Dressing up indoors (for going outdoors)

Oh, alright then. If you insist. But you’ll have to excuse the mess. My dressing area is a war zone, my selfie game not what it used to be. I led with a dummy because I wanted to keep my fat self from appearing on the YLF wall of fame, with no makeup and a grumpy face on. And long hair, which is coming up.

But first of all, colour me astonished at the things that always seem to work. Sonia Rykiel’s H&M tube dress is (almost) as flattering on a fuller figure as it ever was, so file it in the box marked things that should not work but do. Flop proof over black base layers of which I have several, teamed with velour trousers which I promise you are definitely not my pyjamas. Finish it off with Scarpa Mojito sneakers with decorative lacing, and we are good to go.

Bear with me. While I have every intention of getting back to fighting weight if I possibly can, I am not going to sacrifice style until I get there, so I have no choice but to dress the body I have. Not planning on panic buying either, because I have plenty to be going on with, and winter is traditionally the season to be jolly, which I always assumed was a byword for being gluttonous. Stretch fabrics and elasticated waistbands are my friends, far too useful to stay indoors.

The goal is to elevate pyjamas to the level where they can feasibly leave the house. Objectively, this is nothing that can’t be fixed with the right shoes, accessories and outerwear, and I am far from the only woman in this town to be wearing these kinds of pants on the street. Pyjamas are like beauty, in the eye of the beholder, if only I can stop thinking of them as pyjamas. Hang them in the closet instead of folding them with tees, and pretend they are a real pair of trousers. Of course they are. Pyjama trousers are trousers.

The same trick with a draped knit, this time with Fluevog creepers and a necklace Angie might recognize. I quite like the way I fill this homemade dress these days, but you can see where all that homemade pasta went. This ensemble left the house under the MMM-H&M oversized blazer, and got as far as the supermarket. Sigh.

Lastly, I’m experimenting with this black cotton/viscose mix tunic with a deep vee. In the past, I’ve worn this mostly over button downs but rarely felt moved to wear it with a tee. Right now it seems obvious, necessity being the mother of invention and all that. I like this formula for getting more out of the omnipresent screen prints in the transitional season. Seen here with boots, pleather skirt, long hair and Pablo’s grumpy face on. I am pretty sure he looks marginally better in the mirror than on camera and I’m struggling to see past the need for a better bra, but I’m thinking the proportions should work with the right underpinnings. Just flattering enough? I might wear it to go out at the weekend.

What say you good people? No need to comment on the looks if it’s embarrassing. Tell me what you think about outdoor pyjamas. Also considering a black plissé midi skirt to wear under all three of these knits. Next month's +J collection has the very thing.

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This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

37 Comments

  • Stagiaire Fash replied 1 month ago

    What do I think of the pj pants? I don’t know, because they are mostly covered up here. #4 is my favorite of these looks.
    I hear you on not feeling like doing the work to get back in fighting form. On pj pants on the forum in general, one regular has now changed her name and icon in response to comments on a pj pants post. My “favorite” of the responses there went something like “I can’t tell how thick these are [direct quote] so I’m going to assume the worst [my paraphrase]”. Personally, I prefer clear, specific comments over beating around the bush with the expectation that I will gather that they don’t like a certain thing for a certain reason—but then I expect the commenter to have the fortitude to discuss the thing, which seems to upset some people. Anyway, you have an excellent writing style and a sense of humor /thick skin about yourself, your style, & your body, so enjoy!

    ETA, I recently Columbused Fluevogs, am considering a future purchase, so I love seeing them at work.

    ETA one more: support for lingerie, including jammies, as clothing is here. Note: some looks are more realistic than others. https://www.thelingerieaddict......rwear.html

  • approprio replied 1 month ago

    Well, technically they’re not pyjamas, but I do so love the word. And thanks for the compliment on the writing style. I’m working on it. 

    In general, I’m interested in the psychology at work here. All these trousers are fit for purpose, they’re just not the ones I would be wearing to leave the house. The goal is not only to wear them out of doors, more to dress that way while I am indoors. The perennial WFH problem. 

    The Fluevogs are good shoes, albeit a bit squeaky at times, but that might just be me. I am plagued by squeaky shoes. I would wear that corset over a white shirt.

