“I know what makes me happy. I pick the clothes that make me happy — sometimes people like them, sometimes they don’t. I try to listen to my own internal guide.” — Michelle Obama
It took a pandemic for me to realize that I apparently have no fashion sense when it comes to choosing an appropriate quarantine wardrobe. Every single day, throughout this entire lockdown, I’ve been putting on makeup, styling my hair, and donning what I consider to be casual “work from home clothes” — a pair of jeans or colored jeggings, cute blouse, and coordinating jacket or cardigan. A put-together wardrobe, right? Not according to the posts I’ve seen on Facebook where people are proudly proclaiming how they’ve worn nothing but sweatpants, yoga pants, or jammies every single day since this ordeal started.
Still, I was blissfully unaware that I might be guilty of sporting offensive fashion until I saw the following meme:
Yikes. Is my quarantine wardrobe rubbing people the wrong way? Is my aversion to wearing sweats and jammies a deep-seeded refusal to conform? Am I denying a societal movement that puts me at odds with those around me? Thumbing my nose at what appears to be normal simply so I can prance around while proving a point? But I’m really not trying to prove anything — I’m just being myself.
Part of being myself is waking up in the morning, showering, and then getting myself presentable enough that I don’t scare my husband as we pass each other in the living room, or myself when I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror. Part of being myself is wearing the closet full of clothes that I loved buying and take great pleasure in wearing. I love dressing up. I love wearing skirts and heels and blouses and pantsuits. To me, this quarantine isn’t a vacation from wearing normal work attire, it’s a deprivation of being able to dress the way I normally love to dress, and it makes me very, very, sad to see my cute, professional clothes hanging forlornly in the closet as I “dress down” (to me anyway) for my work from home gig.
I must say, though, that I’m a little confused by my apparent minority status and everyone else’s eagerness to jump on the pajama/sweatpants bandwagon. Do people really hate dressing up (I’m using the term “dressing up” loosely here — I mean, when did wearing jeans become “dressing up”?) so much that they immediately seized upon the opportunity to shelve their regular clothes for sweatpants and then passed judgement on those who refused to conform? Is getting up and putting on real clothes and shoes such an abomination for people who are at the house working remotely? To me, the important word here is “working.” I don’t work in my pajamas or sweats when I’m not on lockdown, so I’m not doing it when I’m working remotely either.
When I wear pajamas during the day, my mind starts thinking I must be sick or going to bed (since that’s the only time I wear pajamas) and that makes it very difficult to convince myself that I should be doing anything besides lying around on the couch. I also don’t wear sweatpants on a normal un-quarantined day — why would I wear them just because I’m social distancing? Thank goodness I’m not the only one who feels this way. Two of my friends who were already working remotely before coronavirus are dressing business-as-usual and are also eschewing the pajama/sweatpants movement. “I can’t wear pajamas and try to work anymore than I can work from my bed,” said Stacey. “For me, wearing pajamas or sweats effects my overall persona of how I approach work.” My friend Chris agrees. “I’ve kept with what is normal for me. It’s normal for me to put on jeans and cute clothes that I want to wear even though I’m working from home. Nobody will see me — but I see me.”
Amen sister! There are many days during quarantine where I only see my husband, my dog, and sometimes my co-workers in a Zoom meeting (and they only see me from the shoulders up), but it doesn’t matter because I see me and I like seeing me with makeup and wearing my favorite clothes. This is part of who I am (strange or not) and I’m not willing to let that slip away so easily. Let me emphatically state that I am not judging anyone who wears sweats or pajamas while stuck at home in quarantine. If it works for you and you’re happy, stay with it, but please don’t pass judgement on me (and others like me) for sticking to our regular, comfortable routine. For us, this is our way of proving we can maintain some amount of normalcy — and our sanity — even during quarantine.
Thank you for reading this post. Please share with others if you like what I wrote.