Downton Abbey and Toddler Suits

How on earth did we move from this:

to this:

in only a hundred years.

The image above was taken from a “Forever Lazy” commercial which is just as bad as it looks. I wanted to spare you watching the clip, but if you need some comic relief, here it is. Over-sized toddlers eating junk food on the couch in over-sized pink fleece jumpsuits. Really?

Here in the US, we are known for going about our day in sweatpants, but the Forever Lazy toddler suit brings the whole concept to new heights. On the other hand, the NY Times ran an article in October how stylish moms drop their kids off at preschool in their best designer clothes. Perhaps there might be some paparazzi waiting?

I would guess, most of us lie somewhere in between depending on if the workplace is home or not. Mine is home and I do wear a nice version of sweatpants. Sometimes I wonder, if wearing more “formal” clothes  would increase my productivity. When I pick up my kid, I either wear a big coat on top of those, or sometimes, I get “properly” dressed and wear something slightly more presentable.

If you work from home, what do you wear?

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14 Responses to “Downton Abbey and Toddler Suits”

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  1. Mary H says:

    I don’t work from home, but I wear casual clothes to work. However, even when I’m home I don’t wear sweat pants. The family at Downton Abbey had a large staff of sevants to see to their everyday needs including taking care of clothing and helping them dress! I could probably dress a lot nicer more easily if I had “staff” but I’m not really a dressup kind of girl. However, I wouldn’t mind having someone to do my hair everyday :)

  2. Juliann says:

    Thanks for this post. The current trend towards sloppy dress drives me nuts. I hate seeing folks in PJ pants who look like they just woke up out in public. I work from home and while I do wear sweatpants early in the morning to keep warm, I never leave the house in them. Lately, I have gotten so I do wear decent clothes (non-sweatpants) at home too because looking nice makes me feel less lazy and more professional. I do kind of wish sometimes that we could go back to the days of pretty dresses and pearls, just not all the time.

  3. maya says:

    I work from home- and you are witness to my big coat over yoga pants on lots of mornings as I drop off the kids, but I think my style changes with the seasons. Because my objective in winter is to be warm, my outfits are focused around cozy layers. I think I get “dressed” in decent clothes more often come spring…. when I’m not so concerned about freezing!

  4. ok…this one is speaking to me. i have often wished we could have “uniforms” at home (or elsewhere) that we put together and didn’t have to think so much about whether this went with that, or what to wear. i stay home and when i am working, it’s usually farm work or inside cleaning, both of which i can do in jeans…i prefer decent ones with a decent shirt, but sweats do have their place as comfort wear…like gilda radner, “I base all my clothing decisions on what doesn’t itch”…basically. that said, an older friend who retired from teaching wore heels and a complete suit or dress everyday she taught as she said “if you wish to be respected, your must act AND look respectable”…well said, and has been proven time and time again.

  5. Patty says:

    Your post made me laugh. I was just at the drugstore thinking similar thoughts looking at a woman and what appeared to be her daughter (both!) in pajama pants, Ugg type slippers and T shirts – shopping and shuffling in the cosmetics section. More than makeup was called for here from my point of view, but thinking it also made me feel old and prudish. Your “how on earth?..” gives me hope!

    I suppose in the privacy of your own home while sitting in the dark watching TV, I’m not particular about the attire, but greeting guests (as in Downton Abbey) and shopping in my mind requires a bit more than loungewear and slippers.

  6. Ann Brown says:

    I just work from home but have small studio at the back of the house so I consciously ‘go to work’. I just wear jeans and a shirt but put a ‘work’ apron on when I am in my studio. I find that this actually makes me more work focused and I tend to start working on stuff straight away. I really need that ‘work’ mentality or I am really easily distracted and would end up having 100 projects and never getting any of them finished. The apron also means that if I have to rush out to get supplies etc my clothes and covered in threads & fabric paint.

  7. monika says:

    Ah dressing… I used to be into fashion and accessorizing to the nines (matching shoes with belt, purse, earrings, necklace) back in the eighties in my teenage years. Then went through my art school years doing the grunge thing of ragged jeans and shirts (while wearing corporate dress to work – I was a part time art student). When I stopped working for corporate by focusing on my work as a professional artist and take care of my family things changed again. On studio days I put on comfortable clothes, generally pants with an elastic waist band and a long tunic over top. I leave the house, walk across the street, get into the car and drive to the studio. There, I get out of the car, walk across the back parking lot, up the stairs into my studio. At most, I see our building supervisor. The instant I enter the studio I put on my paint stained sweat pants – not yoga pants (giggle) and a paint stained t-shirt. I often say that since nobody sees me, what’s the point. A construction worker will not wear a suit to work to change there!

