10 Aug 2017

Dressing Up: Home Alone Or Not

Dressing Up: Home Alone or Not on vickiarcher.com

Are you dressing up to hang around?
Do you try and look elegant and well put together even if you are staying at home? Do you make the extra effort to dress up even if you are home alone?

I probably come in at 50% of the time.

It’s probably not good enough and I need to get it together. I am not suggesting evening wear and tiaras to spend the night with Netflix or being buttoned up in suits to munch on Chinese take-out. More that we should make the best of ourselves, for ourselves at all times. Looking elegant doesn’t have to require extravagance; dressing up can be all about simplicity and comfort.

It comes down to taking the time for us. I am guilty of that; guilty of thinking behind closed doors means laziness and ignoring myself. What is the difference between wearing the old flannelette pyjamas in front of the TV or luxuriating in the new cashmere tracksuit or silk satin numbers? Everything is the answer.

All are comfortable, all are for behind the scenes and yet when I wear the silk satins or the cashmere I feel so much better in myself. Likewise goes with the old woollen socks versus a pair of cute mule slippers. The equivalent energy is expended, the same time is taken and yet I feel completely different.

This is front of mind because I have been lolling about at home with flu for days. I came to the conclusion I couldn’t hide my red nose, pasty face and persistent cough but I could feel more together if I made an effort with what I wore. The minute I delved in the wardrobe and put on my decent ware, I felt more attractive and less sorry for myself. Nothing shifted, simply my mentality.

Why don’t we feel the need to make the best of ourselves when nobody can see? Shouldn’t we be dressing for ourselves first and foremost? Are we still saving everything for best? I don’t wish that for myself anymore. I might not wear full make-up at home and have perfect hair but that doesn’t mean elegance should fall by the wayside.

What about an “at home” wardrobe?

An easy dressing collection that requires no thought other than to wear it. Whether you prefer tee style dresses, comfortable cashmere or the lux of lingerie, a few easy but lovely pieces at our fingertips seems a way to avoid this dilemma.

In this mid-season month where I am pretty much done with summer shopping and can’t wrap my mind around winter woollies I have decided to re-invigorate my “at home” wardrobe.

Hanging around and looking elegant might just be my new mantra. It can only help. xv


Dressing Up: Home Alone Or Not

cashmere sweater and pants  ||  akris punto cashmere pants  ||  akris punto cardigan  || akris punto sweater  ||  cashmere kimono shawl

eileen fisher split sleeve dress  ||  eileen fisher scooped neck  ||  eileen fisher 3/4 sleeve  ||  natori v neck silk caftan  ||  lhasa jersey pyjamas

image, ligne rosset campaign

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Certainly the better I look, the better I feel; even when lounging at home. Don’t think cashmere is in my future as I am in the pool daily and a loose cover up suffices


The way the weather is in London.. I could be wearing cashmere for the whole of supposed summer! Although in France and Italy it’s a heatwave, so I think its best to get back there ;)

Taste of France

It comes in waves. There are times when I have a closet full of sundresses that are comfortable and easy and also very cute. There are times when said closet also is full of sweater dresses and leggings and I can wear them together and be warm and comfortable and also stylish (especially if I put on tall boots to go out).
Then there are times when the cute dresses are a bit faded and tired, the sweater dresses pill and the leggings sag at the knees. And I should replace them, but other things take priority. Or the dresses are just fine but I am in a period of “projects” that are grittier than my usual computer work–gardening, redecorating, sewing (and on all fours cutting out fabric). And then all bets are off as far as style.
That said, my neighbor looks like Martha Stewart when she works in her garden–color-coordinated clothes, even her gloves, jewelry, hair in a twist. But she’s French, whereas I’m just faking it.


Vicki, I hope you are feeling better! I agree, even when I’m sick, I like to wear my ” go to” elegant black pajamas, they could be worn to a spa, they are that nice, and made of lovley material. Most evenings, I wear a pair of wide legged pants and a comfortable tunic style top, with my little leopard flats. Even when I’m home alone. Because you are completely right, when we look great, we immediately feel much, much better.


Spent some hours today in an oncology unit with a dear friend, an artist/sculptor, who was having a long chemo session. She looked amazing – had lost her hair but her head was stylishly wrapped in two beautiful scarves, she was impeccably made up, including her eyes, and beautifully but appropriately dressed. She is so brave and determined to carry on as well as she can through all this – stylish and original, as always. We talked and laughed all day and the time passed so quickly. She made it so easy for me to sit with her – will go again for her next session. Next time will make more of an effort with how I dress though! Think it might be better at such times to be there with a girlfriend as the poor husbands and wives going through this together looked understandably sad and grim. Best wishes, Pamela

Mimi Gregor

I recently revamped my “at home” wear with a trip to Anthropologie. And get this: I bought new items, not the sale rack. (GASP!!) I figure that most of my time is spent at home, so that is where the bulk of my money should be spent. I found some really stunning yet comfortable black ankle-length slim pants (think Audrey Hepburn or “Laura Petrie” in the old Dick Van Dyke show) and some black slim-cut cargo pants. Added to two pairs of leggings that I already have (also in black, of course), I’m set for at home wear. (I always wear the same tops for at home and going out, whereas for going out, I switch pants for a skirt.) These will be paired with t-shirts or boatneck tops in the warm weather, or sweaters in the cooler weather. My sleepwear is now only for sleeping; I used to put it on to lounge in the evenings, but I always felt weird doing that. With comfortable and flattering clothing, there is no need to “slip into something more comfortable”.

