Metatalktail Hour: Accoutrements March 28, 2021 10:13 AM   Subscribe

I was a person who never wore leggings before and now I wear them every day. Has the past year given you a new style, a new accessory (besides your mask), or some little thing/companion/habit/routine that you enjoy and is becoming part of you? Pets, hairstyles, jewelry, houseplants, what's a new thing with you lately?

As always this is a conversation starter not limiter, so feel free to prattle on about anything but politics.
posted by jessamyn (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 10:13 AM (86 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Newish hairstyle: nearly always in a ponytail these days. I've had two haircuts in the last year, when I would usually go every 6 weeks. First was in May, second was a few weeks ago. I didn't go short enough at the last one so once I'm fully vaxxed, I'll go back and take care of it.

New-to-me thing: our house! We lived in our previous house for 20+ years and decided, just before the pandemic hit, that it would be nice to live closer to our friends. Started looking, pandemic hit. Once things started opening up a bit again, we started looking in earnest and bought the new house and sold the old house between September and October. We were right, it is quite lovely to be within walking distance of several friends and a quick few-minute drive of the others. We were able to host Thanksgiving, outside, socially distanced, with a small group of friends at our new house. And just last night we had some of them over to sit and have drinks on the deck. So nice.
posted by cooker girl at 10:27 AM on March 28, 2021 [7 favorites]

Kind of in lieu of a commute now during the week after I take my kid to school I have a coffee and read or listen to a podcast before I start work rather than start working with a coffee
posted by crocomancer at 10:32 AM on March 28, 2021 [4 favorites]

Socks in the house! I struggle with insomnia and it only got worse during Individual One's administration and the pandemic. Somewhere I read that ensuring that one's feet are warm helps with falling asleep and staying that way, so I tried it despite a lifetime of fearing constrained and overheated feet. And it helped! Placebo effect? Maybe, but I don't care. Anyway, the habit extended to the rest of my life and I no longer default to going barefoot at home; it's socks (or socks and Crocs) for me!
posted by carmicha at 10:39 AM on March 28, 2021 [9 favorites]

Last haircut was 14 months ago. I have fully embraced the ponytail.

I also haven’t worn any makeup in about a year and my skin has never looked better! I’ve thrown out all my old makeup and have no plans to go back.
posted by bookmammal at 11:16 AM on March 28, 2021 [14 favorites]

I have long hair now. And I am dreading the eventual return to normal operations at work- we operate 5 days a week, kitchen is open 4-8pm. Going back to 7 days a week, 11am- 11pm , is not going to be pleasant.
posted by vrakatar at 11:33 AM on March 28, 2021 [6 favorites]

I waited tables before the pandemic, so I don't do all sorts of performative grooming I used to have to do in order to get good tips. My fingernails (and other bits and bobs) are a mess and I feel great about it!

Put on a pair of high heels last week for the first time in over a year and took them off immediately. I think I might be done with that nonsense. I've been living in my collection of vintage slips and robes and throwing on ridiculous fabulous dresses when the dog takes me out for a walk. I am never again going to wear clothing I don't love if I can help it.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 11:33 AM on March 28, 2021 [37 favorites]

My hair is longer since I haven't had it cut in over a year. I wear caftans in the house a lot more. I just retired as of Friday, the 19th (my work offered an early retirement bonus) and I used to get dressed every day to work from home so I still felt professional. Now I'm working on a compromise of dressing/not dressing. I've gotten my first vaccination and will have the second on Wednesday and I am planning on getting out in the world a little more which will require dressing fully. Because of foot issues, I made the change from heels to "orthopedic" shoes a number of years ago, but recently I have had to start wearing my shoes even in the house to provide support at all times. Weird but it works. So if you came to my house right now, you'd find me with my hair pulled back in a pony tail, big clunky black shoes on my feet and wearing a bright pink caftan. Works for me for now and the cats don't seem to mind.
posted by agatha_magatha at 12:19 PM on March 28, 2021 [11 favorites]

I've given myself three buzz cuts over the last year and I may never go to a barber again. I like having short hair.

Since I no longer commute I've started showering at night and since I'm not rushing off to catch a train I've been spending more time shaving. I used to take about 30 seconds to shave and now I'll spend a good 5-10 minutes at it. I've started making a game of it to see how much of my face I can shave smooth. It's not easy since there's a lot of nooks and crannies. I use a safety razor and blades used to last me a week. Now they're only good for a couple of days.

I work from home now and I always put on my "good" jeans when I work. I'm not really sure why, perhaps it helps me get into a different mental space.
posted by bondcliff at 12:27 PM on March 28, 2021 [3 favorites]

I already worked from home, so that didn't change. However, in the last year I've stopped caring about what I'm wearing for internal meetings. If I throw on an Iron Maiden shirt in the SM that is what I wear to Zoom meetings all day. I'll still change into a polo for a customer meeting though.

Also, I have lived in a pair of LL Bean slippers from 8 AM to 11 PM pretty much M-F for the last year.
posted by COD at 12:48 PM on March 28, 2021 [5 favorites]

I was growing my hair long for a milestone birthday, and now it's really long. I am about to celebrate my 2nd Covid Birthday In Isolation. I decided that when it's officially declared no longer a Pandemic, I'll cut my hair. I hate the fuss of appointments, chatting with a hairdresser, and the very real fear of terrible haircuts, but don't much care about the length.

I pretty much don't wear uncomfortable clothing, but I miss having occasion to wear skirts. And I gained weight due to too much staying home, so my current style is this fits.
posted by theora55 at 12:52 PM on March 28, 2021 [8 favorites]

In November, I made myself a pair of fitted gaiters or long spatterdashers. They're made from a pair of jeans and some leftover fleece. The fleece lining makes them nice and warm. I wear them whenever I can because I like them so much!
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:22 PM on March 28, 2021 [18 favorites]

Slippers, baby. Slippers, 24/7
posted by Going To Maine at 1:42 PM on March 28, 2021 [4 favorites]

Not the past year but a couple years back I started carrying a purse. I had a small stroke that fucked up my memory and I kept leaving the house without things I needed (usually keys and doorpass, but also notebook, pen, money, ID, folding keyboard, dog poop bags, etc.). I now have 4 different bags (all Freitag: 2 Masikura, a Fritz, and a Hermitz) loaded with these things and I grab one every time I walk out the door. The only thing besides the purse I have to remember is my phone.