  • Tanya replied 1 month ago

    So good to see your outfits again! You look as chic as ever. Great and creative outfits all around, and I especially like #4, such a fun juxtaposition. Love the idea of a pleated skirt, especially in (faux) leather.

  • Bijou replied 1 month ago

    I agree with Tanya, you look creative and fabulous. Outfit #1 is my favourite, I love the striped dress layered over black. The J+ collection and skirt look very promising. It will be fun to see how you style this skirt.

  • Angie replied 1 month ago

    SOOO GREAT to see you again! That rainbow striped dress is SIGNATURE. Your dramatic, creative, layered, and avant-garde looks are on point, and very authentic! Harajuku-Chic. I cannot imagine you dressing another way, and that's all sooooo good :)

    I absolutely recognize the necklace. Fun Amsterdam shopping together! May we do it again one day...... met friet.

    I am loving your long hair, Rio! It looks gorgeous with the headgear. And you look fabulous! Pic #4 is my KILLER fave. Fun, cheeky and unexpected - yet grounded. 

    As for "pyjama" pants - the item is a very grey area (fluid) these days (by-product of the pandemic). Yours look like velour sweat pants......which people wear for dressy, for casual, for lounging, and to sleep in! It's not too different to the sweatshirt I am discussing on the blog today. 

  • Janet replied 1 month ago

    I would never have thought the pants were pajama pants — they look substantial enough that the visual effect is simply of a pair of drapey, casual black trousers. If they were super thin, clingy, or an awkward length, the impression may be otherwise, but I would not fret this if I were you. Real pants they are! (Full confession: at this very moment I am wearing a pair of actual patterned pants that I could not bring myself to wear in public so they are, for me, pajama pants. These things are fluid!)

    I really like #4 with the tee and tunic with pleather — the unusual neckline is perfect for a graphic tee. You look ready for an art gallery reception in my town, which I love.

    Your hair has gotten so long! Thank you for sharing pics. I think you’re being a little hard on yourself (I can relate and am trying to do better!), because you still look great and your unique perspective still shows through. Keep rocking on!

  • slim cat replied 1 month ago

    Nice outfits - love the headgear and graphic tee in #4! I think you've done great with your pieces - inventive, stylish and fun! 
    I hear all the time from my customers how the pandemic did a number on their bodies and styles - but you fought back and put together interesting looks - well done!

  • approprio replied 1 month ago

    Angie, hehe, I was just thinking, I should call my style “whatever’s trending in Tokyo” (wait until you see what I’m wearing today!) And I think if you visited Amsterdam now you would fall in love with it again. The best thing about lockdown has been: hardly any tourists!  

    I thought the same when I read today’s blog post. The key seems to be  getting the right balance between casual and formal. 

    Janet: a lot of this is about getting used to looking at myself in the mirror again, and working with what I have. Mostly, the problem is in my head. In reality, this is like having a whole new wardrobe. 

    Tanya, Bijou, thanks! I’ve seen some lovely faux leather plissé, but I think I want something lighter for layering. Also, hoping to get all my shopping done at once at +J.

    slim cat: yeah, I think the problem has been universal. It takes a toll psychologically too. 

  • lisa p replied 1 month ago

    Well. This is all just great to my eye. And your hair!  I had always enjoyed your posts for the writing and the creativity (which is  based on an understanding of fashion, not just chucking stuff together ) in your style.  I'm thrilled to see you back again, as I always learn and pick up something from your posts.  I don't see pyjama pants at all - and consider velour fluid fit pants an iconic classic at this point . Not for everyone, but for certain lovers of era-based dressing, they are great.  

    I'm in the midst of (yet another?) journey towards regaining my fighting form, and getting rid of unhealthy body fat (based on the results of an InBody scan I did a couple of months ago).  God the process is slow, but I also didn't get there overnight so.........

  • approprio replied 1 month ago

    I hear you lisap. It’s a long haul, and you’re right, it doesn’t happen overnight. But I refuse to fall for the body image trap, because that’s what clothes are for in my opinion. FWIW, I’ve always enjoyed your style too. 

  • Jonesy replied 1 month ago

    I love your style, thanks for sharing these creative, fab looks! I love the SR for H&M dress, and the deep-V dress over the t-shirt (the turban!)! The striped gray and black tunic is fab too, but the other two are really eye-catching and full of verve.

