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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Dressed Up

Dressed Up


On Saturday afternoon, I walked into the living room, and my daughter Gabbey said, “Whoa, Mom. You’re all dressed up. Where are you going?”

For a moment, I stared at her in puzzlement. Then I looked myself over, from the bottom up: sneakers, white anklet socks, jeans, and a sweater top my husband bought me for my birthday last month. Dressed up? It’s true – I was going out, but just 3 miles down the road to visit my 95-year-old grandfather at the nursing home. Really? Dressed up?

And then it hit me. Since I started working from home I wear sweats. All the time. Pajamas all day. Yoga pants and a Doctor Who  t-shirt. I didn’t know whether to laugh or be really depressed. Wearing jeans now constituted “Mom is dressed up” in my kids’ minds.

Have I become Oscar Madison?


Apologies to Matthew Perry and Walter Matthau. I grew up on Jack Klugman as Oscar.

Last week, I mentioned that I was making a more conscious effort to “go to work” in “my office” downstairs in the basement. (Instead of on the living room sofa or at the kitchen table.) Should I make the effort to “get dressed for work” even when I’m not leaving the house?

Or should I just own it?


19 Responses to Dressed Up

  1. ChemistKen says:

    I guess it’s all relative. Wear what ever makes you most want to write.

  2. Amymak says:

    Ha! I fall into this rut all the time. Like now 🙂
    It’s been very good practice for me to get dressed and act like I might need to leave the house – I’m always feel better. It’s just so hard in winter with yoga pants calling my name!

  3. I can so relate to this. Since I’ve been laid off and now working at home, I’m in sweats all the time. I figure it’s okay for the winter because my house is cold. Once the weather warms up, I’ll get dressed.

  4. Just own it!
    When I’m home, it’s lounge pants and a t-shirt, all the time.

  5. Julia Tomiak says:

    My motto is be comfy. Besides, dressing up could become a dangerous stall tactic. I’d focus more energy on making sure you’re spending the time butt in chair to do the writing. We love you in sweatpants!

  6. Julia Tomiak says:

    And here’s a cool podcast by Jeff Goins on creating in the mess:

  7. Tiana Smith says:

    Ha! I do this too. If I actually do my hair, then I must be planning on going somewhere. Otherwise, it’s a ponytail. I say, wear what makes you comfortable – yoga pants are totally fashionable you know 🙂

  8. LOL…. I’ve been in sweats all day today as I am blogging and catching up on paperwork. IT’s important to be comfortable when writing. Perhaps dress up for the scene you are writing. Even in a character’s style. That’s an imaginative and fun way to write….

    Also, when stepping out of writer zone, like running errands, etc. “dress” Lol. I am about to run a few errands and I’ll dress for the occasion. Jeans, boots, sweater. That is dressy… LOL.

  9. Sheri Larsen says:

    I completely understand your dilemma. I find that I only ‘get ready’ for the day if I have some commitment that has to do with my kids – doctors, dentists, school stuff, sports … oh, and groceries. Sometimes it gets pretty bad, and I have to pick myself up and say ‘You need a lift!’ #psst…but honestly, some days it’s okay.

  10. J E Oneil says:

    I’ve heard some people say that it helps to dress up and act like you’re at work when you work from home. And others say that it doesn’t make a difference. If dressing comfortably seems to be going okay, why not stick with it? 🙂

  11. I don’t feel like I’m actually ready to write or plot unless I’m in my pajamas. Working on anything while wearing clothes I’d go outside in seems very, very weird to me.

    So yeah, my vote is for “own it”. ^_^

  12. Hilary says:

    Hi Dianne – how funny! I’d say “own it” too .. but not leave all that litter around!! I’m definitely more productive if I’m relaxed and not dressed up – but don’t like going out without being ‘tidy’ …

    Bet your grandfather was really happy to see you and enjoyed your visit … cheers Hilary

  13. Steven Symes says:

    I don’t dress up for work at home, but I had plenty of people tell me I should. Do whatever works for you — the important part is that you work.

  14. Lexa Cain says:

    You’re looking at this the wrong way – sweats/yoga pants and T-shirts is The Life! Just remember all the money spent on work clothes, the time spent on hair and makeup in the mornings, the uncomfortable shoes, and horror of “There’s a run in my pantyhose and I don’t have another pair!” I love this life and actually feel annoyed when I have to find real clothes to go shopping. It’s comfort with a capital “C”, baby! Enjoy it!

  15. When I’m at home, I just want to be comfy, so I don’t blame you! Currently in sweatpants and a sweatshirt. Writers unite. 😉

  16. Cynthia says:

    One of the perks of being an author is that you have the luxury of not having to spend time thinking about what to wear when you’re working in solitude at your desk. But you’ll have opportunities to put your wardrobe to good use when you do author events and book talks.