Are You Living a Double Life?


It was a Sunday morning in early spring when I had this major realization.

I woke up and had a most leisurely morning — my cup of coffee, a bit of journaling, had some Nina Simone playing in the background. And then I was ready to make breakfast.

I was feeling especially creative that day, so I looked through a few cookbooks and decided that I’d prepare french toast topped with crème fraîche and fresh strawberries.

And, why stop there?

I had a chilled bottle of Veuve Cliquot in the fridge and some fresh oranges.

So, Mimosas were a given. (naturally)

With my favorite candle burning, a vase of the most vibrant pink roses, exquisite music playing and a beautiful table set with a decadent breakfast.

It was truly a simple luxurious morning, and I was French Kissing Life hard. Except….

Except for one thing.

When I looked down.

I was appalled at what I was wearing.

Surrounded by so much attention to beauty, my tattered yoga pants and stretched out T-shirt that read “Cancun” just didn’t match the occasion (not to mention, I’ve never been to Cancun!).

Mimosas just don’t taste as good when you’re wearing clothes that should have been discarded a decade ago.

(tweet this!)

For years, I have been focused on upgrading the quality of my life — everything from what I eat to the thoughts I think.  Almost daily, I wake up and get dressed in something that feels beautiful. But, as lady of leisure, I also adore those days when I choose to lounge.  Yet, as I looked down at what I had chosen to throw on mindlessly that morning, I understood that I had neglected an important area: my loungewear.

I’d go out at night wearing a vibrant DVF wrap dress…..

                    and then come home and dress as if I were homeless.

I thought it didn’t really matter.  I mean, no one saw it and it was before I showered, so it was no big deal.

I told myself that the money I’d invest in a beautiful robe or pajama set could be better spent on another outfit.

But, on that particular Sunday morning with a Champagne flute in hand, I declared that it was time to upgrade how I dressed when in my own company. I was embarrassed by the lack of thought or care I had put into my home attire.

I was living a double life.

After breakfast, I was inspired to go through my closet and look for more elegant and luxurious pieces that I could wear around the house on those days when I choose to putz , lie on the sofa, watch a movie or even clean.

I was not surprised to find very few things that I’d not be embarrassed for someone to walk in and catch me wearing around the house.

So I invested in a few elegant, and sophisticated pieces of loungewear.

And I choose what I want to wear each morning depending on my mood.

You may think, as I once did, that it doesn’t really matter what you wear when no one’s around, but as someone who decided to upgrade this area of my life, let me assure you, it does.

My embarrassment vanished immediately. As well as…

And, here are some of the other things I’ve experienced since:

  • Less desire to eat when I’m not hungry.
  • More inspiration and creativity (I’m writing this in my favorite pajamas).
  • Luxurious and elegant mornings (Proof here on my Instagram).
  • A sense of pride that I care about how I appear to myself when no one’s around.
  • Excitement when someone knocks on the door (instead of dread).

Its your turn to uncover where you might be leading a double life.

So, let’s get honest ladies.

In the comments below, I challenge you to candidly answer:

(1)  Do you love how you dress yourself in your own company?
(2)  If so, what’s your favorite leisure outfit?
(3) If not, are you ready to upgrade?

(And if you read this whole article, yet feel like your lounge wear is already up to par, dig deeper.   Perhaps there is another area of your life where you feel like you’re “living a double life” that you are ready to upgrade?  Share that in the comments!)

Can’t wait to mingle with you below!

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35 Responses to Are You Living a Double Life?

  1. This is such a great point! I stopped wearing clothes that had holes or stains several years ago and it really has impacted the way I feel. I think that it is also good for my marriage. Even at my most casual, I always look put-together and I feel confident and in control.

  2. I love this topic! And I am guilty…as I listened to this…I look like the homeless woman Tonya spoke of. ;-P This is absolutely an area that I need to work on. I would love to see some suggestions from others who have found lounge wear that has helped them balance comfort and fashion. Lounge wear can be a slippery slope but I love the idea of still feeling “pulled together.” I definitely need to spend some time, energy and effort on this.

    • Hi Becky! I think we can all relate. I think that we are constantly discovering areas of our lives that can be upgraded. I love Natori for loungewear. Kylie (below) has some great suggestions too! Keep us posted :).

  3. Absolutely! We have to dress beautifully for ourselves, and there’s no reason comfy can’t be beautiful. I also demand that my beautiful going out clothes are comfortable. So I have less need to switch outfits when I come home and relax. I enjoy feeling put together all the time, even when I’m very casual and going out for a hike or a bike ride. When things are purchased with high standards & intention (and you don’t have excess!), it’s easy to “throw something on” and look and feel your best!

