Thursday, 09 July 2020

Wardrobe Woes and Worries

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Since the coronavirus has forced us into quarantine, many of us have been living each day in our pajamas.

Maybe we have the energy to change into yoga pants and a t-shirt or sweats and a hoodie. But, did you ever think about how dressing down can affect you and the world around us over time? It may not have seemed like a big deal for a few weeks, but now it has been months. As such, here are some wardrobe tips for this new age as we all face the pandemic:

Clothes Influence Your Mood

Restlessness and the realization that you are not going anywhere each day can make getting dressed seem irrelevant. However, the act of taking control and refreshing your style daily can work wonders for your spirit and mental health. The simple act of getting dressed can boost not only your mood, but also boost your productivity. And, if you are working from home, certain clothing can also put you in a career-oriented state of mind. After all, they do say that clothes make the person.

While you probably have to plan your days to handle working, homeschooling, cooking, and running a household in this new day and age, it is just as important to plan what you will wear each day for what you have on your schedule. If you plan on exercising, put on your workout clothes, for example. Just like dressing up for work, dressing up for your workout can inspire and motivate you during a time where you may unintentionally become idle.

Dress Appropriately For Working At Home

Rather than indulge in the regular runway-fresh styles this summer, since you are staying home, you may think twice and prefer to be comfortable. Also, you may feel that you don’t have anyone to impress. That is why instead of concentrating on the typical workwear of tights, blazers, heels, and pencil skirts, you should re-focus on business casual attire.

Why should you dress up at all? First of all, it gets you in the right frame of mind, as stated above. But, also, you are probably going to have multiple work-related video chats online, in which you should appear professional to your bosses and co-workers. While you may say that you are only visible from the waist up, then what is seen should be as presentable as possible. For example, ladies, put on some light makeup, even if it is only foundation and a little lip colour. Do your hair, add a bit of jewelry and a semi-dressy tunic. Men, throw on a polo and don’t forget to shave.

This year, of course, fashion has been toned back significantly and it is much more basic. That means that you should keep some neutral staples in your closet to connect all your pieces of different textures, colors and patterns. These tones, such as gray, beige, black, white, and navy blue are the foundation for your business wardrobe.

Once you have a decent basis to start with, sort through your closet looking for unique signature pieces that will jazz up those neutrals. Anything with a pattern or print will certainly complement solid, matching hues. And, don’t forget to top it all off with accents like jewelry and accessories which can bring your personality out in any outfit. The right scarf, belt, or hair barrette can make a big difference.

Keep Clothes Disinfected to Remain Healthy

Social distancing is a fantastic concept, in theory, but sometimes you just must go to the grocery store, bank, or post office. Just remember, as important as it is to wear a mask, wash your hands, and refrain from touching your face while you are out, it is just as crucial to plan for what you will do when you come back home.

Clothing is a huge part of that. Your clothes were outside and unprotected from the coughs and sneezes of those around you. You may have also touched your garments with contaminated hands. For these reasons, you should remove all clothing as soon as you get in the door and put them in the hamper so you will know that they need to be washed immediately.

When you wash these items, it will ok to mix them with other clothes. As always, wash your hands after touching the items. Be sure that the water is set at the highest temperature possible and that the items have dried completely before they are removed from the dryer. Also, disinfect the hamper or clothes basket they were in before the wash, as well as any counters or tables they had touched.

Possible COVID-19-inspired Fashion Trends

Historical events have a way of changing how we dress over time, so many people are wondering if jeans, sweatshirts, pajama-influenced leisurewear, and other laidback staples will become the new norm in all environments in the future.

During World War II, we wore simplistic clothing based on bland silhouettes due to a shortage of materials because of rationing. Easy to wear and wash items like the house dress were tolerated, but not appreciated. Because of this, once the war ended, and scarcity was no longer an issue, fashion swung back toward the extraordinarily dressy, and designer wear took off. Experts feel that the same thing will happen once the quarantine is lifted. They feel that many will relish in having the occasions to once again dress up, such as parties, in-person meetings, and going out to dinners and shows.

What is interesting now is that the requisite face masks have become a trend in themselves. Many people feel that if they must wear them, they are going to make a statement. There are reusable sports team-themed masks, masks in different colors and prints, and masks with interesting patterns. Some designers have even gotten into the act by creating masks that match some of their new dresses, tops, and accessories for 2020. Some fashion magazine writers even believe that masks will stay in fashion even after the health crisis no longer necessitates their use.

Ironically, sales of men’s shirts and ladies’ tops have also increased since the quarantine started while bottoms (like pants, skirts, and shorts) have decreased significantly. This trend has been attributed to working from home and holding meetings on platforms like Zoom. Believe it or not, this craze started years ago with the increase in telecommuting. The quarantine only sped up the movement and added to sales.

The final fad that coronavirus is credited with is a large increase in online clothing sales due to brick-and mortar stores being shut down. This is not unlike the surge in online takeout orders and grocery delivery, which both rose exponentially for the same reasons.

In conclusion, whether you are dressed to the nines for every online meeting or Instagram selfie, or you are lounging out in pjs binging Netflix, your quarantine wardrobe is your choice. Just remember, dressing in certain ways can help you feel stronger, happier, and more willing to face the tough road ahead.