I think everyone is talking about different things. There is a difference between putting on nice clothes (I don't consider a pair of jeans and a tshirt nice, but some people do so there is a difference as well!) and make up and brushing your teeth JUST before partner gets home and making sure everything is perfect and pretty a la june cleaver, and wearing something halfway decent and having brushed your teeth at SOME point during the day, and maybe even doing more than a ponytail with your hair.
Looking nice/decent because you do that generally at some point during the day and it carries over to when your partner gets home is different I think than making sure you look nice/decent ONLY because your partner will be home within the next 10-20 minutes or so.
With that said, I don't think being in ratty stained pajamas for the third day in a row with your hair in an an brushed ponytail is necessarily bad either. If everyone is alive and well and the partners aren't in the middle of an ongoing argument that creates a coldness when the out of home partner gets home, then thins are probably okay.
For myself, sometimes I'm in the ratty pajamas for the third day in a row but this is usually on days where I've done a ton of cleaning and haven't left the house. On days where I leave the house OR I haven't done much that my husband can see upon coming home, I'll usually make an effort to put on nicer clothes sometime before him getting home. It is a psychological thing though. He struggles with the in home/out of home parenting thing. Days where he comes home to the house a mess, he has a hard time realizing its because kiddo was a struggle that day so I spent a great deal of time giving her whatever it was she needed which took me away from cleaning and such. When I look like I got dressed and cleaned up a bit, he generally thinks I've done more than he can see. Its silly but its him so I go with it. It keeps us from fighting about how I don't do anything during the day while he is working hard which I know isn't true (melt downs all day is hard work!) but he just doesn't GET that when the dishes have piled up and laundry isn't done.
Of course, I also have plenty of days where I change out of my pjs (which are just sweats by the way) and have showered and everything by 10am (early for me :D) and it has nothing to do with anyone but me (or a shower was just the only thing that helped my kiddo out of a meltdown.... )
however, my worst days where I look like crap all day and I've done little at all I chalk up to the health issues I deal with. I have a whole list going that makes life a struggle for me. He also doesn't understand this so much as its nothing you can see (things like depression and severe anxiety and other issues caused by a junky thyroid) and he hasn't experienced it either. It causes friction but while I work on getting healthy, he is working on sensitivity and empathy.
He would never expect me to be dressed and lovely every single day though. He DOES like to be greeted however. I usually get kiddo excited when he pulls up so by the time he comes in the door she is yelling for him. It keeps me from having to jump up immediately if I'm in the middle of something, or it gives him time to relax after work before getting to me since he can come home pretty crabby and he is better about putting it aside for kiddo where he sometimes releases it on me (just short and gruff, but enough to annoy me) so its a win win all around. He gets greeted, kiddo is happy, and I can finish what i'm in the middle of and not have a crabby husband :)
We only have one child right now though. I'd label her borderline high needs (and now a toddler who isn't very verbal yet which is driving us both insane!) but still, one kiddo is a lot easier I think than a bunch of kiddos or special needs kiddos or what have you. Had I had twins, things could be a lot worse here! I didn't enter into motherhood and SAHMing gracefully.