Dress for Success?

My eighth-grade teacher was a tyrant. Seventh-graders shook in their proverbial boots knowing that they were about to face MISS ZIMMER.

Her main job was to drill basic grammar into us.

“A noun is the name of a person, place, or thing,” we repeated… over and over again.

“A verb is an action word,” we repeated… over and over again.

To burn prepositions into our brains, she had us memorize something that started like this:

With, on, for, after, at, by, in,

Against, instead of, near, between.

Through, out, from, under, down below,

To, over, up, according to.

(Does anyone out there remember the rest of this?)

But Miss Zimmer had taken on a second mission. “No blue jeans in my class,” she commanded.


“If you come to class dressed for play, you will play,” she insisted. “If you come to class dressed for work, you will work.”

I can’t imagine a teacher making such a dictum in this day and age. But back then, we (and our parents) bowed down.

Was she was right?

Many business-success experts would agree with her. They would tell you that even when you’re working at your kitchen table, you should forget the sweats and baggy jeans.

But, hey! One of the benefits of working at home – one that we often mention when encouraging you to start your own Internet business – is that you don’t have to “dress up.”

Yes, you always want to look professional when networking or meeting with a client or potential partner. But when it’s just you and your computer, who cares? (And think of all the money you’ll be saving on suits and ties or dresses and heels.)

Sorry, Miss Zimmer.

  • Sister Genevieve made us memorize prepositions in 6th grade, but she just had a list of the most common in roughly alphabetical order. If you do find someone with the rest of your list, please publish it! It is fascinating to see how other people organize lists to make them easy to remember!

    About “dressing up” when you work from home, there are a lot of different takes. A former boss would actually get into his suit and tie, drive his car around the block, and come back into his house through the back door so that he could get his mind into “going to work mode”. I did something similar the first time I had a home office, though I didn’t make a fake commute.

    It didn’t take too many weeks of home office before I found that I worked just as well in shorts as I did in my suits. And I had the best tan of my life that summer!

  • suomynonA

    Here it is being sung to the tune of Yankee Doodle:

  • Diana

    Our teacher has us memorize prepositions in alphabetical order. I remember some…

    aboard about above across after against along among beside beneath below between…

    That is all I got….