Don’t Distance Yourself Sartorially

Working from home has it’s advantages. I rarely wear these in public.

Well we’re in it now. All the news outlets are reporting that everything is being shut down. Social Distancing is the rule, and that means a lot of you might be telecommuting full-time for the first time. As a matter of fact, Mrs. E. is right this instant in an online meeting training to use webinar software so that she can teach classes for the next two weeks at least.

Working from home is the norm for me and I’d like to pass along a few tips for keeping yourself on track, especially if you, like me, are just returning from spring vacation.

It’s easy to treat working at home as an extended vacation. It’s not. And as you can guess from the title of this post, my number one trick to keeping yourself productive is:

1. Dress accordingly.

We’ve all seen the posts about the gaffes made by people stepping out of a shower to answer a client call that is factetimed, the workers showing up to a broadcast meeting in their pyjamas, or with a drink. Remember, if it’s not ok at work, it’s not ok in your home office.

Don’t panic, I don’t advocate being suited and booted (unless that’s your thing. When I first began working from home, I wore a tie and dress shirt at least. It reminded me that I am a professional and that I charge accordingly. I’ve relaxed since then, but imitating G. Bruce Boyer’s at home wear, I also wear a dress shirt and khakis or clean jeans, sometimes a sweater. Wear your slippers or a beat up old pair of loafers if you like. Don’t sacrifice comfort. In fact, if you’re sitting at a desk a lot, working from home is a great time to break out your pleated, full-cut khakis! And, as a corollary, this is a great time to try out something new. Always wanted to wear a neckerchief? Try it for a day or two. Wacky socks? No socks? Absolutely.

Which brings us to:

2. Groom yourself as you would to venture out into the world.

Shower, shave if you shave, comb your hair. That teleconference could come at any time. The ritual, that you complete before a normal work day, will help get you into the right frame of mind.

3. Get up, stand up!

It’s really important to get away from your screen at several times during the day. Stand and stretch. Get outside and take a walk. Go to another room for lunch.

4. Wrap it up!

If you’re headed outside consider wearing a scarf or carrying a bandana, either can function as a makeshift mask leaving the respirators and disposable masks for the sick and first-responders.

Looking for some smart casual inspiration? The Middle Ground is now available on

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It’s ALIVE! The Middle Ground Is On

It’s live! Both the ebook and the paperback versions of The Middle Ground are available through

This isn’t necessarily a book for the accomplished sartorialist; it is meant for the reader who is still a bit perplexed by the “smart casual” dress code. The inspiration came from fielding the same three or four questions asked by my wardrobe clients. What would you choose? What would you keep? What do you recommend? What do you think about….? I hope I’ve answered well.

At any rate, I’m chuffed and hope you’ll enjoy the book. At the very least the illustrations by Brohammas are worth the price of admission.

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Inspiration, By George!

I’ve often counseled my clients that a shortcut to developing dressing well is to find a couple of role models and emulate them at their best. Today, I’d like to suggest one of them to you: George Bligh, of AcornTV’s “A Place to Call Home.”

Courtesy AcornTV, no copyright infringement is intended. Please contact me if you’d like it taken down.

The character is most often in a suit and tie, this being the 1950’s – ’60s, but he knows his way around a sportscoat and jeans. The jeans in question are most often a five-pocket model trouser in tan or off-white. This is one of the most versatile combinations for our 21st century dress code of smart casual.

copyright foxtel, source:
No copyright infringement is intended, let me know and I’ll take it down.

I’ve taken to wearing “The George” for any occasion that calls for dressing in what I’ve called “The Middle Ground.” Not too formal, not too casual. This combination also makes a great travel outfit. Which is probably why Banana Republic, which carries the stone colored jean that I recommend, calls them the “Traveler Pant.” Just the right amount of stretch to keep them wrinkle-free and comfortable for the journey, not too heavy and not too light, trendy color, and they go with any shirt and sportcoat combination. Pair them with a chelsea boot for the full effect.

Sure, I’d be on board with the James Bligh last season look, but when something a bit more discreet is needed, try “The George”.

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