Fashion / Style

Dressing For Ourselves During Self-Isolation

Join Us in Spreading Spirit Lifting Style

BY // 03.25.20

I hope you’ve seen the Instagram fashion series I’ve started at both @papercitydallas and @reallywrongfong. These are uncertain times, and given the orders in Dallas, Houston, and many other Texas cities to stay at home, we are now adjusting to the status quo. This new normal needs to involve getting dressed and keeping our spirits elevated via fashion.

Clothing is many things besides protection from the elements. It’s our armor for a potentially stressful business meeting. It’s our plumage for mating rituals. It also simply shows who we are: creatively quirky girl-on-the-go professional (wink-wink, Jenna Lyons), buttoned-up with a political flair (hello, Rachel Maddow), or a chameleon ready for any situation (we’re pointing at you, Gwyney).


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Billy Fong here, PaperCity Dallas’ Culture + Style Editor starting off a new Instagram fashion series. You might be like me and for the first few days of self-isolation I could barely get out of my pajamas. NO MORE, I will now dress every day since I am still a writer who often focuses on sartorial splendor and even if along need to look the part. My old friend, the brilliant @boothmoore (WWD) started doing this and it inspired me to follow, pardon the pun, suit. PLEASE join me in this crusade to keep style alive. Post a picture of yourself in your outfit each day and use the hashtag #papercitychic @papercitydallas. You should put on that incredibly yummy Tom Ford off-the-shoulders cashmere sweater with your skinny jeans and demure Dior flats. Hey, even consider carrying a handbag (hopefully Mark Cross) when walking your dog or retrieving your mail. I promise you, putting on something fabulous from my wardrobe has completely changed my mood. You don’t have to live in Texas, I might pick a winner from LA, NYC or even Lexington (I know some Kentucky girls with oodles of taste). I will be choosing best dressed winners weekly. Perhaps even doing categories for those who don a different outfit for post-6pm cocktails. Unfortunately, I am in self-isolation with my pup Theo who is not showing to have skills with a camera (I thought they had listed shutterbug next to potty trained when I saw his rescue group listing). I’m trying to find ways to shoot myself, so if you have any advice, send tout suite. It’s a little dreary today due to the rain so I’m channeling my inner Sloan Ranger. For my dog walk around my neighborhood I’ve put on a pair of my Hunter wellies (today blue), a pale blue Burberry blazer (with a popped collar), Maison Kitsune t-shirt, Gap khakis, Hermes belt and one of my Tom Ford spectacles. BTW – I always have a song playing when I choose my outfit and today it was the Pet Shop Boys “Se a vida é (That’s the Way Life Is)” which I thought was wonderfully apropos.

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You’re hopefully venturing out of the house for the occasional trip to the grocery store, a walk around your neighborhood, or at least a hike to the end of your drive to retrieve your mail. Take the time to put on something that you will wear the whole day and resist the urge to slip your yoga pants back on. Before you know it, your neighbor, Mrs. Jones, will be keeping up with you. Also, your mood will be brighter. And, if you’re sheltering in place with family, you need to keep your wits and your sparkling wit with you at this time.

It’s that season in Texas when we need air conditioning one moment and a jacket and umbrella the next for some chilly rain showers. That means we can’t yet store our Vince cashmere sweaters for six months and whip out our shorts and Gucci pool slides.

Strategizing outfits can be tricky right now, but that’s what I’m here for. I’m happy to provide some weekly advice on how to look paparazzi-ready, should they pop out of your bushes. You never want to be that girl who loses out to Gigi Hadid in Us Weekly‘s “Who Wore It Best” — even during a pandemic.


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Day #2 of my dressing in self-isolation series. I’ll be honest, I barely got out of sweatpants (at least they were @Thombrowne joggers) over the weekend. But, it’s the start of a new work week and I needed to rally for writing. Today instead of monochromatic tone on tone I went with print on print. It may look like a onesie, but it’s separates. I love these Marc Jacobs pieces since it looks as if on my wild game hunt I instead shot a 1970s sectional and used the hide to make an outfit. To complete the outfit of pants and matching t-shirt I threw on a Brooks Brothers for Jeffrey blue cardigan (I adore the grosgrain and gold buttons). I still rue the fact that I didn’t purchase the matching blazer that darling Marc had created in the same print. Hopefully you won’t chastise me for over accessorizing by going with a floral cup for my English breakfast tea. I got a text from my favorite spinderella DJ Lucy Wrubel that she and a few high school friends had created a mixtape to reflect our current times: Moping/Coping/Hoping (on Spotify). Getting dressed this morning I took inspiration from one of their choices: Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me.” As he says, “things aren’t what they used to be.” But I am going to keep dressing up until they are. PLEASE join me in the crusade to keep style alive. Post a picture of yourself in your outfit each day and use the hashtag #papercitychic @papercitydallas. You don’t have to live in Texas, I might pick a winner from LA (wink wink @heatherjohnfogarty). I will be choosing best dressed winners weekly. I was pleased to get a text from the divine @jumpsuitfetish that she had a virtual cocktail party from behind her orange lacquered bar. Cheers to dressing for cocktail Miss Deborah!

