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Getting Dressed for Real Life

Getting Dressed for Real Life

Written by Sara Fender

Business on Top. Party on the Bottom.

After way too long in quarantine, and as the world begins to reopen, we’re ready to get dressed for real life.

Getting dressed for this life of constant Zoom meetings and only being seen from mid-chest and above has become a drag for me. There are definitely those days that I love pretending that I’m put together (hello Helmut Lang polo) when in reality I’m also wearing the same pajama pants for the fourth day in a row. No disrespect, I love my Target impulse purchase pjs, but I am used to operating from a place of style and full looks. 

Normally, there are days that I want to wear a particular sneaker so I will base my entire outfit on that; or a special piece of jewelry that I really want to highlight, so I build my look around it. But now that I’m only focusing on my top portion and cutting out half of the process, it has begun to affect me. I think I have actually forgotten how to get fully dressed from head to toe! I know I can still put looks together for photo shoots and for models, mainly because that is my day job and I have been doing that, but for myself? Fingers crossed.

I decided to test out to see if I still “have what it takes,”  as the world slowly begins to reopen.

Dinner with Friends

Full disclosure, 99% of them are models. Gorgeous, yes. Fashionably dressed? Not always, but sometimes they surprise me. On this particular evening, they did not disappoint! As they came into the restaurant one by one, in their Reformation dresses and LoveShackFancy rompers, wedges and strappy sandals, with their full hair and makeup, in all their show-shopping beauty, I was proud to call them my friends. Not just because of their obvious outward beauty and grace but also because they are all badass women. Seeing their strength inspires me on a daily basis and I also live vicariously through their different styles.

I love black, they love color. I love men’s joggers, they love cutesy dresses. I love sneakers, they love heels. And we all love each other and build each other up. We celebrate each other’s differences and sometimes we inspire each other to branch outside the box. 

On this particular night, I was experimenting with a new nail color – fluorescent coral – which, if you know me, is way, way, waaay outside of my comfort zone in every way. I decided to work my outfit around my nail polish. I landed on an all-black ensemble (shocker) in order to allow my fingers to be the star. I put on my favourite black motorcycle leggings from AllSaints, a black negligee tipped in lace with my black and white Nike Air Max 1 “On Air – Tokyo Maze” special edition sneakers. 

While I survived my first fully dressed outing, I did kind of cheat by keeping it to a single colour palette. 

A Meeting with a Potential Client

Normally, I would keep on my pyjama pants and throw on a button up shirt for a Zoom call, but this was happening in-person, which can intimidating enough, but throw in a global pandemic and not interacting one-on-one with strange humans in person in who-knows how long, and this situation became downright terrifying. 

That being said, a well put-together outfit always gives me the extra boost of confidence that I need and this was no exception. I threw all my “potential job” rules out the window. I’ve gotten brave in my older age and the pandemic gave me a newfound confidence that had been hiding underneath the surface. The old me would have worn a suit. Black, obviously, with a white silk pussy bow blouse. Boring and basic. I would have covered my tattoos and worn a full face of makeup and curled my hair. 

But not today – instead, I put on my new oversized straight leg 90s jeans, a high neck lilac crop top from and I topped it off with a fitted white linen blazer. I put on a little mascara , straightened my hair, and I killed it. I landed the client, crop top and all. 

Not wearing pyjama pants and being fully dressed from head to toe gave me the confidence and ability to be able to focus, not feel like an imposter and to sell myself and my skills.

I’m now having a hard time putting on my pyjamas on for any reason. I want to be fully dressed and ready for anything. I had forgotten how important my armour, my wardrobe is to me. Clothes give me the power I need to be ready for anything – to be sexy or demure or ready to get my hand dirty or to land that new client. Clothes give me the confidence to go through life and I’m ready to start every day fully dressed, smile and all.

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