Style

14 Readers Swan Around in Their Best Dresses (Because Why Not?)

14 Readers Swan Around in Their Best Dresses Just For Fun

A couple of weeks ago, we were inspired by Marianne’s week of outfits and how she wears a gown to Trader Joe’s, just for fun. So, we asked readers to show us the fancy dresses they’ve been putting on at home or for a walk around the block…

Above: “I actually made this dress (and was only momentarily mask-free, I promise!). Sewing fancy dresses to wear for my limited outings has made living through a pandemic much more fun.” — Katrina, Toronto

14 Readers Swan Around in Their Best Dresses Just For Fun

“I got pregnant this past winter and I purchased a few dresses that I was eager to wear as my bump grew. Then COVID hit and we were homebound for the last half of the pregnancy, so I started #DressUpTuesdays. I went full glam with nowhere to go, and my husband was the stellar Instagram husband we all hope for, snapping my photo in different places around the house. Tuesdays always felt like New York Fashion Week. A girl’s got to live a little, ya know?” — Rosalie, Atlanta

14 Readers Swan Around in Their Best Dresses Just For Fun

“I’m a nurse at a large teaching hospital, so I’m typically in scrubs or yoga pants when I’m hanging around the house with my six-year-old daughter. But I wore this dress on Saturday for a trip to Lancaster’s Central Market and it felt exciting to throw something on that was both comfortable and a little flirty.” — Jess, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

14 Readers Swan Around in Their Best Dresses Just For Fun

“A group of Nordstrom personal stylists, including myself, met each other on Instagram during the shutdown. We bonded over suddenly having to navigate unemployment and became fast friends. With stores shutdown and everyone staying home, we still wanted to stay relevant. My idea was to make a dress from the iconic TJ’s bag. I created it in about thirty minutes with safety pins and packing tape, then added a Gucci accessory, and I was off to do a grocery run.” — Rose, Scottsdale, Arizona

14 Readers Swan Around in Their Best Dresses Just For Fun

“This is my favorite dress, the one I wore on a date the last time my husband and I went to the theater in those lovely pre-pandemic times. Three ladies in the powder room gushed over my outfit and made my evening. Now I’m watering the garden in it with my five-year-old snapping a picture!” — Simone, Atlanta

14 Readers Swan Around in Their Best Dresses Just For Fun

“I made this dress, wore it to the mall and felt like the gosh darn queen of the mall walkers. This look is a little extra for a casual afternoon wander, but I’m vowing to wear what makes me happiest.” — D.Isabel, Dubai

14 Readers Swan Around in Their Best Dresses Just For Fun

“Right as we began lock down in Seattle, I bought the largest dress I’ve ever owned. It has huge puffy sleeves, a skirt big enough to be a picnic blanket, and a print acceptable only on a beach. On a size 16/18 body, it’s difficult to find something with extra fabric, let alone work up the gumption to wear something that might make you look (gasp) even larger. But I’ve been wearing it everywhere — even as ‘everywhere’ shrunk to the grocery store, FaceTime and my neighborhood. It’s a luxury that keeps me afloat.”— Brianna, Seattle

14 Readers Swan Around in Their Best Dresses Just For Fun

“I dressed up in a ‘special occasion’ dress for my ‘Jess Day,’ which is a day where I can do whatever I want — no plans and no shoulds! Categorizing clothes as only for certain occasions is silly. This is a Jess dress.” — Jess, Chicago

14 Readers Swan Around in Their Best Dresses Just For Fun

“This is my mother-of-the-bride dress from my daughter’s wedding last summer. I decided to wear it to hang around the house, as I know I won’t get the opportunity to wear it again for an event for a very long time!” — Marisa, Falmouth, Massachusetts

14 Readers Swan Around in Their Best Dresses Just For Fun

“Wearing sarees every week has become a project to feel alive and get a COVID break by the mere act of dressing up.” — Upasna, Plymouth, Michigan

14 Readers Swan Around in Their Best Dresses Just For Fun

“A friend had loaned me a fancy maternity dress, but since we were in lockdown, there was no occasion to wear it. So, my husband and I decided to get dressed up for Saturday night dinner at home. Our daughter was born five days later.” — Lara, Auckland, New Zealand

14 Readers Swan Around in Their Best Dresses Just For Fun

“When I bought this skirt, I imagined wearing it to work and out with friends, but sadly COVID struck around the same time. Now I wear it on weekends sometimes to grab some take out and brighten the mood.” — Abeer, Melbourne

14 Readers Swan Around in Their Best Dresses Just For Fun

“I put on a dress to WFH because why not? It transitions easily to taking my kids to the playground or taking my dog, Jax, on a walk to the park. — Kim, Philadelphia

14 Readers Swan Around in Their Best Dresses Just For Fun

“Marianne’s week of outfits inspired me to wear this dress, which I had only worn once to a birthday party. I love gingham and mostly wear black so extra points for wearing blue. I also had my tailor add pockets. Each time I go to Trader Joe’s, I come back with a plant, too — it helps with COVID anxiety!” — Sanda, Seattle

How are you swanning around your neighborhood? We’d love to hear!

P.S. 11 readers share their WFH outfits and 10 readers share their hot date looks.

  1. Alyssa says...

    I was scrolling through this and saw reference to my beloved Lancaster Central Market and was SO excited to see someone featured from my town! Hi Jess! Great dress!

  2. Elyssa says...

    I love this article, and yes, I also *gushed* to myself over Simone’s dress!

  3. Marcy says...

    My favorite stores is Trader Joe’s & Costco we’re ever I live I have to have my TJ’s they are friendly and fun. Every thing about the store I like all the new items and great wines. Prices are good on most things. Keep up the good job your totally awesome!
    I only wish they would hire me.

  4. Elle says...

    My initial thought was “so corny” but turns out I’m a cornball because I love all of it! Thank you so much for giving me something I didn’t know I needed <3

    • Elizabeth says...

      Agree. I actually teared up. They all look beautiful :) Thank you to the women who shared.