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For the ladies this week, my suggestions include taking out your warpaint and applying a little eyeliner (might I suggest Chanel Stylo Yeux waterproof in 83 Cassis) and lip gloss (I’m terribly intrigued by Giorgio Armani Ecstasy Lacquer Lip Gloss in Adrenaline). Girls who have been home-officing for years have shared with me that just putting on a little makeup is the best way to feel like you’ve started a productive day.

Then, instead of Lululemon joggers, put on your favorite cropped jeans (hopefully with a frayed bottom; Rag & Bone has a great version with a slight flair). You’ll have similar comfort but look endlessly more pulled together. (Also, who’s going to believe you’re heading to a Pilates session during shelter-in-place mandates.) I’m loving the idea of a simple Alaïa stretch-knit bodysuit under a cropped blazer. (Sandro has always been a go-to for the quintessential girl-on-the-go look and is the best source for jackets.) I won’t suggest throwing on heels this week (we’ll see how I feel next Monday when I’m offering up my sartorial suggestions), so I’m fine with you slipping on your Golden Goose sneakers for the time being.

Lest we forget accessories … I was actually watching Steel Magnolias over the weekend and was reminded of Clairee’s mantra: “The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.” I’m loving the idea of a scarf  (maybe an Hermès twilly) thrown casually around your neck. I’m having a hard time justifying a handbag for walking your dog, but if you’re heading to Central Market, grab your favorite L.L. Bean large-sized boat and tote, since you want to be eco-conscious while stocking up on lots of groceries.

Boys, meanwhile, can take tips from my daily Instagram series. I have and will continue to post a pic of what I’m wearing as I start each day. Unfortunately, I’m in self-isolation with my pup Theo, who is not showing skills with a camera (I really thought they had listed “shutterbug” next to “potty-trained” on his posting with the rescue group). I’m trying to find ways to shoot myself, so if you have  advice, please send tout suite.


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Day #3 of me dressing for me (BTW – I am generally my own harshest critic fashion-wise). Yay, its shorts weather again. Well, for many of you who know me, its pretty much shorts weather 11 months out of the year for me. (I’ve even been known to incorporate shorts into a black-tie ensemble.) Today’s outfit is pretty standard for me: a blue blazer (a boy’s size 18 so it looks shrunken and edgier), Brooks Brothers monogrammed shirt (today’s has NERD), green shorts, Thom Browne socks and brown brogues. Theo was quite proud of walking with me today and I think he felt a sense of normalcy since this is how I’m dressed much of the year anyway. I found another song from DJ Lucy Wrubel’s mixtape (Moping/Coping/Hoping on Spotify) to get dressed to and reflect upon this morning: Talking Head’s “Once In A Lifetime.” These lyrics are exactly what I have been thinking – “And you may ask yourself … Well … How did I get here?” Dammit I’m not going to let this kick me down. Life has thrown me quite a few curveballs (like my sports reference?) but I’ve refused to ever let myself stay down long. I’m dressed and plan on taking advantage of this beautiful day by writing on my balcony. PLEASE join me in the crusade to keep style alive. Post a picture of yourself in your outfit each day and use the hashtag #papercitychic @papercitydallas. BTW I’ve received DM’s from a few of you that you aren’t feeling picture ready due to what I will call #hairpocalypse. Without a blowout many are feeling slightly unkempt. I was so proud of my hair stylist @joshua_rossignol who has rolled with these challenges and is now providing color kits delivered to doorsteps. I might use this time of self-isolation to try going blonde. What do you think?

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Generally I’m accused of making weird faces with selfies, and that’s because I don’t know how to smile. When I do, it looks like I’m either constipated or have a stroke, so disregard my expression. Stay focused on my outfit du jour. I promise I will list all the designers and perhaps give you a glimpse into my neurosis about finding outfits in my wardrobe arsenal. On Monday, I went with a print-on-print concept by pairing a matching Marc Jacobs T-shirt and pants. If you saw it, you might have been reminded of the fabric on your family’s 1970s sectional. The ensemble resembled a onesie — but rest assured, it was simply smart separates.

Please join me in the crusade to keep style alive. Post a picture of yourself in your outfit each day, and use the hashtag #papercitychic @papercitydallas. Describe how that outfit is making you feel and perhaps giving you inspiration to get things done.

You don’t have to live in Texas; I might pick a winner from NYC (Anderson Cooper, I’m dying to see what you’re wearing off-camera). I’ll be choosing best-dressed winners weekly. I might even do categories for those who don a different outfit for post-6pm cocktails, so show me you weren’t raised in a barn and still put on evening clothes.

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