Casual, Hands-on Work Environment

One of my clients recently came to me with the question – “Well, I don’t really have to change my style, do I?  I mean – I wear very casual clothes to work, and I’m hands-on (and getting dirty) all day”.   This is often an objection to upgrading the wardrobe for SAHM, too.  “It’s just going to get dirty”.  “No one will see me”.  “It doesn’t matter”.

It’s not the “what you do” that makes your clothes not matter – it’s the “I spend almost no time doing this”.   So if your grubby clothes come out once every six months to paint the bathroom or because you have the flu … fine.  But if you’re wearing those clothes regularly?  Yes – it matters!!!

When we get dressed, we see ourselves, and we’re decorating ourselves into the person we think of when we think, “me”.  That means that *every* outfit matters.  If your daily work requires you to get grubby, you still need to pull things together.


  • Make a uniform.   Buy clothes that suit the work to be done, clothes that fit, in colors that flatter you.  These don’t have to be expensive clothes – if jeans (or shorts) and a t-shirt is what you’re wearing, fine.   You should like what you’re putting on.
  • DON’T wear clothing that you hate.
  • Mothers of small children often find peasant skirts useful.  They’re nice looking, comfortable, you can bend in them, and they block doorways neatly.
  • If you have really grubby work, don’t wear your work clothes anywhere but work.
  • Consider getting a *real* uniform – scrubs, coveralls, special aprons – something that communicates the task to be accomplished.  This will tell your subconscious that your work life and your “real self” aren’t the same person.
  • Dial up the style in your off-work hours – you’re not spending your wardrobe allowance on work-clothes, so you are perfectly set to spend a bit extra on great loungewear, cute clubbing clothes, or a nice hat to wear to church.
  • Accessorize!  If your work allows, earrings, a nice neat neck-scarf, something in your hair – any little touch will help you feel more like yourself… and more intentional.
  • Do something cute with your hair.
  • Groom well – a neat, pulled together look will go far in helping you own your style.


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