Purses for everyone!

Also, I had fucked up feet for years due to Planter Fasciitis. Went to this genius movement coach who, in 75 minutes, taught me some exercises and got me into perfectly flat shoes. Within 2 weeks, I ditched socks and threw out my orthotics and can walk forever now.

Strong feet for everyone!
posted by dobbs at 1:50 PM on March 28, 2021 [12 favorites]

I know you said besides masks, but: Normally I never wear clothes that are overly bright or prints that stand out, etc. But, my severe resentment that Fate requires us to wear masks (stupid Fate!) made me decide that I am going to wear the loudest, dumbest masks I can find. I get them here. I started with rainbows and unicorns and went on from there.

Ooooh, I see she's got SNAILS now.
posted by JanetLand at 1:52 PM on March 28, 2021 [9 favorites]

I opted for perma-earrings; I got some silver hoops and plan on living in them indefinitely.

Prior to doing that, I made the abandoned extra two piercings in my ear viable, so I put some studs in and cleaned them and put up with that for months. So now I am a person with three silver hoops on one side and a single silver hoop on the other side.

I *really* wanted to make my nose piercing viable again but my family was so pleasegodno that I abandoned the idea, though sometimes I think but what about just a teeny tiny lab-created sapphire and telling them to do what they want with their own damn noses. (I'm fifty - this is my husband and kid we're talking about.)

Next up: buying Dead Kennedys t-shirts on ebay and cranking the Replacements all day.

Just kidding. Actually not a mid-life crisis. I had that 2014-2016. It was great. (It sucked.)
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:05 PM on March 28, 2021 [12 favorites]

I'd been WFH for 10 or 11 years before the pandemic, so I developed my current home wardrobe long ago: sweatpants and heavy flannel shirts in cold weather, t-shirts and gym shorts in warm weather. Also jeans or cargo shorts when I go to the grocery store. The other 90% of my wardrobe, all office wear, has been in boxes for the last couple of moves; I haven't even bothered to take them out and hang them up. For all I know they could be terminally creased and/or moth-eaten. I should probably just take them all to Goodwill now; I'd already decided that if I ever did get another office job I'd need to replace everything anyway.

One thing I've noticed is that, since I wear my slippers all day every day for 7 or 8 months out of the year, the sort of moccasin slippers I favor (the ones with indoor/outdoor soles) rarely last me more than 2 years before the soles split. I usually find out it's time for new slippers when I go outside during the rainy season to take out the trash or check the mailbox and I come back with a cold wet sock. I guess some things aren't meant for extended every-day use... I even tried the Vimes philosophy, spending more for higher-quality footwear, but those didn't last any longer. So I've resigned myself to buying a new pair of inexpensive slippers every year or two. Hey, it's still cheaper than having to constantly update an office wardrobe, even for a fashion-ignorant schlub like me!
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:16 PM on March 28, 2021 [3 favorites]

For years I had the standard over the ears, parted on the side, blocked in the back haircut. I got my last real haircut about six weeks before everything went sideways, so by about a month into the pandemic I was looking like your crazy uncle who spouts conspiracy theories about UFOs and ancient astronauts and whatnot.

I was finally able to order some clippers, and buzzed my hair down with a #3 guard. I think I'm just going to keep it like this forever - easy to maintain, easy to keep clean, and just easier overall. My profile pic is how I look now.

I've also been doing more meal planning. This started at the beginning of the pandemic so that I only had to shop about once a month, but now it's a year later and I still plan out each meal for the week on Sunday afternoons. I can tell you right now (Sunday, 28 March) what I'll be having for breakfast, lunch, and supper every day of this week. This allows me to make use of more leftovers and be more mindful of what I purchase at the store. This is another habit I think I'll keep up after things...well, I doubt things will return to "normal normal," but less not-normal.
posted by ralan at 2:23 PM on March 28, 2021 [3 favorites]

Oddly enough my interest in makeup has been resurrected. My last haircut was Feb 18, 2020 and I was thinking I’d get it cut after my second shot kicked in, but I kind of like the idea of waiting until they declare the pandemic over.

My most luxurious habit is waiting until 7:59 to roll out of bed and log on to my work account. I am in for a world of hurt when I have to start bathing and dressing before work.
posted by HotToddy at 2:29 PM on March 28, 2021 [6 favorites]

Capri-length leggings--three identical pairs that go from garden to walking to the grocery store--have been awesome in this warmer weather. Before that, it was casual long underwear at home (one day I forgot and wore them to the grocery store. I ended up not caring because I had a mask on, unlike some other shoppers, which earns me the right to ignore their what-to-wear advice forever). Exercise bike? Time for a bikini top! I am practicing wearing it at home so one day I can wear it comfortably out in the world. I treated myself to some pretty wrap skirts made of upcycled saris and I love how colorful they are! I hadn't really realized until lockdown how much a pop of color can cheer me up. Too-Ticky, those fitted gaiters are wonderful! Thanks for posting them!
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:43 PM on March 28, 2021 [8 favorites]

I've been realizing that I've kept far too many worn out pairs of pants (for gardening/dirty chores purposes) because I've been wearing them way too frequently. I'm pretty hard on my pants because I'm normally a bike commuter and I ride in my work clothes, so I have a whole drawer of pants where you can see my underwear through the holes in the crotch.

I lost my last pair of jeans to a rogue nail sticking out of the raised beds in the garden, so I had to go clothes shopping. I get most of my clothes from a small men's shop in town - it was just the owner and me, so it seemed like a tolerable risk. He was telling me about applying for PPP money and how he had to show receipts to prove his business was impacted by the pandemic; his revenue dropped by over 80% because of all this.

