Fashion in the Time of Corona

Simple, surprising, and scaled back, with the occasional side of ratchetry.

As with so many other areas of life, the pandemic has upended people’s relationship with fashion, beauty, and even daily ablutions. Some have gone to one extreme and barely shower. Others are coping with the uncertainty of life by playing dress up and getting fully “done,” even if it’s only to take out the trash. Still others have taken “sloppy chic” to new lows. Most of us land somewhere in the middle, stocking up on perfect-for-home-but-also-perfect-for-the-supermarket sweatpants and athleisure, shopping our closets for the perfect Zoom call top, and making an occasional perfunctory pass with some makeup. 

I alternate between missing the process of getting all dressed up, and being ecstatic that I don’t have to.  

These are my favorite pandemic outfits that I’ve worn on the days that I’ve felt like going for the glam:

Classy, bougie, ratchet

Don’t judge me for wearing stripper shoes, lolol.

A little whimsy

Doesn’t everyone have pink and white polkadot sunglasses?

Virtual mask

If you’re going to have virtual meetings with virtual backgrounds, you obviously need a virtual mask.


Those #boredinthehouseandiminthehousebored moments aside, I mostly dress so that I don’t scare the UPS guy or FreshDirect delivery person. My neighbors get what they get, because they should be used to me by now, lol. 

My go-to choices for stylish comfort have been:


They’re chic, fabulous, and flowy. They have a forgiving silhouette to help hide the extra pandemic pounds. Which I definitely have acquired.


Spandex. #thatisall. Leggings are soft, stretchy, and in their own way as forgiving as a caftan. I usually stick to basic black, but I’ve also gotten a couple in bright colors to help boost my mood. 


Like sweatpants, a headwrap hides a multitude of sins. Forgot you had a Zoom call and you need to look presentable in 30 seconds? Headwrap. Halfway through taking down your braids but you have to leave the house? Headwrap. Simply don’t feel like doing  your hair? Headwrap. #effortlesschic 


You can’t mention pandemic fashion without talking about masks. Like so many of us, I now have a collection from the ordinary to the outré, but on most days I wear the regular schmegular disposable masks. I find them more comfortable than some of the fabric options, and they are perfect for walking the dog, running errands, and layering under beautiful but impractical designs.

Of course, there are also those super-minimalist days when I just can’t be bothered: no makeup, no outfit, no effort. Sometimes all you want to do is settle down to watch some Netflix in a nice comfy robe. #heaven

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Text and images ⒸLisa Hurley/@happyhappyphoenix

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