We’re not even six months into the year, and 2020 feels like it has been twelve years long, right? COVID-19 has turned the world on its head, and it’s changed all of our lives. In January, the US announced its first case of the novel coronavirus. Mid-March, as part of the exodus of citizens returning home before borders closed around the world, I flew home to Kenya from the US. I wanted to be with family, where I felt safe and comfortable. Los Angeles was placed under stay-at-home orders soon after I left; around the same time, Kenya was placed under curfew, and I went into mandatory quarantine as soon as I landed. Most countries in the world were shutting down in one way or another – no mass gatherings, work from home, no non-essential commute or travel —, and suddenly, so many of us were spending more time at home than we ever have.
Whatever the specific conditions of your social distancing – lockdown, stay-at-home orders, quarantine – one of the more difficult things about staying at home all day is getting dressed. It is so easy to fall into what I like to call pyjama practices – that feeling that you do not have to get out of bed right now, or you do not have to change out of the clothes you may or may not have been wearing for three days if you’re not seeing friends or colleagues in person, or you can take your time with breakfast, or you can watch Netflix all day every day for a week, or you can have lunch at 10 a.m. or breakfast at 2.30 p.m. because there are no rules.
Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing inherently wrong with any of these things – our lives are usually so busy and we work so hard, we often forget to slow down, take stock and rest. That said, there is hardly anything restful about the anxiety and fear from this global pandemic, however we are experiencing it, and the drastic changes it has brought into our lives means that it is quite easy for pyjama practices to turn into a physical, mental and emotional slump. It crept up to me soon after I landed in Nairobi, when I couldn’t leave quarantine, and tried to keep me down when I got out.
So I took up cycling.
Cycling meant I had to shut down my laptop or turn off the TV and unfold my body from whatever cramped position I always found myself in by the end of the day. Cycling meant I had to get dressed and go outside. Cycling meant I had to move my body fast and hard, and my brain had to catch up. Cycling meant I had to pay attention to new things, or more attention to old things.
Given how cooped up I was indoors, I knew the exercise would be good for my body, but I underestimated how good it would be for my mental health, and thus for my creativity. As a fashion designer currently pursuing a Master’s degree in digital marketing, I hadn’t realised how much of myself I had given up to the technicalities of audience manipulation and… I’d been so caught up in selling Tutto designs, I hadn’t actually designed anything in quite some time. And even though it would be difficult to sell the idea of street wear when the streets were empty, people could still look great while chilling at home, or while out exercising.
Street glam couture has always been a central part of my design culture. It is the dominant theme in Sweet Escape and Purple Night, and it had feature appearances in Modern Kikuyu and G.L.A.M. And now, TuttobyJune brings you versatile, stay-at-home cosiness and cuteness. Whether you’re crashing on the couch all day, or you’re inspired to work out, or you need to pop out to replenish your snacks, TuttobyJune home wear will have you looking and feeling like the chilled work-from-home adult you know you’ve always wanted to be 😉 Forget what Coco Chanel said about sweatpants isn’t universal – sweatpants can look amazing and don’t have to be a sign of defeat. And as the chilly weather descends upon Nairobi, there’s no need to stay wrapped up in a dressing gown all day, or to work out in that charity run t-shirt from eight years ago (you know the one I’m talking about!) when you can show out in our super comfy jacket.
I guess what I’m saying is, we can appreciate the luxury of dressing down without falling into the slump of pyjama practices. And merchandise doesn’t just make for comfortable home clothes – it’s also pretty exciting work-out apparel, and I don’t know about you, but new outfits always make me want to start new things. So, grab yourself a set here shop, take up cycling or another activity you’ve been meaning to start. Stay safe, stay home and stay glam 😊