  5. Min says...

    Thank you for the much-needed inspiration. I used to wear dresses and skirts a lot but stopped altogether a few years ago when 1) I went through a pretty traumatic sexual harassment experience at work and 2) when I witnessed a man lift up the hem of a woman’s skirt on a busy crosswalk. Both events scared me enough that I equated dresses/skirts to vulnerability. But I’m working to change that and recently bought a dress which was featured here on COJ. So, thanks COJ for this!

  6. I loved seeing all of these and found it really moving! D.Isabel, I also love your dress and mask combo. And Rose, I love your stylish and creative paper-bag ensemble! I can’t believe you put that together in 30 minutes! All of you look great, and this whole post raised my spirits!

  7. LOVE this post. Very real and relevant but not a drag (most things that are both real and relevant recently kind of are).

    I have my first haircut in a YEAR this weekend (finally! hairdressers have been booked solid since my part of Canada lifted restrictions months ago) and I’m due to have my third baby in 1.5 weeks. After reading this I am definitely, definitely wearing a dress to the appt. I think it’s gonna be my first chance to get glammed up in 2020 actually, and likely my last, too!

  8. Erin says...

    Can we keeping doing this ? Love !

  9. Hayley B says...

    Wowza that mother of the bride dress is STUNNING. You totally rock it, Marisa! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

    • Marisa says...

      OMG- thank you so much, Hayley!

    • Emily says...

      Yes! I was about to comment the same thing. Marisa, that dress was made for you, you look stunning!

    • Marin says...

      Totally agree! And also love the background and that fireplace with the orange walls and the trim around the bookcases, if we are allowed to comment on backdrop as well :)

    • Marisa Repeta says...

      I so wish I could invite all of you wonderful women over!

  10. Gabrielle says...

    This post feels really special. All of these women are stunning and look fabulous dressed in their best! Just wanted to pop in to say how happy this made me today to see. x

  11. I’ve found a vintage sewing pattern that is my idea of dress perfection. It’s baggy (hiding the extra curves I’ve acquired during my COVID Couch Lounge Sessions) and I so far have made it in a ditsy cute floral print and a black swiss dot which is a bit dressier. I wear it constantly and think that it’s a new definition of my own personal style (COVID or not) 💓

  12. Carla says...

    Not to take a way from the dresses (great job!) but some of those living spaces look so cool! Esp that one from Australia. How can people make a living space look so relaxing and calm?! If I took a picture of my outfit right now all you’d see in the background would be laundry drying and empty glasses I never carried to the sink.

  13. Maria says...

    I love this post 😍 Can this type of post remain a regular fashion topic? Love to see more dresses from more readers over the world! 💃🏻

    Cheers from the Netherlands ☕️

  14. Anna says...

    I want to be the 201st (or 202nd or 3rd…) to express gratitude for this post. I’m struggling as most of us are and remembering to find happiness and whimsy where you can is an important life lesson. One that has taken a back seat to stress and sadness and uncertainty and disappointment. I come to the CoJ blog much MUCH less these days but now I come here with intentionality – I come for a reminder to breathe – and smile when you can. Please continue to produce more content like this post because this is a helpful this you can do for us right now. I thank you, CoJ team.

  15. Alice says...

    Right at the beginning of COVID, I felt so OFF. Really couldn’t put my finger on why it was (aside from the obvious), and then it struck me- not wearing dresses/ skirts was meaning I didn’t feel at all like me! So now, I’ll wear jeans two/ three times in the week, and the rest of the time I’ll be in dresses or skirts- I just don’t feel like myself in anything else :)

  16. AMK says...

    When Hamilton streamed on Disney+, my family and I decided to dress up as if we were really going to the threater (even though we were just in our living room). We took the obligatory Hamilton pose pictures and it made for a very memorable and emotional night. My kids – 8&6- have been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack for years and it was such an incredible experience to be able to watch the original cast – something I thought I would never be able to experience. Covid has been crummy in many ways but the silver linings are undeniable 💕.

    • I love that so much! Hamilton in general has for sure been a bright point of 2020/lockdown :)

  17. Lucy says...

    Reading this post reminds me that most of the world is having a shared experience right now. What a rarity. Makes me feel as though my community (of beautiful women who want to wear dresses!) has just expanded :-)

  18. Allie says...

    What wonderful outfits ladies! I am also home and newly pregnant and mainly dressing like a frat boy. Today I decided to treat myself and bought a beautiful dress on super sale from Kate Spade that will work for my growing baby bump and after. I can’t wait to wear it to my backyard!

  19. Gretchen says...

    This post made me smile so much. These women are all so beautiful and vibrantly full of life in their various dresses. Brianna’s dress in particular is AMAZING (that skirt!!!) and she looks fantastic in it!

  20. Lauren says...

    This made me so happy. Everyone looks magnificent!

    I love the “Jess Day” ! Thank you for such wisdom!

  21. Amy says...

    Marisa, that blue tiled fireplace and terra-cotta wall. Perfection!! That is going in my house somewhere. Wow.

    • Marisa says...

      Thank you so much, Amy!

    • Marisa says...

      Thanks so much, Amy!

  22. jackie says...

    “I also had my tailor add pockets.” mind = blown!!

    • Pockets are life! They should be mandatory in dresses :)

  23. Ann says...

    This post is just the best! You all look wonderful.

  24. Dana says...

    This post brought me so much JOY! Thank you COJ and lovely participants!

  25. Maryann says...

    Katrina – Your Cielo dress is gorgeous! What a great match of fabric and pattern. I just made the top version to try it out and now really want to try the dress. Such statement sleeves!
    FYI to others who may be interested, the pattern is by Closet Core Patterns out of Montreal. I’ve been sewing for many years and this indie pattern designer (Heather Lou) is one of my very favorites.
    Love this whole post. I’ve been wearing dresses at home that I wouldn’t wear to the office all summer and really loving it.

  26. Monica says...

    I love this so much!

  27. Abeer from Melbourne, where did you get that blouse!!? Stunning color!
    XO. @Missmolls.

  28. TBH my Covid style while pregnant has been wearing those old lady elastic waist shorts hiked to just below my boobs. They are surprisingly comfortable while 7 months along! It’s become such a thing that my friends all thrift them for me now or embellish them. One friend even embroidered “PM” on a pair with a heart around it for my current crush Paul Mescal. Sorry, hubs.