  • rachylou replied 1 month ago

    I was going to say those don’t look like pjs! Lol, tho, your hair is so long! That’s what I have to adjust to. I saw my cousin’s husband yesterday for the first time in two years and he has a covid beard. Looks good, but bends my mind :)

  • lisa p replied 1 month ago

    Ha - I'm pretty health obsessed.  I work in that industry now, and I'm guarding my body and health as I age to the best of my ability. Some of it is body image crap carried from my youth, but a lot of it is medical/health related. We all have baggage we cart around ;)  

  • Star replied 1 month ago

    Hello, I have been on the forum for almost 2 years now and considering I never have seen the pre-pandemic you all I see is one heck of a stylish woman.  I can see a quirkiness (may I call it that?) in your style that I gravitate towards. I am taken with all 3 outfits.  I look forward to more and 'good to meet You'. :) 

  • Stagiaire Fash replied 1 month ago

    Going for a healthy % of body fat is the opposite of “body image crap”. I’m now at the same weight I was a few months ago, but larger, because I have a higher % body fat. See my above comment about not putting in the work. Sure, we can dress well to look nice. That’s an entirely different issue, in my book. I’m not saying anything about you, and this is your post, so I’ll stop, but I just wanted to point out the difference.

    Oh, and I have a question: did you get a djilba in Morocco? Someone with a very cool style did, just as I was starting on ylf. Was that you?

  • approprio replied 1 month ago

    Jonesy: thanks! Sometimes it’s all about the colors.

    Rachylou: 
    mind bending COVID beard haha. Oddly enough, I grew my hair in honor of that bit in the Count of Monte Christo where the guy grows a beard in prison and then ….  never mind. 

    Lisap:
     I used the word trap, not crap. A subtle distinction. I do think health concerns and body image are two different things though, because very often we’re made to feel insecure about our perfectly healthy bodies. It’s all about maintenance, and getting dressed can be a part of that. 

    Star: thanks! Just looked at your WIW and you have a nice style yourself. Are you in Odessa by any chance?

    SF: I’ll say it all blunt like. People put on weight for all kinds of reasons, and women use it to shame each other all the time. And clothes are not just to look nice, they’re how we tell the world who we are.

    So glad we cleared that up. And if you mean this, yeah, that’s me.

  • Stagiaire Fash replied 1 month ago

    Yes! That’s the post. :). Agree with you about many reasons for weight gain and loss. For that matter, there are plenty of reasons we put various pieces of clothing on our bodies. Regardless of what other people try to make us feel, healthy bodies are not about presentation. I think we are mostly in agreement. I was just reacting to your comment on Lisa P referencing body fat %. That's the healthiest measure I can think of, especially compared to “am I a this shape or a that, and how can I take off weight here?” and other more common questions.

  • Star replied 1 month ago

    Thanks back!  I am in a small Ancient town, Nesebar (previously aka Mesembria).  Originally from South Africa.

  • Firecracker replied 1 month ago

    Your style is still so creative and inspiring. I love the two striped dresses over black--so inventive, signature to you, and fantastic proportions. I also admire #4, love the deep V over the graphic tee! It has a more formal air to me, perhaps because of the leather skirt, and looks more like going-out than WFH style. I also think it could work without the pants, to show the super-cool boots. 

  • Minaminu replied 1 month ago

    hello there! fab outfits and great attitude with the weight gain/loss, it's quite refreshing to hear such positive attitude. The hairstyle also looks fab!

  • LaPed replied 1 month ago

    Welcome back to the forum! Love the stripes—both bright and grey. Agree with you that little knit dresses are often better when they’re properly “filled out”. You’re right that shoes and outerwear are the linchpins and none of these read as stopgap “nothing to wear” outfits.

    Fun story: the tween daughter of a friend of mine scoured thrift stores to find a Juicy Couture track suit so she could be “the early 2000s” for Halloween. She would approve of your velvety pants for sure!

    I’m on Team Long Hair these days too. Growing it out, experimenting with styling, tweaking hair care routine, etc has turned out to be a fun pandemic project.

  • lisa p replied 1 month ago

    Oh yeah - the word crap was mine , I did that on purpose ;) I only mentioned what I did to explain myself - which I shouldn’t need to do , I know . Sorry for any awkwardness there - none intended from me .

  • RobinF replied 1 month ago

    Ooh these are fabulous! My favorite is #4 with the cool tee and head wrap - gorgeous.