Anyway, I probably bought more stuff than I should have but I've got a new summer wardrobe for when it finally warms up.
posted by backseatpilot at 3:03 PM on March 28, 2021 [4 favorites]

The only difference for me, since my essential job kept going, is that now my wardrobe is "quarantine fifteen"- centric because. .the baking bonanza happened.

It's starting to be the busy spring season at the garden center, so I am diminishing the fifteen, hopefully....
posted by mightshould at 3:12 PM on March 28, 2021 [3 favorites]

Count me in the “pandemic hippie hair” brigade. I now wear braids most of the time, one if I have to be on a work zoom, two like Pippi if I don’t.

This coming Friday I get my first shot, and four weeks later my second, and two weeks after that, I have scheduled an appointment at a salon. :) (With an accompanying calendar reminder of the deadline for canceling, should I get cold feet.)
posted by eirias at 3:17 PM on March 28, 2021 [4 favorites]

For reasons I can't explain, I've developed a habit for a deep-v shirt recently. As a man who has worn shirts buttoned to just below the collar more or less continuously since the age of 12, I'm surprised to discover that leaving four buttons open is actually rather nice. (I've learned to check before every on-camera meeting and class... 'cause I still feel strange about doing it in public.)

I've always hated shoes, but I now resent wearing shoes just as much as I did when starting kindergarten. I've had to go into work physically six times in the last week, and the shoes thing is the only part I've resented. Shoes are miserable. Socks more so. (Cheers to those who like them. Really! I don't understand your experience of the world, but I wish you great sock happiness.) Every day I throw off my shoes the moment I get inside and then wash my stinky feet so I don't feel like someone's covered my head with a wet blanket for the whole the rest of the evening. I'm seriously going to have to re-think how I treat shoes when I go back to working outside of home. Sadly, some places I work are genuinely dangerous and do require closed toes. But, I'm going to try hard to stock my office with not-too-rude sockless options once we return.

Also, I guess, I've rediscovered the existence of specialty face soap and pimple cream for the first time in 20 years. But, I'm not happy about that. Hopefully it comes with the other benefits of apparently becoming a teenager again, without the many drawbacks.
posted by eotvos at 3:26 PM on March 28, 2021 [3 favorites]

This is the year I finally got into scrubs at work. Part of the reason it took so long was trying to find an ethical manufacturer. Anyway, it’s just very nice not having to use any of my daily allotment of spoons to decide on my outfit.
posted by obfuscation at 3:53 PM on March 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

This is not a haircut year for me so my hair is just doing its normal grow thing, but yeah I am with you eotvos, NO SHOES EVER unless I am outside in which case it's ALWAYS HIKING BOOTS and I have managed to wear out a pair of hiking boots that had been going strong for years (and that the company doesn't make anymore so I will fix them in some stupid way I am sure). I walk somewhere between 30 and 55 miles a month now because it's basically health care, mental health care, exercise, and socializing all wrapped into one. I buy a pound of maple candy every other month (from here), more or less, and it's become one of those "Nice work making it through the day!" treats. Like a single maple candy, but the good stuff. I am my own Shamu. I've also, in addition to the always-leggings, gotten a bunch of sharp looking shorts to wear on top of them--I feel a bit naked just in leggings--and now I'm that lady at the supermarket which is AOK FINE.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:55 PM on March 28, 2021 [9 favorites]

I came out all-the-way publicly as nonbinary in March last year (and agonized over it so much. turns out: absolutely no one reads email signature pronouns), so pandemic-year has been slowly figuring out what that means for me for presentation(s). Finally found some cheap leggings that I like that work okay for AMAB bodies, am doing some kind of queery fauxhawk + undercut thing with my hair, and started getting my ears pierced -- just lobe studs for now, will be doing helixes in the fall after I'm done swimming/need sunscreen every day and before I need to wear a hat again. (self and partner are very COVID-cautious, but got recommended a shop that takes tremendous precautions and it felt okay to finally do)

This is a super-common story this last year! I've read and talked with a lot of newly-out trans folk taking the opportunity to try things without worrying as much about going out (and masks and sunglasses can help anonymize further). It does generally mean navigating the hell that is figuring out sizes via online shopping, but what can you do?
posted by curious nu at 5:31 PM on March 28, 2021 [16 favorites]

eotvos I used to have a job that required steel toe boots worn for hours while I'd be tromping around. I got into the habit of changing into teva sandals in the car before driving home, can not recommend highly enough. It's not bare footed but it's nicer than wearing closed toed shoes a moment longer than necessary.

It's partly pandemic and partly taking care of a baby but I've stopped eating in the early morning. I always ate breakfast before this despite not having an appetite for it, I guess I thought I should or something. Now I have a cup of tea when I wake up and eat my first meal of the day around 11. I have dinner around 5 and if I'm still hungry a snack a few hours later. It works so much better for me, I wish I'd been eating this way for years!
posted by lepus at 6:02 PM on March 28, 2021 [6 favorites]

As a freelancer who’s worked from home for over a decade, my response has been to wear my “nice” clothes, jewelry, put on perfume and skin cream, even if all I do is sit at my keyboard or maybe, go out to the grocery, or more likely, walk the dog, say hello to my postal carrier and my neighbors. No point saving anything for “best.”
posted by Ideefixe at 6:24 PM on March 28, 2021 [9 favorites]

Has the past year given you a new style, a new accessory (besides your mask), or some little thing/companion/habit/routine that you enjoy and is becoming part of you?

