What Are You *Really* Wearing to Stay Home? We’ll Go First…

I’m glad Instagram exists, and that selfies have become an incredibly commonplace form of expression because I am fairly certain that without the two, I’d have no real impetus to get dressed and might fall into a sort of depression induced by my languishing behind the bars of a self-expression prison.

It’s not that I don’t put on clothes fairly regularly—I stand by the hashtag that inaugurated quarantine for the members of this team, but I will say that I don’t stay in them. The clothes, I mean. I didn’t even realize this until some point last week, when I wasn’t intentionally evaluating the thrill of getting dressed (which does persist–a good thing!), but definitely noticed that the desire to remain dressed is waning at a very rapid pace. I presume this is because…where the fuck am I going? Although one good thing I have started to do is keep sartorial secrets in Zoom meetings. Example: Today I’m wearing a gray crew neck sweater with a yellow silk neck scarf so purportedly, I look over-clothed, but actually, I’m not wearing any pants. Not even shorts. Just big-ass white cotton underwear that I slept in last night. But I digress. Don’t I always! Yesterday, when I looked down from the shaggy bench that bookends my bed and noticed I was still in rooster-print pajama pants at 11:45 a.m., I wondered if surprise-attack asking anyone else on the team what they were wearing in the present moment would yield the kind of life-affirming visuals that ensure we’re in it together. What I got back–from about half the team–was a panoply of still-damn-good outfits, but in the interest of presenting what it seems we *really* wear to work from home, I give you the below, starting with my alter-ego, who spells her name with an accented E:


Léandra

What were you doing, or about to do when you sent me this photo? Well, Leandra, seeing as I am you, I’m not exactly sure how to answer this question without asking you one in response: Don’t you fucking know what I was doing? I’d been on my computer, finishing the copy for a story, and was about an hour away from doing a Zoom pilates class with two of my friends.

Oh, that’s fancy. Pilates in the middle of the day? Who the hell do you think you are, and when is the last time you changed? Look, we are all just trying to figure out how to make the days go by in somewhat pleasant spirits. Can you stop judging me and my pursuit of a smile? What benefit does doing it even bring you? I don’t know when I last changed. Actually I do, it was right after I woke up—I’d slept in a tank top but swapped it for the t-shirt, then went out to get my kin and make breakfast, but didn’t change after that.

Lol, is leaving your room now code for “going out”? What were you thinking when you put it on? Ha. Yes. It is. Ma grande sortie! I wasn’t thinking much. Why are you always trying to intellectualize everything? I just wondered if the t-shirt smelled–confirmed that it did after I put it on, but didn’t change because… I just didn’t.

Have you been getting Dressed (capital D) in quarantine? If yes, how does it make you ~feel~? If not, same q: I defer to this story to answer this question at greater length, but the short of it is: I thought so, then realized no, then put on jeans and felt like I had somewhere to be which was momentarily thrilling, but took them off because I had nowhere to be, then resolved that maybe I should spend like an hour a day dressed up just for the thrill of it. If it wears off, I’ll figure something else out.

Is there anything in particular I should know about any of the specific garments you’re wearing? 50% of proceeds from this t-shirt go directly to the NHS.

Jasmin


What were you doing, or about to do when you sent me this photo? Responding to a Slack comment from Mallory about the podcast I’m currently listening to.

When is the last time you changed? About two hours ago, when I was in my PJs.

What were you thinking when you put it on? Bodysuits and sweatpants are my go-to at the moment. Bodysuits because they make me feel somewhat buttoned-up (is that a thing?) during the day, and sweatpants for ultimate comfort.

Have you been getting Dressed (capital D) in quarantine? If yes, how does it make you ~feel~? If not, same q: Only on certain occasions. Day-to-day for work, it’s variations of the above, but if I’m having a Friday night drinks on Houseparty or a black-tie birthday dinner on Zoom with my family, I will seize the moment to actually dress up, put on some make-up, and make a proper drink. It feels fun to break up the new norm, even if you’re technically sitting in the same place.

Is there anything in particular I should know about any of the specific garments you’re wearing? I’m really enjoying these blue-light glasses I bought this week. I’ve recently become more aware of my intense screen-time, and I already have terrible eyesight as is (-6.5!!) I’m not sure if they’re working, but one can hope.

Follow up question, which I promise to deliver you—the people of Man Repeller—answers to: WHAT IS THE PODCAST, JASMIN?

