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What I’m Wearing: A Lifestyle Blogger Who’s Trying to Dress Up Her Leggings During Quarantine

All photographs courtesy of Heather Bien.
Coronavirus 2020

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In a strange twist of fate, right before the pandemic struck, Heather Bien, 34, had just started an office job in marketing after working from her Capitol Hill home for two-and-a-half years. Suddenly, the part-time lifestyle blogger was back to the remote work life.

Although she wore only athleisure when she previously worked from home, this time around she’s trying to step it up somewhat. “I’m trying to create some sense of normalcy—getting dressed definitely helps,” says Bien. “Clothing is one of the things that helps me create a division of time and sense of purpose throughout the day.”

That doesn’t mean she’s wearing a power suit while sitting on her couch. But she does do her makeup and hair every day, put on jewelry, and choose a nice shirt—while wearing comfy pants or leggings on the bottom. (Her favorite? Black Zella leggings from Nordstrom.)

“Basically, my days consist of three types of clothing: loungewear to wear all day, athleisure for when I’m walking or doing an online barre class, and pajamas,” says Bien. “All of the above include stretchy pants.”

Here’s what Bien wore during a week of working and quarantining at home:

“Okay, has anyone not watched Tiger King at this point? Shamefully, I felt a bit of jealousy at the amount of leopard print in Carole Baskin’s closet. That’s what I’m trying to channel here. Leopard and big ‘80s-era earrings from the online vintage boutique Sweet and Spark help me feel like I’ve put in a bit more effort on the weekends. This is what I’m wearing as we order in Compass Rose and have a few cocktails for my birthday.”

“Wearing a button-down will have your coworkers commenting on how dressed up you are, I swear. Yet this flannel top from Madewell feels just like pajamas. I’m wearing it with my trusty Zella leggings, hoops from Mejuri, and a brass snake bangle by Julie Nolan Jewelry that I found in a boutique in Brooklyn.”

“Striped shirts tucked into jeans are my go-to normal life look, but in this cozy pants life, I’m tucking them into sweatpants. White sweatpants have that ‘80s dad vibe…but in a good way, right? [The top is a] Madewell T-shirt and the joggers were from a gymnastics Halloween group costume four years ago (I wore them over a leotard—you know, a warm-up look).”

“If there’s one item I wish I had more of, it would be jumpsuits that feel like pajamas. I think I picked this one up at Target years ago. It’s supposed to be for yoga, but who wears a jumpsuit for working out? It’s one of the comfiest items in my closet. I’m wearing it with a cardigan dress from Brass Clothing that I usually end up wearing as a duster. This has been a staple of my social isolation wardrobe because it’s an easy, simple piece that feels super chic. I also love putting on a big pair of earrings; these Mallory Shelter hoops are one of the most-worn pieces I own.”

“Going to pick up takeout food is an occasion now, right? So, that’s about the only time I’m putting on real pants these days. [I’m wearing an] Everlane gray T-shirt, H&M black jeans, Rothy’s flats, and my nails are press-on, since no one can go out to get their nails done.”

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.