Figuring out how to get dressed to do IRL again has been challenging. I don’t remember it being this tough to put an outfit together pre-pandemic. It’s almost as if whatever thought process I used to select what clothing to wear just disappeared. Weird.
While I’m fortunate to be in a line of work where I can carry on almost entirely on Zoom, there are pockets of potential IRL coming up, and I need to start preparing, no wait, training, for such an event that requires leaving the house and looking presentable. Of course, this has started to raise many other questions like, do you shake hands when you meet someone new now? Am I going to be able to make it through the day in leather shoes? Will I make it to the end of the parking lot? And one of the first questions that came to mind: Do my pants still fit?
Unfortunately, the answer to the last question is a hard ‘no’. I had expected it, but there’s always that glimmer of hope that lasts right up until you try to cinch the button to the buttonhole and find that the effort required is far beyond what you remembered it to be. Based on this unfortunate reality check, my first course of action was obvious, work on making pants fit again. The second action was to figure out how to get dressed while shedding these covid kilos, which, for me, have taken the unsightly shape of le muffin top.
As I’ve started to think about this more, I’ve realized that I’m not ready to give up feeling comfortable and being able to work in my pajamas.
And then the light bulb moment occurred. Why not wear pajamas? Not my actual pajamas, of course, but why can’t getting dressed be pajama inspired? A few years back, there was a pajama trend where wearing two-piece pajama sets intended for sleeping became a thing.
Some people will always take it to the extreme, which often left me wondering, ‘ok maybe she did just wake up, and those are her actual pajamas,’ or ‘wait, it’s 4 pm in mid-town on Thursday in mid-town, maybe not an intentional styling choice after all?’
Rather than take the literal route, I thought about taking the best qualities of pajamas and incorporating those. However, since we’ve already decided that head-to-toe-PJ can be confusing at best, we can stick with one half of the ‘set’; for me, I’ll focus on the top because, remember, operation conceal muffin top is the top priority.
Pajama tops typically fit loose, so they’re not restricting you while you sleep. Second, they’re often made in a natural fiber like silk, so you’re less susceptible to irritation. Third, the classic pajama set style is quite dressy, often of the button-down variety with a collar to boot. Forth and last, pajamas can have a classic Ralph Lauren-y look or come in all kinds of prints.
- Olivia von Halle – Lila silk pajama set – $1,034
- Sleeper – Black and white striped pajama set – $285
- Eberjay – Inez washable silk short pajama set – $355
With my newfound enthusiasm for sleepwear as outerwear, I found that there are many options that meet all the criteria designed for not sleeping in. So I’m excited to find a few options to help me get through spring into early summer.
- AZ Factory – I Love You graphic-print silk pyjama shirt – $697
- Victoria Beckham – Oversized chain-print silk shirt – $870
- Hermes – ‘Brides de Gala Bandana’ classic 3/4 sleeve shirt – $2,675
Some of these are more classic prints (leopard is classic, right?) and others perhaps more loud, but when tucked in and worn under a blazer, even the most seemingly annoying of prints can transform a look from, dare I say, drab to fab? (said it).
- Gucci – Chain and logo print blouse – $2,938
- Tory Burch – Graphic print shirt – $650
- Toteme – Silk scarf blouse – $700
- Aeron – Rance oversize silk shirt with wide cuffs – $673
- La DoubleJ – Foulard shirt – $770
- Equipment – Slim signature silk shirt in leopard – $375
I always think a good quality silk blouse is a worthy investment and you’ll wear it for years. And fortunately, it looks like the semi oversize look is here to stay, which means that if the muffin top decides to stick around a bit longer, it will always have a strategic purpose. And if for whatever reason, I choose never to wear it out again, I can always turn it into pajamas.