Coronavirus Couture: In Defense of Quarantine Jeans

Hello fellow hunker downers, shut-ins, and just plain ol’ normal, work-from-home freelancers.

I have a question: Why are we mad at pants? And by “we,” I mean collectively as a people and as a country. Is there some conspiracy theory floating around that pants are what caused the coronavirus?

Ummm, not sure about this protest.

I’m not sure whether to believe this source, but something called YouGov recently came out with a poll that found that 47% of Americans working from home aren’t always wearing pants (or other legwear) during their workday.

As if to drill home that data there was this famous incident involving an ABC reporter who reported to remote work on “Good Morning America” in a suit coat, dress shirt but no pants. (He said he was wearing gym shorts for his post-segment workout).

When did we decide pants are optional?

All over Twitter and the Internet people are proclaiming their abhorrence for pants while working from home, with particular vitriol reserved specifically for jeans. As one fellow freelancer (and pro-jeans advocate) put it: “If quarantine has made anything clear, it’s that there are pro-jeans people and anti-jeans people, and rarely do they understand each other.”

I genuinely do not understand the anti-jeans hate. Jeans are as American as baseball, pickup trucks and apple pie. We invented jeans. Jeans are the fabric of our lives (oh wait, that may be cotton, but also, jeans are made of cotton—mostly–so this slogan still applies).

Do you know how many great songs center around jeans? Genuwine sang about “In Those Jeans,” not “In Those Leggings.” Mel McDaniel did not sing “Baby’s Got Her Pajama Bottoms On.” No. He sang about a fine woman in blue jeans. The Donna’s “Dirty Denim” is a lot cooler than “Dirty Sweatpants.”

I’ve been working from home for five years now and I wear pants–specifically, jeans–Every. Damn. Day. I wear them on workdays. I wear them on weekends. It never occurs to me to NOT be wearing pants. Except in the shower or in the pool. All other times are pants time.

Apparently, a lot of people do not find jeans comfortable, which leads me to ask: what denim prison casings have you been wrapping your legs in? Because I have lots of jeans that are comfortable: stretchy skinny jeans, baggy boyfriend jeans, straight legged high waisted jeans, all extremely comfortable.

In fact, I have almost no other pants in my closet, except for jeans. Jeans and a loose, button up shirt is my daily work-from-home uniform. Along with slippers, which is maybe my one casual concession to work from home life. I see no reason to variate because of quarantine.

But honestly, I’m worried about what the rest of America is wearing. I suppose it’s all sweatpants and leggings? Or do y’all really walk around without drawers on whenever you are at home? Was this going on pre-quarantine? Were people going drawerless on the weekends?

All of which is ultimately fine, I guess. You do you, boo. I understand that we’re all just trying to get by as best we can. As for me, I’m going to get try to live as  normal a life as possible, which includes getting up, showering, dressing (in jeans and slippers) and doing something presentable with my hair.

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Hair Accessories to Cover the Quarantine Grays (Inspired by Bravo)

As Leslie Jordan of Instagram fame would say: Hello, all you fellow hunker downers.

(I know you’re already following him on Instagram. He’s got 3.5 million followers. But if you’re not, you should. His hot takes on quarantining are gold. Pure, Instagram gold.)

So, it’s getting to be that time. No, not time to begin going to bars, restaurants and bowling alleys again, no matter what various idiots in the government say.

I will not be leaving my house until there is an FDA-approved and completely tested vaccine shot, an at-home antibody test, and a comprehensive contact tracing program up and running. (By the way, where is our Google website directing me to popup testing facilities in the parking lots of WalMart and Walgreens? Huh, JARED??).

Anyway. Sorry to get so political there. I just get so mad.

What I’m actually talking about when I refer to “that time” is that first missed hair appointment. With salons closed across the country, we are all about to have to come to terms with our “natural” hair (likely for the first time in years).

Pretty accurate.

My last hair appointment (single color touchup and a trim) was on March 3 and we went into self-isolation on March 13. I usually have my hair appointment every 7-8 weeks, and my regularly scheduled appointment would have been today.

