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.

Disproportionate Excitement: Jeans Day at Work

I have a few more posts on Peru, but let’s take a little break to discuss something even more exciting and earth shaking than pisco sours and ancient ruins.

Last Friday was Jeans Day at work.

This is a very big deal. Honestly, HR could have told me they had installed a kitten playpen next to an all-you-can-eat, make-your-own sundae bar and I would have been kinda blasé about it. But Jeans Day? I was dancing around like Honey Boo Boo with a bag of Cheetos and a Red Bull.

You see, while many of you work in relative sartorial freedom, I work at a very conservative place where even a hint of chambray is considered quite risqué.

some ecard

We usually only get one shot at Jeans Day around these parts. That would be to support the Lee National Denim Day. Cough up $5 and you get to wear jeans on one Friday in October. But somehow, someone on some work committee over here realized how lucrative this proposition could be, and now we’ve done it two other times in the last six months to raise money for animals and food banks. Or maybe we were raising funds for bank animals (like piggy banks, I think). Or veterans who hire animals to work at food banks? Or something. Doesn’t matter.

While Jeans Day is all very, very exciting, it also caused me a bit of paralysis. What jeans would I wear? I feel like boyfriend jeans are definitely out. Too casual. Could I wear skinny jeans or are those too going-to-da-club? Should I wear my black skinny jeans, or is that just wasting a jean opportunity since that’s kind of similar to skinny black pants, which are allowed at work? What about my coated jeans? Or do those look too much like leather? Wait, we don’t have any rules per se about leather, right? It’s just kinda frowned upon.

I think Chuck Norris jeans are probably always appropriate.

Then there’s the whole issue of what to wear with the jeans. I wear jeans on the weekend, usually with t-shirts, flannel shirts and boots. Not really work appropriate, I think. Unless one is going to work at the truck stop down the road.

I also briefly flirted with the idea of going just denim crazy and wearing a denim shirt dress I have.

jean dress
It’s like this, but only more denim-y.

In the end, the crappy, still-cold weather dictated that I wear a sweater, blazer and scarf. And since my blazer was navy and my skinny jeans were a dark wash, it sorta looked like I had a suit on anyway.

Oh well. There’s always next Jeans Day. Maybe it’ll be in the summer and I can wear a denim bathing suit.

denim bathing suit