Imagine a snake eating its lunch: You know how you can sort of see the shape of its food in its snake-y midsection? That’s me. I may not be downing small mammals, but I’ve been fighting with my pants after workday lunches as long as I’ve been working. This is just one of the reasons I moved immediately to sweatpants now that working means working from home. This whole chest-up-Zoom-call thing isn’t the worst thing in the world in terms of my personal presentation.
My coworkers have no idea — at least, they didn’t before this piece — that I’m wearing sweatpants on the bottom half, with a blouse, headband, and lip stain on top. No clue that maybe, just maybe, I’m only wearing underwear, layered sweaters, and a strand of beads around my neck. This is a weird time, and the above confession doesn’t make it any less weird, but I’ve gotten quite good at dressing from the waist up for my multiple daily video calls.
Without changing my bottoms (or lack thereof), I’m now able to change my “entire outfit” (read: the part that is visible to my colleagues) several times a day. The sun gets hot in my new office (read: studio apartment) around 3, so that’s when I swap my sweaters for a lace cami and light jacket or blazer, with a thick headband and fun earrings. Sometimes, for my larger meetings, I even throw on a red lip. And headscarves? Now, they’re both fetching and convenient: no wind to blow that baby off. No sharp clips needed to keep it in place. And the detachable collar trend? It is quite perfect right now. Pair it with a cardigan! It won’t flap up as you’re running around the city between appointments, blinding you in its oversized, upturned glory.
These are my seven favorite waist-up concoctions. No pants necessary—and quite frankly, I suggest you don’t wear any.
1. Big Collar + Sweater + Hair Clips
I’ve had this detachable collar for years but never wear it because it moves around when I walk if there’s even the tiniest bit of wind. Now’s the time to pull it out, pair it with a sweater à la Harling’s story, and add a hair adornment or two.
2. Thematic Print (bandana) + Necklaces
Per Man Repeller’s Hotline, it’s fun to start with a prompt when getting dressed. Here I went thematic, with a vintage bandana sweater, bandana head scarf, and some lip-stain. My underwear is also a bandana-print, trust me.
3. Nightgown + Necklaces + Lipstick + Braid
Who says you can’t wear your sleepwear to the office/the couch? I’m in the nightgown I wore to bed, all jazzed up with some of my favorite necklaces, plus lipstick. Wearing lipstick at home is actually far easier than wearing it at work because re-application doesn’t need to be done at your desk using Photobooth!
4. Oversized Shirt + Glasses
I don’t suggest you ruin your sunglasses by popping out the lenses, but wearing frames on a video call hides the bags under your eyes and your lack of makeup. If you want to invest, blue light lenses really save your eyes after long days on the computer. The shirt? Wore it to bed, too.
5. Cami + Jacket + Neck Scarf + Eyeshadow
6. Vest + Pearls + Bandana
Because of the steamy apartment, sleeveless pieces have been essential. I like a vest–it’s a little dressier than a plain old tank. I added lady pearls and a bandana to cover up the bedhead that I assure you is tucked underneath.
7. Headband + Earrings + Turtleneck + Sweater
A thick headband with earrings is very Brigitte Bardot. With a little hair tease, a thick headband, big earrings, and layers, I’m buttoned up and professional, minus the wrong-day-of-the-week underwear I’m wearing. Who even knows what day it is, anyway.