20 April 2020

Dress For Yourself

Spring/Summer 2019










I took a step back from the blog for a while to focus on my mental health. Then a global pandemic came along, which means that most of the world is now focusing on their mental health. Somehow it feels like the perfect time for me to get back into blogging. I hope you are all safe, your loved ones are healthy, and that you are staying at home. Please do not take any unnecessary risks and please do make sure that you are checking up on vulnerable neighbours and family members, because now is a time for us to come together (albeit not physically) and make sure that nobody suffers unnecessarily. Make sure to follow whatever guidance is in place local to you. But also, can I just say that you do not have to be particularly productive or hardworking right now - go easy on yourself and do whatever you need to do in order to cope, you're doing amazing no matter what.

Many of us are currently working from home (shout out to all the essential workers still going in for work, it would be impossible for us to thank you enough, however hopefully the pressure builds for you to at least receive higher salaries moving forward), but for most it is likely their first time working or studying from home for any extended period of time. Now this understandably comes with its own set of obstacles and challenges, whether it be figuring out how to work undisturbed in a home full of other people, or figuring out how to use Zoom while making sure your microphone is on mute when you are not talking, or just hoping that the WiFi is playing ball and learning where all the signal dead spots in your home are. On the other hand, a lot of people are not currently working or studying, and so have to figure out how to keep themselves occupied at home during quarantine season. You can use the time to catch up on television shows, books, music, video games, workout routines - whatever it is that you find easy and enjoyable to concentrate on.

Given the focus of this blog it is perhaps unsurprising that what I am interested in is how people are choosing to dress. As someone who has battled with agoraphobia and anxiety for years, and is therefore no stranger to social distancing and staying at home, my personal experience has been that the way you choose to dress on a daily basis can absolutely help or hinder your mood and sense of self. To be clear: wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and secure right now. You do not have to dress up, you do not have to dress down, you do not have wear any clothes at all if you feel more comfortable walking around your home nude (just make sure not to flash your neighbours). Dress in a way that makes you feel confident, because that is what is important right now. Dress is a social practice, but right now most of us are not socialising past video calls, so you truly do have the opportunity to dress just for yourself.

Comfort has always been one of the most important considerations for my wardrobe - physical comfort, psychological comfort, and clothes that help me feel like I am prepared and can take on whatever I am doing that day. My quarantine wardrobe is not particularly different to my regular wardrobe, because I tend to spend so much time at home anyway. The only major difference is that my shoes are looking rather lonely, as I wear Birkenstocks and Crocs around the house. Because my physical health has not been the best this past year, I was already working on making my wardrobe comfortable and cosy - my plan over Winter had been to buy enough fleece to turn myself into a human teddy bear. It did not quite plan out like that, but I do have enough soft fabrics to keep myself feeling cosy at home. Tactility has always played a huge role in my dressing process, just because I tend to focus equally between how clothes feel on my body and how they look on my body.

Right now I am prioritising fluidity of movement in my clothes, because I tend to curl up at home. I might sit cross legged on the chair at my desk, or I might squat on the floor while reading, but generally I end up with my limbs stretched or folded or wrapped around each other, so clothing that is too restrictive is obviously not ideal. Softer fabrics go hand in hand with this, whether it be a plush cotton corduroy, a thick cotton jersey, or just a crisp lightweight poplin cotton that glides gently over the skin and feels airy to wear as the warmer weather approaches. The cut of the garments also has to allow for as full a range of movement as possible, because I do not like feeling restricted, past my preference for a secure waist (I enjoy a belted high waist, which I actually attribute to the fact that I have Crohn's disease, and so feeling like my stomach is physically supported is nice for me psychologically). 

Anyhow I decided to post the Spring/Summer 2019 collection from Y-3 because the brand really has been hitting the mark for me the past few years. I make no secret about the fact that Yohji Yamamoto is my favourite designer, and while I could happily wear nothing but Pour Homme if my income allowed, there is something to be said for the practicality of Y-3 (not to mention the comparatively more affordable pricing...ok, the interesting stuff is still not that affordable, but let's ignore the branded basics). Sportswear is comfortable and practical, but I prefer something a touch more elegant than your standard tracksuit, which Yohji always provides with Y-3. The collection was focused around the idea of lightness and freedom of movement, which is obviously appealing to me right now. The result was a thoroughly "Yohji" collection, with cuts and silhouettes that Adidas would likely never have attempted themselves. Swap the sneakers out for some Crocs and I would happily rock any of these looks at home right now.

xxxx

4 comments:

  1. Lovely to see you back on the blog! Tactile clothing to curl up in but which also looks stylish is something I have been leaning towards for the last few years, but in lockdown I have been wearing ridiculous party clothes as it brings me joy... and I know I can get changed out of it straight away once it becomes uncomfortable. This is a fantastic collection that you've shared, but I have to disagree on the Crocs I'm afraid (Birkenstocks all the way for me). Take care and stay safe xxx

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