    • Juniper, I have been simplifying my life, more specifically, my wardrobe. You are SO right. It makes getting dressed so feel effortless. Everything you “throw on” feels good. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. I wholeheartedly agree with you, Tonya, and with the other ladies. I know that when I wear frumpy sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt I feel differently than when I wear sleek, nice yoga pants and a form-fitting shirt. I don’t dress “up” when I’m home, but I’d still rather feel both comfortable AND put together…it elevates the way I look and the way I feel about myself. Every little bit counts!

    • Julie, right on! Everything matters. And, I believe a woman can be both comfortable and stylish! Thanks for being such a great example.

  5. Tonya, I absolutely adore this post. I’ve commented a few times on your posts about the importance of lingerie and looking beautiful for yourself (being that I’m in management for Nordstrom lingerie) but people always forget about loungewear/sleepwear! We’re even trying to emphasize that our customers work on a lounge wardrobe and I’m working on getting beautiful pieces into our store. If anybody needs some inspiration, look up Natori, Carole Hochman Midnight, DKNY Citi Essentials, Barefoot Dreams, and Make + Model on They all have some really beautiful pieces!

    • Kylie, I so appreciate you sharing your expertise. I just posted a pic today on Instagram (@tonyaleigh) in my Josie by Natori pajamas. Love them. Have 4 different sets. Going to check out your other recos. xoxo

  6. Guilty! I dress up for work and as soon as I hit the door I am in my yoga pants and t-shirt. I’m sure this transition is thrilling for my man! I never thought of it in these terms, but as usual, you have me looking at things a different way! I am READY to upgrade for sure. I spend so much money to look great going out in the world that I forget I’m also creating my world and my attitude at home. Thank you and lucky me, I have the perfect gift card to spend on such items. 🙂

    • Laurie, I think most of us have “been there.” However, when I started thinking about all aspects of my life (and day) and how to make it luxurious, this was definitely an area I had neglected. Enjoy spending that gift card! xoxo

  7. Thank you Tonya

    I am starting an entire new chapter in my life. My Life Coaching course begins in September, my Animal Behaviour course begins soon after and I have spent most of today, outfitting myself to look good, even with dogs and cats slobbering all over me and lingerie (matching of course) new pajamas and a glorious robe were part of my swag.

    Oh and two new divine perfumes.

    Now I am feeling not an ounce of buyers remorse.

    Thank you

  8. Oh my goodness. You have hit upon a VERY sensitive nerve here. I retired a couple of years ago and now work at home, and for most of that time there were far too many days when I,too, shared your “homeless” look. The leftovers that barely avoided the thrift bag last time out because they still had some wear in them, the discards, the yoga pants with the hole in the knee (or worse), the over-stretched socks, the tee with the unappealing stains on the front, the sweat shirt that’s too ugly & stretched out & stained to be worn “in public” anymore. And worse: when dressed like this I didn’t bother with make-up or hair & then someone would come to the door and I died . . . .

    I smartened up finally. I’m not talking about lounge-wear, specifically, but simply relaxed “at home” clothes that don’t make me look (& feel) like I’m clinically depressed! I shopped my own closet for clothes I could transition from “out” to “in”, then spent about a week shopping for good quality but inexpensive casual wear that’s comfortable for sitting at the computer typing all day or doing housework or lounging under a couple of cats.

    It wasn’t that hard. I now “dress” for my day, starting with good undies & a bit of make-up (mascara & a hint of shadow & concealer, mainly). I take a couple of minutes with my hair and give myself a spray of perfume, and I’m ready for my day.

    It’s the perfume that does it for me, I think. I love good perfume & have a couple of signature scents I wear all the time. They’re as expensive as sin & they’ll just go “off” if I don’t use them up, so I finally asked myself one day: why not wear them at home for my *own* pleasure? For some reason, it just changes everything about how I feel about myself. What a great post, btw.

    • Janet, I can so relate to your pre-realization. Like you, I’m sure I looked clinically depressed (hilarious!).

      It’s amazing what a few pieces and perfume can do for your psyche. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your story.

      See you next week!

