My father and son.

My father worked from home. He was an attorney who ran his law practice out of our family house. I guess you could say I received my entrepreneurial/self-employment training directly from him.


Looking back over his life, I am struck by what a dedicated professional he was. He sat at a small desk that had originally belonged to my older sister. He had a file cabinet, a straight-backed chair, and a Smith-Corona typewriter. And with those minimal tools, he managed to do amazing legal work.

When I look around my office today at the numerous tools and supplies, I’m a little embarrassed. Do I really need those color-coded file folders, several different tablets, at least twenty different pens and pencils and markers? And what about the computer, scanner, and printer? I wonder if I could even produce a piece of writing, let alone a legal brief, on a typewriter and carbon paper?

Dress Up Every Day

Daddy would dress for work every day. There was no sitting at the desk in casual attire for him. His uniform was dress slacks, a shirt and tie.

Every day.

It was his routine and he took great pride in his clothing. In fact, I can hardly remember him wearing anything casual, unless we were in the mountains on a picnic, or on vacation. I learned from him the importance of dressing like a professional. No slouches allowed!

Like Father, Like Daughter?

Like my father, I too would dress for the day. Every day my routine was to apply makeup and wear nice clothes, and most of the time jewelry – at the very least I always wore earrings. I did this even on Saturdays and Sundays. Wearing casual, grubby clothes simply wasn’t what I did.

Fast forward to today

Jean and Amigo

Things have changed and I hope Daddy doesn’t mind too terribly much.

I recently had the awareness that I’d quit wearing earrings when I’m working at home, which of course these days is nearly all the time.

When I go to the pasture to feed our two old sweeties, I have an entirely different dress code. Dangly earrings don’t seem to work. And nice clothes, well they just get ruined.

How Many Times Do I Change?

So then my challenge was this: Do I dress up in the morning and then change mid day when I head to the pasture? And then change back when I return home? I don’t think so. The thought of so much changing wears me out.


And what about makeup? It seemed rather silly and self-centered to be putting on eye shadow for the horses. They don’t care, so why am I going to this extra step? As for lipstick, if it’s creamy or glossy at all, I get bits of hay and dust stuck to my lips. Besides, I’m trying to be more comfortable in my own, unadorned skin.


Dressing for the pasture has a much more utilitarian flavor. In winter, I need clothing that keeps me warm and dry. And in summer, I need clothing that protects me from the dry grass and stubble. And of course, I need clothing that is washable. Pretty simple really.

Is This About Aging?

I sometimes wonder if my shift away from wearing makeup and dressing professionally is simply a part of aging. I’d like to think I’ve become more at ease with who I am and don’t need those outer embellishments to authenticate me. In truth, I’m still working on that one. When I go to my office or teach a class or go to a friend’s home, I fall back into my makeup/nice clothing routine. It feels right for those occasions.


And I’m nowhere close to being ready to altogether give up the fun of clothes, jewelry and makeup.


What’s your dress code? How do you face your workday? I’d love to hear.