No, I still eat too many french fries.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:42 PM on March 28, 2021 [7 favorites]

I got a new job in food manufacturing about 6 months ago, and my office is on the production floor so now I wear a lab coat and a hair net (bouffant cap to be precise), and cannot have any jewelry or anything in my hair other than a plain hairtie. I actually like the lab coat - it has 2 big pockets, and is nice for covering up any stains from food/beverage that one may acquire throughout the shift.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 7:14 PM on March 28, 2021 [8 favorites]

There are only two responses to "I like your dress lab coat":
- Thanks, it has pockets!
- Thanks, I just wish it had pockets.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:07 PM on March 28, 2021 [9 favorites]

I discovered HAIR RIBBONS! I've been braiding my hair for a few years now and just recently figured out that if I braid a ribbon in with it, I can tie off the braid with the end of the ribbon and it doesn't need an elastic! Also it fills out my (fine and somewhat thin) hair and adds a dash of color. This is possibly unsurprising to people who were raised with long hair, but for me it is very exciting news.

Re: Shoes: We moved from the Grey Lands (Portland, OR) back to the Land Of Sun (California) and have been wearing shoes less. I contrived some thin-soled sandals out of old bike tires, and aim to make shoes of a similar construction before the rainy season returns. Even if my feet are enclosed, I like the flexibility.

On a completely unrelated note, it seems that either my laptop's SSD is dead or the filesystem on it is irreparably corrupted. I am currently writing this from a LiveUSB system. I am SO glad that I set up a file-sync program to mirror a copy of my "Documents" folder onto a MicroSD card, and am now swearing to myself that I'll set up TimeShift or similar on the next Ubuntu install so I can have a full system backup with all the applications, preferences, and other tweaks required to make this computer act the way I want it to. For now, I'm going to have to replicate all of that by hand and I am NOT looking forward to it. Bleh.
posted by sibilatorix at 8:35 PM on March 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

Last year, when it seemed like there was a chance things might not get as bad as they did, I jokingly decided not to shave or trim my beard until we went back to school (the school year starts in April here, we were sent home suddenly in March, the week before finals, and the scramble to figure grades without tests was fun). Around about April, it was getting annoying. Then, around May, the decision was made we would have no in person classes in first term, meaning we would go back to school, at the earliest, in September (and we did, even though I honestly dreaded it by that point). All of the "maybe this will be over by the summer" lies I'd been telling myself just popped like balloons, and the next morning, I shaved off my beard for the first time in years. Reactions over Zoom were not entirely positive. I came to understand that, bald, with no beard, I resemble a thumb wearing glasses. It's not a good look, and I don't see myself doing that ever again.

That, and sweat pants. I avoided sweat pants for years, just thinking they represented the utter failure of even trying to put up appearances. And then, last year, I utterly failed to give a fuck about appearances, and sweat pants are lovely.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:29 AM on March 29, 2021 [4 favorites]

There has been plenty of loss and sadness globally, but it is in retrospect fascinating to get the chance to live through this period. They talk about the "Great Reset" at Davos, and maybe something will come out of that, but there are also these countless individual rethinkings and resets that will in aggregate have a big impact on our future societies and cultures. I love seeing the "no more high heels" or "why ever go to the hairdresser" or "no more makeup" comments, as we all come to terms with what we really want and need, and often find that it is much less than we were compelled to do and spend in the beforetimes.

My "thing" is already a few years going, but I now have a pair of "union suits" as my standard outfit. You know, the long underwear with the trapdoor in the back? Two is enough to swap out for laundry, and they are becoming like the Ship of Theseus as they transition from red to multicoloured patchwork. I have needed almost no other clothes in the past two years, and I love it just like that!
posted by Meatbomb at 5:42 AM on March 29, 2021 [5 favorites]

Things went a bit different for me - the official start date of the pandemic was literally one week after I'd started a new job, one which paid me a decent wage and was also only a few blocks from where I lived; it was one of the luckiest damn breaks I have ever gotten.

It also started a habit of riding my bike to work, which gave me the flexibility of popping over to the supermarket if I needed to pick up any last few groceries before heading home for the day. Even doing that still gave me the time to have a bit of a leisurely drink when I got home - a non-alcoholic one, like tea or a fancy DIY soda - before diving into making dinner. Most of my go-to's came out of David Lebovitz's book Drinking French, a book I treated myself with early on - there's a super-simple "Chocolate frappe", which was just milk, sugar and cocoa powder shook up to hell in a cocktail shaker, and there's a bunch of things where you spike lemon soda with something - either a flavoring syrup like mint or grenadine, or if you're feeling you want something potent, a shot of strawberry liqueur.

Of course, then I broke my knee in October and that all got shot to hell; but I'm in the home stretch of recovering from that and within a month I should be able to try walking to work (I'll try the bike riding a month after that). This weekend I had to stop into work and was able to walk to the supermarket in question, so I may ease back into the post-work shopping runs in a couple weeks. One of the things I picked up was a bottle of lemon soda to get back into the apertif habit as well; I also am exploring the tisane recommendations now too.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:37 AM on March 29, 2021 [8 favorites]

I had cut my long hair very short the week before we went into lockdown; and it turns out that my thin hair just wanted to be short and then it becomes both low effort and fashionable. I've actually had 4 haircuts during the pandemic- all very covid safe (my hairdresser has a small stoop and she's been doing haircuts outside as long as businesses were allowed to be open here). Its been kind of nice to have something distinctive that changed about myself during these times.
posted by larthegreat at 6:44 AM on March 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

EmpressCallipygos, I am so glad to hear of your convalescence!

Your note about bike riding reminds me that my bike is a “new” accessory, in a way, in that the pandemic prompted me to get better about riding it. And today I’m getting brand spanky new panniers in the mail. :)
posted by eirias at 6:48 AM on March 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

I stopped wearing any shirt except plain black T-shirts.
Never going back.
posted by signal at 6:49 AM on March 29, 2021 [6 favorites]

I haven't used a hair dryer or heat styled my hair in any way in a full year. It has turned out to be medium brown with some lingering red and slowly encroaching white (I am calling it auburn I do not care) after also not colouring it for ... we're at 15 months now I think, or cutting for 14. It is healthy and happy except for slightly crispy ends which is to be expected. It is MUCH wavier than I had previously understood, having started to wave erratically about 15 years ago.

