Business Casual? It’s Robes and Slippers All Day Now

When Dr. Denise McDermott, 49, isn’t seeing sufferers for telehealth appointments, there’s a very good likelihood she’s carrying a gown. In reality, as quickly as she and her 11-year-old son end the video portion of their work and college days, they each make the change. “It’s become our joke during the pandemic: We’re the robe family,” mentioned Dr. McDermott, a psychiatrist in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Now that many houses have turn into de facto places of work for the foreseeable future, work wardrobes have adjusted accordingly. “It’s important to be mindful of what makes you feel good,” mentioned Dr. McDermott. “Wearing a robe is almost like giving yourself permission to relax, but it also makes me feel powerful and confident.”

The gown is only one of many cozy kinds catching on in isolation; sweatsuits, pajamas and slippers have additionally seen an uptick in gross sales, and leggings have changed structured pants for many individuals. But whereas form-fitting athleisure is meant (if not worn) for bodily exercise, pure leisure put on is an unabashed funding in day off.

It took a pandemic for Alyssa Lester, 26, to buy her first gown: a classic floral silk quantity from Victoria’s Secret. “At the beginning of quarantine, a time where I felt very discombobulated, I felt that finally making my silk robe purchase would make everything a tiny bit better,” she mentioned. “I don’t think I’ve gone one day without wearing it since I bought it two months ago.”

“When I step into slippers and walk outside to check the mail, I feel like a hot, confident Upper East Side housewife,” Ms. Lester, a painter in Brooklyn, added.

Instead of spending the summer in overly-air-conditioned offices, many will still be working from home, where staying cool will be a priority. Alexis Herb, 25, a geographic information system technician intern from Boston, recently ordered a silk robe to wear around the house because she wanted “something that was light and comfortable — especially when it’s warmer out.”

Men are embracing robe life, too. Matt Sarafa, 22, a designer specializing in gender-neutral fashion and a student at U.C.L.A., sees the robe as a garment that is not just flowing but gender-fluid. “Men can be kind of weird about wearing things that don’t fit the exact mold of masculinity, but I feel like robes are almost an exception to that because they kind of have a silhouette like a dress, but are still ‘socially acceptable’ in the very patriarchal society we live in,” he said. His garment of choice these days is a black Versace robe with gold baroque sleeves. “It’s a little bougie,” he said. “Now that I’m home 24-7, I might as well be comfy and fly.”

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