Jill Kargman: It's Time to Blowtorch Our Sweatpants

Jill Kargman
·4 min read
Photo credit: Marsha Lebedev Bernstein
Photo credit: Marsha Lebedev Bernstein

Of all the Seven Deadly Sins, mine has always been Sloth. For the 11 years I spent as a sleep-deprived, freelancing, stay-at-home mom, I would wake up aching with fatigue counting the hours before I could get to bed again. I sometimes felt so spent it was almost like I was drunk on fatigue: time blurred, memories seemed faded, and I’d regularly walk into a room forgetting what I was looking for. I think somewhere deep in my frazzled mom psyche, I longed for a year of lying around the house. Little did I know...

What could be better than being a slovenly hermit with no pressure to be social? Creepily, with the pandemic, my unspoken wish had been granted, and I hibernated doing all those haircare masks I always wondered about. I chipped away at the bedside book pile, Kondo’d my office, and spent hours on the phone with my friends as if it were 8th grade, gushing over River Phoenix.

Enough is enough.

In addition to craving theater, celebrations, rock concerts, and restaurants, I missed getting dressed up. Granted, when this is all over I will not be returning to obligatory rubber-chicken charity circuit dinner with a cast of thousands just for the excuse to get gussied up. It's just that I always liked a reason to crack out a gown or get that blowout.

I miss red lips, cocktail rings, and being five inches taller. Not to see and be seen, not for my husband—but for myself. In March and April of 2020 I was in the same fashion paralysis as most people, cocooned in fleece and snarfing comfort food. As the sun rose on each Blursday, I tried to think of how to fill the day in a fun way, and decided I’d start the day by getting dressed as if I had a meeting, whether I had a Zoom or not.

The difference in my mood and sense of purpose was drastic: I regained a spring in my step, cleaned more, and felt like I’d actually earned my pajamas at the end of the day.

Photo credit: Marsha Lebedev Bernstein
Photo credit: Marsha Lebedev Bernstein

While I’d bang on pots and pans with my wooden spoon to honor healthcare workers, I was dressed as if I was serenading them at a social event rather than a square of pavement with my family.

In fact, I was so desperate to crack out my dresses, my weekly trips to Food Emporium were a feather boa shy of a spectacle. I’m talking gowns in aisle 6. Platforms by the deli-meat slicer. Speaking of heels, as a correspondent on The Drew Barrymore show, I did a story on how sales of high heels are down 71 percent since the first lockdowns. Yikes.

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Even though we coughed up 900 clams for red-bottomed shoes, somehow the thought of Monsieurs Louboutin and Blahnik crying in their coffees made me sad. I kept seeing people’s fugly posts of their hiddy be-Birknenstocked feet and felt so sick I thought Covid was creeping in. I hate those shoes so much, if the virus were a shoe, it would be a Birkenstock. And don’t try to tell me yours are cooler because they’re metallic—you can’t polish a turd.

I also believe we better all start practicing walking in stilettos if we want to avoid a totally different pandemic this fall: broken ankles. Pretend your apartment is a runway and strut your stuff like a RuPaul's Drag Race contestant or suffer the un-chic plaster-cast consequences.

While you’re at it, I propose a post-vaccine dinner with your friends all in black tie. Remember how it felt to zip up a gown and brush the mascara wand through your lashes? It’s time.

Yes, the sweats are cozy, but no one’s taking them away from you and fastening your corset laces—they’re not mutually exclusive. You got a year-plus break, and now it’s time to invest in something fabulous the way a pregnant woman does to get back to her goal weight. So, flip through your favorite magazine for inspiration, say this month's T&C, and get psyched to get dressed.

A little something called revenge glamour is around the corner.

Photos by Marsha Lebedev Bernstein, hair by Davide Marinelli, make-up by Suzy Gerstein and Rachel Malkin using Chanel Beauty, set design by Hollymount, post-production by Alexandre Djolakian.

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