A very dear friend has recently introduced me to the idea of inside clothes and I have embraced it wholeheartedly.
The idea of different clothes for different things isn't a completely new idea. Growing up, we had a strict dress code that required dress clothes--longer skirts or dress pants, nice shoes, blouses... So every day, coming home, we put on play clothes--standard jeans, t-shirts, tennis shoes. My parents also changed when they came home. Ties exchanged in favor of Periodic Table shirts, pantyhose shed for socks and sneakers. But it was never clothes only meant for inside, not to be seen by others outside your family.
The idea of inside clothes is completely different than simply having dress clothes vs play clothes. Inside clothes are lounge clothes--soft shirts, knit pants. Not sleepwear, exactly, but not something you'd wear out in public. Only those closest to you get to see your inside clothes. Inside clothes are your private persona, your most intimate wear.
I've dug out some old comfortable clothes (as well as purchasing some new ones). As soon as I get home, I put on my inside clothes to vacuum, cook, nap, paint, play or write. If I go out to run an errand, I change--even if it's changing into casual clothes. When I get return home, I immediately put my inside clothes back on. I wear inside clothes several days in a row before washing them. Who cares if they smell like last night's dinner?
I like the idea of inside and outside. A public me and a private me, a comfortable persona that exists underneath the skirts and high heels of the office. I do often think of clothes as a form of protection. I dress a certain way to invoke a certain image, but every so often, it's good to remember just me. To shed that external skin of appearance and take a deep breath to just exhale. The inside me in my inside clothes can relax enough to know just where I am at this moment in time, even if it's in lounge pants.