In a discussion (held via video conference) last week, a friend mentioned that the clothes that felt like a delightful contrast to work clothes prior to the pandemic are starting to feel less comfortable. In a similar discussion, I listened to one person say that wearing heels has always made their feet hurt, and most people's responses boiled down to, well, you get used to it.
I personally gave up heels a while back. They always hurt. I have tripped and fallen in a gravel parking lot while on my way into a ball, and let me tell you, the heels do not make up for your bloody knee. I tried a variety of comfort brands. And for me, while I still love a comfort shoe, the hurt and potential danger involved in training myself how to be in heels, did not seem worth the reward. Now this is not to say I think heels should not exist or that people who are willing to put up with the discomfort, or who have learned how to navigate the world in heels are wrong. I applaud their fortitude.
But there are things about a large change to your life that can allow you to evaluate what previously had seemed acceptable. Those cargo pants that were such a nice contrast to a skirt and hose, may now feel restrictive. In contrast, I put on one of my fancier stretchy pants (the ones that call themselves dress pant yoga pants) and found myself feeling like a person who gets things done. (In fairness, it is the stretchy plus the fancy that helps a lot.)
I know there are people who are back at work, or who never got to stop going to work. And to them this conversation about the stretchiness of pants, about throwing a cute top over a pair of raggedy sweats because on video conferences, you can keep your bottom off camera with some care is a little silly. It is.
It's hard not to sound like an out of touch tech bro every time I revel at a local restaurant's pivot towards farm pickups or pop ups. Because these changes are happening because things are very bad and folks are struggling on multiple levels.
But if you have the privilege of time to ponder your work from home clothes, you can take a look at the norms we used to accept, and figure out which ones we're not going to return to.