So What Are We Supposed to Wear Now?
It’s almost time to reemerge into society, people! Close evaluation of our collective Instagram presence shows that a growing majority of us have been slapped with “I got vaxxed!” stickers, are approaching immunity, and are ready to party!
Well, maybe we should work our way up to “parties.” Let’s start with the basics: you know, just maybe leaving the house. Showered, with a little makeup on. And properly dressed.
Yes, properly dressed.
Save your rhapsodizing about comfy clothes for someone who cares. I believe in civilized society and am ready to get back to it. But I’m not unrealistic. I acknowledge that in the same way one needs “transitional” clothes for making the switch from winter to spring or summer to fall, we will need transitional clothes for getting back to real life. After all, we are basically people who have been languishing in a collective pupal state. Seriously: What is a Snuggie if not a person-sized cocoon?
So open up your closet and just have a look around. Even just witnessing the rigor of clothes hanging so smartly from hangers will make you stand taller.
But we can’t just all wake up and be gorgeous butterflies tomorrow. You have to stumble and stretch your wings before you fly — and nobody wants to get hurt wearing a firmly fitting waistline too quickly. Baby steps. First, get yourself into a training wardrobe for your inaugural forays into the real world. Then when you feel more assured, and a little less like a mealworm, you can fully crack open the chrysalis and show off.
Here’s how to do it, people.
Open Your Closet
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been dressing exclusively from drawers: That’s where my t-shirts, leggings, joggers (never admit to sweatpants), cozy sweaters and stretchiest jeans live. Think about it: Our clothes have been in oozy piles, and now we have become those oozy piles.
So open up your closet and just have a look around. Even just witnessing the rigor of clothes hanging so smartly from hangers will make you stand taller. Marvel at the complicated closures we used to use every day: button plackets, cuffs, sleek extended-tab waistbands on fine pants, single-breasted button closures on jackets. Zippers. Familiarize yourself with the fine wizardry of how we get clothes on our body that are meant to fit us closely, and then gently close the door.
Congratulations: you have begun the awakening.
Jump Right In
I know I just told you to take it slow; what I mean here is jumpsuits.They kind of look like pajamas, and yet they get us back in touch with our waistline, a critical first step in post-COVID style. For this transitional piece, you need to push yourself just a little: no stretchy jersey fabrics allowed. Try something more like this adorable Boden jumpsuit made from a crinkly viscose fabric in an adorable pineapple pattern. Rather than saying “I can’t get out of bed,” this says, “I’m cute and I need a vacation after all that.” A vast improvement already!
Fake It Till You Make It
There are two great tricks for looking “dressed” that require basically no effort or chutzpah to wear: jackets and color. Put them together, and blammo! You look fab! A well-designed jacket — one with a few memorable details, like the trench styling in green, or the funnel neckline and drawstring waist in gorgeous canyon red — you can toss over anything. White t-shirt and jeans? Great. Black t-shirt dress? Super! It’s the ultimate training-wheels piece. Find one you love and it will become your new woobie (and you can toss the Snuggie in the trash where it belongs).
Seek Out That Oh-So-Fresh Feeling
Remember the warm fuzzies you’d feel when your mom or dad took you back-to-school shopping and you’d get a brand-new pair of fresh sneakers to kick off the school year? Doesn’t that sound just about right right now? A little nostalgia, a lot of comfort, and a fresh pair of kicks for taking it to the streets. I’m going to go with a little bit of a platform myself, like on these creamsicle-colored Adidas, because lord knows I won’t be wearing heels anytime soon. (And I definitely feel a little shorter from all the hunched-over-the-computer time.) Sneakers are a way that we get to express exactly who we are, and after a year at home we need some help answering that question! So get shopping.
Dress Like the Flower You Are
Now we’re going to step into the deep end, but not with structured clothes or office wear. We’re going for broke — stylewise, not moneywise (well, maybe moneywise, too) — on what is literally your coming out/going out dress, aka the Bold AF Dress. There are no rules here except that you must commit to a piece that you think is just maaaayyyyybeeee a little too much. Like Tikka the Iggy: Ees eet too much? Except, no, Iggy, and no my little grasshoppers. It is never too much. Because 14 months at home? And all the grief, chaos, boredom, and alternating states of stasis and hysteria? That was too much. This is all gravy.
So do it up! Ruffles! Patterns! Prints! Something a little floaty you’re just breaking out of the chrysalis now and you probably aren’t ready for bodycon just yet. The point of this dress (or pants or shirt), besides that it is a celebration, is that it has so much going on that you won’t even think about how it looks on you: the explosion of gorgeousness is its own purpose.
Find clothes that make you want to swirl and twirl, and put it on and get out there!
I’ll be the one spinning on the sidewalk, admiring my well-dressed reflection in a boutique window. Won’t you join me?
At this point, I can’t fit into the majority of clothes I own, and for me, this is another reason the reopening feels stressful. I’ve been buying just enough to feel ok about how I look. I do love that orange and blue maxi dress though!
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