What to Wear in a Pandemic

Letter 12

by Freya Gillespie


There are a lot of things I miss right now. Some things I thought I would never miss – trying to get a taxi after the club closes, an overly air conditioned office. Some things I miss a lot. After  not fearing the safety of myself and everyone I love everyday, one of the top things I miss is getting dressed – like properly getting dressed, planning a whole look for a party, a holiday or even just coffee. That life of an outfit from conception of vibe and projected energy to final realisation and last touches, is one that has been sorely lost from my life. 


So when thinking about a catalyst as a provoker of change or action, I thought about reasons to get dressed – really dressed. In a time lacking events and socialising for one to plan a look for I asked members and friends of the Stoa team to give me outfit prompts for 5 days of dressing. To plan and realise an outfit just for the fun of it, for the action of it. Here they are: 

Pisces realness.


To me, being a pisces is being a flowy water-baby. The top is a swimsuit – so I’m ready to take a dip at any time and the bucket hat makes me feel like a baby on the beach. Need I say more??

Weather girl from the future.

The future is pink. A weather girl is always prepared, and due to our inability to stop climate change, I have sunglasses and an umbrella. I’m wearing a pink blazer over my pink haz-mat suit for the working girl of the future.

Child lost at an art museum.

Last summer, while some perfected their sourdough starters, I worked on my tie dye technique. The self dyed top feels very kids art camp. I combined it with an oversized blazer from @cosmicislandvinatge, denim shorts and a little organza scrunchie. Oh and don’t forget your school bag!

Dress as your favourite lamp.


My house was formerly an office so all the light fittings are fluorescent overheads – the kind that make a tinkly crackle and flicker when you turn them on. As an alternative in my room I’ve strung several strings of these Ikea fairy lights around the ceiling border. They’re like white, glowing flowers growing around my room. Fun fact – this top was part of an outfit my granny had  made for when she went to dinner at the White House.

Glam Capri Beach mum


So this definitely turned out a bit more Adriana than Carmela Soprano, but I’m feeling beachy and glam so that’s 2 out of 3. This outfit is also now high on my list of potential first party after lockdown looks. The party vibe was so real that I finished the prop glass of wine after the photo was taken at 3pm and had to go to bed for a lie down. 


In conclusion:


First thought is that these all turned out unintentionally, yet exceptionally summery. I think I’m projecting all my hopes for May – September onto these 5 looks. 


But I truly had a great time doing this. It was so much fun to plan and discuss outfits with friends. And it was a great time taking photos and laughing in my dingy garden (shoutout to my housemate Bela for being photographer extraordinaire). 


It’s sometimes hard to find activities that feel new and exciting right now and this week I feel like I rediscovered something that I had forgotten how much I loved. If you feel like it, use some of these prompts and try it yourself for a week, or team up with a friend and give each other new prompts. Give yourself a catalyst for fun.