There’s a new phrase circulating around your wardrobe, it’s called ‘dressing above the keyboard’, well it was new to me when I first learned of it.

You see in this time of still working from home for some of us, where Zoom and Skype have become a way of life for webinars, team briefings and conference calls, what we wear above the keyboard has become very important.  A  webinar provided by with CEO Lauretta Roberts stated that sales of women’s tops and blouses had increased exponentially online due to lockdown.

This style of dressing looks set to continue beyond the current climate, becoming the new norm.  However, are you setting yourself up?  Fancy top or blouse above the keyboard, tracksuit bottoms hidden underneath the table!  Take heed to my cautionary tale of what to wear when working from home.

This is what I learned, unless I am going to do a workout that day, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security with the loose fitting track suit bottoms and oh so comfy weekend relaxed look from the waist down.  Check in with your waistline and hips, (you’ll thank me for this later on).  I recall my earlier working from home days, before all our lives were transformed.  Tape measure around my neck, semi-fitted top, and the most comfortable of baggy shorts that loved me.  Then one day I received a phone call asking if I would don my freelance consultancy hat, helping out a small start-up company to set up their office and admin.  ‘Love to’; having the experience of hindsight under my belt, I was all too familiar with the things not on the ‘to do list’ that everyone thinks someone else is doing when setting up a business.

It was back to my daytime wardrobe, of outfits to be seen in; I decided to wear my brown striped trousers, along with a tie-neck blouse, they looked so chic hanging on the wardrobe door.  In the past I would just slip on these trousers, so you already have an idea of what’s coming.  As I place either leg into the trousers, they pass my calves happily making the journey up towards my thighs, it was a strange feeling as the trousers never used to fit like leggings before in that area, however they were still now with some effort moving upwards towards the tummy area.  A bit more pulling and tugging, then a deep breath in, nope, this deep breath would need to be much deeper; one where I hold my breath in for a few seconds whilst I zip up the front and button the waistband.

I can feel the zip straining a bit, but it will be alright, I am still holding in my breath, the vertical stripes in the trouser fabric I don’t remember them having a curve, but its all fine, I tell myself.  I finally manage to get the button through the buttonhole for the waistband.  I dare not move, breath and tummy sucked in, I have this niggling feeling that if I breathe out, the waistband button with ricochet around the bedroom returning back to me like a boomerang!  If I continue to hold my breath in, I will at some stage pass out, and I am not having paramedics called to undo my tailored trousers and give me oxygen!  Plus I don’t want them to damage the zip and I would not be pleased if they cut me out of them!!!

Those baggy shorts that were originally part of my weekend wardrobe and workout attire had managed to creep into my everyday routine, the kitchen breaks were also responsible; I on the other hand was totally innocent.  It would have to be farewell to the shorts as they were relegated back to their rightful place, now I really would have to up my exercise regime, okay truth be told, go from sporadic to consistent! Funny how the road travelling back, is a whole heap slower than the road it took me to get into my predicament.

But do you know what, it was a really good lesson, and wake up call all round.  In the meantime I would wear semi-fitted tops and blouses with cropped trousers (the fabric having a modicum of stretch for sitting at the sewing machine) and bias cut skirts, yes with tape measure around neck, comfortable and chic, I liked this look.  This also meant that I was ‘ready’, be it to pop out to the post office, or to receive deliveries.  I was reminded of the scene when Labour came into office all those years ago, Cherie Blair answered the door to 10 Downing Street, to collect some flowers in the obscene early hours of the morning, the press had a field day as she greeted them in her not so flattering t-shirt, and I have just woken up look, now that was just mean!

Being dressed and ready still needs to be part of our routine, and dressing above the keyboard is now the new norm of fashion statements, you have been warned!

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