If you’re a regular reader of this blog then you’ll know that pre-pandemic I used to upload a round up of the outfits I had worn each month. After covid-19 hit and the concept of having a social life evaporated, so did those round ups. I work as a warehouse supervisor, so when lockdown went into effect last spring I was furloughed for 3 months. During that time I busied myself with producing blog and social media content, and occasionally got to dress up for video call catch ups with loved ones. I also made an effort to dress up when I went to deliver groceries to my mum and an elderly neighbour, so I still documented those outfits for an April-May round up–there was, surprisingly, enough of them.
In June, though, I was recalled to work and everything was fairly flat-out from then until the New Year in terms of workload and remaining mental capacity. Beyond getting dolled up to safely shoot items for review here on the blog, there were no random days where I had the energy to get dressed up ‘just because I felt like it.’ Instead, I only got pinned up for video call catch ups with loved ones when I was in the mood to do so, and even then there were several occasions when I made the effort with my appearance but still couldn’t be bothered to take pictures for prosperity.
Which brings us to this round up…it has more outfits in it than my pre-covid round ups did, but it also covers, literally, from June last year until January this year, 2021. Actually, it covers August to January, because I didn’t get dressed up at all during June and July except for blog shoots, which don’t count for these posts. It’s not important for me to lay all that out for you, except that I felt doing so could be reassuring for some. If you, too, have felt you can summon the energy to ‘make an effort’ for some things but not for others, not only is that okay but you are very far from alone. And if you’ve felt your desire to get gussied up during this pandemic evaporate completely, that is also totally normal–reasonable, even.
For me, getting pinned up was always something I did purely for my social life; it would have been impractical to do it for my daily work-life, but also I just didn’t want to, because expending that much energy every day on my appearance wouldn’t have been fun for me. Doing it when I wanted to, for social events, for celebrating with family and friends, felt fun and special and more in line with my energy levels. But now, during this? It’s so much harder. Cooking dinner is harder. Tidying feels like even more of a strain that it’s always been for me. Setting my hair? Damn near impossible a feat, and I dread it on the rare occasion I decide a look calls for it for a blog shoot. As a result, I’ve begun to nourish and experiment with the curl pattern of my natural hair, which is how I used to wear it before I developed my vintage style. I still feel that when things are ‘back to normal’ I will likely again enjoy getting pinned up for my social life, wetsetting my hair included, but for now enjoying my natural curls on wash days and remembering to brush my teeth in the mornings on days I’m not at work is about as far as I can get, often times.
So, with all that in mind, I want to just offer you the reassurance than whatever you’re doing to get through this is fine. If you want to apply mascara and lipstick every morning to maintain some semblance of control and comfort, good for you! If you’ve succumbed to the beautiful comfort of sweat pants, baggy t-shirts, and hell, pyjamas, good for you! And me too, because largely I’m the latter.
I’ve decided to detail below when and why I got dressed up for each of the following outfits, and include a reality check for that day. Please remember as you scroll that we are all in this together, both the unwashed and the sparkling, and that’s the most important thing.
August – Video call with my family to celebrate 3 of their summer birthdays
Reality check: I didn’t have the energy to style my hair that day. I’d shot some blog content that morning in a wig, so here I’m wearing a different wig as a 3/4 fall and covering it with a headband so that I looked vaguely presentable given that I did want to wear a nice dress still.
Early September – Socially distanced walk with 2 friends (Allowed at the time)
Reality check: I hadn’t seen one of my friends, Juliette, since February due to the pandemic, so the second I saw her I began crying. After our walk we all sat in a triangle of at least 10 feet apart from one another on Ju’s lawn and talked as it got dark, ’til we couldn’t even see each other’s faces anymore. Thankfully it was the last warm night of the summer so we weren’t cold or wet.
Eliana-Lou dress gifted by Miss Candyfloss
Peacock cropped cardigan by MAK Sweater (Affiliate code yemak-amymay for 40% off)
Assorted black bangles by Bow & Crossbones and Splendette
Black Tropic sandals by Hotter*
End of August – My friend Menna came to have a socially distanced picnic in my garden. (Allowed at the time)
Reality check: It was really windy and pretty cold, so we both had to bundle up in coats and weigh down our picnics so items didn’t blow away. I picked this skirt because it’s a bit too big for me so I knew it would be comfortable to sit in for an extended period, but that’s also part of why this outfit looks hella weird because the skirt just doesn’t sit where it should on me.
Late September – Just because
Reality check: My hair and makeup were already done from shooting some blog pieces earlier that day, so I decided to wear something nice afterwards for the sake of it. I changed out of it after I finished my lunch and got back into sweats.
Navy Flutter Sleeve Claudia dress by Alexandra King for Deadly is the Female
Black Mabel cardigan by Voodoo Vixen
Black tights by Snag Tights
Black bangles by Splendette
Black Tatiana boots by Lulu Hun/Collectif*
Late September – Video call catch up with Steph
Reality check: This call was with a friend I used to have dinner with once a month, pre-pandemic, and since there’s very little to report on these days we now have a call every 2-3 months instead. (I take my shoes off for video calls with friends because I sit on my bed for those, but for family calls I sit at a desk because I have to use my laptop to Zoom.)
