Be honest — are you wearing pants at the moment?
If you’re like most working professionals who’ve been dialing into the office during the pandemic, the answer is probably an emphatic ‘no.’ And you’re not alone in that. The coronavirus has been uniquely-challenging in multiple ways, and its influence has redefined not only how we work, but how we live.
And that includes what we wear.
Stylizing our Masks
Early-on in the pandemic, masks were relatively boring strips of cloth. None of us knew how long this would last, so it seemed foolish to put a bunch of effort into what was, by all accounts, seen as a temporary measure at the time. Over a year in, however, and things have changed drastically.
People everywhere are showcasing their unique sense of style through their protective gear.
Some have found a way to incorporate their personal faith or cultural identity into their mask. Others sport a range of cool, personalized designs for their face coverings. There are even fully-programmable LED masks available from multiple digital storefronts, allowing you to display custom graphics and messages to anyone who crosses your path.
And yes, a rare few have taken things a little overboard by wandering around in full plague doctor garb. We wouldn’t recommend going that far. Those masks are kind of uncomfortable to wear for an extended period, and they have an annoying tendency to get stuck in elevator doors.
Not that we’re speaking from experience or anything.
A New Definition of “Business Appropriate”
With the exception of the occasional Zoom meeting, formal business attire has largely remained in the closet during COVID-19. For many, financial problems might all but guarantee that they’ve little choice but to wear affordable clothes like pajamas while at their desk. Others have simply decided that they care more about comfort than professionalism — as reported by USA Today, loungewear, slippers, pajamas, and activewear have become an increasingly frequent sight.
After all, if you can get away with wearing something like a cape to work, why wouldn’t you take advantage of that?
Also prevalent is something known as “the zoom top.” It’s exactly what you think it is. Business at the top, pajamas below.
Of course, some publications like Teen Vogue have predicted that, once the pandemic finally ends (whenever that is), we’ll see everyone veer wildly in the opposite direction. Having spent an indeterminate amount of time locked in the house and struggling with cabin fever, we may see people going over-the-top and dressing to the nines at every opportunity.
Thrifting and DIY
Macklemore’s Thrift Shop has a very different feel to it these days.
Maybe it’s nostalgia for better days. Maybe it’s an attempt to be financially responsible and save money. Or maybe we have, with all our free time, decided to try our hand at making our own clothes.
Either way, per Spectrum News, thrift shops have been positively thriving. It started with a surge in donations as people cleaned out their closets in the early days of the pandemic. And it’s continued into 2021, with thrift stores across the country still seeing considerable sales.
Finances certainly play into it. But it may also be tied to how thrift shop outfits and custom clothing makes us feel. There’s something uniquely satisfying about a personalized outfit we either made ourselves or tracked down on the racks at a thrift shop.
And with mental health at the forefront of everyone’s minds right now, we all want outfits that make us feel good.
Comfort. Style. Functionality. Affordability.
These are just a few of the factors at play influencing our outfits as the coronavirus pandemic wears on. At this moment, only one thing is clear. Whatever else happens as a result of COVID-19, the way we dress is forever changed.