COVID-19: The Evolution of Style

Personal stylist Susan Padron shares how the pandemic has changed the way we view our closets and ourselves.

How do we transition our personal style from “quarantine comfortable” to “social distance chic”?

Here we are, slowly re-emerging from our homes, after being stuck inside for months. Our lives aren’t even close to what they were prior to March, but I don’t think we’re ready to call this our “new normal” just yet. No matter how you dressed before the “shelter in place” mandates, I think it’s safe to say that your personal style has changed over the last few months. We’re just not wearing the same kinds of clothes, and a big reason behind that is because our lives have changed.

In the Beginning

When the quarantine began, we weren’t allowed to leave our homes, so everyone wore their favorite pajamas and sweatpants on repeat. I’m not even sure that I got dressed on some days. If I did, I got changed out of the pajamas I slept in, and put on a different outfit of loungewear. I wear slippers around the house all the time, so that wasn’t anything new for my feet.

Zoom Style

Then, whether you were using zoom to catch up with family or friends, or for work, you at least had to elevate the top part of your outfit. For a video call, you might put on some jewelry if you were feeling fancy, and wear a little bit of makeup to cover your stress induced sleep deprived dark circles.

Quarantine style meant loungewear and nothing else.

The Zoom outfit is kind of like a mullet (business in the front, party in the back), except it’s business on the top, casual/sleepy on the bottom. As soon as your time in front of the webcam was over, it was back to comfy clothes asap.

Sick of Everything

And then quarantine continued. March went into April, then to May, June, and now it’s July. Sometime around May, I wanted to throw away all of the clothes I had been wearing on repeat. The sweatpants, the joggers, t-shirts, slippers, athleisure, all of it, I didn’t even want to look at it anymore, let alone wear it. But, at the same time, there was so much in my closet that just didn’t apply to my life right now.

Comfortable Clothes Only

Bra? Nope. Shoes? Ew, what’s the point. Jeans or pants that button? ABSOLUTELY NOT HOW COULD YOU SUGGEST SUCH A THING.

I wanted to continue to wear clothes that felt soft and comfortable, without having to only wear sweats or pajamas. Some of my dresses, pants, and shorts had the same comfort level as my comfy clothes, and that’s what I wanted to wear. I had to buy some new clothes to supplement my wardrobe, but for the most part, I was able to wear what I had. I learned that I no longer had patience for clothes that were even a little bit itchy or scratchy. I felt hyper sensitive to the fabric of my clothing, since I got so “spoiled” from my quarantine clothes.