Obviously, my salon is closed and I wouldn’t go anyway (see above). So, I’ve been having to do some deep soul searching. I’ve been fluctuating from Dora-the-Explorer optimism (“Oh, I wonder just how gray I am under there? Maybe it’s not so bad”) to Bill O-Reilly-Inside Edition-take-charge-meltdown (“F-it, we’ll do it live”).

Source:
JonathanSison1
on Tenor

I’m definitely not home cutting my own naturally curly hair. I’m pretty sure I’d end up looking like Rosanne Roseannadanna.

However, I might eventually cave in and home color my own naturally gray roots. I have not actually decided yet. I will say, those Madison Reid people appear to be reading my thoughts and are absolutely stalking me with ads on Instagram.

More likely, I’ll embrace a few hair accessories to tide me over until I feel safe to go outside again without dying, so, like 2021 or 2022.

And you know who knows how to work a hair accessory all the live long day? The ladies of the Bravo Universe. Here’s a few Bravo-inspired suggestions I’m thinking of adding to my Sally’s Hair Supply “essential needs” cart.

Turban: I think I actually saw Porsha Williams wearing a gorgeous multi-colored geometric turban on one of the last episodes of this season’s Real Housewives of Atlanta, but the real queen of Turbans on Bravo is none other than the former Shahs of Sunset’s Asa Soltan Rahmati. Paired with an Asa Kaftan and a bottle of healing Diamond Water and you have perfect quarantine couture. Even better if the turban is blinged out.

Wig: Clearly, there are many Bravo celebrities who enjoy a good wig, including every single cast member who has ever appeared on Real Housewives of Atlanta (in fact, several of them have their own wig lines). However, my current favorite wig devotee is Destiney Rose from Shahs of Sunset. Not only does she have a whole slew of them that she wears just for fun (her own hair is gorgeous), but she creates whole personas and back stories for her alter egos in each of the wigs. It’s great fantasy fun for our quarantined times and I am here for it.

Hat: There have been lots of hats in the Bravo Universe, including some really bad cowboy hats in the recent episode of Shahs of Sunset when the crew went to a Boots & Brews music festival. However, the true iconic hat on Bravo has to be my queen, Erika Jayne Girardi’s slicked back hair/Moschino couture confessional LEWK on season 9. (Sheer black swiss dot gloves optional). While I’m not confident it will cover my gray roots, it’s would look great on Zoom.

Headscarf: Real Housewives of Beverly Hill’s Lisa Rinna often dons a bandana on her way to and from workouts, but I’m interested in something much more glamorous. Which is why, once again, I turn to my Destiney Rose from Shahs of Sunset. This light blue silk print number (worn OVER A WIG to a POOL PARTY with a long, FUR-trimmed coat) is amazing. It’s a one-two punch that will definitely cover the grays and the growing out haircut.

So that’s it. A couple of mostly sensible hair accessory options to help tide us over while we all do what is necessary and stay inside.

A Necessary Evil: Summer Sweaters

It’s mid-May and I am sitting in my home office, sipping hot tea, wearing fuzzy house slippers and a summer sweater over a button up shirt.

That’s right: a summer sweater.

This girl is freezing. You can tell by her body language.

Growing up in West Texas, I never understood the concept of a summer sweater. Sure, I’d see them all the time in catalogs like Spiegel, Chadwick’s and Alloy or in magazines like Glamour or Lucky. These loose knit, cotton sweaters paired with white linen pants or worn over bikinis.

I never understood why if it was warm enough for beach wear, it was still chilly enough to necessitate a sweater. (I felt similarly about sweaters with three-quarter length sleeves: what, your wrists are unbearably warm but the rest of your torso is cold? And do not get me started on open-toed booties.)

I did not grow up with seasonal confusion. In Texas, you have two seasons hot as hell and slightly less so. No need for too many sweaters and certainly not a year-round entire sweater wardrobe.

Then I moved north, or more accurately, the greater D.C. area.

Now, I get it. I understand the need for summer sweaters.


Get your summer on, my chilly cohort.

A summer sweater is what you wear when the calendar (and all the catalogs and magazines and your clearly lying eyes) tell you that the weather should be sunny and the temperatures should be in the high 60s or even 70s and yet, it’s cold and rainy and not even remotely spring/summer like.

