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Posts Tagged ‘what to wear to a pandemic’

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A few of Anna Sui’s vintage inspired dresses. Part of the 2019 exhibit, The World of Anna Sui at the Museum of Arts & Design in NYC.

Everyone wears t-shirts and jeans. Everyone wears jeans with a little pretty top … that’s the extent of our fashion right now. So, why not give them something a little bit more, but with the same ease. 

Anna Sui – American fashion designer.

Ms. Sui said this in 2006! And I suppose since then jeans have been replaced by leggings.

How about a dress for a change? Dresses can be so easy to wear and cool for hot temps. Plus a dress is an instant elevated look.

 

 

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All matched up for when I have to go out and about this summer.

I did it! Yes, I did! I made a skirt with a matching handbag and a matching mask.

I had been thinking about it since the start of the pandemic. I kept imagining that if I were a designer, I would come up with masks to match everything. Well, I am my own designer.

All the materials I had on hand, so no going out!

The cotton fabric, from Stonemountain and Daughter in Berkeley, was sitting around waiting for a project. The skirt pattern is a simple a-line by Simplicity. Funny, I’ve used this pattern before but not the same way twice. For me, simple patterns are becoming like recipes – a place to start, but I end up doing my own thing.

I had the bamboo handles for another project that didn’t work out. I just cut the fabric size I wanted for a handbag and stitched it, but I used the reverse side of the fabric to mix it up a bit. For the mask I used a pattern by Sew Becoming.

I’ve made a couple of matching skirts and handbags so adding a mask was the next step.

It’s possible that masks are going to be around for quite a while, let’s make them fashionable and  fun!

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I wear my mask. What does yours look like?

People need to wear masks; they need to social distance. They need to be rigorous and responsible about this. This is not something to be taken casually or lightly … You could kill people or you could be killed yourself. 

Tim Gunn, fashion icon and host of Project Runway and Making the Cut. Gunn was recently on the radio interview show, Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Everyone’s favorite fashion icon, Gunn shared what he’s been wearing while sheltering-in-place: sometimes pajama bottoms with a plain white t-shirt and a navy blue robe, but he says he would never step outside his NYC front door in such a casual ensemble. When he goes out to the corner store he wears a turtleneck sweater and dark wash jeans. For Zoom meetings he dons a sport coat and tie.

Gross asked if he wore a fashionable mask and he explained that he didn’t want to bother with having to consider colors or pattern. A plain medical mask goes with everything.

Good point, although, I have to admit that if I were a fashion designer I’d be working on a line of matching mask and skirt/dress/pants/jacket.

Yep, I’d be all over that! Because Covid-19 isn’t going away anytime soon and therefore, neither are masks.

 

 

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Edwardian ladies in lace. 

Society tottered through the last of the pre-War parties, waved tiny lace handkerchiefs, and carried elaborate parasols until the War came with its sweeping changes. 

Lucile, Lady Duff Gordon (1863-1935), British fashion designer.

World War I (1914-1918) brought about many changes in fashion, particularly for women. Long lacy gowns were replace by shorter skirts and jackets in sturdy fabrics. No more excessively large hats but instead close fitted hats with little to no embellishments. Women were now on the move and their clothes had to move with them.

With this Covid-19 pandemic,  we might see our own changes in fashion. Or will we? Truth be told, we really can’t get any more casual. Perhaps we will flip to the other side and want to dress up, but I doubt it. For starters, most people don’t even know how to do that anymore.

One added accessory will be masks. Perhaps more people will want to wear hats, as added protection. Also, gloves. Matching sets! I see a potential for additional pockets in clothing to make things like hand sanitizer quickly accessible. Otherwise, with the distraction of the virus and wanting to keep distant and stay safe, people, now more than ever, are going to want to be comfortable.

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Image from Lingerie Parisienne by Juliette Morel (Academy Editions, London, 1976).

Remember those scenes in old films where the movie-star lead actress sits in their bedroom in front of mirrored vanity in a fur-lined, floor-length, semi-sheer chiffon gown? … Those are house gowns. Can we bring those back, dahhhling? Seriously, why not? Why shouldn’t I butter my sprouted-grain breakfast toast in a bell-sleeved satin robe? Or pour myself a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch while wearing the vintage kimono I bought for my wedding? Because let me tell you, it’s pretty **** splendid. 

