After nearly a month of wearing nothing but comfy clothes, I am vowing to begin to start dressing as I used to on at least two days a week. The truth is I miss getting ready nowadays. I have always loved getting dressed each morning but in the past few weeks – thanks to waning motivation – I’ve resorted to a heavy rotation of all my loungewear. But now I am craving more normalcy. I also know from experience that getting dressed in normal clothes is one of the best things you can do for your productivity when working from home.
Before we all began our quarantining I signed on to work with one of my favorite brand partners again, Ann Taylor. I had fallen in love with their latest collection – particularly the Spring jackets. So today’s post features three of my favorite styles they’ve recently released. Each style is simple, sophisticated and stylish and a great topper to feel ready for the day in – whether you’re working from home or going on a walk in your neighborhood for some much needed fresh air. More on the styles is below and each of the three jackets are now on sale for 50% off!
As we all adjust to our new normal there’s been some things that I’ve particularly honed in on that are helping me get by and assisting in keeping me sane. I wanted to share them in the hopes that they inspire you. Just writing them down was also an exercise in realizing how much I have to be grateful for right now.
- Baking. Stress baking is a real thing isn’t it? I’ve made blueberry muffins and my great grandmother’s graham cracker brownies and have plans for a chocolate cake soon. It’s been soothing to be in my kitchen making delicious treats and I’ve made a habit out of sharing them by leaving some for my friends in the neighborhood to pick up with my doorman or I drop them off at their front doors to gather.
- Cooking new recipes. At long last my cookbooks are being put to good use. I started quarantine with some of my favorite comfort food recipes on rotation but now I’m enjoying trying new ones I discover and also making some of those recipes my girlfriends and I have been sharing on our text thread. If you want some inspiration check out this recent post or the Recipes highlight on my Instagram profile!
- Upbeat and comforting playlists. I absolutely believe in the healing power of music so I’ve had this The Pick Me Up playlist and my favorite Paris is Always a Good Idea playlist on repeat in my apartment.
- Marco Polos. I’ve used the app Marco Polo for a year and a half now but lately recruited so many more of my family and friends to get on it so now throughout the day my phone is full of video messages from loved ones. It has been one of my absolute saving graces of being alone in this quarantine process.
- Video Hangouts. Live catch ups with friends and family have also been a major source of comfort. My college girlfriends and I have been doing them every Sunday, my NYC girlfriends every Thursday night and my family every Friday and friends I used to never FaceTime with are also now on rotation.
- Pushups. I started doing 20 a day when social distancing began and I’ve loved feeling the strength building a bit each day. It’s a simple yet welcomed sign of progress right now.
- Wine. Because, of course. Never have I ever been so excited for my monthly Winc deliveries.
- Learning to make cocktails. One thing I’ve found hard is distinguishing the week from the weekend during all this. In order to better feel like Saturday & Sunday are special, I’ve been reserving things like brunch foods and cocktails for the weekend. I’m trying my hand at learning to make cocktails I’ve only ever ordered out at restaurants and bars before and am also using this new book Drinking French to inspire my new hobby.
- Chick Lit. I decided early on during social distancing that I would make reading a priority but have made a pact with myself to not read anything that causes anxiety or distress. Chick lit and chick lit only. So far I have read Would Like to Meet, Our Stop, In Five Years and Bringing Down the Duke.
- Snail mail. Each week I have been sending snail mail to a handful of friends and also to some of my friends’ kids. I know how much I love getting handwritten notes in the mail so I’m doing snail mail to uplift someone’s mailbox. I just bought a bunch of cards from small businesses who sell their stationery on Etsy, too! One of my favorite shops that I ordered from, The Illustrated Life, turned out to be a follower of mine on Instagram I discovered a few days later. The happy coincidence made my day!
- Giving back. I’ve been choosing a cause each week to make a donation to – particularly those that help my beloved New York City. Every little but can help right now and the donations make me feel a bit better when I make them.
- Lots of candles. Making my home cozy has been priority #1 of late and burning a variety of candles throughout the day and evening has helped me achieve this. Otherland is a female founded small business candle brand that I love supporting and right now they are donating 10% of sales to NYC food banks.
- Doing the dishes. Strangely the achievement of doing the dishes each day has brought me a lot of satisfaction. Never thought I’d be saying that but these days it really is the small achievements that I am focusing on.
- Baths. I’ve always been a lover of a bath but now more than ever I’m taking what I call Sanity Baths. Almost daily baths – sometimes with a glass of wine – but always definitely with either soothing music, a thoughtful podcast episode or my latest book have brought me a lot of comfort lately.
- Bite sized workouts. Focusing on anything for longer than a handful of minutes has been difficult lately so I’ve been enjoying workouts that are under 30 minutes. I’ve been doing yoga classes from Classpass, sculpt classes from The Sculpt Society and core workouts on the Peloton app (who are currently running a 90 day free trial).
- Meditation. I’ve meditated every day for the last 20 days or so and find a lot of solace in doing so. The deep breathing and soundscapes help soothe my anxiety and bring a sense of calm to my days. I have come to cherish the 10-20 minutes I set aside daily for this work. I use the app Inscape and have for over four years but for my New York readers, Headspace just announced free access to their meditations if you’re a New York resident.
