'Regular clothes feel like a wet suit': Even Tim Gunn is wearing pyjamas all day in lockdown

The fashion consultant and TV host says social distancing has given him a newfound empathy for people who dress for comfort

FILE PHOTO: American fashion consultant and television personality Tim Gunn arrives at a private cocktail event celebrating the grand opening of drugstore chain Walgreens newest flagship store on the famous corner of Sunset & Vine in Hollywood, California November 30, 2012.  REUTERS/Fred Prouser/File Photo
Powered by automated translation

Even Tim Gunn, the immaculately dressed fashion mentor from Project Runway and Amazon Prime's new designer competition show Making the Cut, is finding it hard to get out of his pyjamas these days.

As much of the world shelters at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Gunn said he too has given in to comfort over style when he's at home in his New York apartment.

We spoke to Gunn by telephone about how the ongoing quarantine has changed fashion and what might come next on Making the Cut.

What do you think will happen to fashion now that people have gotten used to working in sweatpants or even their pyjamas?

I have to confess to you, I'm one of those people. And it's really unusual for me. For years I've been saying, "if you want to dress to feel as though you never got out of bed, don't!"

But there's a silver lining to this, at least for me. I now have a great deal of empathy for people who do dress for comfort. I've not been wearing sweats, but I have been wearing my pyjamas, thinking "well I have no place to go".

When I actually got into regular clothes, and I did because of video conferencing, I felt as though I was wearing a wet suit. I felt so constrained and confined and tethered. I think the psychological and even physical effect of going back to normal clothes makes you just squirm.

I have a good deal of empathy for people who really subscribe to the comfort trap. It's easy to get trapped. But I do have a pact with myself. When I'm wearing pyjamas and a robe, I won't even go down the hall of my apartment building to the trash chute. If I'm leaving the apartment, I get dressed. I'm not in a suit, but I'm wearing proper clothes.

So what is proper clothing for you right now when you do go out in the hallway?

I'd wear a turtleneck and a pair of jeans.

Do you think that once we are all allowed out into some kind of new world that there might be a huge embrace of fashion, that maybe people are tired of their sweatpants?

I fully believe that. I know people who are dressing up every day. They're not leaving their apartment, but they're dressing up because they feel that they have infused their lifestyle with some normalcy.

Do you know if you'll have a season two of Making the Cut and what it might look like?

We're certainly talking about a season two. The plan for doing it this summer is, of course, off. And we are carefully, thoughtfully, recalibrating all of our thinking about the show in regard to social distancing and interactions.