If you work from home (as many more of us do these days), you’re already well-accustomed to the struggle. Aside from the fact that you may no longer know when your workday begins and ends, your idea of a work wardrobe may now consist of tie-dyed sweat sets punctuated with the odd message tee or hoodie—and on the rare occasion, maybe some lipstick and earrings, if you’re of the makeup-wearing persuasion. You know, to zhoosh it up.
OK, so maybe that’s just me (doubtful), but even with nowhere to go, there are still plenty of reasons to look more than just moderately presentable in our Zoom-filled lives—even if just for the sake of our sanity. (I’m looking at you, fellow sufferers of Seasonal Affect Disorder.)
“One of the side effects of being in the house all the time was I stopped paying attention to my appearance,” The Root’s Editor-in-Chief Danielle Belton tells The Glow Up. “I stopped dressing up, putting on makeup, planning outfits or doing any of the things I liked to do to look nice on a regular basis. While initially liberating, I soon began to feel very negatively about my appearance, worsening my depression. So even though I don’t often go out, I spend some time every day doing something to make myself feel beautiful,” she continued. “Maybe I put on a piece of jewelry (or a lot of jewelry), maybe I color-coordinate the ideal leisure outfit, maybe I just put on earrings and do elaborate eye makeup. Sometimes I’ll put on cologne or give myself a facial. But I always try to do something that makes me feel a bit more like my old self, grounding me and keeping my depression at bay.”
One of our EIC’s instant upgrades? Custom-made caftans and kimonos by Harlem, N.Y.-based designer Junny Hibbert, who merges elements of African style and patterns with a modified take on the silhouette of the traditional Japanese kimono. The result? Incredibly comfortable and gender-neutral yet uniquely elegant (each is one-of-a-kind) garments equally suitable for staying at home or making a statement.
“I love the idea of a statement piece,” Danielle explains during this week’s Big Beauty Tuesday, where she joined Junny and me to talk about the unique versatility of kimonos and caftans. “So I was more than happy to support a Black business owner like Junny, who makes beautiful garments; custom-made garments that are fit for your shape and body type.”
In addition to being both fashionable and forgiving, as we turn away from fast fashion in favor of more special and sustainable pieces—especially when gift-giving—Junny’s designs are especially suited to the season. (She makes gorgeous masks to mix and match, too!) Tailored to the wearer’s measurements and personality, they’re perfect whether layered over tees, turtlenecks, camisoles, slipdresses, jeans, nightgowns and yes, even those ubiquitous sweats we can’t seem to part with. They’re also reversible, meaning the cost-per-wear on these custom garments is virtually unmatched. Wear them at home now, and out to celebrate our return to freedom later...and learn why these inspiring pieces are a very worthy investment in our video above.