I’ve been saying, “I miss wearing outfits” for about a year now but I wasn’t able to articulate why very well, or explain why putting on an outfit I used to wear to the office to work from home just isn’t the same. So this Vox article was really enlightening for me: “To all the clothes I’ve loved before: Reconciling the sweatpants-wearing me with the fashion-loving woman I was just a year ago is an existential crisis like no other.”

…dressing up at all feels futile when there’s nowhere to go and no one to see. Style, after all, doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Clothes are a form of self-expression, but they are also central to our identity because they shape how others see us, says Carolyn Mair, a behavioral psychologist and author of The Psychology of Fashion. […] “We have a sense of identity ourselves by what we’re trying to project, and our identity is also reinforced through the feedback of others,” Mair says.

This may help explain why, while fashion may not rank high on everyone’s list of what’s been lost during the pandemic, for some it has felt like a significant blow.

As pandemic losses go, the loss of outfit appreciation is a minor one. But as my therapist tells me, two things can be true at once: it can be a minor loss in the bigger picture and it can be something I really miss and mourn.