Serious lounging gift guide

Let’s pretend, for a moment, that this is type of blog that tells you what to buy. Because Black Friday is coming, and I have that side of me, the dyed-in-the-wool Jewish-American consumer side of me. And the holidays are coming. And it’s silly to pretend that presents don’t matter when clearly they do. My husband’s family has a lovely tradition of receiving new pajamas on Christmas Eve, so clearly it’s time to embrace the pajama present concept, even if it happens on Hanukkah and even if I’m late to the pajama party. Last Hanukkah we gave the kids tickets to see Hamilton in Chicago on the first night. They danced for joy, and that cannot be beat. Anyway, for the shoppers …

Have you discovered Thirdlove Bras yet? In a recent post I complained about bras, but I’ve also been on the lifelong hunt for the comfortable bra in all its permutations. This one is supposed to be somethng that you wear around the house, but I’m here to tell you that you can wear this to the grocery store or even to work if you are busy fighting the patriarchy, like all the awesome women I know. I have this one in a size Medium and it seems to be working when I bother to wear it.

When lounging around the house, which is where I’m supposed to be these days, I have to champion a Canadian brand. I have two Aritzia Veronika dresses. They are long plaid flannel shirts. And leggings from a local boutique that are made mostly of bamboo. The boutique is run by an Eastern European engineer who could not work as an engineer in Canada, and it is called Bela Booteek.  And if you remember the 90s, like I do, you might wear a silk slip dress underneath. Just saying.

Can we talk about being a capitalist consumer? I want brick and mortar retailers to be there. Sure, you can order whatever you want online, but can you look at and feel the merchandise? Can you make small talk with the person who picked out the merchandise and lives in the same region as you and who watched the same sunrise? Do you have any idea of what you are getting? Can you lose yourself in a shop with its colors and textures for a few minutes or an hour? Can you come out with a pair of navy and gold botanical print flats that will make nice strangers ask you where you got them when you are at an academic conference? No, no, no. Amazon, I love you sometimes, but I need to keep supporting my local retailers, who for better or worse still provide some of the most vital public space available in the little city where I live.

Also, for lounging around the house: I give you the Jockey 100% cotton pajama pant, a feature that is shockingly hard to find. In the summer, they absorb sweat. In the winter, they are cool and comfortable. If you have ridiculously sensitive skin, then you know that the difference between 100% cotton and 95% cotton is like night and day. So for continuing to manufacture 100% cotton, Yay, Jockey.  However, when the kids come home from school, I have discovered, it is best to be wearing something that passes for street clothes so that your children can count you among the living and not some twilit zombie breed, though you may be so.

Oh, and a visiting nurse told me that I need to up my napping game. Before all of this insanity hit, I thought that I had a good-enough sleep mask.  Turns out that this is the best sleep mask, a gift from a friend who does nursing shift work. According to The Historian, it kind of makes me look like a bug from outer space. Also, the podcast Sleep with Me is HILARIOUSLY soporific. And the visiting nurse also approves of my meditation practice – I recommend the Calm App as $60/year well-spent.  And if you are really a serious napper, you might consider the Ostrich Pillow. We took the mini version with us on a transAtlantic flight to Paris (see image above, courtesy of Neige), and it worked out quite nicely. What is sleep supposed to look like, anyway? It seems that I’m up for a couple of hours every night, and I’ve come to love the quiet of the house, where I can prowl around and listen to everyone else snore and peek in on my children sleeping and catch up on reading or netflixing or blogging or what have you.

I just got a dress made from this company. It’s an attempt to fulfill a lifelong dream of putting on the same dress for any occasion and feeling comfortable and confident. Is it going to work? You’re going to have to check back with me at the end of the winter on that one. A while back I read this book Women in Clothes, and it had a story about a woman who fell in love with a dress and so she had it made up in different colors and fabrics, and every day she would put on the same dress in whatever fabric/color struck her fancy and dress it up with whatever accessories lit her fire that day. And I thought, wouldn’t that just be amazing, to have one dress that is all that you want to wear every day? One dress that never itched or rode up when you sat down or made you feel overdressed or underdressed? Could one dress do all that? So I took the proceeds from my shoe sales and invested in this dress, but in black:

I’ve finally come to the realization that loose fitting dresses are 100% my jam. I don’t care if they don’t hug all the right places or instantly take 10 lbs off. How about zero hugging and room for food babies? Awesome, thanks!

It was kind of like The Uniform Project, in which a little magic pixie fashion student wore the same dress for a year to protest fashion waste and also to raise money for a girls school in South Asia somewhere. Okay, I can’t fully explain it, but trust me it made sense in 2008. And here is the magic of the “conscious dressing” movement, which seems to be designed to make life easier for the dresser. You can be like Steve Jobs or Barak Obama, and just wear the same thing every day (neutral hoodie or blue/grey suit)! Reduce decision fatigue! Focus on your life and not what you wear! Oh, this message is so seductive.