Getting dressed up for any occasion was always a treat for me. Whether that be grabbing dinner with a friend or heading to a college sanctioned ball, regardless of the formality, I loved taking the time to pull together an outfit that I loved. But not having the pressure of going out for any social events that we were accustomed to before lockdown last year allowed me to find more comfort in my closet over the past year.
While the world isolated in their own ways — in their apartments with their roommates, family, or significant others — I was at home with the company of my own thoughts. During this time, I tried to stay in as much of a routine as possible, wearing cute outfits and doing my hair and makeup for the occasional important Zoom meeting.
After about a month, that stopped. What was the point of dressing up for 15 minutes max to just take everything off and put on my favourite sweatshirt and go about my day?
During the five-month period of being isolated — before starting work in person again or visiting my family — I found comfort in clothes that aren't meant to be for show, but for just living in. Everything became optional: wearing pants during a meeting, leaving the house, and social plans of any kind.
Most days during lockdown, I would dance to keep myself active and busy. More often than not, I'd wear normal workout clothes to get myself mentally prepared, but every so often, specifically when I was feeling myself a little bit more, I would pop on a pair of heels to add that extra layer of pizazz to my normal workout. I learned the importance of having clothes in my closet that brought me joy, regardless of the way they looked.
Now that things are starting to reopen, and there is more pressure to socialise the way we did before, I'm not going to jump back into dressing up in clothes that made me self-conscious or uncomfortable in the name of fashion. I'm wearing clothes that make me feel confident and stylish, without compromising comfort. Some days, that'll be a sweatshirt; others, it'll be a simple dress with a cute vest or something in between.
When I turned 21 and headed to a bar to celebrate, getting dressed to go out was eye-opening. I'd gotten used to wearing sweatpants, leggings, and shorts for so long that I didn't remember how to go out. I went through so many potential outfits and tossed them aside, because I either didn't feel like myself or I knew that I'd end up frustrated at the end of the night because I didn't choose something comfortable (and still cute) for myself. Being more social again doesn't mean we have to completely change our wardrobes. In the end, I found my happy medium: a cute top that I paired with flared yoga pants that I could dance all night in and made me feel gorgeous at the same time.
Leading up to our night out, my friends and I discussed what each of us were wearing (as you do to properly coordinate), and we all realised how long it had been since we've dressed up for a night out and looked to each other for guidance. We all ended up leaning on pieces that made us not only look good, but feel good. When it comes to clothes, everyone has items that can make or break an outfit, but from now on, the deciding factor for me will be, how do I feel in it?