FAMILY & PARENTING

Husband Criticizes His Wife’s Relaxed Work-From-Home Look: ‘No Excuse To Dress Like A Slob’

by Stephanie Kaloi

A lot of people are working from home these days. This has definitely been a transition for many people — not everyone is made to work from home.

But one of the upsides to not going into the office each day is that most of us have been able to tailor our work-from-home look to be something that’s probably a lot more casual than what we would usually wear.

One woman recently wrote on Reddit that she’s definitely relaxed her work look since being home. She works as a paralegal for a law firm, and she dresses appropriately when it’s required. Otherwise, she’s chilling.

“Since I have been working from home, I am not dressing professionally with full makeup and hair and all of that jazz,” she explained.

“I typically wear jeans and a sweater or leggings and a sweater with more casual hair and no makeup. If I have meetings with the attorneys or clients, I will wear jeans and a button down top/blouse or sweater and put on a full face of makeup and hair.”

This is more or less acceptable, right? As long as she’s getting her work done, who cares what she wears while in the privacy of her own home? Well … apparently her husband does.

“Today when my husband got home from work, he saw that I was wearing sweat pants and a sweatshirt. I had no meetings today, and I just wanted to be comfortable.”

She continued:

“He asked me if that is what I wore to work and I said yes. He then asked why I wore such sloppy clothes to work in. I explained that I didn’t have any meetings today and that again, I just wanted to be comfortable while I was working.”

The woman didn’t take his comments lying down, and she told her husband that frankly, it’s not really his business what she does and doesn’t wear to work:

“He told me that working from home is no excuse to dress like a slob and that I should be embarrassed to look like that while I was working. I told him that his comments were unnecessarily hurtful and mean and that it didn’t matter what I was wearing to work, as long as I was actually working, which I was. I told him that what I wear when I work from home is none of his business and as long as my job performance is not suffering, which it is not, then he should back off about it.”

She added that she knows she can’t dress casually for work indefinitely, but for now, she’s happy that she gets to:

“I told him that I see nothing wrong with what I am wearing or how I look when I am in my own home and nobody sees me. That if I was in the office, I would dress like I always did, but I am not so I will dress like this while I remain working from home.”

Of all things to worry about right now, it is definitely a little confusing that her husband feels like her work wardrobe is the thing to really put front and center.

Unfortunately, it seems her husband doesn’t agree:

“He’s now angry with me and says that I am being unreasonably stubborn and is now requiring I apologize for being rude to him since he was ‘only making a suggestion.’ I told him I refuse to apologize because he was being very mean and his comments were hurtful.”

It’s probably not too surprising that people immediately pointed out that her husband is in the wrong here. One person also seemed concerned about how the woman’s husband treats her in general:

“He was rude and insulting and completely off base — who cares how you dress while working from home if you’re not on camera? I hope this is out of character and not his usual attitude towards you because that would be horrible and controlling. Wear what you like.”

Another said that she’d hate to know how he would react to her own work-from-home look:

“If this is how he feels, I’m glad she doesn’t dress like I do when I have to be on camera. Top half I’m all done up, a nice blouse, hair, make-up, jewelry, suit jacket, all of it. But they only see the top half of me, and don’t see that along with my blouse and jacket, I’m wearing sweats 🙂 after the formal part was done one day, the ladies and I had our own video call to ‘have’ lunch together. As we chit-chatted, we all ended up admitting that we were in sweats, every single one of us! And we are all professional women, the least educated of whom has a masters.”

One commenter pointed out that even if he feels like people should be office-ready when working from home, that doesn’t apply to everyone:

“Are people supposed to care about how they look while working from home? And it’s not as if she’s having meetings in pajamas! Is he one of the weirdos, who even during lockdown dressed up properly just to work on a laptop where nobody saw them? While it might work for you, don’t force it on others.”

The topic of what to wear when working from home has been a hot one throughout the year. For a lot of people, it really depends on what kind of work you’re doing from home. For example, as a freelance writer, I wear whatever I want all the time. But for people who work in traditional jobs that would usually be in offices, the conversation has been a little heated.

Erin Hatzikostas is the founder of a career coaching company, and she recently clarified the work-from-home look conversation a little:

“I think [the virus] has been a massive headwind for enabling authenticity, including in how comfortable people feel about appearing not all buttoned up in front of their work colleagues. I’ve actually found that dressing more formally is now the ‘sore thumb’ that sticks out in work meetings.”

But back to our current issue: It sure seems like the husband is the one who is in the wrong here, and some commenters think he is the one who should apologize:

“I’m really confused as to why your husband seems to have contempt for you and how you dress. It’s your job! And you wanted to be comfortable! And no one was seeing you! I’m sorry you had to deal with that.

“He WAS mean and his comments WERE hurtful. I know the [health crisis] stresses everyone in different ways, but you in no way owe him an apology.”