October – Family zoom call to celebrate birthdays
Reality check: I had to duck out of the call to accept a grocery delivery, quickly wiping down just the chilled/frozen stuff so they could be packed away. After the call was done we had to wipe down the rest of the groceries and deliver my elderly neighbour’s items, as we do her shopping for her every week.
Mid October – Just Because
Reality check: Again, I had shot several pieces for the blog that morning and I was feeling myself, so I decided to have a little dress up session to make use of my hair and makeup as a confidence boost.
Black Betty Peplum top by Cerys Closet*
Pencil skirt gifted by Miss Candyfloss
Fishnets by Snag Tights
Faux leather belt off an old eShakti dress
Leopard Viviene shoes by Hotter*
Black heavy carved bangles by Splendette
Early November – Socially distanced catch up with my friend Juliette (Allowed at the time)
Reality check: I was tired after a full day at work but I had made the effort to do my eye makeup before work that morning so I finishing dressing up as it was likely going to be my last chance to see Ju for several months. It was the first time I’d worn my natural hair for a social occasion in at least 7 years, as that required less energy that vintage styling it. The November lockdown went into effect a couple days later.
Late November – Video call to celebrate Juliette’s birthday with friends.
Reality check: I bought this and another Flutter Sleeve Claudia dress because I found my first instinct was to wear Claudia dresses for every video call, due to how incredibly comfortable they were to sit in on my bed, changing positions constantly across multi-hour calls, compared to tight waist seams digging into my ever expanding waist. Plus, buying from the small women-owned business which makes this dress was important to me as their store had had to close again in lockdown.
Mustard Flutter Sleeve Claudia dress by Alexandra King for Deadly is the Female
Old Collectif* cardigan
Assorted bangles by Bow & Crossbones and Splendette
Old New Look belt
Green Toscana flats by Charlie Stone Shoes
Self made wig
Late November – Family video call to celebrate my younger sister’s birthday
Reality check: I had shot this dress for the blog earlier that day, struggling to do so because I never shoot indoors and I’m just not used to it, but we were in a lockdown. I remember feeling a little disappointed that my sister couldn’t appreciate the glitter I had worn for her because barely any of the dress was visible in my small zoom square represented among the many others of my family, but we had a hilarious time chatting and doing a quiz I had written about the birthday girl.
Mid December – Dinner date over Facetime with my friend Menna
Reality check: Menna had been shielding all year but Christmas is her favourite time of year, so we decided to make the effort to get dressed up and cook ourselves a special dinner to eat together on a video call in an attempt to help the run up to Christmas feel special for her.
A couple days before Christmas – Video call with my best friends
Reality check: Every year I host a Secret Santa dinner party for my 3 best friends; we each provide a course for the meal and, of course, a secret Santa gift. We dress up glamorously, eat far too much, and play games until we cry laughing. I still wanted to make the effort to get fully glam for our group video call, but we were all feeling a little sad that what was usually one of the highlights of our year had been reduced to a lagging video call, with Ju’s audio out of sync the entire time, and the threat of waking children ever present.
Christmas day – Just me and my mum
Reality check: I essentially live in the annex at my mum’s but as she’s retired I socially distance from her and wear a mask/increase ventilation anytime I’m in the main house so that I minimize my risk to her, because I work outside the home. We ate our Christmas dinner at lunch in separate rooms, with the doors of those rooms open so we could still see each other to talk, more than 12 feet apart and ventilated. Afterwards I removed the makeup on the lower half of my face and we spent the rest of the day in our masks.
Black & Stars Farrah Maxi dress gifted by Unique Vintage (A/L)
Starburst double brooch from eBay
Late January – Zoom catch up with family
Reality check: I wanted to style my natural hair to look like one of Christina Aguilera’s looks in Burlesque–it doesn’t look like it at all, of course, but I really liked it, even though it photographed totally basic. There were sections involved!
Late January – Video call to celebrate Laura’s birthday
Reality check: I was very excited to wear this dress I had grabbed in Collectif’s 50% off sale, specifically saving it for this call. Laura’s birthday in 2020 was the last time Menna, Laura, Juliette and I all last got to be together in person–this is especially poignant because normally we meet up once a week, but due to Menna’s chronic illnesses and then our developing Covid worries, that birthday meetup in Jan 2020 was the last time it was all 4 of us before we decided to forgo our weekly meet-ups in late February due to Covid concerns (yes, we were weeks ahead of our government. Yes, that’s a fucking travesty.)
[Disclaimer: Items marked as gifted are items that were sent to me for free in exchange for honest reviews. Items marked with an asterix * are all items I bought myself but are made by companies I have worked with previously by accepting gifted items. The use of my MAK affiliate code will generate me a small commission from your order. Items marked with (A/L) are Affiliate Links.]
COVID-19 NOTE: The outside pictures were taken in the safety of my garden, thus abiding by the strict social distancing rules currently in place to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. Please stay home, and when necessary to leave the house for work or necessities remember to keep at least 6 ft away from any persons you may encounter.