  29. Lora says...

    What a beautiful group of women!

    D. Isabel, if you are reading thus I’d love to know what pattern have you used. The dress is gorgeous!

    • EM says...

      Yes, I second this request!

    • Alison says...

      Yes, please!!!!!!!!

  30. Colleen says...

    Please CoJ we need more of this! Seeing these women in these dresses made me so happy. Perhaps, glam faces in quarantine, more going out outfits, stylish PJs?

    • ann says...

      yes, please…more posts like these! so cheerful.

  31. Laura says...

    Y’all I just sat at work BEAMING over how lovely every single one of these posts are! What a bright spot in the week. Love being able to celebrate our collective beauty together on this site. & I’m feeling v inspired to go out & wear my best dress to TJs. Thanks so much for this post :)

  32. Lisa says...

    Just before lockdown (I’m in the UK, so it started mid-March) my mom came to visit with a bunch of dresses that she had saved from when I was a little girl, so things like a bright pink dress that my grandmother bought me for my 5th birthday, and a whole bunch of dresses that she and her mother had made (and hand smocked) for me. Those are what my 2.5 year old daughter has been wearing in the lockdown. At first I was a bit worried, as they are kind of heirlooms, but then we were stuck inside for weeks at a time (less opportunity for the dresses to get dirty) and they made her so happy. My friend also suggested photographing her in them, and doing an album with photos of her in the dresses and me in the dresses.

    Now we’re able to go out more, I’m still letting her wear the dresses as they still make her so happy, and I’d much rather have them ruined and enjoyed than kept in tissue paper and never seeing the light of day

  33. Kristen says...

    I spy the prettiest fireplace I’ve ever seen. Wow, Marisa!

    • thank you SO much, Kristen!

  34. KatieB says...

    Sandra’s gingham dress is a summer dream! Could you share where it is from, please?

    You all look great. In the photos, in the comments – I can just tell ;)

    • Hi Katieb, Thank you! I got it from @cloina.store in Chicago last year and need to bust it out more often !

  35. Ginger says...

    I wear a dress every day in the summer and haven’t stopped since working from home. I wear a dress to garden, clean house, run errands..etc I live in the south and it is WAY too hot for jeans, pants, leggings etc. I never understand why more women aren’t wearing dresses, especially linen and cotton, nothing is cooler. I have a steady rotation of sundresses for the hottest days, then switch to maxi dresses with a cardigan or jean jacket or a tunic dress with leggings and boots when it’s a bit cooler. I have had men and women alike, stop me on the street and compliment both my dress and me. Dresses forever!

  36. Aileen says...

    At the start of lockdown (when I felt all optimistic about things!) my daughter used to like for us to have parties on a Friday night. My husband went along with it but was happy just be in his casual clothes. My daughter and I decided that we would dress up for them and pretend we were actually going to a party! Lots of “posh frocks” were worn on those Friday nights. It made me and my daughter feel better about the whole situation :)

  37. Merle says...

    This post really lifted my heart.

  38. Eli says...

    What a gorgeous group of women! CoJ definitely has a stylish community. :)
    What I really love is that everyone looks so confident, so happy. Rosalie is absolutely glowing!! Also absolutely drooling over Upasna’s sari. (All the heart eye emojis!!) The orange with the royal blue sleeve… to die for!

    I am a black and white and grey kind of person but my boyfriend keeps telling me to wear more color – my soul is not black but radiating like a rainbow. I wore one of my favorite orange dresses today and a chartreuse mask my mother made for me. So much color for work (in an office with older, white males HA!). I feel happy in it.

    Thanks for such an uplifting post, something so simple as dressing up. :)

    • thank you :-) It’s actually a purple blouse that belongs to another Saree, but I matched it with this one. I grew up with a lot of color around me. Everyone in India is almost always color-blocking :D. Although to be fair, most of the Sarees I wear are often linens/cottons in summer, and more muted than this bright silk.

  39. Kristin says...

    A Jess Day! I love that. Making that a thing at my house :)

    • Hi Kristin! You absolutely should — I’ve been doing them for the last few years, anytime that I feel overwhelmed and like I don’t know how to listen to myself anymore. It really helps re-center me and I love giving myself the permission to do whatever I want! Hope you love it just as much as I do! <3

  40. OM says...

    Loved this post! You all look great ladies!

  41. MCM says...

    Love this!

  42. Olivia says...

    Love this!
    A group of girlfriends and I have been doing themed days during the week to have an excuse to wear all our clothes not just yoga pants. Themes so far have been pretty in pink, jewel tones, plaid and an something with a story, we then take pics and share. It’s been a great way to stay in touch while in lockdown in Victoria, Australia

  43. Katie says...

    Possibly because I’m nine months pregnant, but this article has made me tear up. So amazing to see women doing their damndest to keep their spirits up in these weird times. Sending solidarity to my American sisters (I’m in the UK)

    • K says...

      From another Katie in the US, this comment made me tear up! Best wishes for the end of your pregnancy and the birth of your little one!

  44. Dee says...

    I love this idea, if only I didn’t tend to spill food on clothes and get stains so often. Instead, I purchased a set of frilly, voluminous and over the top Victorian style nightgowns and dressing gowns off Amazon and after WFH I delight in putting them on to swan around the comfort of my home :-) One is a proper house dress with pockets and little fabric roses and I first saw it on the Instagram page of Paige Minear and she was also having a mug of tea from a beautiful jasperware Wedgewood mug and she looked so cosy and happy. Whatever it takes to make you feel a bit better!

  45. Agnès says...

    Rose, can we be friends? I made a dress out of red cabbage once, just because I loved the colour, the texture and it sounded a challenge. A friend was the model and we did a photoshoot but she would not have been able to leave the house ;-) Did you REALLY go outside with this fantastic dress? I love the sleeves.

    • Hi Agnes! I live the color of red cabbage! Let connect on iG – my handle is roseknows , Rosehayes and I have a blog with the same name @ rosehayes.com
      I’m obsessed with shopping and all things fashion related 💕

  46. BC says...

    Sanda, I love everything about your dress. Would you be willing to share where it’s from? TIA!

