Culture Diary: Loungin’, or How Capitalism Ruined Sweatpants

Jill Gallagher
4 min readDec 16, 2020
Photo by Mike Von on Unsplash

I miss getting dressed. Like most people, I’ve taken to calling jeans “hard pants” and pretty much avoid wearing them at all costs. At this point, I really only put them on to go grocery shopping, which is also my only real big outing these days. Otherwise, I wear sweatpants, leggings, and pj pants to sit around my apartment and to walk my dog in loops around my building. I’ve become the person who wears my slippers outdoors. Most days, let’s be real, I don’t wear a bra, and forget about makeup. Literally—I’ve forgotten how to wear makeup.

Sometimes I look at the dresses in my closet; the cute leopard-print booties I got on clearance from Madewell in March, when the pandemic still seemed like something we’d come out of in a month or two, at most; the pairs of colored tights rolled into neat rows on a closet shelf; and I feel something like nostalgia.

Earlier today, I got an alert about a sale at J. Crew Factory (I mean, they’re always having sales, but every once in a while, you gotta check it out). Cute sweaters for $30! Tartan blouses with puffy sleeves! T-shirts with clever sayings! A slinky cheetah-print skirt! Matching pajama sets! I clicked through page after page of discounted goods, only putting a solitary pair of gray sweatpants in my cart. Even the matching pajama sets seemed like too much effort, to be honest. Who was I trying to impress with matching pjs? Gizmo? He could care less. Ultimately, I ended up closing out of the site, leaving the sweatpants alone in my metaphorical shopping cart (what happens to all the unwanted stuff in all the metaphorical carts?) because I’ve been working hard to resist the urge to buy things I don’t need or that won’t bring me joy. It was the second time today I did it — earlier, I’d filled a different metaphorical cart with whimsical Christmas ornaments and then abandoned it to the ether of the internet.

I miss shopping and getting dressed, but truthfully, I’m appreciating the permission to be comfortable 24/7, to let my body just be soft and unencumbered. There are days I don’t shower, and that’s okay! Most nights I still wash my face and put on serums and moisturizer, but it’s also not a nightly occurrence. I haven’t colored my hair since January and I kind of like the washed-out, ombre-ish situation happening.

Jill Gallagher

Editor & writer. I'm a chain reader who also enjoys shopping and cheese.