Also, I now do workouts in the morning, which is basically absurd if you're me, but I do, and things are not really smaller but definitely firmer.
posted by wellred at 7:02 AM on March 29, 2021 [4 favorites]

I'm really into Volbeat lately, particularly the song "Last Day Under the Sun."
posted by Ostara at 7:22 AM on March 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

My last haircut was in September (as a quais-favor to my niece in cosmetology school for practice). This is the longest (and poofiest) my hair has ever been - in the old times, I was routinely a monthly cut because my hair gets so thick.

I've now somewhat come to like it? My mom has straight hair and my dad has curly hair so without growing it out, I'd never know how wavy my hair can get at this length. It's a new experience to feel the hair on my face when it's windy outside.

My driver's license renewal is set for early April, so I want photo proof of this monstrosity and then I'll likely get it cut after my second vaccine dose at the end of April.

I also got a Comfy and spent many hours being perfectly toasty throughout winter which was really nice!
posted by Twicketface at 7:30 AM on March 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

I've had one haircut in the last 14 months, so I've moved to a permanent topknot these days. I have a WARDROBE of slippers and "house shoes", I guess you'd call them? Everything from lilac-sequined Ugg slippers to shearling lined Birkenstok Arizonas, wool scuffies and faux fur crossover slippers. It's nuts, but my feet are always cold. I keep a little crystal dish of lipsticks and glosses and hairclips and blotting powder on my desk for touchups.

I used to be the person who would wear a "loud" pair of trousers (prints, patterns, BIG color) and a black top - no one ever noticed anything but the pants, and it kind of didn't matter what else I wore. Now I have "Zoom tops" - cute tops with details that are great standouts on camera.
posted by ersatzkat at 8:04 AM on March 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

Eirias, the hell of the knee thing is that a month before it happened, I had also just started to do a weekly bike ride for the exercise. I'm very close by one of the stops for one of New York's ferry lines; I discovered several other ferry stops were near lengthy bike paths, and you can take your bike on the ferry, so I'd tool down to my local stop, hop on, and within minutes I'd be doing a couple of leisurely laps of Roosevelt Island or Governors' Island or trying the Shore Parkway trail. Right when that was starting to think that "hey, this could become a good habit", that's when I broke my knee and had to scrap the whole thing. :-(

I may try again in the fall. I was going for 8 miles at a time, and I think I'll need to build up to that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:07 AM on March 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

I started riding a bicycle in lockdown, and more recently I started paddling a kayak. Kayak classes are perfect, combining safe socially distant social contact, exercise, and time spent in nature. Also means I had to buy new clothes because we're coming on to winter now and I don't want to stop paddling. Got myself a thin farmer John wetsuit and something called a rash vest, and something called a fire skin (doesn't that sound cool?) also rubber booties to keep my feet warm. I look like a very skinny cut price ninja. I love it. On Saturday I celebrated the anniversary of going into hard lockdown by doing my very first paddle on the sea (up to now only paddling on the Vlei). It was AMAZING.

(I asked on a forum what gear I need to paddle kayak on the Vlei and sea in Cape Town in winter and the very first response was a picture of a straight jacket!)
posted by Zumbador at 8:10 AM on March 29, 2021 [4 favorites]

Hee - I think MeFi is developing groupthink, because one of the things I do this summer is going to be RESUMING kayaking here in New York!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:31 AM on March 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

My in-office wardrobe was pretty casual to begin with (I work in a children's museum), so the transition to WFH a year ago was pretty easy. I only put a bra on if I have to leave the house. We're aiming for a re-open sometime in the fall, so putting that bra on will be quite an adjustment once I have to go in the office daily.

I bought a bed over the weekend and am waiting for the delivery sometime in the next couple hours. My old mattress was over 20 years old and my back was tired of it. The new bed is an adjustable, which I am so psyched about - adjustables always seemed like a luxury item to me, so I was super happy to learn that they are now indeed in my reach. I read a lot in bed so this will definitely be a life-changer.

My brother sold his house outside of Seattle and will be making his way east to settle near me and our mom. He has a 20' pull-camper and plans to travel a bit before finding a place to live here in CT. I am extremely jealous and want to travel-camp with him, but I need to keep my job so that's not in the cards for me. He shipped his car out here a month or so ago for us to keep it for him once he settles here. So I have been zipping around in a 2012 BMW 3-series (with all the bells and whistles) for the past few weeks and I gotta tell you, it's awesome! I had to re-learn how to drive a manual transmission and after a few anxious tries, I'm now quite comfortable behind the wheel. It's nice to drive a car that is clean and zippy, unlike my Flintstones car.
posted by sundrop at 8:33 AM on March 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

Another ponytail convert here. I'll never cut it too short to tie back again!

My washing machine broke last spring, right when things shut down. During the long wait to get a new machine, I bought some clothes made of ripstop fabric in solid colors that can easily be washed by hand. Some I'm pulling out again for spring and summer; some I never stopped wearing. This has so cut down on the frequency of doing laundry.

My biggest thing has been fiction writing. I signed up for Jami Attenberg's #1000wordsofsummer, started writing a thousand words a day, and have never stopped. Last summer was just an awful, anxious time on so many levels, but what I remember is that I wrote fiction every day, first and last thing. They say the past seems idyllic because the anxiety about outcomes is not there? I feel like sometimes creative projects give you that feeling in the present too: this is what I'm going to remember from this time.
posted by BibiRose at 8:57 AM on March 29, 2021 [5 favorites]

I'm in a pickle hairwise: when things largely closed down a year and a bit ago, I was already kind of overdue for the haircut that usually happened once every two months or thereabouts. I realized by about May that I either had to commit and become Ponytail Guy again for the first time since 4 Non Blondes were on the charts, or else go radically short with the clippers.

The ponytail option was not appealing as it has been gradually thinning out as I careen into my fifties, but still not enough that I can really justify taking it all off; I'd say I have maybe 70-75% of the coverage I did at twenty.

The short cut makes me look maybe the lice test didn't go so well.

