It took me years to fully appreciate sweatpants. Up until 2020, I only owned one pair from high school, and I wore them almost exclusively as pajamas. If they ever did see the light of day, it was only while I grabbed a package off of my porch or took out the trash. I just didn't understand their appeal. Sure, they were comfy, but they also made me feel a little lazy, like I wasn't putting enough effort into my outfits. So pajamas they stayed.
Then, the pandemic hit, and I was stuck at home with nowhere to go. Ads for sweatpants started popping up everywhere. They were the ultimate fashion item of 2020 — warm and comfortable, they became a go-to while we waited for much of the world to open back up again. I had to admit, living in sweatpants definitely had its appeal. I loved feeling cozy all the time, and I didn't even realize the pressure I felt to look put together every day until I didn't have to do it anymore. Sweats were convenient, too. My clothes became one fewer thing I had to worry about during one of the most stressful times I can remember. I was living large in fleece and French terry, and I loved it.
But as one month of staying home turned into one year, I realized that throwing on one of the same five combinations of sweats every day was starting to have an effect on me. Clothes were one of my main methods of self-expression, but without anywhere to go, I wasn't putting any outfits together anymore. I also wasn't doing my hair and makeup, and I missed those extra minutes of pampering in the mornings. And I felt more disconnected from my body because I was hiding it in baggy clothes all the time. It all started to slowly chip away at my self-esteem.
Fast forward to May 2021, and I was starting a brand-new job. I was lucky; my fully remote position didn't require many Zoom meetings, and I was forced to decide whether to go back to sweatpants or dress up anyway. I bought a new pair of slacks and never looked back.
I completely understand the appeal of wearing sweatpants every day, and I also think it's important to dress in a way that makes you feel comfortable and happy, whatever that means for you. For me, time at home was a fashion reset. Now, I have extra motivation in the mornings to pick out an outfit that reflects what I'm feeling that day and that shows off my personal style. Now, I dress up every day in sweaters, blouses, jeans, trousers, and sometimes even shoes (when I need a serious confidence boost). Oh, and I'm definitely back to wearing bras, underwire and all.