    I bet Amsterdam has been really nice without tourists but, as a tourist, I loved the city and can't wait to go back! Sorry :)

  • Style Fan replied 1 month ago

    How wonderful to see your outfits again! 

    Your style is so Avant-Garde and creative.

    My favourite is #4.  PJ Pants!  I have no opinion on PJ pants, and if they work for someone, then wear them.  I am open to possibilities. 

  • Sal replied 1 month ago

    Fab outfits - my favourite is the striped dress.  The laces picking up the strikes is fun.

    Pyjama pants/leggings/trackpants etc..it is all pretty fluid now.  I have a very cool pair of pyjama pants I could wear with a tee in summer.  I might try wearing them casually and see if the sky falls.

    Sadly hair is a victim of pandemics.  I am currently back in the ponytail stage as we are back in a lockdown (lighter version than it has been but still no haircuts..)  Even the strict school rules have had to be loosened for my son...

  • shevia replied 1 month ago

    So great to see you! And you look fabulous, truly. We are (almost) all so much harder on ourselves than each other, perhaps it is just human nature. Or woman nature, not sure.
    Anyway, and specifically, I especially love the SR tunic look. Perhaps I am being influenced by all the bright colors out there but I am very into it right now. Love your hair in the hair thingy. Don't consider everything with an elastic waist pajamas and am not getting that vibe here at all.
    Homemade grey tunic is brilliant.
    Long tunic with deep v paired with graphic tee is excellent too. I am a little skewed because, with the head covering, it is exactly what the art teacher from the funky orthodox community wishes she had thought to wear. To be sure, not something that very many other people would see.
    Please keep them coming!

  • Echo replied 1 month ago

    Is is SOOO good to see you back! Your style is as amazing as ever!

  • approprio replied 1 month ago

    Star: Nesebar looks fascinating! Your neck of the woods has some of the best ancient history. A topic for another time. Probably another forum, hehe

    Firecracker, thanks! I’ve worn this tunic over a white shirt dress with black tights and boots. Might go back to that, but I fear it could look top heavy right now. 

    Minaminu, cheers. To be honest, I’m amazed at how gracefully my wardrobe is failing right now. 

    LaPed: The pants in the pic are from Uniqlo. They’re nice enough, but the JC’s are better quality and have that trendy boot cut. The butt of a thousand jokes is a lovely product with some serious staying power, as lisap says, a modern classic. I should probably get another pair…

    RobinF: then next time you should visit Utrecht! Every bit as nice in its way, and with a fraction of the tourists. 

    SF: thanks! Looking forward to seeing some of your pics too. 

    Sal: yikes, too bad about the lockdown. Wondering how long before it happens again here. Hopefully not before +J drops.

    Shevia: yay! i am a funky orthodox art teacher :D Honestly though, the longer hair needs “dressing”, with hats, scarves, headbands, what have you. Not a bad thing by any means. I look forward to the day when a headscarf is just a headscarf…

    Echo: h5! So lovely to see you all again!

  • lyn67 replied 1 month ago

    Ah, I can't speak exactly about PJ pants-but the new fashion sweat pants (including velour) are alluring to me as well! My fave is nr 1,2&3-love those colorfull/monochromatic HOROZONTAL(!!!) which some say shouldn't flatter but OMG I always feel a million bucks when wear them on my items, so am happily filling it in THAT box you mention! Then, I adore Pablo (all the things he did and said:-))---so how can  I not admire your outfit constructed around that tee-so creative, so artsy, so special! And yes, a pleated skirt would look fab to all things here-I wear mine with graphic tees(white or black-so you can use Pablo again if wanted:-)) and a black denim jacket+ a waistbag. Both your shoe options would be great here again!

  • Katerina replied 1 month ago

    These are some great artistic outfits! I am especially drawn to the first one - love SR colors and stripes, and the colorful laces look great! But the other two combinations are equally good.
    As to the PJ trousers as “real” trousers - I do not normally care for labels. The wearer decides what the trousers are. I have a pair of actual pyjama trousers in black viscose that I wear as “real” trousers - both outdoors and indoors. And some “real” trousers I wear only for lounging…
    I am nodding along with your comments about wearing outdoor outfits indoors - i.e. dressing for real when at home - that is an area I would like to work on. WFH - I want to dress. I am improving, but far from getting there.

