Say Yes to Getting Dressed

Feauturing art from @nicolemclaughlin

Who am I when I’m not getting dressed? Who (the fuck) am I when I’m wearing the same (not at all fashionable) sweatpants for the seventh day in a row because I literally never leave my house? And is it sad to question your own identity because of clothes? I’ll answer the first two questions with ”I don’t know” and the last one with ”Uhm, no, it’s not as shallow as it sounds!!!”

It’s safe to say that these quarantine and social distancing times are taking their toll on all of us. Not being able to see friends and loved ones, not being able to go on with your normal, daily routine and not having the outside world quite as much on your doorstep as you are used to – it’s hard.

Something else that is hard for someone (me) who is used to creating an identity while getting dressed in the morning is not having something to get dressed for. See, I’m normally the person who is very strict when it comes to “outside clothes” and “inside clothes”. Even though I love dressing up to go out, I’m very quick to change into something else, more comfy and less fancy, as soon as I return home. That is because of two truly logical reasons: 1. Wearing your outside clothes inside means bringing all of the outside dirt inside with you. There is no way I am sitting down my butt on a chair at home in the same trousers that I sat down with on the subway, that’s nasty. 2. Lying on my couch in uncomfortable jeans? That’s just not happening. On top of that, I have never invested in cool loungewear. Why would I, when I can spend my money on something fun that I can wear where it actually matters – outside. Well, that came back to bite me in the ass…

That being said, I guess you can figure out that when I wake up and get dressed to stay at home the outcome is not Instagram worthy at all (if that’s an approved way to judge an outfit). We are talking some kind of Hello Kitty pyjama pants, sliding down my hips because they are not the right size, paired with a nice knit on a good day, or even a ten year old graphic sweater that screams out Forever 21-vibes.

I know, I feel nauseous too. However it’s even worse when you fall into the pattern of not changing at all, so the pyjamas you slept in do an extra shift as your OOTD…

About a week into dressing like this I looked at my reflection in the mirror (with disgust) and asked myself who I am nowadays. Fashion, clothes, and dressing up are some of my biggest interests, something I do to feel creative and happy. While the rest of the quarantined world had found new time to invest in their passions I had completely neglected mine. Karl Lagerfeld once said “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants” and although I think people should be allowed to own sweatpants (a radical opinion, right?) I truly felt that I had lost control of my life.

I suppose this is the part where I defend the fact that I’m letting something as shallow as clothes put me through an identity crisis, so let me put this simply: some people write to express and define themselves, some people paint, some people create movies – and some people get dressed.

You wouldn’t have questioned it if Picasso had suddenly stopped painting and felt that it affected him and his identity – so stop questioning me when I feel lost because I can't practice my art form. After all, fashion is also a way of controlling how people see you, so no wonder it affects how you see yourself. (This was a nice paragraph, I managed to squeeze in the cheesy argument “fashion is art” and compare myself to Picasso. Amazing.) Luckily, this problem is not that hard to solve. Pull yourself together, get dressed, et voilà!

Even if it feels meaningless to dress up real nice just to go visit your own kitchen, it’s not. In fact, the stroll between your kitchen table and your wardrobe is the perfect runway for you to try out the craziest outfits you haven’t yet dared taking outside. This is not the time to put your personal style on hold – this is the time to develop it, experiment with it and make sure it comes out on the other side of this quarantine in a new, extravagant shape.

I was lazy, I admit that, and I lost track of what actually matters in weird times like these: (your loved ones and appreciating the small things life of course, but also) putting on a killer outfit every morning. So I started doing that again, I started putting on real clothes and even accessories (however, I’m not going full on American and wearing shoes inside, if you see me do that you’ll know that the quarantine finally broke me for real). And let me tell you, sitting on my couch all dressed up feels strange… but better!

Instagram isolation-inspiration: 1. @wfhfits – The account sharing the outfits people from around the world are working from home in. The range is wide here, you’ll see everything from a towel and a sheet mask to ball gowns. 2. @ganni story highlight WFH – The GANNI team has been showing of their working from home-looks and encouraged other people to do the same. Have a look in their story highlights for some eye candy. 3. #HomeCouture by @skipdin – Why not make this an opportunity to recreate an Haute Couture-look? Don’t miss this trending hashtag and the fascinating creations people are posting on it. 4. #jacquemusathome by @jacquemus – Jacquemus posted a picture of how an orange and a lemon acted like heels under bare feet, sending the thoughts to the exquisite heels of the real shoes he creates. He then encouraged other people to share their versions, and although you might not be able to actually wear this (unless you glue something to your feet…), it’s fun, beautiful and inspirational – pretty much everything we need these days. You can have a look at it on the hashtag or in the story highlights of @jacquemus.

Cornelia Falknäs