Tips for your new ‘corona casual’ look

Mad Mag's fashion blogger gives some advice on how to nail a chic loungewear look

Photo courtesy of Taryn Pemberton Schmidt

Taryn Pemberton Schmidt dons a pair of printed joggers that can be dressed up or down.

It wasn’t so long ago that we were yearning for an evening or weekend when we could get cozy in our loungewear and do nothing. Now those highly sought-after days are, well, every day. I think we are all coming to face the fact that for the foreseeable future, things are going to be pretty casual, pretty much all of the time.

It is not the worst thing to ever happen, but that’s not to say many of us aren’t itching to throw on our favorite outfit and paint the town red. In a pandemic, I’m fairly certain all fashion rules go right out the window, so if you want to wear an evening gown to Hyvee – hey, you do you. All joking aside, finding some semblance of the “old normal” in this new world in which we live can provide some solace when things feel a bit out of control. We can’t fully control this pandemic, but we can control how we show up and face it every day in our own skin. Here are a few casual fashion tips to help you get through another day in these crazy times:

GET DRESSED. We’ve been in this thing for several months now and it was amazing to stay in our pajamas all day long for the first couple of weeks. Then we graduated to the “Zoom Meeting Mullet” (business on top, loungewear on the bottom). Now, it’s time to get dressed. Getting dressed really helps with your mood as it gives you a sense of purpose for the day. I know I personally feel more productive when I put on clothes versus pajamas. It’s also good practice to throw on a pair of jeans once a month just to check in and make sure all the Culver’s concrete mixers haven’t tossed you too far off course!

PUT ON SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU SMILE. For me, it’s often a great pair of earrings. Enough with saving things for a “special occasion.” You know what’s special? Going anywhere or doing anything in the middle of a pandemic! So, wear the earrings, and yes, you CAN pair fancy earrings with your favorite tee – that’s what makes fashion fun! There have been countless days when I was feeling a little “2020” (that’s definitely a thing now, by the way), and I decided to put on a fun pair of earrings, looked in the mirror and smiled. Instant mood lifter – highly suggested.

Yellow Dress

Photo courtesy of Taryn Pemberton Schmidt

WEAR A COLOR THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY. Might I suggest yellow? Studies have shown that the color yellow is perceived as a high-energy color and is often used to create a sense of excitement. We could all use a bit of that right about now. If yellow is not your thing, find a color you love and that makes you feel good, and wear it often. It could be something as simple as changing the colors of the laces in your running shoes from white to blue, or pulling out the perfect red lipstick to get through your Zoom meeting with confidence.

Loung Outside 1

Photo courtesy of Taryn Pemberton Schmidt

LEVEL UP YOUR LOUNGEWEAR. Perhaps you would prefer to spend all day in your favorite leopard print pajamas, but what is it exactly that you love about those pajamas? Is it the fun print, or is that they’re super comfortable? My guess is probably both, and that’s a good thing. Exciting prints and comfort can apply to the loungewear we choose to wear outside of the house as well. Instead of lounging in your printed pajamas, throw on your favorite tee, some printed joggers (my new favorite pants), and wedge sneakers or sandals to pull together a casual, yet comfortable look that can be worn in the comfort of your home, or out and about in Madtown. I highly recommend picking up a pair of the printed harem pants from Anthropologie at Hilldale. You’ll find them in the loungewear/sleepwear section. They can be super chic worn as pants if you style and accessorize them appropriately.


Photo courtesy of Taryn Pemberton Schmidt

GRAB YOUR MASK AND LET’S GO. Masks are “so 2020”…and may very well be sticking around in 2021, too. Never in a million years did any of us think we would be wearing masks anywhere and everywhere, but here we are. Interestingly enough, in absence of seeing your smile, your mask may just be your best accessory these days. Choose masks that match your personality – from showcasing your Packers or Badgers pride to abstract and animal prints, the possibilities are endless. Many Madison-area retailers and Etsy shops are selling masks and cloth face coverings (you can find a list of local suppliers by clicking here). Due to the statewide mask mandate, your mask is your admission fee to anything you’d like to do around town, so grab your favorite one and safely enjoy all that Madison has to offer.