For most of our modern history, we’ve abided by the social contract that people do not wear pajamas or house clothes outside of the home. That changed as we embraced a more casual bent toward dressing — and shame. By the mid-to-late aughts, slobs in pajama pants and shower shoes started appearing in airports and proliferating across the People of Walmart Tumblr. And we all agreed that the only worthy accessory to pair with this look would be a black bar across your face.
But thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, wearing sloppy duds loudly and proudly has been rebranded as très chic. Call it COVIDcore. Celebrities and once-stylish New Yorkers have emerged from quarantine dressed as if they’d been lying in bed for five months like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s” Grandpa Joe.
Cara Delevingne, one of the most in-demand models in the world, dined out in LA last week wearing shower shoes and tube socks. In the Hamptons, Marvel movie star Scarlett Johansson sported head-to-toe sweats accessorized with athletic slide sandals. And hotshot athletes, who’ve been sporting designer duds and topping best-dressed lists, are taking a break, too: Former Alabama star Henry Ruggs III wore an Old Spice bathrobe on national television when he was drafted by the Raiders in April.
With no cocktail parties, red carpets or actual power lunches happening, many are dressing for a Netflix binge. Gone are the frilly, flowery summer sundresses and neat shorts and collared shirts of summers past. Instead, bike shorts, slip-on shower shoes and tie-dye gear now dominate our streets. Here are some of the worst offenders.
Wheely bad shorts
During normal times, model Emily Ratajkowski is known for wearing as little as possible, but lately she’s also become the biggest ambassador for bike shorts since Greg LeMond.
Pop stars Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes are working overtime to earn their COVIDcore cred, stepping out for paparazzi-peppered walks in floppy finery. In a tank top, workout shorts and shower slides, Mendes looks like he’s trying to become a cast member of “Jersey Shore.” Cabello brings up the rear in sloppy hippie gear that says, “I sell candles made of my dog’s ear wax at the farmer’s market.”
Is that international sex symbol and superstar Scarlett Johansson or a Midwest soccer mom picking up Clorox wipes and toilet paper from Target? Perhaps the disguise earns her some anonymity, but at what cost?
‘High School Musical’ heroine Vanessa Hudgens has emerged as the patron saint of all this mess. Here she is sporting the holy trinity: fuzzy slides, a baggy T-shirt and oversize tie-dye pants that give off big hacky-sack slacker energy.