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How One Vogue Writer Brought Romance Back Into Her Work From Home Outfits

As we continue our social-distancing pledge, the Vogue staff is working from home for the foreseeable future. This article is part of our This Week on Zoom column, where one Vogue editor shares their WFH outfits from the previous workweek—from the waist up, of course.

When it comes to dressing, I’m a romantic. Give me puff sleeves. Give me florals. Give me a dress that screams “Jane Austen heroine about to reject a wealthy suitor’s proposal.” Or, was. Because that describes me in the before-times, when I used to flounce into the subway on a random Monday morning in a frou-frou dress, kitten heels, and a bow in my hair, my airpods blasting a soundtrack to my overdressed, outrageous life.

But then the pandemic hit, and I stopped wearing those billowing blouses and feminine frocks. I felt ridiculous dressing up for just myself. And, well, sad—pieces with this much character, I felt, deserved to be shown off in streets in New York. Not regulated to the saggy beige couch in my studio apartment.

I remember this one day in March—March 28th? March 29th? March 298th?— I snoozed my alarm clock six times, didn’t bother to make my bed, and threw on a “Winter is Coming” T-shirt fished out from the bottom of my laundry hamper. It had more wrinkles than a Shar Pei and smelled like Rao’s canned marinara sauce, because, well, it was stained with Rao’s canned marinara sauce. Bill Cunningham has this famous quote: “Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.” I had stopped wearing mine.

It took until June for me to bring bright and beautiful things out of my closet again. Part of it was New York’s reopening—cautiously yet optimistically, I wore a gingham Batsheva dress to sip Aperol spritzes on a sidewalk with my sister. Part of it was the warm weather—the white flowy dress I’d haggled over at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, it turns out, held up much better in a heat wave than Lululemon leggings. But part of it was driven by an innate desire for normalcy and transitively, frivolity. To indulge myself in my beloved pastime of wondering what to wear. Because while we all use fashion for a different means to an end, I use it for escapism. For fun. And I can’t think of anything I need more right about now.

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