What Does Dressing Comfortably Imply Proper Now?

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Photographer: Eric Helgas Product image: Zara Tie Dye Top, AMO Jeans Restrictions: For editorial and internal use only. No printing or advertising.

As I scroll through my favorite sites, I only see headlights on sweatpants and sweatshirts, workout clothes and lounge wear. Since we are not around except for the people we are living with, this is an excuse to make ourselves comfortable and cozy. Sweatpants are certainly comfortable clothes for me, but I don't feel like me when I wear them. If this is the case, the question arises: at a time when comfort is king, what does comfortable dressing actually mean?

My general aversion to sweatpants comes from my mother, who worked in fashion and was always dressed. One day, in middle school, when I forgot my lunch, my mother brought it to me in a blue dress, strappy stilettos, and a pretty turquoise necklace. She was on the way to a meeting, but I will never forget how powerful and beautiful she looked. My two parents have always taught me that one of the easiest ways to do this was to present myself. Clothing became my armor and my way of expressing how I felt. For me there is really nothing that feels better than the self-confidence that goes with a good outfit.

What does it mean to dress comfortably at a time when comfort is king?

I also grew up in the sporting age and especially as someone who likes to train, I love great leggings. The development of training clothes in recent years has been incredible. Gone are the days of shabby t-shirts and loose gym pants. But if I had brunch plans with a friend, I would schedule my workout so I could shower and change before eating. I don't like doing too much in my workout clothes other than exercising. I see getting dressed for an appointment as an act of respect for the other person. To put it bluntly, this is not a war against sweatpants, but an obligation not to give up your personal style. If you feel great in sweatpants, please keep on living your best life.

I see sweatpants as the comfort food I never had as a child, so I don't long for adults. At a time of great insecurity, when we are all looking for both literal and metaphorical comfort foods, I find comfort in the clothes I have always loved. I may not have a place to wear them right now, but that won't always be the case. And at the moment I may not have appointments to go to, but I still show up as an act of self-respect. The morning I wake up late, I put on my workout clothes because it inspires me to move after work. On Thursday I grabbed a beloved t-shirt dress that was soft and feminine. Last night after training, I put on jeans and a striped t-shirt for dinner, an outfit for me. It wasn't much, but it was everything.

Image source: POPSUGAR Photography / Eric Helgas

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