Packing under normal circumstances is challenge enough for me. But when I got the call earlier this week that a family member wasn't feeling well, I had less than a day to buy a plane ticket, navigate a rental car, and throw a collection of items into my suitcase. How do you consider something as seemingly trivial as fashion when faced with the scary reality of a family member in the hospital? Knowing I'd spend at least two weeks on the other side of the country, writing down a list of what to bring home during coronavirus was crucial. I'd still have to work, sleep, and I'd definitely need to be able to move my body.
The list allowed me to think categorically — what are the items I need for comfort, for health, and for sanity. All three of these areas are necessities and all include a different selection of items from my wardrobe. The sweatpants I've worn around my apartment the last month were my first pick for the comfort category. Gear for jogging was a key component for the sanity section. Even choosing a few fashion-y items — which I know may seem silly to some — was something I knew would lift my spirits on days when I was having a hard time. Instead of panicking, breaking things down in this practical way helped me to streamline and use my final hours in my apartment in the most efficient way I could.
I'm not alone in feeling like my mind has been all over the place these last few months, and as a fashion editor, and someone who finds joy in getting dressed, I haven't felt my usual excitement or motivation around what I wear. But, I'm beginning to realize that if I don't care for myself and find ways to nurture my creativity, I'll focus on the negative instead. So, if you too find yourself traveling during this time, I hope that like me will find comfort in the ritual of caring for yourself, and in opening up your suitcase somewhere different to feel a sense of ease and normalcy in what you have inside. Below, I share a little more about what I brought in case it brings you comfort too.
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What To Bring Home: For Comfort
Over the last two months, comfortable clothes have become the anchor of my wardrobe. On some days that might mean jeans, but often it's sweats, a sweatshirt, or cozy pajamas. Since I do have Zoom meetings every week, I also prioritized comfort in my more professional pieces. A flowy dress or a relaxed button-down have become my go-tos for those times when I want to look professional from the waist up.
What To Bring Home: Health
First things first — health is about not only taking care of my body, but make sure my family are safe and well, too. So, the first thing I put in my bag was face masks and hand sanitizer that I could put on if I was going to be in the vicinity of anyone else. Then, I turned my attention on how I can best care for myself — being able to move my body is key for my mental and physical health. Going for a jog or a walk is the time I sift through my emotions and find a little bit of peace. So, I made sure to pack workout gear (and even a foam roller) along with the sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses I might need while getting some air at a distance.
What To Bring Home: Sanity
Sitting in my apartment it was hard to know what the next few weeks would bring, but I made an extra effort to add a few things that might help with little moments of self care. A swimsuit felt silly in the moment, but now I'm grateful that I can spend an hour reading in the sun with it on. My favorite Bode shirt — a quilted, short-sleeve button down — reminds me of the happy time when I bought it. During such an isolating and strange time, I don't want to focus on how I look in what I put on, I want to remember how the things I love make me feel in them.
What To Bring Home: Packing List
- 1-2 sets of comfortable separates - sweats, sweatshirt, and tees
- Relaxed button-down or dress for meetings
- 1-2 sets of Workout gear
- Socks and underwear
- 1-2 everyday outfits (shorts, jeans, tops)
- 2-3 special, meaningful items
- Running sneakers
- Casual shoes for errands
- House slippers
- Mask, gloves, and sanitizer
- Any additional workout gear (foam roller, jump rope)
- Sunglasses and hat
- A book