"Comfy Chic" Checklist Can Elevate Your Mood and Wardrobe During Isolation

Public Domain. Unsplash / jordi pujadas

Better yet, Citizenne Style's tips don't require you to make any new online purchases.

After a month of isolation, I've noticed that an ever-decreasing percentage of my clothes is in regular rotation. I wear the same few leggings, sweatshirts, and woolly socks day after day, while fancier outfits in my closet gather literal dust on their shoulders. And don't even mention jeans – mine haven't seen the light of day in weeks.

I suspect many others are experiencing this, too. As San Francisco-based clothing company Everlane said in a recent email to customers, "Every day is beginning to feel a bit like Sunday." It's so true. Who wants to feel constricted when you're sitting on the couch all day? What's the point of doing hair and makeup if you're not going to see a single other person all day long?

Sales of athleisure clothing have increased in recent weeks. Lululemon, Old Navy, and Gap have sold out of certain leggings and jogging pants. The Globe and Mail reported that "Uniqlo Canada Inc. has seen online sales of lounge wear and athleisure clothing grow by 200 percent" in the past week alone. As people realize this isolation could last longer than anticipated, they're stocking up on loungewear essentials.

But there comes a point when many of us no longer want it to feel like Sunday every day, when we just want to feel a bit more put together for once. Perhaps it's for a daily Zoom call with coworkers, or a weekend cocktail hour with friends on the weekend; maybe your productivity improves when you don't feel like a total mess, or you just want to remember what it feels like to leave the house.

This is where Citizenne Style can help. This innovative style collective provides guidance for how to dress stylishly, often using items already in the closet. (It authored "A Year of Great Style," I reviewed on TreeHugger in 2019.) Citizenne has just released a short new guide for the coronavirus era, called "Comfy Chic: 10 Tips for Elevating Your Mood & Wardrobe While Stuck at Home." The guide maintains that style can be a form of self-care, and that you don't have to shop in order to satisfy that. As Citizenne co-founder Sarah Peel told TreeHugger,

"I'm definitely all for supporting smaller conscious brands at this time, but for those worrying about money, I wanted to produce something that would help them feel better without needing to spend a dime."

Comfy Chic is a checklist of ways to boost your at-home look – if that's what you're craving to uplift your spirits – without buying additional items. Here are some of the concepts that jumped out at me.

1. Get out of your pajamas.

This may be controversial, but as the Citizennes write, "Your day needs a cycle. Changing out of sleepwear will signal to your brain that you’re shifting to something different than sleep." These are wise words. Even if it's just a shift from nighttime loungewear to daytime loungewear, do it.

2. Accessorize.

You can keep your outfits supremely comfy and casual while dressing them up in other ways. Lipstick, nail polish, earrings, makeup, and experimental hairdos work wonders at making you feel "alive and sassy."

3. Look for unconventional comfies.

Loungewear doesn't strictly mean leggings or baggy sweats. Lots of clothes are comfortable if you think about them differently. "Items in your closet like that midi skirt or sundress are comfy items in hiding! Your high-waisted stretchy jeans or a flowy cotton blouse are other examples. Non-sweats and structured clothing can be bendy, roomy, soft, breathable and comforting, too!"

Check out the full list here and have some fun with it. Think of isolation living as a chance to experiment with new styles and looks that you might hesitate to wear out in public, but can now get comfortable with before life returns to normal.