Yoga Pants at Work

1. Women’s Solimar Pants from Patagonia, $79 | 2. Blanca Top from Prana, $55 | 3. Merrell Women’s Barefoot Mary Jane, $100 | 4. Larissa Jacket from Patagonia, $100

1. Molly Dress by Lole, $54 | 2. Excel Crop by Lululemon, $78 | 3. Sienna Shoe by Keen, $75 | 4. Feather Earrings, $17

{Outfit choices for going to the office without sacrificing functionality or comfort, and while still being ableto look just a little bit like a dirtbag.}

When you are a raft guide, a lift operator, a backpacking guide, or an intern at an outdoor magazine, nobody really cares what you wear. Nobody cares what you smell like or how bad your unibrow is getting, and by the end of the first week, most of your coworkers and maybe even your boss have seen you pop a squat and blow a snot rocket. When I was a raft guide, I’m not sure I ever wore deodorant. When I was a liftie, I wouldn’t wash my baselayers until I could smell myself through 2 down jackets.

When you work in an office, it turns out that these types of things don’t translate so well.

I work in a pretty casual place. My coworkers routinely show up wearing jeans, t-shirts, and running shoes. My now-boss interviewed me while wearing cargo pants, and our CEO is famous for not wearing socks with his loafers. But, does that make it OK to show up in Chacos, Carhartts, and/or a polypro?

I have been asking myself this question for the past few weeks. Our Employee Handbook clearly states that we are able to dress casually as long as it’s not inappropriately revealing – not a problem for me. But I have started to get the impression that my idea of “casual” is a little MORE casual than most people’s. This became embarassingly apparent last week when we had our whole sales team – most of whom work remotely – in town for a week-long series of meetings.

On the second day of their meetings, they were spending the day off-site, and had been instructed very clearly to dress “business casual – NO JEANS.” Knowing that with all of these people in meetings all day the office would be practically empty, I woke up, looked at the forecast (70 and sunny!) and put on yoga pants and Birkenstocks and left for work. When I showed up, my supervisor/Charlie Brown co-worker told me that I had to run down a few blocks to where they were meeting to drop off some materials they had forgotten, and so that I, a new employee, could meet everyone. This was not a big deal, except that I was wearing yoga pants and Birkenstocks heading to a meeting where everyone had been expressly instructed to look nice. Charlie Brown listened to me worry about my wardrobe for a few minutes before finally saying, “How about this. Just don’t wear yoga pants to work, it’s probably not ever a good idea.” Point taken.

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