Ultimately there was a single clipper cut and in Ontario's yoyoing lockdowns I have been in twice to get my guy to cut my hair, but this has not been the best year from my hair. I realize that as far as seriousness goes, this is approximately issue #955 personally on What Is Bad About A Pandemic.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:34 AM on March 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

Pandemic gym closures/no more walking to places prompted me to finally install a treadmill desk in my house. I'm probably going to keep up with that even when I can return to the gym and have anywhere to go. I am probably going to prioritize a first floor apartment in my next move so that I can use it without anxiety about bothering downstairs neighbors, but it seems pretty quiet and so far nobody has complained.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:54 AM on March 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

I tried having a goatee once or twice over the years, but never got completely comfortable with it. I've had this current one since September or so, and at this point it's just what I look like. Instead of the goatee looking strange to me when I look in the mirror, I think it would look strange to be bare-faced again.

I also did the thing where I pulled the clippers out, set it on two, and just buzzed all my hair off at one point in the pandemic, but I didn't like that look at all. I've been cutting my own hair since it grew back out, with a little help from my wife, and it's passable. (All clippers, two on the side, five up top. Good enough.)

Every day is jeans and black T-shirts, unless I have a work Zoom. That's been nice.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:03 AM on March 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

One of the few benefits of being a gently balding man is that once all the barbers and hair salons closed down, I was able to break out the clippers I bought on a whim at Argos ten or so years ago. I've been cutting my own hair for the entire last year and it hasn't looked entirely hideous, so I might just keep it up.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 11:59 AM on March 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

Until sometime around 1993, I had long hair, and then I had it whacked pretty short, because was it ever difficult to deal with during Chicago winters. A couple of years ago, I started entertaining thoughts of maybe growing it out again, and so the pandemic has given me the opportunity to revisit long hair. It's still not to pre-1993 lengths--there's about three inches to go--but it's long enough for me to arrive at a conclusion. The conclusion: I cannot wait to get it cut short again. Ack!
posted by thomas j wise at 1:42 PM on March 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

I am still buzzing my remaining stubble with the #1 clippers. Still wearing the same Suburban Nerd Dad uniform of khaki cargo pants & a button-down every damn day. Still walking the dog at 6:30 and drinking coffee when I sit down at the computer at 8:30 -- which sure beats climbing into my car and hitting the road!

I do wear slippers, though, about half the days, which is nice: they're Steger Mukluks moccasins: butter-soft moose hide and a crepe rubber sole.

At long last I learned how to use my Moka pot properly (boil the water in the microwave first, so you don't burn the coffee), and then was instantly bored of it.

Finally dared to solder some of the parts I've accumulated, and making things has been a lot of fun!
posted by wenestvedt at 1:43 PM on March 29, 2021 [4 favorites]

I'm not trying to be shitty or whatever, sorry. I've taken one of my Mum's keyrings and added it to mine. It's some sort of flat stone which was hers. She had this really nice mixed-material leather/suede olive-green shopping/handbag which she spotted and which I said to her to buy quick for me to give to her for Christmas that year. It wasn't anything remotely fancy, but it was something that Gran (who loved anything green or mustard) would have really liked too. I always said in semi-jest that I'd call dibs on it when Mum died (when dying didn't seem like a thing she might do). Only used it once since because I just get worried about losing or damaging it. Keep meaning to and making do w/a carrier bag instead
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 1:50 PM on March 29, 2021 [11 favorites]

There was nothing shitty there. What lovelymemories and I for one am glad you shared them with us.
posted by bilabial at 2:03 PM on March 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

Being a balding old white guy is, hair-wise surprisingly perilous. When I sit down in the barber’s chair I get a friendly “W’immer?” (“Wie immer”=“Like always”) which is exactly the transaction I want at the barbers, and nothing more. To further things in this direction, his German is worse than mine.
Being kept away from the barber-shop for six months or something last year when the chance finally arose again I looked like a time-traveler from 1978. And I remember 1978 and I today, was not necessarily one of the good-guys of ‘78 (exactly what that means I’m not even sure but I think ... I looked seedy. On the surface trustworthy maybe but also maybe a bit too like an Updike character - the kind you read as normal, except that normal means a racist, sexist shithead.). I even talked with the barber about somehow keeping the hair longer than normal, since there was so much of it (relatively). He give it a really good go but wow. Not a success.

Around Feb my youngest (15, frequently variously colored hair and cut) went over the whole mess with clippers and I was very very satisfied with the results. A month or so later we did it again.

I’ve taken to wearing a fleece tube-thing around my neck. I’m simultaneously embarrassed by it and ‘oh who gives a fuck it’s warm...’
posted by From Bklyn at 2:38 PM on March 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

I started a new job in summer 2019, spent the next six months getting rid of credit card debt, and was finally starting to switch from Grad Student Wardrobe to Professional Wardrobe when the pandemic started up. And I am sadly not a WFH person, though I envy you your soft pants and your not-wearing-a-bra. But I'm kind of amused that as a result, I've been getting more elegant just as everybody else is getting more informal.

For the first time I actually have, like...a Professional Wardrobe? That doesn't consist solely of brightly-colored Uniqlo tees? Instead, some nice sweaters and flannels and button-downs. Things improved for me, fashion-wise, once I realized that I don't want to wear the kind of ModCloth Office Lady Blouses that have Feminine Detailing, and unfortunately I am almost sized out of the "button-down shirts for androgynous people" stores, but I have collected a good number of things I actually like.

I cut my hair much shorter, thanks to finding a hairstylist who understood what I meant when I said I really did want it that short! And I know, I know, I shouldn't get a haircut, but growing my hair out was not an option and I don't think I could show up to work with badly buzzed hair. (Thank goodness, I'm going to get my second vaccine in a week and I will still be cautious but I can be cautious with slightly less guilt, I hope.)

