My first job out of grad school was working in the buying office of a major fashion retailer.   Dressing for Success took on a whole new meaning since it was expected that we would wear the clothes, look the part, walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk.   Every day was a fashion show at work, with everyone dressed in their finest. No such thing as wearing out-dated fashions; only the newest styles would do. This was a great environment for a fashionista like me, a natural-born shopper who always wanted (and still wants) to wear the latest trends. At the time, the biggest challenge was having the money to purchase said trends.   After all, I had student loans and a car payment on top of normal living expenses, and my salary didn't exactly match the price tags on the clothes.   Somehow I made it work and enjoyed strutting my stuff down the halls of the office as though I were on a fashion show catwalk.   Never mind that at the towering height of 5 ™2 I wasn't anywhere close to being a model, at least I could pretend by wearing designer clothes. Several companies later and my interest in wearing the latest fashions at work calmed a bit.   Especially with the trend towards business casual , although I still haven't quite figured out what that really means. I think it's a secret code for wear whatever you want .   Even though I have become accustomed to business casual , I have always tried to be fashion-forward. Then the lay-off hit and I began consulting, which meant working from home.   No longer would anyone see me strut my stuff at work.   Just the dog, and quite honestly, the only interest she's ever shown in my clothing is to try and shed as much as possible on me.   In her mind, no outfit is complete unless it is accessorized by dog hair. Because of the layoff I discovered what many of you who work from home already knew: it doesn't matter what you wear at home.   Jeans, gym clothes “ even PJ's “ make the cut.   Unless you're on a video Skype, there's no reason NOT to be comfortable.   And for many of us, that means stretchy pants.   Women have known since the ˜80's that stretchy pants may not always make a fashion statement but at least they are comfortable.   We ™ve always had this as our little secret , something only for girls. Boy was I surprised to recently find out that our little secret is out, ladies.   Guys apparently have stretchy pants too, and are not afraid to admit it.   This was recently revealed to me by a male colleague who freely stated that working at home was great because he could be comfortable in his stretchy pants.   After I stopped laughing, I realized he was serious. Let me stop you before you start pinging me with comments like, He's probably over-weight, older, not fashion conscious and still single .   You would be correct only in that he's single, but I ™m pretty sure that's by choice.   This colleague is handsome, twenty-something and not a pound over-weight.   At least from what I can tell; I try not to stare too much.   He's a new colleague and I don't want to appear too Mrs. Robinson , not to mention that Hubby is my prince charming.   I ™m only interested in this because I didn't think young, hip guys knew about stretchy pants. In all fairness to my new colleague, Hubby has his version of stretchy pants which he has dubbed, sit-around-naked-pants “ meaning they are so comfortable it's like wearing nothing at all, which he would never do because that would be just wrong or creepy.   Not in a fifty-shades kind of way, but, you know what I mean.   Sigh ¦Hubby is not going to like this post. All this to say that whether you ™ve been laid-off and are looking for work, or simply working from the comfort of your home office, one of the benefits is   wearing what you want without worrying about putting on a fashion show. Stretchy pants “ they're not just for women anymore.

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