Tiffany


What were you doing, or about to do when you sent me this photo? Catching up on emails from the night before and laughing out loud at the first edit of a video of you cooking with Madelaur—coming to the MR Instagram soon.

When is the last time you changed? Right before I took this photo—if taking off a robe and putting on clothes counts?

What were you thinking when you put it on? I started subconsciously with the stretchy base layer of heat tech and biker shorts. Then I remembered the Thoughtline WFH Challenge that came through the night before and realized I was already halfway there, so I added the cardigan.

Have you been getting Dressed (capital D) in quarantine? If yes, how does it make you ~feel~? If not, same q: I’ve been getting dressed-lowercase-d, meaning taking a shower in the morning and putting on real clothes that *could* go outside. This has been t0 maintain sense of normalcy and self-esteem vs. thinking too much about what I look like. But I have been capitalizing on the ability to prioritize comfort in a way that I wouldn’t have before. Tight pants and rigid jeans have been banished—so have shoes and socks for the most part. Even my jewelry got stripped back. I stopped wearing rings because of all the hand-washing and have worn the same little hoop earrings that are comfortable enough to sleep in for weeks.

Follow up question, which I promise to deliver you—the people of Man Repeller—answers to: Have you ever considered hosting a cardigan partigan? Where are your little hoops from? I’m wearing three in one ear right now also. They’re Mejuri.

Mikaela


What were you doing, or about to do when you sent me this photo? I was staring blankly at my computer, willing the intro to an article I am working on to appear on the screen. To clarify, the page isn’t blank—but the tangle of words currently present could hardly be considered sentences.

When is the last time you changed? Top-half, this morning! Bottom-half, on a need-to-know basis.

What were you thinking when you put it on? “Dad’s going to ask me if I need to buy more clothes.” (He did.)

Have you been getting Dressed (capital D) in quarantine? If yes, how does it make you ~feel~? If not, same q: I would say I’m getting ~D~ressed. I’m not approaching the styling with my usual aplomb, but I am changing my clothes each day and wearing jeans when the mood strikes. When I’m home in Missouri for an extended period of time I revert to the plain, midwestern stock that raised me: Functionality of the most importance, coordination of the least. Short term, I like it.

Follow up question, which I promise to deliver you—the people of Man Repeller—answers to: When will we know more about this article you are working on, Mikaela? And further,  how did you answer your dad’s inquiry?

Harling


What were you doing, or about to do when you sent me this photo? I was going through all my unanswered emails while drinking an oat milk matcha latte.

When is the last time you changed? First thing this morning when I got out of bed, so a few hours ago.

What were you thinking when you put it on? Literally nothing. This was the “getting dressed” equivalent of drinking when I’m thirsty or falling asleep when I’m tired. Completely devoid of deliberation.

Have you been getting Dressed (capital D) in quarantine? If yes, how does it make you ~feel~? If not, same q: Absolutely not! I’ve been wearing various iterations of this outfit (so basically sweats or glorified pajamas) every single day. It makes me feel like a stranger living in my own skeleton—however, as much as I’m frustrated by the lack of opportunity to express myself through clothes, I’m still not inspired to put together real outfits every day. It feels pointless without the accompanying purpose of going out into the world and interacting with people, at least for me, but who knows? That could change.

Is there anything in particular I should know about any of the specific garments you’re wearing? The flannel pants I’m wearing are Austin’s younger brother’s, which is why they say “Belmont Hill” on the leg (it’s an all-boys school in Massachusetts), and the sweatshirt used to be white but I tie-dyed it myself to resemble something akin to cotton candy.

Follow up question, which I promise to deliver you—the people of Man Repeller—answers to: Is the ultimate power move changing into pajamas after getting out of bed?

Marisa


What were you doing, or about to do, when you sent me this photo? I was prepping a slice of tahini toast while multitasking with emails.

When is the last time you changed? This morning around 9 a.m.. I retired my men’s sweatpants to free my legs in the spirit of the day’s WFH outfit challenge (which was to wear a turtleneck and cardigan with boxer shorts and shin-length socks).

What were you thinking when you put it on? Comfort is my only priority at the moment, while aiming for a quasi-styled top half for any meeting call-ins. This has become my uniform while WFH, conceived from a self-imposed rule prescribing at least one bright color.

Have you been getting Dressed (capital D) in quarantine? If yes, how does it make you ~feel~? If not, same q: Getting Dressed has fallen by the wayside for me, although I theorize it would be a major mood-lifter. I feel like I’ve put my fashion sense on pause during quarantine, which feels disingenuous to my character but authentic to my current state of mind.