    • Hi BC, Thank you ! I got it a year ago from @cloina.store in Chicago. Innika Choo makes a similar tiered dress. I love big dresses that hide quarantine pounds! My Instagram is @savvysanda with lots of other dresses .

  47. Claire says...

    Aww, what a sweet post! Can we have more like these, please? I would totally read one every week. Speaking of reader contributions, maybe we could do other roundups like WFH lunch, desk set up, special things/rituals we’re doing to make staying at home more fun? I love hearing what readers are up to!

    • Rachel says...

      I LOVE this idea. I love COJ ladies and would love to hear more about everyone’s approaches to thriving in quarantine! This post made me so happy and would love to see other specific roundups! Joanna & team, maybe you could do a call for topic ideas (sharing WFH lunch and working-space set ups are good ones). I’d also love to know how everyone is staying in touch with long distance friends.

  48. Angela says...

    I feel like CoJ needs to do a home tour of Marisa’s house. Her photo suggests it’s lovely – those tiles, that rug!

    • Jeanne says...

      AGREED! Those fireplace tiles made me swoon.

    • Hi Angela, Thank you so much!!! My husband and I have been designing, building, and decorating our home for many years in our “spare time” with 2 full time jobs and raising 2 kids. We would absolutely love to show it to this community. I think you’d all appreciate what one can do with (alot of) elbow grease and creativity despite a limited budget. Thank you all so much for your kind words and joy about this post- being part of it has been so much fun! Joanna and team, if you’re interested, let me know. :)

  49. Beth says...

    I love that many sewed their favorite dresses. When is Cup of Jo going to start the sewing tutorials (for real)??! I grew up in the era when Home Ec was cut out of schools for being sexist. Now I don’t know how to make tuna casserole OR a gown!

    • Christina says...

      How is Home Ec sexist? Or was it somehow separated by gender? Otherwise I would say it’s good that all children learn to cook, sew and do basic carpentry. My sons are braver in the kitchen since they began learning to cook in school (but they both dislike both kinds of handicraft (slöjd), both textile and wood, mostly because of the lack of good materials to use.)

    • Rebecca says...

      Beth, I took up sewing during lockdown and was thrilled to find out how many great resources there are online – I had not sewn a thing since Year 8 and have now made a few tops, a dress and a skirt for my niece. I wore my dress to work the other day (Wiksten Shift pattern, the long dress version) and was SO DELIGHTED when people complimented me on it. Beaming with pride like a kid.

      In case you’d like some suggestions, I really like Tilly & the Buttons for helpful YouTube videos and blog posts. Their patterns are also great, as they have photographs in the instructions. Lauren Guthrie, from the UK fabric store Guthrie & Ghani, also has some really helpful videos on YouTube – the ones that start with ‘Lauren’s Top Tips’.

  50. Megan says...

    I love this idea! I sort of swung the opposite direction yesterday and went to Costco dressed in my tie dye shirt and exercise shorts after working out, not bothering to do my hair or makeup because I was going to be wearing a mask and figured no one would even recognize me. It was kind of freeing!

  51. jeannie says...

    Such beautiful women!

  52. Megan says...

    Love this! I work in a brewery with all dudes so when I wear anything but a T shirt and shorts or yoga pants, they ask me if I have an important meeting or if someone important is coming.
    When I was younger, I’d always put on my prom dress to watch the Oscars on the couch at home just to feel like part of the party!

  53. Kate says...

    These pictures make me so happy. Beautiful women looking absolutely gorgeous in their dresses. Thank you so much for this uplifting post! :)

    • Evel says...

      same here. 😊

  54. Olivia says...

    Abeer, WHERE is the skirt from????
    Love this post!

    • Daphne says...

      I have the same one, it’s from H&M!

    • Yeah, that whole outfit is A+++!!!

  55. Kamina says...

    This post makes me long to wear a dress again. I’m in the southern hemisphere (Australia) so we’re just coming out of winter. Winter is not super cold where I am, but chilly enough that for the past four months my only wardrobe choice (if I’m even leaving the house) has been which combo of jeans, turtleneck sweater and boots to wear. (And which mask!!) I’m so sick of putting on the same old layers every day. I’m dying for the day when there’s enough sunshine that I can have bare legs, bare shoulders, a skirt!!

    • Neela says...

      I’m originally from Sydney, but moved to Germany 15 years ago. Enjoy your short Winters, because let me tell you, proper Summer here only lasts approximately 6 weeks, and we pull on those bloody Winter layers for around 6 months of the year. I’m already mourning the end of Summer, I can feel the cold start to creep back in…

    • Kate says...

      Southern Hemisphere over here too and I get you! I’m sick to the teeth of my winter uniform.

  56. Kamina says...

    That maternity dress is TO DIE FOR!! I’d wear it pregnant or not pregnant. Lara looks gorgeous in it.

    • Lauren says...

      Agree, she looks so beautiful

    • Lara says...

      Thank you so much! As Laura notes in her comment below, it’s Maya from ASOS and available in maternity, non-maternity, plus size etc, as well as short and long sleeved variations x

  57. Laura says...

    Lara- I wore a version of this dress as my wedding dress! Same color and glitter/tulle but short sleeve version with a v-neck. If anyone is wondering I’m 99% sure it’s the brand Maya which you can find on ASOS in straight and plus sizes as well as maternity.

    • Lara says...

      Great choice for a wedding dress! Good spotting, it’s the maternity version of the Maya dress from ASOS x

  58. Emily says...

    So wonderful to see! One piece of wisdom passed down from my grandmother is that if you find a great dress, BUY IT! It’s hard to find one when you’re specifically looking, and you can save those special dresses for weddings and events later. On the lower end of the budget, I just bought a $25 floral mumu from H&M and am hanging around the house in it today. Raising my spirits after several days evac’ed from home due to fires.

  59. Susan says...

    Love all these women and their happy spirits! Special mention to Brianna who looks completely fabulous!!

  60. JessicaD says...

    I wear my wedding dress on our anniversary every year! We have a family candlelight dinner and my kids are absolutely delighted and make me feel beautiful. My husband and I always remember some new little detail to tell them about our wedding day or our crazy wedding planning. The dress is pretty trashed now (19 years next month!), but what else am I going to do with it?!