  9. What about socks ladies? Hardly anyone thinks about socks, especially when they’re lounging. But I think warm, fuzzy socks are sooooo important when you want to lounge all day. My favorite loungewear is the Lou and Grey line from Ann Taylor Loft. Some of their pieces are cute without looking too lazy. I admit, I spend most of the winter in loungewear because I want to be warm and cozy. I don’t know but winter makes me feel like I need to wear something very warm and cozy and cuddle under a warm blanket and sip tea all day. So last winter I was lounging in my Lou and Grey and noticed that my socks looked tattered. Talk about being embarrassed. I admit I don’t normally think about upgrading socks but socks can be luxurious too. Don’t you think?

    • Great point Teresa. I just threw out a bunch of old, tattered socks and it felt SO good. Love considering what parts of my life are needing an upgrade. Hhhhmmm…what’s next? Need to think on that one.

    • Socks! I love thick cushiony woolies! My favorites are Wigwam … the bright pink ones! Seriously I hate slippers but if my feet get cold my brain shuts down. These are serious socks and the fact they are pink and wash/wear beautifully and take forever to achieve holes, worth every penny! (I have purple ones too 🙂

  10. Tonya,
    After listening to your podcast yesterday, I immediately went out and purchased new loungingware. Felt incredible in them last night! Thanks for sharing how important this can be in how we feel about ourselves and function.

  11. Love this topic! One brand I like for comfy and stylish loungewear is Blue Canoe. Soft, organic cotton, vibrant colors, and made here in San Francisco where I live.

  12. Sorry, I’m still chuckling at, “I’ve never been to Cancun!” Classic!
    However, if I’ve got to think about it then I’d say that tops and bottoms which co-ordinate and I always prefer to relax in natural fabrics – cotton, silk, linen, cashmere…. You never know when you might have to open that front door!! Plus, my family still have to look at me and I’d rather be an inspiration than an embarrassment!!

    • Kerry, I’m sure I’ve shocked many a UPS men when I opened the door.

      Love that you consider your family in how you dress as well!

  13. This is very timely for me, my once-favorite pajama bottoms are stretched out from years of love. I’ve been thinking of getting an actual pajama set, nice soft ones. I could also really use some new tank tops with built in bras for “those” sorts of days- my current ones are in a sorry state! x

    • I had to say buh-bye to my favorite pair of fancy pants. It was a sad day. But, life is always changing, including our wardrobe. xoxo

  14. It isn’t just my clothing that needs attention; my biggest embarrassment if someone were to call unannounced is the state of my home. I live in complete clutter and, to be honest, I hate it with a passion, yet feel unable to deal with it (the task is overwhelming; there isn’t a single room in my home that doesn’t need attention!) So, yes, I live a double life – and really need the motivation to make it less double

    • Hi Chris,

      May I suggest something? First of all, be kind to yourself. While your house may be a bit of a mess, you’re still a fabulous human being. We’ve all had some sort of mess at different times in our lives.

      Second of all, break it down into doable steps. Tackle one closet, or even drawer, at a time.

      Little steps lead to big results.

      Cheering you on!


  15. Hi, Tonya! I’m catching up on your posts and I just had to comment here. I discovered this double life of mine a couple years ago, and I’ve found something that works perfectly for me. I wear my fabulously upgraded version of the house dresses my grandmother wore. Those dresses didn’t do her any favors, but mine look great on me! They have to be comfortable, but they also have to make me look adorable. I can slip out to the grocery store, hair salon, or over to the kids’ school in these dresses after adding a polishing accessory or two, maybe even some sexy heels, and I look and feel chic. It seems like a small thing, but I can’t even tell you how much it changed how I feel throughout the day! It’s major.

    • Ooh…what a great idea Lindsay. And, what really matters is how it makes you feel. I love the thought of your prancing around and feeling fabulous! Thanks for stopping by and commenting :).

  16. Tonya, I “drink” you every morning with my tea. You are my daily dose of inspiration! A few years ago I did a lounge wear upgrade, so I’m not quite “homeless” anymore. But the timing of this article is interesting, because last night I dreamed I was searching through my wardrobe to find something exciting to wear. Everything I found was nice, but boring! And that is the reality of my wardrobe, so I think I need to upgrade another level, n’est pas?

  17. Good Morning beautiful.

    It happened to be that i work with beautiful lingerie and homewear. Day after day I show women not to wear something only as a sign for others (“can u see my D&G glasses?”) True confidence is only, if You are able to wear something You feel elegant in. Elegant women are always elegant, even if they clean windows. If they really confident or not, I can see if I see what they wear underneath. I´m telling You: You just cant judge from that you see outside, not even after what serious job they have. Lovely Tonya, can You share some photos with Your new loungewear? Hugs from Europe

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