Here in the real world, it’s currently 50 degrees out. Granted, it’s still early in the day but the high is only supposed to be 58 degrees.

Enter, the summer sweater. A hole-y, loose knit sweater that bridges the gap between your winter bulky sweaters and the sweet summer uniform of t-shirts and flip flops. A summer sweater says, “Hey, I like/respect/embrace the concept of a seasonal calendar, but I know better than to trust it and I’m not going to just go skipping outside without some sort of warming layer just in case.” (See also: vests)

Apparently, this girl’s shoulders are very warm.

Luckily, I have three loose knit summer sweaters to get me through D.C.’s godforsaken “early summer.” They’re stacked in a small corner of my closet next to my heavy winter sweaters and my slightly-less-heavy fall sweaters. Right next to my even-less-heavy, more pastel-toned spring cardigans. Sometimes I grab a winter sweater instead of a summer sweater and have to go through the whole exercise of refolding and reorganizing the stacks.

By the way, I just saw on Twitter that the outdoor pool season in my neighborhood begins on May 25. I’ll be there, with a bathing suit and my head-to-toe, loose knit summer sweater onesie.

Staring off into the distance, wondering where the back of her sweater (and summer) is.

Is it a Dress or a Cover Up? Billboard Music Awards Edition

Hi. Remember me? I like to hang out here sometimes.

When last we spoke, I was eating my way through London. Ah, those days.

But let’s just go ahead and jump back into this whole blogging thing, shall we? Because how can we not talk about the fashions at the Billboard Music Awards.

My friend Katie and I often play a game when shopping at H&M. One of us will hold up a “garment” and ask the other, “What the hell is this? I mean, is it a slightly long shirt  or a really short dress? Is it a tunic? What do you wear on the bottom? Do you wear something on the bottom? Where do you wear this? Does it come in a jumbo? Am I too old for this?”

The answer to that last question is invariably, yes.

I thought of all these questions and more when I began to see news stories about Sunday night’s Billboard Music Awards, aka: Garments Purchased at Forever 21 and Worn as Formal Wear. And I say, “when the news stories” came out because I’m an old lady and I couldn’t stay up to watch the damn show. I need my sleep.

Let’s start with this young lady, Tove Lo. Now, I have no idea who she is, but she is channeling some Game of Thrones/Lisa Bonet-ness in her orange crochet cover up, I mean, dress. I think you can even see her white bikini! And those are definitely some beach platform wedges.

052216-bma-tove-lo

And, the official cover up counterpart.

I don’t know what Hot Miami Styles is, but they’ve got some bootylicious cover ups completely suitable for your next red carpet event.

Next up: Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra.

2016 Billboard Music Awards - Red Carpet

Priyanka is on “Quantico,” so not really sure why she was at the Billboards. And, since it’s not the “Real Housewives of Quantico,” I’ve never seen it.

Maybe Snow Patrol wrote a song that appeared in an episode and that’s why she was invited? Or, better yet, Desi and Marnie! How great would that be? Or, perhaps Priyanka is dating a musician? Maybe she presented the award for Best World Music Album? Is that a thing? No idea.

Anyway, her dress immediately reminded me of a swimsuit cover up they used to have at Victoria’s Secret in like, a bazillion colors. Alas, they don’t have it anymore. BUT, fear not. I found something similarly beachwear worthy for your next big event from the aptly named clothing line, Venus. Because, truly, don’t you want to feel like a beach goddess at an awards ceremony?

On to one of the award ceremony’s big winners – Taylor Swift.

Actually, my bad. Apparently, she wasn’t at the 2016 event. But she was the very first picture that popped up when I Google image searched “2016 Billboard Awards best and worst dressed.” So, I’ma gonna go ahead and share the beach cover up option, which comes courtesy of those masters of elegance, Forever 21. Also, I had to take that “screen grab” with my phone, so apologies.

But they’re pretty similar, right? In hindsight and with more knowledge thanks to the Google machine, I’m sure they put that peach number in production right after last year’s awards just to capitalize on T. Swifty’s jumpsuit moment. Well played, F21.