    • Lauren says...

      That is the best idea!

      Love that the dress is reflective of the 19 years of marriage – if I was feeling like I had more brain cells to spare this morning I would find the metaphor in there.

    • Karinny says...

      Oh I love this so much! What an inspiration!

  61. Jessica says...

    This was such a FUN post!

  62. yes to the dress!! they really do elevate the mood of the day, even if just for a grocery run. I’ve been living in Everlane shirt dresses, Ozma summer dresses, and anything Doen…the most feminine, flowy pieces that make me feel effortlessly beautiful :) thank you for featuring all of these radiant women!!

  63. H says...

    If Brianna is reading this (or if anyone knows), I would LOVE to know where her dress is from!!

    • Amy says...

      It is from H&M – I have the same one and it’s fabulous!

    • Laura says...

      H&M has a very similar one!

  64. Anna says...

    I love this. Makes me feel sisterhood with all the other readers.

  65. Sarz says...

    I loved this post – I hope it becomes a Part 1! As a diehard dress fan, I used to get a lot of “What’s the occasion?” type questions. These days? Seldom. 😁 This virus restricts us in so many ways, but not our closets! It’s a very reassuring little slice of freedom.

    • miranda says...

      also loved and enjoyed this post. So fun and inspiring and although I know this blog is funded though sponcon, it’s so great to see a non-sponsored clothes post! <3

    • Jo says...

      I’m not necessarily a dress person (I wear plenty of pants) but I am a chronic overdresser, so I get similar questions! I just have fun getting dressed!

      You do you – I bet you look gorgeous in dresses!

  66. Nadine says...

    Everyone looks so great, thanks for sharing!

  67. Juliet says...

    somehow this of all things almost brought me to tears – seeing these joyful women brings me so much joy.

    • Katie says...

      Same here! <3

    • Abbey says...

      Me too!

  68. I’ve set my alarm to go to Trader Joes tomorrow at 9am as soon at it opens so there will only be a handful of people there. And since it will be my only outing for the week…you better believe I am going to be a part of the cute-dress-at-Trader-Joes club.

  69. Monica says...

    How fun! This post is inspiring me to make my own special moments. (And I recognize Sanda’s TJ’s as my own in Issaquah, WA! Hi, neighbor!)

    • Ali says...

      Another Issaquah reader here! Hi, Monica and Sanda! :)

    • Hi neighbor!
      Our Issaquah TJ’s has the best plants and snacks!

    • Monica says...

      Hi Ali! I’m overly excited about this little discovery of locals!

  70. I love the idea of Jess Day.
    You are all so lovely, keep wearing your dresses. I myself realized, the worse I feel the better I dress, because this brightens my day. So I definetly put on dresses (mostly sewn by myself) to lift my mood in bad days. (also did this pre Corona)

  71. Kristen says...

    I love this post! I work in a boutique, and so often now customers feel great in something but say they have nowhere to wear it. I always tell them to put on some lipstick and wear that dress if it makes you feel great. Wear it to Traders, wear it on your back porch with a glass of wine, wear it and sit on your damn sofa if it makes you feel good. Those little things are so important right now.

  72. Tiffani says...

    I love this! I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to keep working outside the house 2-3 days a week since April which gave me the chance to wear real clothes, but I’m on my third week of not working due to a natural disaster that struck my city and I’ve been living in (cute) leggings, tanks and sneakers. I haven’t gotten dressed yet today because I spent the whole day reorganizing a closet and drinking coffee in my boyfriend’s t-shirt. I’m taking a pre-dinner shower and I was going to just put on a t-shirt and some soft shorts, but this inspired me to take it up a notch and put on a cute skirt and a halter top. I also have semi-fancy house shoes-glitter jelly sandals-that I wear every day and that elevate even the most basic attire just a little.

  73. Shwetha says...

    Ahhh…. this made my day! Upasana I’m definitely inspired by you to wear a sari for my regular work day from home! All of you ladies look gorgeous. I guess it’s time we stop saving that special dress for a special day and just make each day special in whatever way you like!

    • Shwetha, I wear a Saree everywhere now :-) And in all different ways – with shirts/ boots/ as a dress…it’s so fun to style it, and a Saree is so forgiving in modifying itself with my size as a new mom. I had a stack of these only for special occasions till I internalized: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

    • Agnès says...

      “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
      Thank you for that…

    • Shweta Raghaw says...

      @Upasna Kakroo
      Aren’t you Rashmi mam’s daughter???? Omg if you are, this is the strangest coincidence.. to see your name here!! of all the places :O I was few years junior to you in school.
      P. S. please ignore if you arent the same Upasna. I just got very very excited to see your name here.
      P.P.S. love love the fact that you’re wearing sarees everywhere. Thats the coolest thing i can think of.

    • Eli says...

      “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Will be taking that with me to get through the hard days. :)

    • Lauren says...

      “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives”. My mother would keep a quote taped to her bathroom mirror, switching it up every couple months. Your quote is the inspiration to start doing that myself because that seems like the type of thing I could benefit form reminding myself each morning

    • Hello @shweta raghaw: Yes, Rashmi ma’am’s daughter, and very much from VBPS. Haha! It’s the strangest to find someone from home on this blog. :-)

    • Val says...

      I love the orange sari with blue blouse. I would love a tutorial on how to style saris. I have a tough time with tying a sari by myself.

    • @VAL I’ve lived outside of India for 8 years now and started wearing Sarees more regularly only this year. It’s because I didn’t explore the 100+ ways a Saree can be draped before. There are very simple drapes that you can style with your jeans. shirts, tops, dresses- whatever you feel like. I have a running list of all the styles I have tried. I like to name the drape and mention where I got the Saree/ top from. You can simply Google the name of the drape, and see a video. For inspiration, here is my list: https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/17875124884752683/

  74. Zara says...

    Oof, love that painting in Marisa’s living room (any info on it?). And love how many sewers making DIY garments there are!

    • Hi Zara, It is a painting of mine I was working on- I am an artist. I feel so honored that you noticed it and like it! If you, or others are interested in seeing my work, my website is: https://www.marisarepeta.com/
      It’s been a tough time for all artists, so knowing that people in this community are seeing my work would be a thrill! Thanks again!! Made my day :)

  75. L says...

    Oh my gosh you all look so great! Thanks for sharing. So fun to see some of the beautiful people in this lovely CofJ crew we have – love to you all!

