We Wore Fancy Clothes At Home For A Week To See If Dressing Up Would Help Cheer Us Up – Here’s What Happened

We Wore Fancy Clothes At Home For A Week To See If Dressing Up Would Help Cheer Us Up – Here’s What Happened

Hi! We’re Isabel and Valeza. We have been following lockdown guidelines in the UK to stay at home whenever possible and have been working from home for a good while now. But, to be entirely honest, we’re bored out of our minds of wearing leggings and baggy T-shirts all the time!


Isabel Daly and Valeza Bakoli / Via Buzzfeed

FYI, we took these photos waaay before lockdown.

Just so you get the picture, this is the kind of stuff we’ve been wearing while working from home so far…


Valeza Bakolli / Via BuzzFeed


Isabel Daly / Via Buzfeed

We’ve been somewhat inspired by people that are making the most of usually-mundane situations that are now (let’s be honest) the highlights of our week – wearing ball gowns to supermarkets, for example:

So we decided to dress up FANCY for an entire working week to see if this would cheer us up, make us more motivated, and just generally switch things up a bit!


Eleven Film / Via giphy.com

Goodbye loungewear, hello formal wear!

✨ MONDAY ✨


Valeza Bakolli / BuzzFeed, 20th Century Fox

Valeza:

To kick off the week and get myself in the working mood, I decided to wear my version of a power suit. I love this suit because the colour scheme reminds me of THAT famous Marge Simpson Chanel suit – you know, the pale pink one with the buttons? I didn’t find this style too OTT for my first day, and the oversized fit basically felt like wearing PJs – some may call it cheating, I call it self care!


Valeza Bakolli / Via BuzzFeed

In other news, it turns out that doing a lunchtime HIIT workout in a trouser suit and full face of makeup is exactly as sweaty and stiff as you’d imagine. Planks might be somewhat suit-friendly, but jumping jacks are definitely not! I think I’ll stick to exercising outside of working hours for the rest of the week, thank you.


Isabel Daly / Via Buzzfeed

Isabel: Great minds think alike! I started my week off with a power suit that looks like if Speak Now era Taylor Swift was also an ’80s career woman. I adored wearing this outfit. The entire day, I kept finding excuses to check myself out in the mirror. For the first time in weeks, I felt energetic. I didn’t even mind wearing a bra all day. A promising start!


Isabel Daly / Via Buzzfeed

Also, I can confirm that it is not easy to work out in a pantsuit. This was a terrible idea and I regret doing this.

✨ TUESDAY ✨


Isabel Daly / Via Buzzfeed

Isabel:

While Monday was fun, I wanted to go even more formal on Tuesday…so I wore an evening gown!

This look required more effort. I had to dig out my Junior prom dress out of storage, steam it, straighten my hair (which takes AGES), and do “natural” looking makeup. To accomplish this Herculean feat, I had to wake up TWO HOURS earlier than normal. Usually, my morning routine is waking up two minutes before work starts and grabbing my laptop from my night table. In other words, waking up today was a living nightmare and I hated it.

But once the dress was on, I felt wonderful! Wearing this dress reminded me of how much fun I had at prom, and how excited I am to see my friends when the world is less of an on-fire garbage can. After work ended, I put on on old Spotify playlist and partied like it was 2014.


Valeza Bakolli / Via BuzzFeed

Valeza:

I went for my ‘longline Marilyn Monroe’ dress today. Feeling *slightly* ashamed about this but unlike Isabel, I spent as little time getting ready today as possible! IMO, a pair of statement earrings covers a multitude of sins: aka a lazy high pony. Needless to say the novelty of the first day kinda wore off and waking up this morning was hard. But saying that, I DID enjoy floating down the stairs to breakfast in this dress – my mum said I looked like a Disney princess, which was fun. It was gorgeously sunny and breezy today so I took advantage of the convenient weather to do a Marilyn-esque photoshoot in my garden, creatively directed by my mum.

✨ WEDNESDAY ✨


Valeza Bakolli / Via BuzzFeed

Valeza:

I call this one my ‘Cinderella dress’ ✨I couldn’t really face wearing eye makeup today as I was feeling pretty down, which I was kinda bummed about as this is actually my favourite dress of the lot! I wore it to my close friend’s wedding at this EXACT time last year so maybe it brought back memories and made things feel weirdly more real?! There was definitely a strange parallel drawn while I was looking at pictures of me in it last year while crunching on my Cheerios, anyway. Still, I washed my hair and blow dried it straight for the occasion, and also video called my nan after work to show her my outfit – seeing the smile on her face helped to put a smile on mine :).


Isabel Daly / Via Buzzfeed

Isabel: On Wednesday, I wore a vintage cocktail dress. I was in a bit of a slump, and I wanted to wear something more casual. I figured a cocktail dress was about as casual as I could go in this challenge without breaking the rules.

I got this number at a thrift store, and every time I wear it, I feel like a Mad Men extra. Despite the sunny weather, it was rather chilly on Wednesday, so I paired my dress with a black trench coat.

