With so many people working from home and figuring out different routines, concepts like “work casual” can seem a bit different right now. Any work-from-home ensemble I might put together would be the sort of thing I’d struggle to describe in the fashion pages of this magazine unless we start doing fashion shoots featuring T-shirts from sporting event giveaways and pizza-stained sweatpants.
(“Erik is wearing a 2016 Miami Marlins T-shirt with an AutoNation emblem on the sleeve, Target flip flops (dog bite marks: model’s own) and sweatpants he’s owned since the early Obama administration. On the left leg you’ll notice a saucy red streak from noted stylist Big Louie.”)
And honestly? That’s fine. You do you. Clothes should make us feel good, and in these strange times, sometimes comfy feels good. Wear those sweats you’ve had since college with the band that’s almost completely gone; you’ve got enough other things on your mind.
Which is not to say that at other times, looking good isn’t also a way of feeling good. This is our fashion issue, and we tend to avoid the sweatpants. But that doesn’t mean we avoid clothes and accessories that people wear just for themselves, just for the joy they bring.
I spoke to Sergio Mendoza for this issue. He built a career in tech and startups, then changed directions completely. He now makes cocktail rings, those big and intricate rings that since the mid-20th century women have traditionally worn on their right hands. They’re not for weddings or engagements; they’re just for the wearer. By ring standards, they’re also downright affordable.
When Sergio talks about what he does, he talks about honoring women. He has suffered great loss, which we discuss in the story, but it has also helped form his mission. And it is absolutely a mission. He’s not just out to make a buck selling jewelry; he wants people to feel a certain way when they wear what he’s created.
The special things we wear should do that. I bet if you look through your closet, your most special item of clothing and your most expensive item of clothing are two different things. One thing I love in this magazine is our fashion spread of bridal fashions that can double as eveningwear. Clothing that reminds us of a special day and that can also be worn on other days – how great is that?
I’m no fashion expert, but I know that in times like this, it’s important to look for little pleasures. And putting on something that makes you feel good can be such a great little pleasure. One day, that might mean looking sharp even though you’re not going anywhere other than Publix. Another day, it might mean staying in that ratty hoodie all day. I’m no fashionista, but that’s something I know about clothes. That, and that at this point there’s no way club soda is going to get this pizza stain out of these sweatpants.