OK, back to badly dressed people who actually were at the 2016 event: my gurl Zendaya who said, “You know what? F-it. I’m young, my hair is super on fleek and my body is freaking fantastic. I’m going to this bad boy in my bra and a slip.”

And that’s exactly what she did. That’s taking beach wear as formal wear to a whole other level. The peach number on the right is by a delightful new clothing line I discovered while researching this post known as Yandy. They have quite the selection of cover ups and assorted other tawdry wear for the major events in your life. Like this one:

FA_B323_V2013

I might be mistaken, but I don’t think it qualifies as a “beach cover up” if you’re not wearing a bathing suit underneath. Also, can you just imagine the tan lines? Yikes.

Which brings us to the Queen of Inappropriate Red Carpet Wear. The one. The only. It’s Britney, Bitch.

Again, beach cover up brought to you by Yandy. And, dare I say, the beach cover up is a hell of a lot more demure than the actual Reem Acra bodysuit that Britney chose to frame her muscular, rugby thighs.

I’m actually kinda into the Yandy version of this cover up. You know, maybe as a top with a long peach skirt or something. To wear when I hang around the convent or to bed at 9 pm on a Sunday night.

 

Friday Links: Old Pets with Norwegian Passports Flying in Restricted Airspaces Edition

Ellen and Portia spoof Kim

Norway's new passport is purty.

Friday Links: Sneaker-Wearing Spiders Like Female Bosses (and Fritos Chili Pizza)

Spiders
That’s a sneaker-wearing spider above a spider web pizza. I’m not good at the Photoshopping.

  • Now that I’m working freelance from Poe Industries Worldwide Headquarters, my style needs have changed a bit (Jeans Day EVERYDAY). Plus, I’m coming up with a packing list for Italy and I know I’ll need to take my Pumas (cobblestones — WHY???). So this slideshow I found on Pinterest on cool sneakers and the outfits that work with them is pretty helpful and timely.
  • This guy in Canada bought his girlfriend a pretty awesome round-the-world trip for Christmas. Then she broke up with him. Now he’s looking for another Elizabeth Gallagher to use the plane tickets. Hmmm, yeah. Nothing could go wrong with that.
  • If you do go on that trip, check your earbuds. British pop star Katie Melua had a spider living in her ear for a week. She suspects it got in there from a pair of old in-ear monitors she used to block out the flight noise. IRONY ALERT: Katie Melua has a song called “Spider’s Web.” You can’t make this stuff up.
  • In light of the new abomination known as Papa John’s Fritos chili pizza, I feel like a few of these fast food disasters are on the verge of a comeback. I’m looking at you Burger King pumpkin burger
  • Well, I’ve had some really good female bosses, and not-so-good female bosses. Now this new poll suggests that 39% of women prefer male bosses to female ones.
  • I’ve been dinged by Uber’s surge pricing (although, mine was on a normal, ordinary, non-rainy, non-holiday Thursday). I guess I should’ve crowdfunded it!

The Lashes May Be Mink, But the Faux Fur Drama Was Flying on Vanderpump Rules

There was some sort of really big thing going down here in Washington D.C. last night. Actually, it was a national event, full of backstabbing and upsets. It included a cast of familiar, soul-less characters who act like friends one minute, only to turn around and do something shady the next. There was even a total flip flopper at the center of all the drama who makes John Kerry look like a stubborn stalwart.

And it had me glued to my television last night.

You can’t tell because my eyelashes are mink (oh, Sheena), but I am seriously excited that Vanderpump Rules season three (or should that be SUR-son three) is back.

Jax works out on Vanderpump Rules
The episode opened with Jax working out shirtless. Of course.

Wait. You didn’t think I was talking about the elections, did you? Please.

Yes, our long national nightmare of skank-less television is now over. The SUR kids are back with their hookups, social media stalking, and short-swirly-slightly-Ed-Hardy-esque t-shirt dress uniforms.

And even more exciting is the fact that Stassi is back!

