Going COVID Chic: Desperate times, desperate wardrobe choices

We’ve all been making alarminly different fashion choices since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, and we can blame that mostly on the fact that we’re spending more time (A LOT MORE TIME) at home. I feel a duty to report that standards have been on a steady deline as many of us continue to work from home.

It all started just over a year ago. Back then, many of us had cute, matching workout outfits from places like Fabletics and Victoria’s Secret and even Target. It was easy to look cute for the occasional WFH day. Now, however, months have passed, and much like the elastic on my underwear, the lycra in most of our leggings is waving flags of surrender.

Admit it or not, we’ve all made the it’s-just-to-the-mailbox walk in our mismatched pajamas and slippers. And a lot of us have been balancing work with futile attempts at trying to educate our own children. (My kid asked if frogs had hair the other day, so we’re gonna need to play a whole lotta catch-up to ensure our future is secure.) Everyone is overdosing on board games and Netflix, and no one wants to play ANYmore educational video games. Even the dogs are ready for us to get the hell out of the house. I think that about sums it up.

We’re all just trying to hang in there

If you find yourself suddenly needing a refresh before your sanity completely escapes you, here’s a handy-dandy list of updated fashion rules to help you navigate the stress of working from home, kid-wrangling, and facing the possibility of never seeing the light of day again. (We’re all hanging onto the edge of this cliff together, so there’s no shame in the game…let’s just help each other out a little.)

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1.    Prioritize laundry cycles by ALWAYS washing pajamas first. You will wake, function, sleep, and do it all over again in these functional clothing pieces. Don’t let yourself stress over matching tops with bottoms. At this point in our lives, nothing needs to match. The only people you are going to see are the Amazon guy, the FedEx guy, and if you’re lucky, the GrubHub guy. If your undies and pjs are fresh, you’re good to go!

2.    Sort your nighttime pajamas from your daytime pajamas. This will help you clearly outline your day and stay on track. Obviously, daytime pajamas are for people who have a plan and want to execute and be productive. Daytime pajamas either match or they are paired with a sporty t-shirt so you can pretend you’re part of the up-and-moving crowd. Nighttime pajamas are for those who are DONE. They are reserved for Netflix and wine, and they almost never match. These are the ones with faded cats, over-stretched elastic, and frayed hemlines–but damn, they are comfy! When you keep your pjs aligned to your goals, you’ll end up feeling much better about your day.

3.    Re-name your clothing staples. Leggings are essentially exercise pajamas, and we’re all living in them now, so let’s embrace it. Just before coronavirus hit, I remember sharing a meme about leggings not being pants. Now, when I see that, I just laugh and laugh. Also recognized as “dressy pajamas” or “going-out pajamas,” leggings are extremely handy for extreme bouts of physical activity like going to the grocery store or sneaking in quick trips to Target.

4.    All sock-and-sandal rules are null and void. Seriously, if we can now wear leggings that come in skin tones, then we can wear socks with our sandals. And do you know why we’re wearing socks with our sandals? Because we haven’t been to get a pedicure in approximately 6 months, and our toenails could rival the claws on a pterodactyl. It’s a new world, and we’re ALL wearing fuzzy socks–in the summer, with our sandals, on the porch, any which way we please.

5.    Roots are the new highlights. We’re letting things go a little longer than we used to, but this isn’t just a fashion tip about what’s going on from the neck up, ladies. The other day, I stepped into the sunlight, and the glint of the light hit my shins in such as way as to highlight the amber waves of…OMG I need to order razors! (Another reason to opt for the leggings.) The fun part of letting our roots grow out? You can go purple, blue, or pink. Whatever you decide, get a little crazy with it and perk up your WFH day with a splash of color. Even if it goes haywire, it’s just you, the fam, and a quick run-in with the Amazon guy, right?

6.  Ponytails are perfection! Down low, up high, in the middle, messy bun, loopy-do, half-pony…girl, you do YOU. If your hair isn’t full of grease, twigs, or actual birds, that bird’s nest will fit right in with all the other looks happening right now. It’s hot, we’re stressed, and nobody’s got time for hair flying all over the place.

7.    If you tuck it in or wear a belt, you are fancy. If you’re feeling like a fancy stroll to the mailbox or a glam day of homeschooling, simply tuck your hoodie into your sweatpants or layer a belt over your ensemble to add dimension and style. Covid rules are different, and you’ll get points for creativity. Just remember, not too tight with the belt or it’ll be tough to eat ice cream while you’re watching Dr. Phil.

There will be tests

Stay strong and stick with your uncanny sense of pandemic style. Tests will be sent your way, but when you look your best, you feel your best. Or maybe now, it should be…When you feel your best, you feel your best? So whip that hair into a messy bun, pull on your softest sweatpants, and deal with all the sarcasm, bullish attitudes, and I-don’t-wanna-do-it attitudes that are thrown your way every day.

Just remember: every challenge you face is merely a chance to build up your willpower to last until the kids’ bedtime before breaking open that new bottle of cabernet and switching the TV to the Lifetime Movie Channel. Fortify yourself in stretchy clothing, and wait for the younglings to collapse into exhausted oblivion.

And as for creativity & productivity

If you’re trying to produce new material right now, Dear cats and kittens, remember to turn of Tiger King before doing so. (Yes, we’ve all seen it…at least once. No, I will NEVER admit to owning Tiger King socks.)

It may not seem like it now, but we’ve all been given an opportunity to flourish and grow. You know how weeds grown through concrete? Yeah, we’re gonna grow through this, too. We’re figuring it out, and we’re moving forward. I mean, we look pretty ridiculous in leggings and bathrobes, but we are persevering.

The finish line

That feeling when you can see the finish line is pretty damned gratifying. Especially if you are a fat girl who is really running (and not writing a metaphor). OMG, sometimes that finish line seems so far away…and donuts seem even further away! But we can all do this if we stick together.

So gather up a load of casual laundry and cue up a disastrous, yet affirming, Lifetime movie. Check on your friends, feed your kids, curl up in a blankie, luxuriate in those over-worn leggings, and disappear into someone else’s fictional drama for a couple of hours.

We’re gonna make it through this. And someday, history books will reflect on this period of fashion and dub it “Covid Chic.”

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