- My Instagram community. I’ve found a lot of connection and comfort in my Instagram community more than ever. When everything started to really spiral with coronavirus I made the decision I would use my platform to both inform and uplift and the responses to the content I’ve been sharing has led to so many lovely DM conversations with my followers. It keeps me company – particularly on the harder days.
- 5 Minute Journal. I’ve talked about this journal a lot in the past but it is even more critical to my mental wellness right now. The ability to find things you’re currently grateful for and acknowledge what made the day good are great exercises to do daily when things seem hard and uncertain.
- Gabby Bernstein. The only other reading I’m doing aside from the aforementioned chick literature is Gabby Bernstein. I loved her book The Universe Has Your Back (and come back to the teachings often) last year and this month I have picked back up her newest book I got last Fall entitled Super Attractor. It is also filled with some great lessons that can be of help during this time such as identifying the things that bring you joy and doing them more often. Or allowing yourself to celebrate when you see others who have what you want. Let their success mirror back to you what you’re ready to receive.
I hope to add getting dressed to the above list shortly and I know that my typical uniform of t-shirt + blazer + jeans will definitely be the standby outfit I reach for. This Ann Taylor blazer is the perfect white jacket. It is a great way to take the blazer silhouette into Spring and Summer and I think it would also look so striking with black pants or jeans. The fit is just so good. And this Ann Taylor Fringe Tweed blazer is just the prettiest shade of mint. Again the fit is so flattering and the soft shade makes it perfect for Spring. It is one of those pieces that as soon as I put it on I am in a better mood. Lastly, this Ann Taylor Drawstring Stand Collar Jacket is the idea casual jacket for Spring. Perfect for walks outside on warmer days and for casual errands.
I plan to hold myself accountable for those dress-up days by sharing my outfits on Instagram stories so keep an eye out for them. Do you have anything that is helping you get through right now? I’d love to hear what it is.
. . .
Look One: Ann Taylor Drawstring Stand Collar Jacket (S) // Tee (L) // Jeans (27) // Sneakers
Look Two: Ann Taylor Fringe Tweed Blazer (Size 4) // Tee (M) // Jeans (27) // Chanel Slingbacks
Look Three: Ann Taylor Blazer (Size 4) // Tee (M) // Jeans (27) // Ann Taylor Embossed Mules (Size 6.5) + Bucket Bag
Some additional noteworthy Ann Taylor New Arrivals:
p.s. 20 new things you can try out in the coming weeks and self care rituals to try at home.
This post is in collaboration with Ann Taylor. Thank you so much for supporting the brands I love to work with! You can see our last collaboration here.
I agree with all of this, well, except the push-ups! Love the photos and commitment to getting dressed twice a week. How did you find In Five Years? I’m debating ordering it!! Xoxo
I weirdly look forward to the push-ups now! And I liked the book! It’s a short read and good storytelling!
LOVE that white blazer! And this is such a good list, I woke up this morning feeling so strongly that I needed to workout today and move my body. Definitely so many little things like that that make this time easier.
Acknowledging the little things really are is important right now! Hope you treat yourself to the white blazer!
That mint jacket, so gorgeous! I have been meditating off and on for years but trying to commit to doing it daily during this, to help my nerves and help me sleep! Baking a lot as well as keeping in touch with friends more closely and journaling. I think one of the other things that has really helped is getting fresh air. At one point I realized I hadn’t been outside in 4 days and I was going nuts. Even just taking a short walk helps me!
Yes fresh air is so key! I’ve been opening my windows for it as much as possible! Thanks so much for sharing what’s getting you through — i loved hearing them!
I’ve been wearing my work clothes every day since WFH and doing my normal hair/make up routine. It makes me feel better and it keeps my weight in check. I have a feeling if I wore sweats every day my work clothes might not fit when this is all over lol The white blazer looks great on you! Ann Taylor is one of my favorites!
[Insert round of applause here] This is amazing, Lauren! Truly such dedication but I do think doing so makes you more productive! And such a good point about the weight. I put on jeans today for the first time in a month and let’s just say…I was glad they were high waisted lol.
You really can pull off a blazer well.
Thank you so much!
I totally feel you, though my meetings are all video calls so I’ve been getting dressed!
Sparkles and Shoes
Thatta girl! I definitely should make more of my calls into video chats so I am inspired! Thanks for sharing, Kelly!
Thanks for the shoutout, Meghan! It was a happy coincidence! I relate so much to all of these. Especially the baking. . . and whenever I swear off baking someone else in my family is more than happy to step in and fill the gap! ? Also, I’m always looking for French music so I added your Paris playlist to my listening queue! ?
So glad! I hope you enjoy it
Those jackets are so cute. I especially love the casual beige one.
The fit on it is so good! The collar is my favorite part 🙂
I love your idea of getting dressed at least two days a week, I have been putting makeup on and getting dressed about two days a week once to do my online zoom classes and once to go to the grocery store.
Feels good, right?! Thanks for sharing, Kelsey!
Such a happy list of uplifting, cosy things. And I absolutely love these three looks on you (oh how you make me wish we could shop Ann Taylor in the UK!)
So glad you enjoyed it! xx