    To feel better about myself, I have a type of uniform during summer and fall, where I have a lot of capri pants and long tops. The pants are generally patterned and the tops solid coloured, generally made of linen. I also wear a lot of linen shawls and scarves. In the winter though, I tend to wear either jeans and a tunic, or yoga pants (not sweat pants – giggle) and a tunic underneath a black down coat with a big collar. A very recent development and change are black leggings, a knee length skirt, a t-shirt or long-sleeved shirt and a cardigan.

    I am reasonably tall (175 cm), but on the heavier side (size 16) and find it almost impossible to buy nice well-fitting clothes in regular stores. My capri are generally purchased from thrift stores – tunics and linen elasticized waist pants are made by myself.

    I am very inspired by long skirts and long tops with them like here
    and I can’t wait to find a bit of time to make myself something inspired by this look.

    I love the feeling of dressing in long layers and feel the fabrics around me (textile addict I am- giggle), but its just not practical for my life style (I admire how the pioneer women of the past did it – or Frieda Kahlo).

    Often when I do make an effort to “dress nice”, and am around my son (now 7 1/2) I find that in no time I have stains on my clothes which makes me very crabby and nervous dressing up.

    For years I have had home clothes and outside clothes and am very diligent changing before I leave the house – even to just quickly pick up my son (I was raised with a lot of “what are the neighbours going to think!” – too much so groan.. but at the same time it’s not a bad thing to think a bit of how we are perceived “Kleider machen Leute” (it’s the clothes that make a person).

    Sorry this is so wordy – I guess I had more to say than I thought — and as a final note… wearing an apron around the house is also a great thing.

  8. Katie says:

    I work from home and when I first started, I would wear pj’s or sweatpants and a sweater a lot. After a few months, I realized it seemed to change my attitude toward work and the whole day — I didn’t feel as organized or productive. My night seemed to run on into my day without a clear break, so my day felt shorter…and when night came again, it seemed too soon. It also made me feel like I wasn’t part of the regular world because I was essentially in clothes that were for sleeping — a time set apart for refreshing in your own room away from the world. So I decided that I would start “going to work” in my house just as I would if I were going to an actual office in town.

    Now, I get dressed in jeans and a nice top — something nice enough to wear out to a coffee date with a friend — as soon as I get out of bed. I do my hair — everything. I like the distinction between my working/daytime hours and the time I put all the work away, get in comfy sleep clothes and hit the sack. For me, it adds productivity as well as a good emotional/attitudinal outlook.

  9. Suschna says:

    I always dress like I am about to leave the house, makes me feel much better. Maybe it is a bit a question of how one grew up. In my childhood it was no question of wearing pyjamas outside the bedroom. For breakfast we had to put on proper clothes. I don’t do that anymore, but I wouldn’t be caught dead in sweatpants during the dayn (unless I am sick).
    Same thing with aprons in the kitchen. My mother never wore one, neither do I. But I like the idea of putting on an apron for the workspace, just to focus on working in my new studio under the roof. I get distracted very easily, as described by Ann.

  10. Vicki says:

    I love this post. Downton Abbey costumes are STUNNING! Double stunning. Even my husband said “That is the most beautiful dress I’ve ever seen” during last weekend’s episode. (It was one of Mary’s evening dresses and it was absolutely gorgeous.) I still have a lot of fancy doing-it-up clothes from my pre-kids days. Most of them still don’t fit, but they’re so classic and pretty that I don’t have the heart to give them up. (Thank goodness for attics!) I do dress up for Sundays, date nights, holidays, shopping with my mom… that’s about it. But mostly, wash-n-wear is my main guideline – along with the Gilda Radner’s “not itchy”. I wear jeans and a sweater in the winter with a nice coat and comfy, warm, not-Ugg boots. I tried this week for two days to wear my running shoes with my jeans for walking the kids to school and I felt like a slob (granted they are old ugly sneakers – maybe if I got nicer ones, it wouldn’t be so depressing), so went back to my trusty black boots yesterday. Spring = skirts, tho usually with a simple t-shirt, since I’m still chasing a preschooler around most of the day. But if it gives you any hope for the future, my daughter (3) refuses to leave the house in her pj’s (unless we’re leaving Nana’s to go home to bed). :o)

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