(Fashion)

I Gave Up Jeans For 6 Months, Here's Why I'm Wearing Them Now

@aemiliafay

Six months into sitting at home wearing sweats, I'm antsy. I spent the first few months doing my best to simply get by, tucked into my little apartment on the Lower East Side, rotating the same two pairs of sweats day after day. The first time I tried on my blue jeans again, it was already June. They were admittedly snugger than I remember, but there was a freedom in finally putting them on and pulling together outfits around the jeans that used to be the singularly most important piece in my wardrobe.

Now, I try to start every day with a routine that includes actually getting dressed. It's a mental trick — gaming myself into a lull of regularity — that's helped me to be more productive, and simply to feel better about myself too. While sweats were a small luxury when I was amidst the early-on panic, over time, they started to feel like a kind of hinderance. I used to love the challenge of getting dressed, looking into my closet and thumbing through sweaters and tops, trying to find the perfect combination (always finished with denim, of course). But, when there was no longer an occasion, a friend, or a colleague to get dressed for, what was the point?

It took some time to realize that the solution was me. If you, too, have found yourself starting to feel closed in by all the time spent in a contained space, I've found that returning to my old dressing habits has helped re-create a sense of purpose within my new reality. In a world where we are unable to control so many aspects of our day-to-day, how we show up for ourselves is one thing we can choose regularly.

If you're at the place where you're ready to put your forgotten favorites back to work again, I'm breaking down a few of the simple ways I've revisited the jeans in my life.

Quarantine Jeans Outfits: Seasonal Separates

While sweats are a perfectly acceptable option for fall dressing, I'm trying not to fall back on them, instead, swapping in something a little more versatile. An oversized cozy sweater, preferably in a fun color or pattern, paired with cropped high-waist jeans works not only for time at home, but is a cute errands look and could fly for an outdoor drink, too. If you're opting for rigid vintage jeans (my favorite), try sizing up for a comfy fit.

Quarantine Jeans Outfits: Swapping The Leggings

For the simplest way to add denim into your routine, consider sticking with the other stretchy staples you swear by for daytime. The only necessary change: swap in straight-leg denim for leggings. If you're not quite ready for rigid denim, try something with a bit of a stretch.

Quarantine Jeans Outfits: Workwear 2.0

On days when I know I'm going to have to be productive, I find it a useful exercise to get dressed as if I'm headed back out to the office, even though I don't plan to leave my apartment. A high-waisted blue jean with a blazer is a classic combination.

Quarantine Jeans Outfits: All Dressed Up

One thing quarantine has taken away from many of us is small occasions to look forward to. I've taken to doing my makeup, dressing up for myself, pouring wine, making a giant bowl of popcorn, and having a fancy movie night in.