Marlyn Shapiro on the COVID 19 runway models her latest fashion accessory — the sarong.

By MARILYN SHAPIRO
Victoria has a secret during the pandemic.

She is NOT wearing an underwire. And she is like many other women. Yes, we have expunged our Exquisite Forms, ousted our Olgas and had a wipeout of our Warners.  Instead, we have traded our confining, poky attire for the comfort of sports bras, bralettes, or maybe even nothing! Not since the ’60s, when we were burning our Balis have women felt so liberated!

Independent Research
I conducted a very scientific research study by posting the following question to my women friends on FaceBook: “Have you liberated your girls since youve been sheltering in place/working from home?”

One friend wrote, “NEVER!” Others wished that they could, but were afraid of  “flapping in the wind.” Many, however are ditching their underwires for more comfortable alternatives. Those who went full commando were positively gleeful. “I haven’t worn one since quarantine time started, in or out of house, replied Becky. “Quite enjoying this and might have a hard time going back!” Bev wrote, “Best part of quarantine!”

Dressing For Comfort
I am retired, so maybe my casual life style isn’t a stretch. But you have had to live under a mushroom not to know that very few people are dressing for success these days. It is not only our underwear that has changed. We have ditched constrictive clothing for yoga outfits, caftans, or pajamas.

We may put on more public clothes for our trips to the supermarket, and we may don nice clothes (at least from the waist up) for our Zoom sessions. Personally, I have said “So long!” to restrictive clothes and said hello to sarongs.

I purchased my first green wrap (also know as a pareo in Tahitian or a shmata in Yiddish) in Jamaica to wrap around my bathing suit when heading to the resort beach. I now own about 10 in different colors and fabrics. They are light, versatile and perfect for Florida’s heat and humidity. Larry has even purchased a men’s mini version. Dinners on our lanai (Florida for covered porch) wouldn’t be the same without our strategically knotted wraps with Radio Margaritaville playing in the background.

Mysteries
So here is the first mystery of this pandemic. Larry and I are obviously not putting much or effort into our attire. So why are we doing so much laundry? We need to wash our exercise clothing after one use (you cannot swim, bike, or play pickleball in a sarong.) And we do shed all clothes we have worn on one of our exciting outings to the supermarket and library. But we still seem to be working our Whirlpool quite a bit. I have decided that the pandemic has brought out the “Happy Hoshapiro shmemaker” in me. I am cooking and baking more. Coupled with our obsessiveness for hand washing, surface wiping, and sanitizing, I end up with piles of towels and cleaning rags.

And here is the second mystery of this pandemic. Somehow, when I do venture into my closet for something with a waistband, it appears that my clothes have shrunk.

Widespread Phenomenon
Again, using my very scientific method of asking the question on FaceBook, it seems that this phenomenon is widespread (especially in the hips and waist). It has to be something that is causing this issue has taken residence in my closet. It certainly isn’t related to all our homemade meals. Or the glass of wine we have been imbibing every day since lockdown. Or binge watching Schitt$ Creek or Outlander or repeats of The Big Bang Theory. Or even worse, what is now known as the Covid Curve or Quarantine 15 (which thankfully has not happened to me!). I have left several messages with my pest control expert to see if he can exorcize this demon along with the occasional ghost ant infestation, but he hasn’t responded.

Until then, I will rely on my sarong to keep me happy and stress free. Hopefully, when this pandemic is over, we may see a permanent change in our wardrobes. Those in cold climates can have their yoga outfits and sweatshirts. I will be stocking up on sarongs!

SOURCES

https://www.yalemedicine.org/stories/quarantine-15-weight-gain-pandemic/

Marilyn Shapiro, formerly of Clifton Park, is now a resident of Kissimmee, Fla. A second compilation of her articles printed in The Jewish World has been published. Tikkun Olam now joins There Goes My Heart. Shapiro’s blog is theregoesmyheart.me.

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