5 Fashion People on What They're Actually Wearing During the Pandemic

Contrary to what my Instagram profile would have you believe, I'm not getting dressed up every day in crushed velvet turtlenecks and vintage rugby-striped polos. Most days, my uniform consists of a ratty tie-dye Space Jam crewneck (if you can even call it that, given there's no longer any elasticity in the neck, which puckers rather than laying flat) and whatever pair of sweatpants happen to be clean. In the interest of honesty, I'll admit the pants don't even have to actually be clean; it's really more about their proximity to me when I roll out of bed. And if there are no pants near by, I sometimes just … don't wear pants. The triumph and tragedy of working from home!

Given the state of my own Instagram feed — teeming with prairie dresses and checker print pants — I wondered if my peers in the fashion industry were really dressing up every day, or if they, too, were putting on real clothes only on occasion, only for the 'gram.

To find out, I asked some fashion people what they've been wearing most often during the past year of lockdowns, and how that compares to the what they wore most often before the world as we knew it screeched to a halt.

Read on for a miniature time capsule of life (and fashion) in 2020 as compared to 2019, from five people who know more about getting dressed than just about anyone.

The Fashion Writer

Women on the Most-Worn Piece of Clothing of the Pandemic

"Pre-pandemic, I was going to work every day in a fashion office when I worked at Moda Operandi. I wore heeled sandals often, as I love the height they give me. My favorites were a pair of black leather strappy sandals from Yubi Official; they're easy to walk in and they made every outfit look sleek. Once I started to work from home indefinitely, the idea of walking to get a coffee (or taking my dog for a stroll) with heels on was less than ideal. I quickly hopped on the chunky, quirky loafer train and fell in love with an easy pair from Shop Peche. They're low enough to wander around casually in, and high enough to make my short legs look a bit longer. Now, I can't imagine going back to heeled boots or sandals." — Cortne Bonilla, branded content editor at Vox and NY Mag

The Storyteller

Women on the Most-Worn Piece of Clothing of the Pandemic

"Back in 2019, this checked blazer was on constant rotation in my wardrobe. I wore it over dresses, sweats, with jeans, alone with a bra underneath, you name it. It made me feel super powerful and somehow, it went with everything. In 2020, my most-worn item was a black sweatshirt. Funny, it shares a lot of the same qualities as the blazer, in that it goes with everything and makes me feel good to wear — it's just a different kind of comforting. And sadly, I don't even have the blazer anymore: when I realized that I probably wouldn't need much of my closet again, at least not for awhile, I sold it to a consignment shop. Hopefully there will be more powerful blazers in the future (and I'll probably wear it over this black sweatshirt I love so much)." — Amanda Richards, plus-size fashion writer and creator/host of Big Calf podcast

The Fashion Editor

Women on the Most-Worn Piece of Clothing of the Pandemic

"It's funny looking back at all of my favorite pieces from 2019 beacuse I was all about trying new trends and wearing colorful pieces like my favorite Rejina Pyo sheer dress. It truly reminds me of a time when things were normal, and I personally can't wait for this summer when hopefully I'll be able to wear it again while being outdoors. Like most people, when the pandemic first hit, I retreated to cozy pieces like sweatsuits. TBH, I still wear my sweatsuits at home constantly because it's like wearing a hug when you need it the most. My 'Empathy' sweatsuit is one of my favorites because of the bright colored font and the message behind it. It just makes me happy." — Nikita Ramsinghani Charuza, fashion editor, POPSUGAR 

The TikTok Star

Women on the Most-Worn Piece of Clothing of the Pandemic

"I wore these Levi's so much in 2019 and early 2020. They were purchased at Urban Outfitters as a part of their Urban Renewal Line. They are altered so they have asymmetrical buttons on them. These days … they're a lot tighter than they used to be! This sweat suit from Urban Outfitters (the brand is iets frans…) brought me so much joy. It was a really easy comfortable outfit to wear and the pop of color was definitely needed. I get so many compliments on this set when I get coffee or am out running errands. So happy I bought this set way back in March 2020, because a year later it's still my most worn item." — Kelsey Kotzur, TikTok influencer

The Costume Designer

Women on the Most-Worn Piece of Clothing of the Pandemic

"From the Old Country (pre-pandemic), [I wore] wide brim fedoras. I rotated between two and basically wore one every day, one being from JJ Hats and the other an old Kooples from a few seasons ago. They're fashionable, added to my overall aesthetic, and protected my face from that nasty sun. There's a picture of me wearing one on set a mere two weeks before the pandemic started. LOOK HOW NONCHALANT ABOUT THE STATE OF WORLD I AM. An innocent baby. Once I went back to work, I attempted to wear fedoras again and it just wasn't happening. Half of my face was already covered with a mask and felt like a low grade old-timey bank robber. I turned into … well, whatever that [above photo] is. I referred to my overall appearance as 'end of the summer camp counselor' and this random Zara camo jacket went gorgeously over everything I wore. Does it look good? Do I look good? Who cares!?! I don't know what day it is and I leave my groceries in 'quarantine' for three days before I feel safe touching them. This suits that overall vibe." — Jilian Bream, costume designer currently in production on The Other Two (HBO Max), SNL Film Unit Costume Designer (NBC)

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