Since I was in high school and college during the late 60s and early 70s, my main wardrobe throughout life has been jeans (or at least something denim) and tees, so things have not changed drastically at my house when it comes to fashion. Although, prior to this time of staying home, I did periodically wear more fashionable clothes when dining out, going to church or to a gathering of friends. But since those occasions are not happening now, some of my clothes are hanging in the closet gathering dust. Living alone, I certainly don’t have to worry about anyone noticing that I’m wearing the same clothes for 2, or maybe 3 days in a row or haven’t put on make up in weeks. But I think it’s an accomplishment that I don’t stay in my jammies all day long!
I am so glad no one can see me most days. When I venture out to the grocery store I make an effort to remember that I am a little old lady and people have expectations of what I should do.
So I don't wear my cut-up Tee Shirts, or the too short cutoff jeans. Instead, I am a model of decorum! Long Bermuda Shorts, pleasant top (no paint or holes), bra & shoes. At home: well, it's just about the opposite! In fact, comfort it all I care about.
After years of working & dressing in the "uniform" of the day, it is a joy to just put on what I like. Even in Home Health there were rules to follow!
I also have a "House Dress" like my grandmother wore. Only mine has a zipper up the front, and is a soft poly/cotton blend that is great for napping.
Isn't is funny how what we wear sometimes still defines us? Or is it just that voice in my head?
And if I don't start watching what I eat more closely nothing in my closet is going to fit when we finally get to go back to church!
I am thankful for clean clothes, a washer & dryer in the apartment, air conditioning, good health and friends. Not exactly in that order, but you get my drift!
Wishing you all clean clothes no matter what you wear!
The pants you see have been the most comfortable at-home look. I would never have purchased them, but they were left in a car of ours that was stolen. When we got the car back, completely trashed, there were any number of items from cell phone connections to clothing to screwdrivers, etc. Being the person I am, I went through all the clothing, saw what fit either of us and then gave the rest away. These fit and are oh so comfortable. They are also warm and who cares if they are actually men's. They work great and no constrictions at all. They have been paired with t-shirts that I usually don't wear, with slogans or advertisements on them. My pattern, in usual times, is to dress, in the morning, for the whole day so if I am going to be with a number of other people I dress in a way that I consider better than that. I really enjoyed wearing the t-shirts as well.
My other favorite is to go without makeup. That is still happening and I am not sure when I will return to something else. Who is going to know what I am wearing beneath a mask? That decision is still to be made. Of course, some days I did not make it out of my robe, another favorite house look.
Terese mentioned the makeup and dress dilemma of professional women during the pandemic, and I recognize myself in her words--at least up until a few months ago. I'd accumulated quite a wardrobe of clothes to teach in, and when I retired just before moving to Texas last year, I couldn't bear to part with much of it. Who knows? I might teach again, I thought. In the year since, I've pulled out few of these professional pieces, except for church. Even now I "dress up" in them for Zoom church--at least the tops. I haven't had a pair of slacks on in months.
My morning routine is to take a walk in shorts and a t-shirt, then after a shower, I write for a couple of hours in the leggings, capris, or shorts of the week with a clean t-shirt. On Tuesday and Friday mornings after my writing time, I work out with a Zoom recorded Pilates video, so I just wear my workout capris all morning. Easy peasy. If I go out to the grocery store, I'll put on sandals, but otherwise I'm barefoot in the house. My hair is now long enough for a ponytail, and that's how I wear it 90% of the time. I'm still debating about whether to grow out the gray.
Just before we moved, I decided to stop wearing mascara, one of the last vestiges of my makeup routine. I decided to go natural in our new environment, except for my "dress up" days to church, but even that is minimal: pressed powder. I'm getting so used to a bare face, though, I might never wear makeup again!
I have to admit, I'm loving the low-pressure style of the pandemic. If it drags on long enough, I might even get rid of the fashion coordinates in my closet!
It’s interesting that at least some professional women who have been isolated at home for weeks are raising questions about appearance. No longer faced with the necessity to fix hair and don makeup for the workplace, some are wondering why we ever did it in the first place. After all, what’s so wrong with our unadorned faces that we have to cover them? In contrast to men, I might add.
This concern reminds me of the days of my youth, when feminism meant no makeup, no curling iron, and sometimes not even shaving. That was easier as a teenager and young adult when the unadorned me looked pretty good! Now I’m so used to fixing myself up that it’s anxiety-provoking to stop. But one of my favorite snapshots is of me and Ed snorkeling in Cozumel, where I appear with no makeup and my wet hair sticking out haphazardly. I don’t look at it and think about how attractive or unattractive I appear, I look at it and see two happy faces enjoying a time that I remember fondly.
