• emsteinbrink

How I've redefined my style in a post-pandemic world.



I've always been a shoe lover. I hate to even admit that I own easily 75 pairs of shoes, which are heaped on top of each other in my tiny closet. (I really need help organizing a small space!) Because - whether it's good or bad - I believe there is a perfect shoe for every outfit.


In particular, I love heels. I distinctly remembering receiving a beautiful pair of heels, a sexy lacy bodysuit, and dramatic ready-to-party earrings in the mail the week that we found out that my kids schools was closing due to COVID, with no plan of a return. Here I was, excited beyond belief to go out and find a reason to wear my new fancy purchases, and instead, I found myself squarely - and indefinitely - inside my home.


I was not about to let a silly pandemic upend style. It was my primary creative outlet, after all.

So, as any good style blogger would do, I put on the beloved heels and lacy bodysuit and statement earrings and snapped a photo. A photo which I could barely stand to post on my feed because it was so out of touch. Who on earth was thinking about a lace bodysuit and heels at a time like this? (Exactly no one.)


"I'll dress up inside my house and pretend like I'm having my own party, " I committed to myself. "I'll wear all my clothes even if I am going no where," I swore. I was not about to let a silly pandemic upend style. It was my primary creative outlet, after all. My whole life, getting dressed was like playing dress up. And I didn't want the dress-up fun to stop. But then day after day, working in my cold make-shift basement office, the only thing I craved were large sweaters and my worn-in moccasin slippers.


I had to find a middle ground somewhere. An intersection between feeling like me + dressing appropriately for what seemed to be the new way of things.

I think it was about that time (maybe a week or so into the pandemic) that I fell into a bit of a funk. Ok, maybe a BIG funk. I didn't feel myself. I didn't look myself. I didn't know exactly what to do with myself. Not only was I getting used to the fact that no one was going anywhere, but that I was now living a life of working from home. Dressing in my pre-pandemic style - which almost always involved a crisp blazer and heels - suddenly just felt.... off.


Conversely, dressing in leggings and a baggy sweatshirt also felt off. It left me feeling like I had zero energy. I felt frumpy, and had no motivation to do anything, except maybe lay down on the couch. (Which I tried to do while working and failed miserably.) My whole life I had programmed my brain that getting dressed = productivity. So relegating myself to loungewear 24/7 was doing no favors for getting things done.


I had to find a middle ground somewhere. An intersection between feeling like me + dressing appropriately for what seemed to be the new way of things. I may have been the only one in world doing so, but wearing jeans or pants, as well as dresses or skirts was my go-to, 99.9% of the time paired with sneakers. Somehow, this felt like a happy place between creativity and practicality.


And what of my beloved heels? I would throw those on from time to time just for a joy ride, but they weren't getting much love. And, if I am completely honest, they just didn't feel as good as they once did.


Fast forward to the present, a little over a year since the pandemic started, I feel a renewed sense of hope. A sense that there is newness and change in the air. A hope that things may one day soon return to what we so fondly refer to as "normal." But, do we really want normal to return?


I don't think for a moment [my style] has changed. But how I interpret my style into my every day life has changed.

Personally, I'm giddy that I am now busy helping my clients put outfits together for social events and gatherings, as well as their return to work attire. Some are thrilled to be re-united with dressier options that had so long been neglected, while others are looking to re-define their work attire in a way that's comfier and less confining. Which camp do you feel yourself leaning into?


As for me? Well, let's just say this. I have always defined my style as bold, feminine and classic. I don't think for a moment that's changed, even amidst a global pandemic. But how I interpret my style words into my every day life and outfits has changed. At the moment, I am finding it a good creative challenge to see how many things I can style with my sneakers. (Photo below for proof of my recent efforts!)



As for my heels and fancy clothes? I can confidently say they are going nowhere fast, nor do I have any plans to donate or sell them off. I am genuinely excited for the day when they become a part of my regular rotation again. And I've decided this dichotomy of feelings is ok. I believe there are times in our life when our style HAS to change. It has to adapt and flow. Namely, during big life events such as changing jobs, having a baby, or losing or gaining weight. What doesn't have to change is how we define our style. I believe that's a constant that is always a part of us. How we interpret that style into every life doesn't have to be a constant.



Not sure what your unique, personal style is?

Read my blog on how to find your personal style. Because one thing I know is that every one of us has a style. You just need to find it.


If you're feeling like you could use some help defining your style, or creating a wardrobe that feels like it fits your life now, then let's talk! Book a free 30-minute style consultation my calendar right here.




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