  76. Deana says...

    The ladies look marvelous! You know what they say: Fashion is the armor to survive life.

  77. Louisa says...

    By this time in the summer I would have normally bought two or three (or five) inexpensive sundresses- at Target, or Old Navy or wherever. So a few weeks ago I decided I’d take that money and buy one dress from Mille, which is right in my MPLS neighborhood. The store usually feels out of my price range, but since I hadn’t bought anything all summer, I felt like I could do it. It was SO MUCH FUN to choose one, and to pick it curbside from the store, where it was waiting for me in a shiny gold bag. The dress is so well made, and fits beautifully. I wear it all the time. I might officially be done with fast fashion!

    • Caitlin says...

      Louisa I love this! Enjoy your new dress!

    • Amy Vos says...

      What a great idea! One amazing dress is definitely more fun than five okay ones.

  78. Cami says...

    This post is awesome!! So impressed by those making the dresses. Inspiring me to put one on tomorrow … to WFH and then hit the farmers market :)

  79. Sandra says...

    All the ladies look stunning! Thanks for sharing.

  80. Nicole says...

    Gosh, this post is so great. What a crap time, but it’s so wonderful to see people making the best of it and looking amazing.

  81. April Weliever says...

    Fantastic inspirational pics!!! Gorgeous looks and great stories! Still rocking scrubs as a dr in Florida but may expand…just got a long full skirt in little Haiti!

  82. Olivia Kyle says...

    Oh my gosh I love this, when the pandemic started I chose to stop buying myself clothes and had just kind of decided I’m a stay at home mom and whats the point in having things I can’t wear, a robe became my daily attire. It took me a few months to realize how down I was and how much I needed to feel good about what I was wearing even if it’s my two boys who see me.

    • jane says...

      Gosh as a mom you are } } working { { and you deserve very nice work clothes, the nicest work clothes! Plus that’s got to be good for your boys to see you loving your life with them and celebrating your self!

      Love all these looks!

  83. J. says...

    Hopefully this does not sound too peculiar, but I get the same feeling seeing these pics as when someone I love shows me a picture of their mom or sister or friend who I’ve heard a lot about — like, I don’t know you, but I know because we are friends with the same person (Joanna & team!) we will probably get along so swimmingly! This is the most special place and I love the idea of being part of this beautiful, warm, funny, and exceptionally well-dressed (!!) COJ family.

    • Sarz says...

      🥰 Yes! The comment section family – still the only consistently-positive internet feedback space I come across.

    • Avi.G says...

      I was actually thinking the same thing when I saw that two of the ladies are from Atlanta, which is where I live. Can we be friends IRL?

  84. Abby says...

    I’ve been wearing dresses and skirts and doing hair and makeup throughout quarantine because it makes me happy (and keeps my mental state steadier), including sharp sheath dresses when I have a work meeting (on Zoom).

    I will note that one side effect is that friends or coworkers who see me have remarked on it, sometimes with a wistfulness that leads to direct comparison. It makes me a little uncomfortable and friends and I have had to have some serious talks about how this is how I cope — much like someone else’s sweatpants may be how she copes! It really does help my mood to work on my appearance (even if I’m the only one who sees it) but it’s been interesting to navigate the social waters of not trying to appear like I’m showing anyone else up when so many people I love and respect are feeling like they’re already failing a bit.

    • Cami says...

      I feel you! I am starting to get dressed more and more. I also try not to comment on myself looking like crap or others when they dress up because it definitely leads to this weird comparison void.

  85. Charlotte K says...

    I don’t wear dresses often, but I do have a couple of them that I wear on Sundays — not for church, because I don’t go for church. My favorite is a simple blue and white gingham shirt dress. I wear them with some cute multicolored sneakers and I feel very fancy!

    I LOVE all these women in their dresses. The first dress with the balloon sleeves is GORGEOUS!

  86. Lauren H says...

    So excited to see some Philadelphia and Lancaster ladies featured! Much love from your South Jersey neighbor. :)

  87. Jojo says...

    Thank you for the inspiration!!!

  88. tala says...

    I love these! I’d also like to know where Jess (Lancaster!) got her dress from? Would love one just like it!

    • Caitlin D says...

      Me too!

    • Jessica Oehme says...

      Hi tala !! It’s from Madewell! (Pretty recent purchase)
      Just an FYI, I loved the cut of the dress so much- but the V in the front was a little too deep for me, so I sewed it up a little bit to make it not as plunging :)

    • Jess says...

      Hi tala!!

      The dress is from madewell ! (A pretty recent purchase) just an FYI- i loved the cut of the dress , but the V in the front was a little deep for me ; so I sewed it a bit to make it not as plunging :)

    • tala says...

      Thank you so much! You look beautiful in it!

  89. Erin says...

    Everyone looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing. These photos cheered me up.

    • NN says...

      me, too! :)

  90. Kelly says...

    This is so lovely!

  91. christina says...

    I lusted after a beautiful, bright floral dress at the beginning of COVID and then it sold out, and I was devastated, and then it came back and I bought it immediately! I told myself it was a fancy dress to wear to my baby shower (which will…be over zoom lol). Anyway, my baby shower isn’t for a month and I’m now MUCH too big to fit into it – didn’t really factor that not only your belly grows during pregnancy…(NOT THAT MY BOOBS GREW, JUST MY UNDERARM FAT POCKETS!!! …in case you were wondering ;) )

    • Jules says...

      It made me so happy to see a cielo dress in the wild! I looked at it, and was like “Wait a minute! I recognize those sleeves!” Handmadedressesftw

  92. Emilie Walker says...

    This post is making my week right now :) thank you CoJ!!!
    Such gorgeous women, dresses and messages!

  93. Ellen says...

    Such a happy post! Everyone looks fabulous!! I need to try this. :)

  94. Pam says...

    I love Simone gardening in a beautiful, flowery dress! Why not right. And I also love her summer Chaco tan lines : )

  95. Lauren says...

    Oh, I totally wanted to do this and just never followed through. I have an almost 6 month old who happens to spit up quite a lot, so maybe it’s for the best! All these ladies look so lovely!

