Re-Examining the Act of Getting Dressed During a Pandemic
"If no one is going to see me, do I still care what I look like?"
by : Randi Bergman- Apr 23rd, 2020
I recently celebrated Passover with my family in a way that would have seemed ridiculous only a few months prior – by conducting a Seder with my family on Zoom. Armed with supplies that my parents dropped off earlier in the day, I set myself up in front of my laptop and got all dolled up in a navy silk slip dress and a full face of makeup. It was one of the first times I’d gotten dressed up since isolation measures were put in place (save for the nights I’ve been spending at Club Quarantine, but that’s another story) and it felt simultaneously strange and great. Scrolling through Instagram later in the night, I came across many similar sentiments from my friends. “It feels so great to get dressed up!” read one post. “I didn’t realize how much I missed this,” read another.
I’ve been thinking about what it means to get dressed a lot lately – and more specifically, why I do it. I like to think it’s to express my creativity and my mood, but a big part of that is with an audience or an occasion in mind. For many of us, dressing is performative. But when spending the bulk of your time at home, as we all are doing right now, much of that fades away: No one is going to see me – do I still care what I look like? Does it even make sense to wear tight jeans while sitting at my kitchen table all day?
“Fashion for your life at home is about comfort, creating some structure and a sense of ritual to your day,” says Sammi Smith, founder of Toronto loungewear brand, Soft Focus. “It’s the pure pleasure of getting dressed in something you love to wear. It’s a way of showing up for yourself.” At the onset of isolation, I treated myself to one of Soft Focus’s slip dresses, knowing that I’d be super comfortable in the breezy, romantic structure, and it would boost my mood. It also felt good to put money back into the local fashion community.
“[Fashion] is not an essential at a time like this and people should only be spending if they can,” says Montreal-based designer Eliza Faulkner. “Purchasing something we know we’ll get to wear [in the future] gives people some hope. It’s important right now to buy from brands and people you really care about, because so many small businesses are going to close.”
Here, we’ve selected a few products from Canadian fashion and beauty brands that will brighten your days in isolation, while giving local makers a bit of a boost.
Soft Focus fluted slip, $180
This dress accomplishes the simultaneous feat of being breezy, forgiving and no-bra friendly, while lending a chicness to indoor days. It’ll double as the perfect summer dress once we’re allowed outside again, too.
Michelle Ross ‘Cafune’ hair pin, $192
This hair pin is shaped in wax, then hand-molded using solid brass, and will give your hair a little bit of sculptural lift (literally and figuratively speaking).
Smash + Tess ‘Jane’ romper, $135
This Vancouver brand raised $20,000 for the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Response Fund with the sales of its isolation-friendly rompers.
Corey Moranis knot bracelet, $125
Corey Moranis’s lucite jewellery is handmade in Toronto, and always seems to inspire a moment of zen.
Lohn ‘Erde’ coconut and soy wax candle, $39
Lohn’s most popular candle smells like ‘the depths of a mysterious forest’ with notes of vetiver, cedarwood, fig and amber that will absolutely transport you to another time and place when you need it most.
Eliza Faulkner puffed sleeve blouse, $189
File this top under ‘looks good for Zoom calls.’ It goes perfectly with no pants for now, and later, with everything from tapered pants to a mid-length skirt.
Province Apothecary custom serum, $32 to $82
Now is certainly the time to indulge in skincare rituals and for the first time ever, beloved Toronto brand Province Apothecary is offering a sale on its custom serums, made specifically for you based off an online questionnaire.
Ellie Mae ‘Susan’ Scrunchie, $20
Ellie Mae’s scrunchies will lift your spirits with colourful patterns that have been crafted using deadstock materials.
Consonant Skincare ‘Total Relaxation’ bundle, $38
It goes without saying that taking a bath is the ultimate ritualistic self-care, and something you should absolutely be indulging in during times of isolation. This bundle makes it easy, with Epsom salt bath bombs and organic body lotion for applying afterwards.
Bite Beauty ‘Power Move’ creamy matte lip crayon in ‘Stinger,’ $24
A bright lip is an extremely simple way to perk up your day, and coral is a happy medium between bold and good for every day.
The Best Pairs of Jeans Under $100
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