx

    • I believe you Jen – yes I do – stretchy denim skirts of the world unite!

  • I love working from home too and a “good distraction,” so true – that’s what makes it all so fun 🙂

    • I’m annoyed that I got distracted by the washing today!

  • I am obsessed with stripes! I love them. I used to work from home and now my Onesie Twosie business is ran from home, but it involves fabric paint and sewing. I tend to just put on an apron over my regular clothes if working with paint or dyes. I used to be a sweat pants all the time girl, but you have inspired me to be comfortable and cute!!!

    • Hee Hee … so glad I’ve inspired you to be cute and comfortable!

  • If I don’t get dressed, do my hair, put on some make-up – I feel unmotivated, tired and HUNGRY.

    Sometimes I look a little ridiculous at school drop off in heels, when everyone knows I am generally heading home to my computer.

    Whatever floats your boat I say – anything goes in order to get some work done…

    PS Love the Gorman sandals – just saw them in an earlier post

    • I say whatever floats your boat too … and just quietly those Gorman shoes really do!

  • Penny

    Harem pants are my home go to although I think they’re out of fashion now? And, of course the much loved shacket! 😉

    • And just think, you’ve been able to wear the Shacket all through Sydney’s summer!

  • Hi Nikki,
    Just popped over here to see you after doing my regular daily visit to Sarah at ABC. Really loved the post she did, with your help of course 😉 It was so very inspiring!

    I too am a work from home mum, and loving all the distractions a work from home day can bring. At least when you work from home, you can be productive in the “thinking” moments….or catch up with the Circle girls (I am missing Chrissy too, not quite the same without her)

    Thanks for the inspiration on doing the casual work meeting dress thingy, I actually have 2 of those meetings this week, AND I saw the same shirts in Big W on Saturday and put them on the wish list for next week when I may have a bit more “play money”

    xx manda

    • Hi Manda, thanks for popping by – must have been meant to be! This top also works with pants or jeans – just add a cardi or jacket as it cools down. Let me know how you go next week!

  • shaz

    Love your look – I also work from home and generally choose something soft, comfy and easy to wear. Like today – a black and white striped a-line skirt from the Mix range and a black singlet top (also Mix) that cost a total of $10 on sale. I’m going out as soon as I finish work so it will look like I took a bit of time to pick something decent. Other days I just stay in my pjs and couldn’t be happier, especially in winter.

    Mix and Emmerson is a must for the work at home mum – affordable, stylish and pretty damn comfy (well everything I have bought is).
    Such a difference to the days in the office when my bedroom would be littered with discarded (too tight or too restricting) outfits each morning.

    • Bargain! And yes, I don’t miss those office days 😉 comfort with a bit of style is possible x

  • bonjour Nikki

    I love my daggy days at home and do the school run in pj’s sometimes…but really I like to be in something that if people see me in it I don’t scare them…that means a nautical stripe and at the least a scarf and Garnier BB Cream..


  • I write best in my PJs/house dress/sarong; and only dress up for meetings/interviews. But having been caught out once when a celeb. I’d been chasing once said: ‘Sure, I can do a quick chat. Can you be here in 20 minutes?’ Given the venue was 20 minutes away and I was still in PJs, and needed to wash hair and do make-up it was a scary experience to get there in time. I had the quickest of showers, and slapped on a face on the way. Worked out fine. Just.
    I can’t be arsed dressing up and doing make-up at home, but I at least make sure I am showered with clean hair, and a clean dressy outfit before I start work for the day.

    • Oh, laughing Bron because that happened to me last year when a local TV news wanted to interview me and I’d just prepared myself for a dag at home day!

  • Sam-o

    Wearing a denim skirt today and now I’m worried about the length! It is just below my knee! I love it & it cost me $19 in the post xmas sales -bargain it was 80% off & the last one hidden in a rack of awful white pants. Must get me a couple of those tops though. Noice.

    • Bargain! What I’d love you to do is look in the mirror with your skirt on and play around with the length. As you rise it up to just at the top of your knee, does it look better on you? More in proportion? That’s the test. For just about every client I’ve worked with, that’s the most flattering skirt length.

  • Hahaha… “should I need to head out … like to France or somewhere” 🙂

    • well, you never know your luck … a girl’s got to have dreams 😉

  • Ms DB

    I work from home and also find that the most motivating thing to do is to get dressed as soon as I get up – even before I make breakfasts and lunches for little people. It puts me in the frame of mind for work and helps to distinguish week day from weekend.

    On a related note I have to thank you for introducing me to the ‘wrist rack’ concept. I love yours and have been inspired to develop my own – I lean much more to gold tones – and feel so much dressier when I’ve made the effort to construct one that matches with my outfit. Cheers!

    • Ms DB, so wise … on the mornings that I do just that before tending to anyone else, everything goes more smoothly. Note to self, must do more often. And great work on the wrist rack – and yes, doesn’t matter about the colours, it’s what works for you!

  • Sarah Watts

    Yes, I work form home, easily distracted – no way I could have the TV on and am obessed with stripes – that is a great T! Love to see this post, I have been working from home for a year + now and always make sure I dress so that if I need to go out I can without changing, but certainly not in a corporate style. It does take a bit of getting used to, but now I love it!

    Thanks for this post!

    • It does take a bit of getting used to but when you’ve got your wardrobe skewed to that, it works. I find even just changing the shoes and adding one accessory to go out makes all the difference!

  • Wendy wilson

    I have just had a baby and my pre baby wardrobe doesn’t fit, money is tight as we have a new baby in the house. My husband gave me a $30 budget to get something new. Emerson to the rescue! I got a lovely inky blue denim skirt $19.99 a navy and white striped tee $5.99 ( in the sale) AND I still had $5.00 left for a bright red cutex nail polish also in the sale. I skipped out of Big W with a huge smile on my face. love a bargain!

    • I bet even your husband was surprised that you got all that on budget! Well done – bet it makes you feel good too. So important to have clothes that do that. x

  • You know how much I love Emerson at Big W! I love it, I brought a great bright blue cropped sleeve dress with a ruffle at the front. I get so many comments each time I wear it, even more when I wear my newly made matching earrings n necklace! My summer wardrobe is nearly all Emerson! Love it, shoes r great too!

  • Like Louisa said, I find that when I make a little effort my approach improves and I get more done. I like to be comfy at home – right now I’m working in black maxi dress (a cheapy fom Supre) with a witchery T over the top. I always pop a little make up on even if it’s just a tinted moisturiser and some bronzer and mascara as that way I feel like I am in the office. Loving that Emerson T!

    • Sounds perfect Jodie! And yes, I’ve always got the bare minimum of makeup on – don’t need to scare the delivery/postal guys!

  • I work from home. I am still in my pyjamas. Just saying…

    • I would be … except for school run 😉 And it’s going to be hot, hot, hot here today so think it will be cotton summer house dress for me.

  • haha, loved this. Yes, I too work from home and there are some aspects of it that are really great, though the TV is rarely turned on here and my distractions are normally of the housework variety 😉 I find getting dressed properly and popping on some make up makes a different to the way I approach the day and also makes ducking out to meetings a whole lot smoother too! x

    • Yes, it makes a difference to me too, Louisa … although I do relish a day that doesn’t involve meetings and I can just dress right down and stay comfy and – like today – stay coolish.