Mysteriously so. Considering that Stassi left behind SUR and all her cheating friends and exes for a new life and love in New York. Yet, here we are a mere six months later and she’s back in LA, scurrying around to get the latest dirt on her former colleagues. Allegedly, her boyfriend’s Sirius Radio show moved to California. I say allegedly because 1) we never saw this new boyfriend on the first episode; 2) it’s Sirius Radio, which is headquartered in New York, so not clear on why they would want him to be LA-based, and 3) Stassi is staying with friends in LA, NOT her new boyfriend.

What Stassi did bring to last night’s episode (besides the drama, judgment and sarcasm), was a collection of ridiculous statement necklaces. Let’s have a bit of a review.

Stassi of Vanderpump Rules loves a statement necklace.
I didn’t meant to cut off Stassi’s head while making my collage. But I did not do anything to stop it either.

I guess without the SUR uniform, she feels like she really needs to bling it up. I really feel like maybe she’s accessorizing in preparation for a future position here in Washington D.C. Stassi in 2016?

Statement necklaces in Washington DC
That would be Michelle Obama and Ann Romney rocking the statement necklaces.

Emmy’s Recap and a PSA from the CDC

I did not watch the Emmy’s Sunday night, but apparently, I missed a fashion shit show.

My friend Katie started to tell me about it at work Monday morning but then, well, work got in the way.

Finally, last night I was watching Fashion Police on E! and holy hot mess. Let’s just quickly recap:

Julie Bowen – RuPaul couture. Too much, gurl. Too. Much

Julianna Hough — Tinkerbell goes slutty. And badly fitted (boob smasher)

The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards arrivals in Los Angeles, California

Claire Danes – starving ballerina couture. Please eat a sandwich and cover your chest bones.

January Jones — Flesh-colored boringness. And badly fitted (boob smasher)

Cat Deeley — Darth Vadar couture.

Lena Dunham – Ugly wallpaper couture. And badly fitted.

Zosia Mamet — Water colored-boob-bondage sadness. Also very badly fitted.

lena_dunham_zosia_mamet_emmy_awards

Jessica Pare — Rumpled taffeta boob-bow sadness. And those shoes! Ugh.

Aubrey Plaza — Walked into a full body spider web and then put some beads on it. Also weird boob action. Why do these girls hate their breasts?

Heidi Klum – semi-glamorous space alien. Reminds me of the aliens in Mars Attacks!

Lena-Dunham-Aubrey-Plaza-Heidi-Klum

Anyway. While enjoying my Joan, Kelly and George (Guiliana is on a case-by-case basis with me), the scariest commercial came on right in the middle of the snark-festivities.

http://ispot.tv/a/7bwR

It featured a (according to the voice over) “thoughtful husband and excellent dad” playing golf with his daughter. And then out of nowhere, he starts talking about getting checked or vaccinated for hepatitis B. No explanation or anything. Just a warning from the Centers for Disease Control – Hep B is on the loose and Asian golfers with children need to watch the hell out.

Maybe that’s what afflicted all those dresses at the Emmy’s. Maybe I should go read up on the physical side effects on Hepatitis B.

Don’t Be That Girl: Fall Fail

I know you can barely see her blurry image in the top right hand of this cell phone picture I snapped yesterday evening on my way home, but trust me on this: this girl in this picture is hella excited for fall.

FALL

She’s got her green striped sweater on. She’s wrestled her way into a pair of thick, dark brown tights. And she’s brought her brown knee high boots out of their long summer retirement.

She’s been buying pumpkin beer, and has already had her first Starbucks pumpkin spice latte of the season. In fact, if I could have gotten closer to her, I’m fairly certain she would have smelled like pumpkin. Or hot apple cider, of which she’s already been drinking gallons.

Her October weekends are completely booked with every OktoberFest in the greater Virginia-DC-Maryland region. She’s lurking in bushes, trying to find even one hint of a leaf changing from green to red or even orange.

She’s got her football jerseys all laid out and pressed and has been chopping wood to feed her fireplace. She’s already stopped shaving her legs, envisioning all the flannel and tweed and corduroy work pants she’ll be wearing.

This chick is mother-foilage-flipping, pumpkin-scented-pee-in-her-tights pumped about fall.

The only problem is: I snapped this picture on September 4, at 6 p.m. and the temperature was a not-so-crisp 84 degrees.

