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Posts Tagged ‘what to wear to a pandemic’

outfitaday.2

I’m a big fan of skirts. Worn with a t-shirt or light cotton blouse, a skirt is easy and comfortable yet still a nice look.

Skirts are a go-to option for my At Home Attire ensembles. I made the one in this photo from a novelty print (ferns) cotton fabric. I’ve paired it with a cotton t-shirt in gray and added a cropped cardigan in light green, which picks up the lighter green shade in the skirt. The shoes are patent leather ballet flats, which are as comfortable as slippers!

Notice I’m wearing jewelry. Just because I’m hanging at home, doesn’t mean I’m not putting on some bling. Rings are my favorite and I enjoy looking at them while pausing at my writing desk, searching for just the right word or taking a break to stretch.

Tune in again for another installment of At Home Attire.

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thumbnail (4)Since staying put at home, I started pulling out some of my vintage pieces that I would only wear to an event. Because they are delicate or not as easy to move around in on pubic transport or walking to and from destinations, much of my vintage wardrobe gets only the occasional outing. But earlier in the pandemic I was showing up once a week to my fashion history class in front of my laptop – no BART rides, no long walks – so why not sport some vintage?

This pictured outfit includes a linen skirt that is easy to wear staying in place at my desk, but not running around. The Oxford shoes are not vintage, but they look very 1930s and are fine for the few steps to my desk at home, however, they would be horribly uncomfortable walking eight city blocks from BART to class.

On the shoulder of the lightweight cotton sweater, I’m wearing a silk flower from Britex Fabrics. The silk turban style hat is a favorite from Kiss of the Wolf. 

Now the socks are their own story. I’ve always had a thing for interesting socks and I found these two-tone bobby socks at Molly B in Berkeley. Made in Japan, they were ridiculously expensive, but they are high quality and unique. I like the stripe and the odd color combination.

Check back for more At Home Attire.

 

 

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What I call At Home Attire is clothing that I wear at home that is comfortable, but not sloppy. Something that I wouldn’t mind an unexpected visitor seeing.

Long dresses are the perfect at-home attire because they’re easy, cool in the summer, and fall somewhere between the restrictions of street wear and the casualness of athleisure.

This long cotton dress by Isaac Mizrahi is comfortable, yet presentable. I wouldn’t wear it out, but add heels and an up-do with perhaps a flower and it’s just the thing for casual summer entertaining (in pre-pandemic days).

I like combining various shades of green, so on this day I paired the dress with a green cotton cardigan from Boden. The dress is sleeveless and sometimes I wear a white t-shirt underneath; the pop of white works well with the dark green.

Stay tuned for more At Home Attire.

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That’s me and my grandmother, she looking lovely in her caftan.

I recently attended a Webinar discussion on the future of fashion during the pandemic with a panel of women who work in the business; one panelist mentioned that she thought entertaining at home was going to be a trend.  She predicted that by next year designers will have a dedicated line of at home wear.

I think she’s on to something and I’m reminded of my stylish grandmother. When she was elderly and could no longer go out, at home every day she donned colorful caftans and leather mules. (She also still dyed her short pixie-cut hair and had regular manicures – up until she died at age 84.)

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Caftans by Stella McCartney, Fall 2020 as seen in Harper’s Bazaar. 

My wardrobe includes items that are what I call, At Home Attire. In pre-pandemic days, I would change out of street clothes when I got home and slip into “something more comfortable,” which might be a pair of silky pajamas or a long cotton dress. Now that I’m spending more time at home, I’m inspired by my grandmother and I try to make an effort to look presentable every day.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll share some of my newly created outfits. Stay tuned.

 

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Spotted in a local neighborhood window. It’s not a great photo, but it is a great message.

Everyone looks great in a mask because wearing a mask says: I respect myself and my community. I’m doing what I need to do to stay safe and keep those around me safe, too. 

It’s as simple as that.

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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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