Follow up question, which I promise to deliver you—the people of Man Repeller—answers to: How the hell do you prepare your tahini toast, Marisa? And please, if you are willing to, tell us more about your current state of mind. Also, where is that striped blanket on your bed from? Cheers, Leandra (no accent).

Amalie


What were you doing, or about to do when you sent me this photo? I was in the midst of planning the Instagram calendar and had just ~lit~ a candle on the kitchen table for me and my roommate.

When is the last time you changed? Um…I took a shower after a run last night at 7:30, so that was definitely the last time.

What were you thinking when you put it on? I wanted my adorably fuzzy legs to breathe unabashedly so I put on little shorts. I wanted to not wear a bra so I put on a tank that looks chic when the girls are out. Then I put on a big sweater with wool in it because it gets nippy in my apartment’s living room sometimes, though my room is consistently a boiling inferno.

Have you been getting Dressed (capital D) in quarantine? If yes, how does it make you ~feel~? If not, same q: I have not. Pretty much not at all. I think I’ve gotten Dressed maybe twice since quarantine started and for what it’s worth, both of those times have felt really special! But ultimately, it’s not worth the effort of continuing if I am not going to see and be seen. That’s a really complicated statement, and I’m aware of it.

Is there anything in particular I should know about any of the specific garments you’re wearing? I’ve worn this sweater to death. I think I bought these pajama shorts in high school from Nordstrom Rack. I used the Paris IG filter on this pic because I didn’t want to scare the kids with my leg hair.

Follow up question, which I promise to deliver you—the people of Man Repeller—answers to: What candle? Do the girls have designated names? And on the topic of see and be seen, shall we expect a personal essay?

Elizabeth


What were you doing, or about to do when you sent me this photo? I was about to do my outfit recipe on Man Repeller’s Instagram. To be honest, I wore this the day before and fell asleep in it (but yes, I brushed my teeth.)

When is the last time you changed? Yesterday at 5 p.m. after a shower and video call.

What were you thinking when you put it on? “I don’t want to wear pants.” The polo is long and you don’t really need anything underneath it. It’s very hot in my apartment (I face south and have the sun shining directly inside if it’s a sunny day) so less clothing is better.

Have you been getting Dressed (capital D) in quarantine? If yes, how does it make you ~feel~? If not, same q: Well, I try to… sort of. I usually have a necklace or two on and am thoughtful about my top-half. I’m actually trying to wear tops that have historically been under-loved. On my bottom half, though, I’m usually in pajama shorts or bike shorts and socks. I keep stretch pants at an arm’s length to take my dog for a walk, which is why bike shorts are great—pants slip on so easily over them. But every time I get Dressed, I wind up taking some of it off because I realize I’m not going anywhere. Sometimes I get Dressed and then take it off and get back in my “getting ready for bed” outfit, which is the most logical state of dress 24/7.

Follow up question, which I promise to deliver you—the people of Man Repeller—answers to: Did you put this back on after the outfit recipe, or? Does that necklace fare well in water?

Mallory


What were you doing, or about to do when you sent me this photo? I decided to go for a run this morning to expel some anxiety, which is a rare thing for me (the running), and after I finished that, I went straight to ‘computer time.’

When is the last time you changed? When I got home from the run, I took off a couple of top layers and switched from leggings to these shorts. The hat stayed on so I did not have to think about my hair. Showering happened… later in the day.

What were you thinking when you put it on? “Need to do emails/Slacks/etc. Wore this exact outfit yesterday without incident, seems fine to do it again.”

Have you been getting Dressed (capital D) in quarantine? If yes, how does it make you ~feel~? If not, same q: I wish I could be more aspirational but I have not. I’m staying with a friend and I packed a verrrry tight capsule of options, which has been totally fine for me. I have been fantasizing about getting capital-D-dressed again, though. The spring palette calls to me daily.

Is there anything else I should know about any of the specific garments you’re wearing? This Mood NYC hat is from some independent designers who I love. It has been put through a lot and it’s still basically perfect. I have only worn these Nike tennis shorts to play tennis three times because I bought them right before all of this, but I’ve gotten LOTS of use for indoor purposes. And this Lou & Grey top has off-duty ballet dancer energy that I really appreciate.

Follow up question, which I promise to deliver you—the people of Man Repeller—answers to: How’d the run make you feel? Should I try it? And for the love of maximalism, what’s in the capsule!

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