And...I am trying to finally Do Skin Care. I am dubious about my ability to stick to a routine for more than a week, but my skin actually does feel a lot better.
posted by Jeanne at 3:37 PM on March 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

(Incidentally, if I had not blanched at the cost of a Big Weight Capacity kayak, and a roof rack, and a lift for the roof rack, I definitely would have bought a kayak at some point.)
posted by Jeanne at 3:42 PM on March 29, 2021 [2 favorites]



Which will sadly be going away once I return to work full time next week.

The fact that the North American Work Culture doesn't allow for these is virtually a crime against humanity. We'd all be happier and more productive if we could doze off for an hour or so after lunch. IMNSHO.

Also I'd been growing my goatee/Van Dyke beard out anyway pre-pandemic and I discovered it's now long enough to braid, although it kinda tugs unpleasantly on the chin when I do, so I don't really leave it braided for more than a day or two.

Also also I tried painting my left pinky nail - which has a crack in it - with red nail polish, but it didn't look "right", probably because my nails are too short. I think I'll try silver sparkle pretty soon though.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:05 PM on March 29, 2021 [7 favorites]

We'd all be happier and more productive if we could doze off for an hour or so after lunch.

My energy level is highest in the afternoon, at least up until 3:30 or 4. I'd be much happier if I could sleep an extra hour, start work at 9, and quit at 4, and I'm sure I'd get just as much accomplished in that 6 hours (plus lunch) that I do in the standard enforced 8 hour business day.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:29 PM on March 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

I have, like many others upthread, started cutting my own hair at home this past year and wow, can I tell the difference. I'm not great at it! It IS convenient though, especially for my husband's haircuts - I just use the electric trimmer for his hair and if I miss a spot I can just fix it whenever he finds one.

I have also been growing out my hair color. I had been coloring it various shades of red or purple for several years, and I can't wait until the current faded brassy tone has grown out. The goal is for my gray hairs to show so that people (might) stop assuming I'm even younger than I am.

I actually started a new job during the pandemic, as an essential worker, so I have gone from a stay-at-home spouse wardrobe of pajamas and sweatpants to professional-ish work clothes and steel toed boots. The boots are super comfy though!
posted by cp311 at 7:11 PM on March 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

(Incidentally, if I had not blanched at the cost of a Big Weight Capacity kayak, and a roof rack, and a lift for the roof rack, I definitely would have bought a kayak at some point.)
Oh completely. It's a problem. I pay a monthlyfee and get to use my coach's kayak. Means I can only go out on the water during a training session, but I don't have to deal with the whole storage and transport problem.
posted by Zumbador at 9:38 PM on March 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

Well, I walked halfway home from work yesterday. I live one-and-a-half long blocks up and five short blocks over from work; an easy jaunt when you're fit, but a bit of a struggle on a bad knee, so I've been taking the bus (there's a bus line with one stop around the corner from my house and then two stops later I'm about 1000 yards from my office building), but the bus home was running late.

But there is a SECOND bus around the corner from my apartment which runs more frequently, so I gave that a shot - walking one of those long blocks up (and I do mean up, because it was uphill) and then one block over to the stop. And I did it!

And then my knee was WICKED sore the rest of the night, and is still sore today, so it'll be a while before I do THAT again....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:12 AM on March 30, 2021 [1 favorite]


That line which reads "two stops later I'm about 1000 yards from my office building" should be more like "I'm about 100 FEET" from my office building". A way easier commute.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:32 AM on March 30, 2021 [1 favorite]

Amusingly, I am now wearing bras at home more (because I am home all day. My campus started sending folks back to the office pretty early last fall, but I teach and advise in an all online program anyhow, and my boss was like "stay home as long as possible. Forever if you want."). I didn't wear one at all for the first couple of weeks - I was like "sweet boobie freedom" - and then I realized my chest hurt. Sigh. So now instead of getting home in the evening and taking off my bra as soon as I walk in the house, it's put one on in the morning and take if off when we go to bed. I'm on bralettes and sports bras these days, though, and even my push-ups are wireless (thank you Aerie).
posted by joycehealy at 6:04 AM on March 30, 2021 [1 favorite]

But I'm kind of amused that as a result, I've been getting more elegant just as everybody else is getting more informal.

My wife has been ordering suits. During a pandemic. Because they're wicked cheap right now. But she's also been wearing them and stepping up her wardrobed in general, because it makes her feel better (while I'm ordering joggers, hiking shorts, and more tank tops). It's not just you!
posted by joycehealy at 6:08 AM on March 30, 2021 [2 favorites]

I’ve embraced my silver sparkles. I’ve tried to stop coloring/highlighting my hair before and I always caved when my roots got bad. The lockdown helped me achieve my goal. I had made the decision to try again at the end of 2019 and by the time March hit, I was looking pretty rough. I was able to push through (had the old color cut out twice over the last year) and now I’m thrilled with my natural gray. It has dimension and glittering highlights and is so much healthier. And it’s free!! I’ll be 50 this year and previously thought that I would color my hair till the day that I died but I’m so glad that I’m done with all that mess. It is very liberating.
posted by pearlybob at 6:51 AM on March 30, 2021 [16 favorites]

I tried having a goatee once or twice over the years, but never got completely comfortable with it. I've had this current one since September or so, and at this point it's just what I look like. Instead of the goatee looking strange to me when I look in the mirror, I think it would look strange to be bare-faced again.

I also did the thing where I pulled the clippers out, set it on two, and just buzzed all my hair off at one point in the pandemic, but I didn't like that look at all. I've been cutting my own hair since it grew back out, with a little help from my wife, and it's passable. (All clippers, two on the side, five up top. Good enough.)

Every day is jeans and black T-shirts,

Anybody else feel like they could now locate Pater Aletheias in a crowd?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:19 AM on March 30, 2021 [2 favorites]

I dunno, that could describe a fair percentage of over-40 males in any given crowd in my experience.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:25 AM on March 30, 2021 [5 favorites]

Yeah that's every guy I know lol.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:44 AM on March 30, 2021 [3 favorites]

wenestvedt, I love Steger Mukluks!! I live in those boots half the year. Mr. eirias keeps killing his cheap indoor slippers so maybe next Christmas I’ll give Stegers a go.
posted by eirias at 1:22 PM on March 30, 2021 [2 favorites]

The moccasins really are that good. My sister-in-law convinced me that I could get away with the high boots a few years ago, and I asked for a pair of slippers like the very next Christmas!