  96. Heather says...

    Marisa!!! I miss Falmouth soooo much! This was my first summer in 13 years that I haven’t been there. I spent 3 summers there in college working for the College Light Opera Company, and have gone back every year (until dreaded 2020) for vacation. Also I love your dress!

    • Marisa says...

      Hi Heather!! Thanks so much for reaching out to me. I’m sorry to hear that you couldn’t make it to the Cape this summer. My husband and I feel lucky this summer to live in Falmouth. Hopefully, you’ll be able to return next summer! Thanks also for the nice compliment about my dress- like I’m talking to a virtual friend :)

  97. Capucine says...

    A while back, I picked Wednesday afternoon as Errand Day because all the Covid stress (mask! hand sanitizer! rush through indoor time! six feet apart! sanitize the car and whatever we bring home!) was so depleting. Everything has to wait until Wednesday. I take my daughter with me as our date away from her little brother and dad, we dress lile we do for France at the marché (if not prom-style) and enjoy the heck out of seeing real people before we head home thoroughly tired out.

  98. Erica says...

    Beautiful people!

  99. Betsy says...

    I wear a dress every day, all spring, summer, and fall. From 60ish degrees, and above, I love wearing a dress. From a simple t-shirt dress, to something a little dressier. I LOVE the air flow between the legs when it is hot out. No sweaty waist band to contend with. I’m always surprised at the lack of dresses I see on people in the summer. But then again, I can wear sweats to work, and basically do all winter long. So maybe this is my way of making up for my casual winter attire!

  100. Laura says...

    I would also love to know the pattern of D.Isabel’s dress if there is one / if anyone happens to know—it’s so beautiful! (As are all of the dresses :)

    • Ginny says...

      Same, same!

    • Kathryn says...

      Same here! it’s gorgeous!

    • D. Isabel says...

      Thank you! No pattern for this one, I sort of just muddled through it.
      I was inspired by a dress I saw online and decided to recreate it, while adding a few touches (aka pockets!)

    • YES. I came here to say that too. I LOVE it so much and would suffer through trying to sew to make one like that!

    • Laura says...

      D.Isabel, you did an amazing job! *clap hands emoji*

      For anyone else interested in a (sort of) similar pattern, I found the Cuff Dress from The Assembly Line Shop…you could modify the top and add the some length/volume to the skirt!

    • Katelina says...

      The shape of this dress and the great pattern really reminds me of Stine Goya dresses. Its wonderful! Definitely ordering the Cielo Closet Core Pattern to make my own.

    • D. Isabel says...

      Looking around, it’s sort of a mashup of McCalls 7405 and 7951. You can’t see the back in the pic but it has straps.

      If you’d like, feel free to DM me at @breathoffreshwear and I’m happy to send you photos/tell you the steps I did. I am a beginner sewist though, so I warn you it is a little more “make it work” than a sophisticated plan.

  101. love that gingham dress that Sanda is wearing. any idea who makes it?

    • M says...

      I was wondering too! I love gingham & she looks so pretty 😍

    • rachel says...

      Ditto!

    • Thank you! It was a one of a kind dress from @Cloina.store in Chicago last year. It hides all the covid pounds!

  102. Candy says...

    Mother-of-the-bride dress!!! What a superb idea! I have two “mother of the…” dresses from son’s and daughter’s weddings and I’m gonna wear them to Friday night dinner with my husband. P.S. The rest of you ladies are just the best. All joy and health to every one of you.

  103. Well, it goes without saying that everyone looks fantastic!
    This made me smile today, thanks!

  104. Danielle says...

    These are my favorite kind of posts! :)

  105. liz says...

    YES to this. Also- particularly love Abeer’s skirt. It (was) leo season. Be extra. give no fs

  106. Lisa says...

    Rosalie looks like Amy Schumer!!

    I’ve been wearing nice outfits to go to the grocery store or go on walks, too. My husband doesn’t understand it and always asks why I am so dressed up. It feels like a waste to have all these nice clothes just sitting in my closet!

  107. Amber says...

    So happy to see my fellow Seattleites in masks! And Brianna’s look is A+! I’ve worked from home for a few years (including my pregnancy), and quickly learned that “house dress” > leggings/pants for wfh comfort. I have winter house dresses, summer house dresses, some are kind of fancy, some are super casual, some are basically nightgowns. So much freedom in dresses!

  108. Erin says...

    I can’t be the only one who read “swam” instead of “swan,” and waited for the picture of someone dressed to the nines in the pool! *face palm*

    • Darlene says...

      I read the same thing. I’m happy to hear I wasn’t the only one!

      Joanna, now we need a post with people glammed up in the pool, please.

  109. AR says...

    Love this SO much! I also have the same floral Christy Dawn dress that Kim is wearing. I’ve been wearing it to walk around the local park and it makes me feel like a bridesmaid :-)

    • Kim says...

      Yes, same! I feel like I should have a little bridesmaid bouquet as I’m walking around the park!

  110. Cherie says...

    I love the paper bag dress, creative and courageous to wear. Not everyone can pull of paper bag fashion!

  111. Dana says...

    Great upbeat post. So many wonderful women & styles.

  112. Micah says...

    Never been more bummed that I don’t live near a Trader Joe’s.

  113. Keri says...

    I’m a doctor and most of my coworkers have been wearing scrubs to clinic during COVID. I’m still wearing my favorite dresses with pockets and big earrings. I still have to wash everything when I get home but it really lifts my spirits!

  114. Hooray for me-made dresses! (Do I spy a Closet Core Patterns Cielo dress on Katrina??) I have been sewing constantly during Covid, and all I want to make are loose, flowy, bold, wildly printed dresses. I’ve been wearing them constantly and they are such a mood-brightener! If there’s one positive to Covid, it’s that it has granted me the freedom to make and wear exactly what I want (and I’m never turning back!)

    • Katrina says...

      It is! Hello fellow sewist :)

    • Em says...

      Picking up sewing is my next quarantine project! I’ve been searching OfferUp for a beginner sewing machine all week. Would love any tips or resources!

