It’s day twenty-something of quarantine where I live. Comfort is something I’ve come to crave in these very bizarre and scary times. I read somewhere that this situation isn’t about simply working from home – rather, it’s about having no choice but to stay at home due to a global pandemic during which we are trying to work. In the midst of everything feeling offbeat, we turn to what is safe: warming bowls of pantry pasta, Netflix parties, endless FaceTime calls, and clothes that make us feel fuzzy and comfortable – usually our pyjamas. Whilst many of us stick to PJs or sweatpants for our quarantine OOTDs, there’s a whole movement of people not letting social distancing stop them from living their best fashion lives.
At its core, quarantine fashion too can be a source of comfort for many. Dressing as if you weren’t confined to your home is, in a way, a defiant alternative to the reality of life at this moment in time. It gives those partaking in it something to look forward to everyday, and the ability to have control over and replicate a semblance of normalcy in some aspect of their everyday lives.
An example of this is the Working From Home Fits Instagram account (@wfhfits), which documents the outfits of various followers who send in photos of their chosen ensembles for the day. As you scroll through the account’s posts, what is most eye-opening is the little glances it affords us into how we humans are living right now. The account, like a candle, illuminates different parts of the world, giving us a sneak peek into the quarantine outfits of people in the midst of their improvised home offices, with their pets and their plants. There is something incredibly special about being able to partake in the experiences being shared. Everything is so unfiltered, so real and so relatable, that it creates a camaraderie and solidarity among us as we face the world today.
Could wearing our favorite meant-for-outside outfit while stuck inside really make so much of a difference in our day?
Maybe it’s the thought of wearing their pre-planned outfit that helps someone get out of bed in the mornings. Maybe it’s the group chat’s glowing responses to a photo of said outfit that brightens up their day. Maybe it’s the thought of wearing all these different outfits outside once quarantine lifts that gives someone hope. Maybe it’s what helps them see the light at the end of the tunnel.
If you can’t understand how someone dressing for comfort or making fun fashion choices, or doing a full face of makeup can be so impactful, you have to know that the magic is as much in the process as it is in the result. In a lot of ways, our outer appearance affects our mental health. If this isn’t a time for deliberate and dedicated self-care, what is?
In the middle of thinking about all this, I took out my makeup bag and swept my favorite glitter eyeshadow across my eyelids, and put on my favorite dangly star earrings. It’s been close to four weeks since I’ve done either, yet I didn’t expect such a small act to make me feel so much better while writing. What was mundane isn’t mundane anymore. What was routine can somehow bring joy to me now. Quarantine-chic, quarantine-fits, quarantine-lookbooking – there’s something to be said in favor of it all.
It’s incredibly important to remember, however, that for all those who consider style a form of personal expression and haven’t dressed up much while staying at home, that’s okay too. It is truly about what makes us feel most comfortable in these wild times. Clothes and accessories and makeup are all tools for any individual to use to their own liking. What brings comfort? What brings joy? Is it those oversized bunny slippers, or is it a tailored power-suit? It really isn’t for anyone but you to decide.