Features and Occasionals

Physical* Distancing Activities, Staff Picks: Tips and suggestions for abiding the tide of isolation (Part 4).

By Emily Spacek

We live in a culture that constantly bombards us with inducements to buy and accumulate products and widgets of all sorts, but could the current pause to our normal bustle of business and social outings mean relief to some of the everyday pressures of the materialistic life?

Take fashion, for one. With many of us staying at home, mostly only dealing in person with housemates, neighbors and close friends, the pressure is off for dressing up. No longer must we prepare ourselves for the judgment of the outside eye.

During a global pandemic and stay-at-home order, fashion gets placed on the backburner and something new begins to boil… Style.

While fashion is about dressing for others, style is about dressing for us. Style is our identity, whatever that may be from day to day. In some cases, it is based on comfort. In others, practicability. It is fresh, often creative, and at the very least lends a hint at personality.

With the social pressure of dressing turned down, and in some of our cases turned off entirely, we here at CATALYST have been dressing more freely, embracing our carefree personal styles. Below, we share these personal Covid styles with you!


Susan Dillion (Right)
“Sweatpants/yoga pants and Chacos (weather permitting) or clogs.

On a positive note, I’ve noticed we’re doing a lot less laundry despite an increased uptick and use of cloth napkins. No more using one cloth napkin for a few days. #LifeWithCovid”


Sophie Silverstone (Left)
“Since I mostly prefer to wear stretchy pants anyways, not much has changed for me since staying home so much. But some days I wear actual makeup, dress up in my fancy leggings, and put on fancy earrings!”


Emily Spacek (Right)

“I am someone who typically loves to get dressed and curate my outfits. I’ve always enjoyed collecting thrifted and vintage pieces as well as donated things from family members and friends. Consequently I seem to have a weird personal connection to much of my clothing. At the beginning of the new norm of staying home all day, I was hardly ever changing out of my pjs. Eventually, it was almost sad to open my closet and look at its neglected artifacts, so for the last week or so I’ve made more of an effort to put on some of my favorites. Today I’m in my worn out, raw hemmed Levis, a cozy crewneck and corduroy clogs, all second-hand, all simple and comfortable but still classic to me and my wardrobe.”



Dominica Greene

“I always want to have a onesie on for comfort at home and I also love my hoodies, but I want to see the whole onesie, so I have become creative with how that looks because I’m basically wearing the same thing every day.

Because I so rarely leave my house, I’ve tried to make it fun when I do. Yesterday I decided to wear a monochromatic outfit to match my mask. Why not?? Next week’s color will be blue.”

Katie Rogers
“I’ve been wearing what I normally wear for work, business-casual-type attire. I find it helps keep me in the working frame of mind. Otherwise, I find myself getting a little too relaxed and then easily distracted. Plus, it helps me separate my day better because I change into my comfier clothes after I’ve clocked off. Although, I don’t wear shoes most of the time, just slippers. That feels pretty different.”


Jodi Smith (Above) with cats Raja and Chandhi
“I used to reserve onesies for festivals and parties. But why not all the time? Vintage sci fi shows envisioned a world of onesies, including for work. In the absence of work, what do we have? Onesies!”


Whether isolation has given inspiration to your wardrobe or meant that you can finally relax down into your comfiest attire, it is remarkable how shameless this time feels. While many parts of our lives right now are not worry-free, we hope you, like us, are at least able to dress worry and carefree.

And now, if the rest of us have not inspired or entertained the quarantine stylist within you, the following special “day in the life” of CATALYST associate Anna Zumwalt that surely will:


Covid Couture

A day in the life of Anna, Quarantine Fashionista: What she’s wearing during her shelter in place (Pajamas, Pajamas, Pajamas)

By Anna Zumwalt

Ensemble 1

Ensemble 1: The “drink coffee-listen to the news-check email/FB/COVID-19 stats/recent earthquakes” pajamas. Black velvet hoodie and pant suit: She always wanted this outfit but, being a child of the ’70s, her mother steered her toward earth tones. Last year, Costco had them for “almost free” and a life-long goal was realized.


Ensemble 2: The “eat breakfast-pick herbs for today’s tea” pajamas. These might also become the “work around the house and on the computer” pajamas. See Ensemble 1, above.

Ensemble 3




Ensemble 3: The “eat breakfast-get on the treadmill to watch YouTube videos” pajamas. Shirt: A different tee shirt… and a comfortable bra. Pants: Nike running pants (hand-me-downs from husband).


Ensemble 4


Ensemble 4: The “work around the house and on the computer” pajamas. See Ensemble 2, above, or Ensemble 6, below.


Ensemble 5: The “napping” pajamas. See Ensemble 4, above.


Ensemble 6

Ensemble 6: The “work in the yard and on the computer” pajamas. Black hoodie: Nitro Circus, husband hand-me-down. Pants: Under Armor indestructible polyester slacks. Fished out of a “goes to DI” pile left by stepdaughters. Hat: gift from husband, circa 2010.



Ensemble 7

Ensemble 7: The “time to make dinner and what’s acceptable to be seen in public as we walk the dog and husband around the block” pajamas. See Ensemble 5, above.



Ensemble 8

Ensemble 8: The “Woo Hoo! It’s 5 o’clock-time to have a beer/play cards/read a book/ watch TV” pajamas. See Ensemble 2, above. Optional accessories: Pillow Pet, cat, dog. Mandatory accessory: husband.


Ensemble 9

Ensemble 9: The “what’s comfortable to sleep in and that I can run out of the house in if there’s an earthquake in the middle of the night” pajamas. Shirt: any comfy tee. Pants: Old Navy pajama bottoms. Christmas present to husband from stepdaughters. Luckily, they are too small for him, fit her.



This article was originally published on April 15, 2020.