  • Katerina replied 1 month ago

    Approprio, FWIW - these are the actual pyjama trousers here worn as “real” trousers with a jacket, a silk scarf, a clutch … he, he. Picture from 2018.

  • Sally replied 1 month ago

    I remember you and your funky clothes from when I was on the site before.  I seem to come back periodically when my body either gains or loses weight to get inspiration to dress my new body. I have kind of come to the conclusion that only we really notice our loses and gains and anybody can dress in a way that fundamentally expresses who they are.   Great outfits and you continue to look very funky.  In regard to Pyjama pants, if it works, it works and if nobody knows, what difference does it make.  I have some singlets that had sleeping singlets on them but I still wear them with my dress pants.  

  • approprio replied 1 month ago

    Lynn67: i know! And science proves it: horizontal stripes are more flattering. Thanks for the kind words. Grumpy Pablo is pleased.

    Katerina: right! I think I’m struggling with the psychology of indoors/outdoors, rather than the garments themselves. Something to do with the phenomenon of enclothed cognition, perhaps. I’m resisting the temptation to dress up too much while I try to nail the formula, and I must say it’s paying off already, I’m already more mindful indoors, and better at leaving the house at a moment’s notice. 

    Your PJ’s look amazing, by the way. Lovely belt. 

    Sally: I’m not sure I could tell the difference with any singlets. And I’ve certainly slept in some of my t-shirts…

    Thanks once again everyone for the warm welcome back. Much appreciated, particularly when I feel like such a mess.

  • Janet replied 1 month ago

    Re: stripes and flattery — I’m convinced that the flattery aspect of stripes has a lot to do with contrast, thickness/thinness of stripe, and placement. To me, your stripes work so well because they are low contrast, a moderate thickness that doesn’t overwhelm or look too dainty, and are evenly distributed all over the garment.

    I’m reminded of the tiered, striped Bailey44 dress from years ago that spawned a dozen or more knockoffs —‘I had it in a plum color and wore it for years, until I had to admit to myself that I had “outgrown” it (bought when I was wearing a size 6-8, not so fab on a size 10). I was super skeptical of the all over stripes at the time, but it really worked.

  • Zaeobi replied 1 month ago

    The concept of 'pyjamas' is, I'm learning, rather culturally dependent. When we first moved to the UK, people would make fun of my mother for wearing 'pyjamas' outside because she was wearing shalwar kameez. A decade later though, dresses over trousers became a 'trend', ugh lol...

    Anyway, my point is that it really depends on how you *feel* in clothing as to whether it counts as PJ's or not. I wear elasticated waistbands to fit over both my waist & hips when I'm in a rush to get out of the house lol. And whilst I feel comfy in them, I wouldn't go to sleep in them. But those linen wide legged pants that are popular over the summer? *Those* feel like pajamas to me, because of the wrinkled & slightly sheer look. My actual pyjamas, however, are probably more than what most folk here would wear for loungewear (I posted it in the forum during COVID WFH - a long cardigan, elasticated cuffed trousers, thin top & a scarf).

    If you're still worried, pair the trousers with slightly more dressed up accessories (like patent brogues or a metallic bag).

  • approprio replied 1 month ago

    Janet, it’s an interesting effect. I think the key with the SR dress is colour variations. Dark plum around the waist, blush and yellow over the hips. It creates a subtle hourglass effect. I remember those Bailey dresses. Popular because they were so flattering, no doubt. 


    Zaeobi, exactly! It’s all in the mind. I’ve noticed that simply putting together a well proportioned outfit can be enough. For instance, yesterday I went out in a pair of black joggers with a white stripe, which easily pass as trendy streetwear around here, with black, navy and citron layers and a color block shopper. All very casual, with contrast and proportions doing the heavy lifting. I probably looked more like a tourist than the tourists though. I like your ideas for adding a bit more polish. 

    As for the shalwar kameez, good grief aren’t British people rude! How dare they! But I remember that dress over pants trend being specifically influenced by Asian conventions. It felt very new at the time, and now it’s part of the lexicon. 

  • approprio replied 1 month ago

    Scored more swag for my indoors/outdoors concept: 
    https://www.uniqlo.com/eu/en_H.....443246_col

    These are great for bringing fleeces and bomber jackets into the formula. And they look fantastic oversized. 

    Thanks again everyone. What an incredibly useful thread this has been!

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