Like Valeza, I couldn’t help but remember all the other times I had worn this dress: on dates, at parties, to the theatre. While it’s been surprisingly fun to get dressed up every day, I can’t help but wish that I had an event to get dressed up for.

✨ THURSDAY ✨


Isabel Daly / Via Buzzfeed

Isabel:

For my penultimate outfit, I went with my graduation dress. Now, I love this dress but it created several technical difficulties. I have since given away the six-inch heels I originally wore with this dress, so it’s far too long. It’s also very low cut, so finding a bra that didn’t peek through was next-to-impossible. Finally, both of my parents were out on their daily exercise, so I had to figure out how to do a solo-photoshoot.


Isabel Daly / Via Buzzfeed

But, when I sent my picture to Valeza, she gave me loads of compliments! She didn’t notice the awkward photo angle, the visible bra strap, or the too-long hem, and so suddenly I didn’t care about any of those things either! Looking back on the week, these were my favourite photos. Thursday reminded me that a crucial part of this challenge was doing it with another person.


Valeza Bakolli / Via BuzzFeed

Valeza:

Subconsciously channeling Isabel’s sunny yellow masterpiece of a dress, I felt much more positive in general today. It was of course helped by wearing my own lemon yellow dress with lots of ruffles that are very swishy – a LOT of twirling around the house took place today. It was another beautifully sunny day, so we had a second garden photoshoot. The thin knit material of this dress is super comfortable and I’d definitely wear it again to work from home – it oddly really matches the fluffy slippers that I always wear too, so that’s a bonus!

✨ FRIDAY ✨


Valeza Bakolli / Via BuzzFeed

Valeza:

Last day today! I absolutely LOVE this fitted crepe dress, I was swooshing around the house all day like nobody’s business. A parcel came this morning so I got to surprise the delivery man with full evening gown attire – fun times.


Valeza Bakolli / Via BuzzFeed

I decided to do some mid-day baking and take pictures of the process for the sole purpose of showing off the entire length of this flattering dress that was – once again – surprisingly comfortable to wear all day.

N.B. I’ve come to the realisation that pretty much all the clothes I own (even the ~fancy~ ones) are comfy enough to wear indoors all day! Has my aversion to wearing outdoor clothes inside the house been cured? I think so!


Isabel Daly / Via Buzzfeed

Isabel:

For the big finale, I chose to wear a pink jersey dress I got from ASOS ages ago. I hadn’t worn it in almost a year, and quite frankly, I forgot that it existed until this week…

Well, build me a temple and sacrifice a goat, because I felt like a Greek Goddess in this dress!! And I almost didn’t put it on!

I had started my period this morning and so and all I had wanted to do was put on some sweatpants, curl into a ball, and watch Money Heist. But I made a promise: a promise to Valeza, a promise to BuzzFeed, and a promise to myself that I would look fancy for five days in a row – cramping uterus be damned! So reluctantly left my sweatpants in the drawer, popped some Ibuprofen, and wriggled into this pink dress. Then, I curled into a ball and watched Money Heist.

Like Valeza, I was surprised by how comfy some of my outfits were. I wore this dress all day without any problems. The material was soft and stretchy, and there was a side slit so I could move unencumbered. I felt glamorous and comfortable! Who says you have to choose?

✨ FINAL THOUGHTS ✨


Isabel Daly / Via Buzzfeed

Isabel:

While there were ups and downs, I thoroughly enjoyed each day of this challenge and would highly recommend other people to give it a go! The thrill of feeling fancy is well worth waking up earlier and putting on a bra.

I had hoped that dressing up for a week would give me a much-needed surge of energy, and it definitely did! I think that a lot of my lethargy stemmed from feeling stuck: stuck in the same flat, stuck in the same routine, stuck in the same sweatpants. For me, wearing a ballgown broke up the monotony of life under lockdown.


Isabel Daly / Via Buzzfeed

During this pandemic, it’s so easy to focus on the restrictions, the activities we can no longer do. This challenge reminded me of the choices I still have. I can’t control the world, but I can control my wardrobe. It sounds silly, but knowing that I can wear a pretty dress whenever I want makes me feel happy!


Valeza Bakolli / Via BuzzFeed

Valeza:

I went into this week thinking this challenge was going to cheer me up, add oodles of motivation, and basically turn me into superwoman. What it ended up doing was teaching me something entirely different and much more interesting. Recently I’ve experienced a serious lack of creativity and motivation – which lots of people are probably struggling with during these Strange Times! Being completely extra in my dress sense this week didn’t necessarily change that, but I did manage to turn what would have been another ‘same-y’ week into one that I could look back on fondly and laugh about.


Valeza Bakolli / Via BuzzFeed

I already miss taking out the bins while looking like an absolute boss – the moments of laughter and conversation with my friends, family, neighbours, and even the postman made the early mornings, stiff waistlines, and constantly static hair all worth it for me!

Don’t get me wrong, I still think a good pamper sesh, an exercise class, and binge-watching TV shows are all great self-care methods – but for me, this last week has been a different kind of self care that was just a little bit self-indulgent, definitely silly, and weirdly really fitting to the unique situation we’ve found ourselves in.

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