If you're like me, the notion of trying to look stylish amidst the backdrop of Coronavirus can feel a tad trivial. Fussing over whether or not my outfit is cute while knowing that essential workers are risking their lives is a strange mental dichotomy I did not expect to find myself grappling with. Myself and most others are going weeks without leaving home, and the outfits necessary for current life look quite different than they did two months ago. This has led me to consider my own relationship with clothing and glean quarantine fashion lessons from my unique experience.
I've found myself in a novel situation I suspect many others have too: quarantining away from home at a friend, family member, or significant other's abode. Obviously, there are benefits to isolating with a partner. But you know what isn't a benefit? Having zero access to your belongings. The sartorial lessons I've ascertained from social distancing at my significant other's Brooklyn apartment abound and because many of you may be in a similar predicament (albeit a minor one in the grand scheme of things), I thought I'd share a handful of my own learnings that might be of help to others, too.
Ahead, five simple-yet-effective tips for cutting the stress out of getting dressed each morning when you're quarantined at a home away from home plus a few shopping picks in case you need to flesh out a temporary wardrobe gap or two.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Quarantine Fashion Lesson 1: Adopt a Capsule Wardrobe Mindset
The general idea of a capsule wardrobe is to edit your closet down to the core pieces that matter most. The items that you'll wear always and that can, most importantly, be mixed and matched together. Once I realized I'd be staying at my partner's indefinitely, I grabbed the most versatile assortment of staples I could find, including matching sets in neutral hues, oversized sweaters, and a pair of sweatpants and comfortable denim. In other words, if every top you've got on-hand can feasibly be worn with every bottom you've packed — you're doing it right.
Quarantine Fashion Lesson 2: Commandeer A Drawer (Or Suitcase)
I went about a week living out of the large tote bag I'd stuffed all my belongings in before I started to lose my mind. Luckily, all I had to do was *ask* for a couple of drawers and it's made a world of difference (as illustrated above). If your quarantine partner doesn't have drawers to spare, grab their suitcase or an empty storage box and create a makeshift dresser for yourself that way. (Just make sure you have a designated corner for your "dresser" so you can comfortably set up shop.)
Quarantine Fashion Lesson 3: Embrace Outfits Repeats
This probably goes without saying, but in case you need to hear it: You will wear the same outfit many times before all of this is over. It's just a fact. If this is a difficult realty, find ways to make the same pieces feel novel. Take your new uniform and play around with various shirt tucks and sock combinations. Small details can make a meaningful difference.
Quarantine Fashion Lesson 4: Accessories Help Add Newness
Speaking of outfit repeats, if you're getting bored with your everyday selection of tops and sweatpants, a simple headscarf or a few pieces of jewelry really do help. Also, if you're the lipstick-wearing kind, a swipe of tangerine-hued lip color can really turn things around. If your partner is willing, borrow small accessories from their own collection and mix them into your usual look.
Quarantine Fashion Lesson 5: Wide-Leg Jeans Go With Everything
Everyone's waxing poetic about sweatpants these days, but the item I've found even more versatile is a pair of wide-leg jeans I happened to bring along. They're high rise, the denim is soft and stretchy, and the silhouette nods to a '70s-inspired vibe. They look good with T-shirts, button-downs, and sweaters (all items I happened to have packed). In other words, if you need a break from sweatpants, wide-leg jeans are a comfortable alternative.