    • Carly says...

      I thought that was a Cielo dress too! I definitely spotted the Nani Iro fabric and thought ‘yes! she must have made this!’ Working from home has been nice from a sewing point of view – I definitely prefer to make casual clothes than business casual clothes, so I’ve been able to wear more of my me-mades :)

    • @Em, the pattern company Katrina used for this dress has a wonderful online course for beginner sewists (and it includes the very pattern in this post, as well as 2 others!). The founder of this pattern company, Heather Lou, is amazing, friendly, and super knowledgeable – I took their online tailoring class and it was super helpful. This course isn’t free, but there are also lots of no-cost resources online too.
      https://store.closetcorepatterns.com/products/learn-to-sew-clothing-online-sewing-class

      When you’re ready to start, my suggestion would be to tackle one low-risk project first (like a simple pillow) and then work your way through the Closet Core Patterns online course. Instagram is a real hub for the sewing community – there are a bagillion hashtags you can search for endless inspiration. (Check out #ilovetosew, #sewcialists, #imakemyclothes, and #sewingforbeginners, just to name a few! ) Good luck and happy sewing!

  115. Liz says...

    Ladies, you all look wonderful. Your homes and children are beautiful, too!

  116. Nina says...

    It is considered very bad form on the Sewing Internet to not share what pattern was used to make your beautiful outfit – unless you really went to town and drafted it yourself… Please let us know what the designs are! (And hurray for a saree on CoJ!)

    • Katrina says...

      It is the Closet Core Cielo dress!!! What a beauty huh? And a perfect beginner pattern for anyone who might also like to join the sewing community :)

    • Rezia says...

      Amazing. I JUST finished the Cielo top this weekend.

    • Nina says...

      Thanks, fellow sewists! I am also wondering about D. Isabel’s long black number – but yes, the big sleeves on the Cielo pattern are so cool.

  117. katie says...

    This is delightful. Thank you!

  118. ks says...

    i loved this so much & even more so the fact that so many of these were made! it’s been a wishlist project to learn to sew & this just be the inspiration needed to start. maybe a COJ forum for guidance?

    • Maryn says...

      A post on sewing would be so fun! I’ve been wanting to get into it too.

    • Mary says...

      While you wait on a future CoJ post about learning to sew, I thought of this post from another of my favorite bloggers a while back! Annie is a very creative and multitalented badass doctor mom in Indiana who seems to be able to sew and knit just about anything :) https://everydayannie.com/lifestyle/learning-to-sew/

  119. erica says...

    This is so great! The other day there was a woman at the grocery store wearing a really pretty flowered dress, and I overheard her getting at least two compliments in the bread aisle :)

    Also, I’m dying want to see more of what cute Katrina has been sewing but the link isn’t working.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      fixing now! thank you, Erica!

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      Hi, Erica! Just fixed the link!

    • Katrina says...

      Aww so sweet! My Instagram handle is @katrinalearnstosew

  120. Luísa says...

    i love this post so much!!! It brought me so much joy ❤❤❤

  121. Michaela says...

    I love this. I found a very bright and happy yellow floral dress on sale from Madewell right after lockdown started, and I ordered it to be my “busting out of quarantine” dress—how optimistic of me to think I’d be donning a summer dress when restrictions were lifted. Now I think I ought to just put it on already!

  122. Agnès says...

    This post is giving me so much courage! I love all the dresses and the barefeet and the happy spirits!
    I almost never wear a dress, except to sleep! It’s been really hot here in France and the only way I could sleep was to wear a blue navy with tiny white dots very light wrap dress (it’s not a nightgown). I feel it’s a summer night sky dress, and i feel beautiful and a princess when i wear it.

  123. jen says...

    Gosh what a nice break! Loved seeing these beautiful strangers best dressed!

  124. Caitlin says...

    You guys! This is wonderful. This post has some how made me tear up. Even in such isolating times this blog makes me feel like I’m a part of a larger community, where we are all rooting for each other. All of these women look beautiful, inside and out.

  125. kate says...

    Please can we have a house tour of Marisa’s home? It looks as stylish as she is!!

  126. anna says...

    also, kim, your dress is my favorite (and that picture with your baby is too sweet!) such a timeless look.

    • Kim says...

      Anna, thank you!!! And I was nervous to wear such a pretty dress around my kids but then realized that it didn’t matter! I bought it to wear, not hang in my closet.

  127. Julie says...

    Gorgeous, ladies! I adore Brianna’s look. I wear casual dresses to the office every day and have the luxury of working from home now until there’s a vaccine (thank you to my company for being so decent), so during Covid I’ve worn them to walk to the mailbox in my Philly neighborhood, and to go to the grocery store. It makes me feel normal.

    Me and my husband’s 40th birthdays were in April and of course we were on strict lockdown, so one night I made ribeyes, garlic spinach, and twice baked potatoes, got some bubbly, and wore my favorite sparkly dress. He wore a nice suit, we ate and drank and watched silly things, and then played Scrabble in our fancy clothes.

  128. anna says...

    eeep, how did I miss this?! hoping there’s a second round so i can share some of my favorite quarantine dresses!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, we’d love to do another one!!! :)

    • anna says...

      thanks for featuring readers- your blog as always is such a bright spot. <3

  129. Erin G. says...

    “I ALSO HAD MY TAILOR ADD POCKETS,” is one of the best things I’ve read in a long time.

    Also, bravo to each of these ladies! Smiles all around!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      same!!!

    • A girl always needs her pockets :). Nordstrom will add a pocket (for a fee) on just one side or both if the fabric is heavy enough !

  130. Colleen S says...

    D.Isabel, you look glamorous. All these women look amazing, I was really struck by the flowy dress (which I can never find for myself) paired with the matching mask.

    • D. Isabel says...

      Why, thank you!

  131. Lorraine says...

    Love this fabulous post! I’m so impressed with the dresses that were handmade by the women wearing them! Mostly, I love embracing the moment and just getting dolled up for the hell of it. I sometimes throw on a summer dress that I would normally wear to work, for my morning walk through the park before I log on from home for the day. It’s a tad fancy, though dressed down with Toms it feels just about right and brightens the mood. (I’ve always been a dresses kind of gal)