As to hair and makeup, when I wash and blow-dry my hair (every 3 days), I take my time to do a good job, so that it will last and still look good (with a little dry shampoo). Even at home, I apply a bit of makeup at least. You never know when you may have to rush out or someone may drop by. And even if you’re alone, why shouldn’t you like what you see in the mirror?


My favorite home outfit is what I am wearing today – jeans with ripped out knee from too much gardening and a white tee-shirt. I worked in the garden very early, then finished reading a book on the patio. Although my outfit may not be stylish it’s comfortable – must add though – after putting on my serum, makeup, etc. I don’t look bad at all!!!


Oh, Vicki, I understand so well what you are going through!
I had the flu last November and was deathly ill for 23 (!!) days. Even though I felt like something the cat dragged in I felt so much better even if I just washed my face and put on my creams and made my hair look nice.
I have a floor length deep purple velour wrap and a white caftan that I just about lived in for the whole time but they and the kindness of my friends and neighbours got me through the ordeal.
I hope you are back on your feet and feeling better very soon.


Thank you Cindy-Leigh.. poor you! 23 days.. yikes..
I am nearly at a week and I am going stir crazy .. not quite but almost ;)


Not only are a pair of cashmere pants and sweater great at home on a chilly evening but they work well on a long flight. At home most evenings I like leggings (usually black) with a tunic top. I am mostly barefoot when I am home, but a comfy slide would be nicer than a pair of old sox in winter!


True, Wendy… but I know what you mean about the socks.. they are a comfy temptation.. :)


Note to self, check spelling when using microphone application!!! SOCKS! Someone thought I lived in Boston


This is great topic, as always, Vicki. There are two reasons I made the decision to clean up and wear makeup everyday. First, I decided I owed it both my husband and myself to look nice each day. Second, my skin has told me in no uncertain terms that I need to do this, or suffer the consequences.

As you say, looking and feeling good matters as much at home as it does in public. Life is short so why not do it with panache at all times. My personal style is now decidedly casual, with edgy and/or bohemian elements. My mainstays are my beloved boyfriend or skinny jeans, with heeled/platform sandals or ankle boots. Depending on the weather, either straw or wool fedoras suit me well as accessories.

Linda B

Vicki, I hope you are feeling better bit by bit!

Personally, I always try to wear what makes me feel best, and that can vary with my mood and the needs of the day. Sometimes the wool socks are indeed the best–but I am lucky to have a few nice pairs I’ve made for myself so they are not run of the mill! (I think everyone in the world needs a pair of lovely hand-knit socks, right?)

Lynnelle the Heels Diva

I agree, that it’s about valuing yourself enough to spend the time on yourself. That time is not only what it takes to consider what to wear, rather than throwing on whatever is in the ‘pile’, but also the time to care for the cashmere jogging suit or silk pajamas. My tacky, laying-around-the-house t-shirt & leggings are throw-in-the-wash & dryer without thought items. I think about the cost & time of caring for what I put on every time I get dressed. THAT time is the time I consider the bigger luxury – is it / am I worth the additional time and expense to care for that more luxurious, lay-around wardrobe. For me, cooking is a similar analogy. It’s not the time and expense of the ingredients or preparing the meal, it’s cleaning the kitchen afterwards that’s the deterrent. Oh, to have a full-time assistant who will care for my laundry and clean my kitchen. I would be the best-dressed cook in the neighborhood.

Beth Anderson

If you were to drop in after 11 AM most mornings you would find me showered, coiffed, well-moisturized, teeth brushed, and wearing a sundress if summer and yoga pants and some sort of top if cooler outside. I don’t bother with any sort of makeup unless I am leaving the house and occasionally not even then. I will load up on sunscreen or at least moisturizer with sunscreen, though, before leaving the house even if only a quick errand. Oil of Olay complete.

If you gave me 20 mins head up I would put on makeup and be ready to be presentable – but I probably wouldn’t mind you seeing me without makeup in many cases.

If you show up before 11 AM I would not answer the door most likely.

Mrs. Shockley

I couldn’t agree with you more. I have a separate wardrobe for my home. It consist of skirts and sweaters. I still feel lovely and put together.


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