If any other MeFites are curious, it's a nice, small company in northern Minnesota that produces a great product: Steger Mukluks they are comfy year-round, and hold up well: many days in the past year I would wear them right out of the house to get the mail, tromping across the street in the snow -- or even on the rare occasion that I went to run an errand. They look like simple leather shoes when you're wearing pants over them, and no one knows that your tootsies are cradled in feather-soft joy. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 1:47 PM on March 30, 2021 [5 favorites]

I'm still digging my old school Pebble smartwatch that I mentioned before. I bought a new original leather band for it and I wear it every day. It's nice getting notifications from Signal and Telegram on your wrist, and never missing a phone call because it makes your watch vibrate. And I enjoy being able to pick a watchface that matches my mood. But mostly I just really like the look and feel of the Pebble Steel.
And the fact that it's so repairable is a great big plus.

I also got a Pebble Time Steel, for cheap, because it was giving an error code and I figured it was worth trying to get it back on track. That has not worked out so far. It seems that the OS is damaged / corrupted. But since it's completely nonfunctional as it is, we can afford to experiment and Stoneshop is interested in trying to flash the firmware. Wouldn't it be great if that worked? Wish us luck!
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:05 AM on March 31, 2021 [2 favorites]

I suppose today is a good day to say that I am one of those trans people who figured themselves out during quarantine. And so I am indeed buying many cute clothes and figuring out what my real style is. I'm also coming out to my parents this evening (which I fully expect to go just fine, but still: nerve-wracking). Its amazing how much weight you can carry without realizing it until you set it down.
posted by eruonna at 2:54 PM on March 31, 2021 [42 favorites]

Thinking of you tonight, eruonna!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:00 PM on March 31, 2021 [1 favorite]

Big hugs from here, eruonna.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:22 PM on March 31, 2021 [1 favorite]

Thinking of you, eruonna!!
posted by fairlynearlyready at 11:16 PM on March 31, 2021 [1 favorite]

posted by Going To Maine at 1:06 AM on April 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

Speaking of hair and braids, I made the obvious stupid discovery yesterday that if I put my waist-length but not very thick hair in two braids instead of my usual one when I swim laps (50 minutes, three times a week) it gets way less tangled.
posted by mareli at 7:33 AM on April 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

I have started going in to the office now and then, and our office is now in a new building with a longer walk from car to desk. And my allegedly comfortable office shoes were giving me blisters by end of day. My feet are very tender from a year in house slippers. Also all my office clothes look dated; I need to do shopping. I'm irritated about that but resigned.

My hair is a long shaggy mess that I can't wait to cut off and color. I use a million claw clips, big and small, because it won't stay in braids. Done with that.

I actually started wearing makeup again after staring at my pale blotchy face in Teams calls all day.
posted by emjaybee at 11:56 AM on April 1, 2021

As my hair color grew out I thought I was going gray but now that there's quite a few inches of natural hair color, I have realized that for the first time since I was a toddler, it's...blonde.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 8:10 AM on April 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

Like Ghidorah I've avoided sweat pants for years, in my case since high school.

I now have like 5 pairs on steady rotation, although it's 80 degrees in DC today so it's back to shorts for the next 6 months.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:47 AM on April 7, 2021

I've had two main changes:

1. I now have distinct Outdoor Pants, and Indoor Pants. I WFH, so when I have to leave the house to go on an errand or so? I put on a pair of beige khakis. (That started when I broke my wrist, and it was the easiest to put on with a cast.)

The indoor pants? The loudest swim shorts I can possibly find. Think 'kittens riding rainbow snorting unicorns out of black holes in space while waving USA flags' loud. I love them so much.

I also have Indoor Socks, which are anklets that feature a random member of BTS. I found them at H-Mart. I pad around the apartment in them all day, especially since I don't wear my shoes in the house.

2. I've really developed a love and appreciation for green tea. I got a multi temperature kettle that brews the filtered water at just the right temperature, and a timer so I can make the perfect pot. Currently, I'm drinking a loose leaf green tea from Japan - yamashiro kagoshima cha. Just a nice thing to sip on throughout the day at work. (For the fellow Seattlites, you can find this at Uwajimaya).
posted by spinifex23 at 9:45 PM on April 7, 2021

Spinifex, try genmai cha next - it has toasted rice mixed in with the tea leaves, and it smells like popcorn and that's always fascinated me.

...Knee recovery is at a strange point - I'm having some unusual pain at night, like something's been strained. But i was still able to walk all the way to work earlier this week - a total distance of a half mile. I'm going to do that a couple more times next week, ease back into that.

The roommate also helped me test a new apero - apparently beer cocktails are a thing. The one we tried was equal parts beer and lemon soda, spiked with a little grenadine. (I looped in the roommate because making it just for one would only use half the can.) I am not a beer fan, but...I liked this! I was using the fancy-ass lemon soda from Wegmans, but I suspect it would also work with Sprite and might be good for the tail end of parties where you're down to like half a 2-liter bottle of Sprite and a couple cans of beer and still want to be festive.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:24 AM on April 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

oh wait, I can't believe I didn't include this: I took an old plaid wool blanket and used it to create pockets on this Old Navy gray sweater I have, which is my favorite comfy sweater, and now it has pockets!!! I can put my glasses in it, or a pen, or a packet of seeds, or kleenex, or my phone. I have loved this sweater for ten years.

It had never occurred to me that I could add pockets to something I loved which had no pockets.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:03 PM on April 14, 2021 [2 favorites]

(The reason I could do that with a perfectly nice wool blanket is because it was mostly eaten by dogs.)
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:05 PM on April 14, 2021

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