So I don’t know if I’ll be brave enough to do this in public, but at home now I’m spending very little time on my appearance. Clean and comfortable is my motto. My hair goes natural or is quickly blow-dried and hangs straight. No makeup or occasionally a small amount. Sweatpants or jeans with a t-shirt or sweatshirt. My beat up but comfortable house shoes. It’s freeing and I haven’t received any negative feedback yet. Feminism and laziness combining to make my life easier!
I’ve saved a lot of money these past few months, not ordering new clothes to go to all the now canceled reunions and galas that might have been. Instead of trying to replace old clothes, I’ve reevaluated them according to comfort. Highest on my list is a very old long cashmere sweater, that now has huge holes in both its elbows, and several smaller holes, probably from moths, that I have sewed together imperfectly. That beige sweater is warm when I need warm, and cool when I need to be covered up, but still cool. It doesn’t need to be folded or hung neatly in a closet. I throw it onto a shelf, and it’s there the next day, ready to wear. It still looks good from a distance, so I can wear it on the deck and wave to neighbors, and also cover up with it while taking my daily trek to the mailbox, or putting out the garbage. Corona-fashion is definitely built on comfort and ease. Not sure I’ll easily change that in the future.
I asked what we wanted to do when it was safe to get out again. Like others, I think immediately about making plans to see family. Trips to Phoenix and Chicago, taking the local grandson out for ice cream. Also fun trips for us, especially since we had to cancel our big trip to Europe this spring. I hope we can plan that in the near future but who knows. And a minor one, but I really look forward to going to a movie theater and eating a big tub of movie popcorn while watching something entertaining on the big screen.
More importantly, what I realized when I pondered this question is that I fell back into an old trap even asking it. I have spent my entire life living in the future. I was always looking forward to the next big event, or more often was working toward some educational or vocational goal. This mindset robbed me of so many experiences in the present and is one of my biggest regrets. One of the things I treasure about retirement and quarantine is that it’s easier now to live in the present. I find that I like slowing down and being “here.” I can actually have a conversation or sit on the porch looking at flowers without feeling guilty that I’m not working on my next goal. So gosh darn it, I had to go and ask about our future goals and plans! I hope I take the lessons about being present into my future.
When I was a child I never heard of a "Spa" or a "Beauty Treatment" or a "Pamper Yourself Day". My hardworking mother would never have participated in such a hedonistic bunch of expensive nonsense! And I followed that same rut, head down and nose to the grindstone, until, my daughter opened a door to a new way of life for me.
I was visiting her in Salt Lake City, UT, and her husband treated us to a spa day. She jumped at the offer, and drug me reluctantly along. We arrived at a resort about noon. The Valet took our car. We were ushered into the spa like movie stars.
First step: change out of our ordinary clothes and don lovely robes, soft and cuddly.
Second step: Pedicures. People messing with my toes!! Ugh.
Third step: Steam room, in a towel, sweating like a horse and red as a beet. Other people were present. I think there may have been a man present too.
Fourth step: Resting in the lounge, watching the waterfall and drinking iced fruit water.
Fifth step: Massage. deep muscle work, unkinking knots that had been there for decades. Occasionally I may have yelled!
Sixth step: Shower and dress. Then a snack and a glass of wine in the lounge.
I want to go back!!! When the spas open back up, I am hunting for the best mid-week deal and a "Queen for a Day" spa day.
Can't wait!! Heat up the sauna--I'm coming!
It may not be the very first thing that I do when I’m released from these limitations, but going to visit my family definitely will be the most important. Plans for visiting the son and family in North Carolina came to a sudden halt during the early days of the shelter in place. And then there was the family gathering at a cabin in the Adirondack mountains that has been postponed until next year. Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to when things will change enough for me to travel. It truly breaks my heart and sometimes during the long days of isolation, it makes me question my decision to live over 1000 miles from both families. Prior to our current situation, I could hop a plane and be there in a relatively short period of time, but now they seem worlds away. So I cling to the knowledge that our love does not recognize the physical distance between us and I am certainly thankful for technology that allows us to be creative in the ways that we stay connected.
I don't care if Cynthia stole my answer; my first thought about what I would do when I feel safe again is to hug my daughter. She is working so it hasn't felt safe, even though she is taking lots of precautions. That's my first answer. I have this group of friends and a host of people I have met and interact with in the course of my work with ACTION that I really miss seeing and hugging. The majority of them are younger so I see them working in their vulnerable community and doing good work. I'd like to be there with them. Other people in my wider community have had serious things happen and I would like to go see them and let them know, in person, how much I care about them. All things in good time. As Julian of Norwich said, “All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.”
The other matter that comes to mind is the trip we were planning to Yellowstone. It is on my bucket list. This summer was the third time we were planning to go and now that is on hold. We may feel safe about that sooner than other things as we can travel in the van we have and not stay in hotels or eat much in restaurants. It would definitely be more of an adventure this way. Hopefully the virus is all that is keeping us from going and not surgery for my daughter, like last summer.