That, by the way, was the above-ground temperature. But as you can maybe discern, she’s entering a DC metro station (which explains my quick and blurry picture – I was afraid she’d get away). Fun fact: DC metro stations (though underground) are generally at least five degrees warmer than outside. Not to mention the metro train, which has probably already stopped running its air conditioning and will be a nice, crowded and toasty 110 degrees and humid.

So enjoy your fall day, dear female lumberjack. And keep working on those arm muscles for all the leaves you’ll have to rake in the coming months. I’m going to continue to wear flip flops, and drink gin and tonics, and use deodorant a little while longer.

fall excitement

The XFE Packing Solution

(Editor’s Note: XFE is back with another guest post.)

That’s right friends I am back and not with just some hotel crashing post full of pictures, but with real, get to know XFE content.  As readers of ThePoeLog know, Poe struggles to get herself properly packed for all of the fabulous trips she takes and quite honestly the whining has to stop.  As a result, our upcoming trip will be packed using the new following approach.

Step 1: Poe will go ahead and pick her suitcases and start the process.

I am sure she will use something like this from Style BluePrint in Nashville full of great tips like “3 swimsuits, and if they are 2-pieces, make sure the bottoms coordinate with the tops so you have even more options.” Thanks for the incredibly helpful tip. You may want to also add something like “If the top of your two-piece with the detachable neck tie, you may want to bring that detachable neck tie, otherwise you will be trapped in Peru and XFE will have to MacGyver you a neck strap from one of your shoe laces from your hiking boots.” But who am I to enlighten the packing community?

This little gem of a packing list is by women for women, and although Croatia-specific it is also backpack specific, with tips like “5 pairs of underwear – Laundromats are plentiful in each town, but I just washed mine in the sink and let them air dry.” I am not sure how Poe could go wrong. Sink rinsed and air dried chonies are fine for the bunk beds at the hostels Poe used to frequent when she was a broke traveler, but not appropriate for Austrian Business class.

chonies
Who wants to brush their teeth near these things?

This list did allow me to learn about another apparently great travel invention The Diva Cup. I will let you read the article. I, however, have already been scarred enough today.

Finally, Poe will undoubtedly turn to some other general packing list, or my personal favorite, she will work to combine multiple packing lists from various sources into her own super mega packing list/approach/methodology. This behemoth will ultimately result in arriving to sunny summer in Croatia with 6 pairs of pants, 1 skirt, 3 shoes (not pairs; you can mix and match) and a handful of hair ties. It will be like last year in Austin where she brought two pairs of cowboy boots AND  bought a third pair of boots but failed to pack a sweater for 50-degree windy January days. So that is it. That will be Poe packing approach. Right until we reach step 2.

Step 2: Poe has to fit whatever pile she has gathered from above into one half of the selected suitcases.

Half suitcase

Only half.

Step 3: XFE will completely ignore what Poe has gathered and will fill the remaining half of the suitcase with bikinis, dresses, skirts, tops, and underwear.  Now, how does that sound different than step 1, you might ask? Well let me tell you: I am not over-thinking it. I am just reaching into the dark corners of the drawers where the skimpy items are tucked, and the top shelves of the closets to find all those great lost gems I have stood outside of dressing rooms watching Poe buy.

This is the Dalmatian coast; where the sun is bright, the air hot and the parties go on forever. Hotel rooms are sold with line passes to nightclubs. We will be there when the country is admitted to the EU, maybe a celebration will break out. We are staying at the #1 hotel in Dubrovnik with a balcony overlooking the city. Heels and a skirt to tour wineries and sample oysters? YES! Wedges and a dress to sit and drink through a long lunch? Yes! Heels and a cover-up to get from our room to the lounges below? YES! The smallest little G-string you own? Yes! It is vacation — YES! YES! YES!

Dubrovnik Hotel
Our hotel in Dubrovnik. Coverups: optional

This is Croatia and our summer vacation. Have I turned Poe into a Barbie? Maybe – but if it gets her packed and out the door and looking cute for the duration of vacation, it is victory. I am all for it and so should you be, my readers.  Otherwise, we are all destined to be subjected to this packing drama for all of eternity, and I am just not up for enduring that pain.