Jessica De Jesus, creative director for Bitch magazine.

I recently found this quote in the Glamour issue of Bitch magazine, Issue #84, Fall 2019.

Splendid indeed! Let’s bring back the elegant house gown. Doesn’t breakfast taste just a tad better sitting at the table in more festive attire? While we’re at it, let’s enjoy that morning coffee in a pretty mug and place in our laps a cloth napkin. Like Ms. De Jesus says, why not?

I don’t want to “save” my pretty, expensive things for special occasions. Every day is a special occasion and a little attention to seemingly frivolous detail just might lift the spirits.

While we’re lifting our spirits remember: Keep Calm and Keep Your Distance … it’s working!

 

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Festive satin lounge wear lifts my spirits as does the sparkly ring I have on.

Changing out of street clothes after I return home is something that I’ve always done, for a couple of reasons. One – it’s more comfortable. Two – I find it keeps my nice street clothes nice.

So, I have a small wardrobe of “at home attire.” It’s comprised of comfy cotton flannel pants, long sleeve t-shirts, and reassigned sweaters that are a bit tattered. I also have some pajama style lounge-wear and I usually top everything with a scarf or shawl.

In warmer weather I sport skirts with short-sleeve t-shirts, or I have a selection of simple cotton dresses. Even at home, it feels better to be “put together.” Lately, I’ve also been wearing my jewelry. What the heck – I have it, I like, I wear it!

Now that most of us around the globe are staying home, we’re probably not dressing. Perhaps even staying in our pajamas. Isn’t that kind of depressing? It helps to change into something different every day and show up at our home offices, laptops, or Zoom meetings looking our best under stressful circumstances.

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Michael Beller, Library Manager at Orinda Library, looking dapper while  working from home.

Librarian Michael Beller is doing just that. Working from home, he says that if he’s in a phone meeting or doing chat, he’s sporting his signature bow tie. “Even if they can’t see me, I feel more professional.”

I like that!

Remember, Keep Calm and Keep Your Distance. 

 

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There’s not a lot of information of how long COVID survives on textiles, but lots of places on your textiles can contain metal or plastic. If you’ve touched a contaminated surface with your clothes, sitting in a subway, leaning against a pole, there’s a chance you might bring that back home.

Angelique Corthals, a biomedical researcher and professor of pathology at John Jay College. (This quote is from an article in the New York Times, March 29, 2020. By Sanam Yar. Click here for the full article.)

(Note: the belief is that the virus could live on metal and plastic surfaces three to five days.)

Ms. Corthals also says that’s it’s a good idea to change out of your street clothes once you’re home.  I say that since we don’t know how long Covid-19 lives on textiles, it couldn’t hurt to also spray our street clothes with alcohol.

Remember, Keep Calm and Keep Your Distance. 

 

 

 

 

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IMG_20200319_143040154When I was growing up, my mother had hanging in her closet a cashmere coat, and sitting on the floor underneath the coat was a pair of black apres ski boots in suede. She would tell me that this was her “emergency outfit.” In case of a fire or an earthquake or some other dramatic event that required a quick exit from home (in the middle of the night), she knew what to grab. The heavy coat was for warmth and protection and the boots were sturdy and waterproof. Both were comforting. It made sense to me.

I thought of mom’s armor outfit last week when I was getting ready to leave the house on essential errands. (California has been under a shelter-in-place command since March 17th.)

What’s my emergency outfit?

Like my mother I go for warmth, protection, and comfort. I chose my back hoodie by Champion. Simple and cozy, I like the hood nestled around my neck and although warm, it’s not heavy or bulky. I also slipped on a pair of black leggings. I don’t wear leggings very often but these are kind of silky, comfortable and easy to move in. For color I added a silk flower brooch and a light blue beret, which, by the way, has antique buttons sewed on along the edge. Simple flat ankle boots in black for easy walking.

Finally, I swiped on red lipstick and put on a pair of snappy sunglasses. I was ready!

It’s interesting to note that if it was just normal day (before COVID-19), I would not have chosen this outfit. Most likely I would have worn a skirt and blazer or perhaps my cape. An ensemble that would have required some effort to wear.

I believe clothing provides more than just covering. It boosts confidence and offers both physical and emotional comfort.

Remember, Keep Calm and Keep Your Distance. 

 

 

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