Here’s the ironic thing about the Coronavirus lockdown: I have spent more time outdoors since it began in March than I did before the city shuttered. Prior to the lockdown, I would walk a total of 82 steps to my gym on the corner in the morning, get my workout done, and unless I was running errands or had a specific place to go throughout the day, I didn’t really spend much time outdoors on a daily basis.
With gyms still closed here in NYC and an unsure timeframe when they will open and be completely safe, my husband and I have relied on daily walks to get some sunshine and exercise. Every day at 4 pm, we head out for 40 minutes to one-hour walks, depending on how busy our days are or how hot it is outside. We jokingly call this time our “yard time,” as prisoners do. Over the past three months, we have covered every inch of the three-mile radius surrounding our apartment multiple times.
I’ve never been much of an outdoorsy person. Perhaps if I lived somewhere with more places to be outdoors or had a yard or even a balcony, I’d take in more of the sunshine. Yet, these daily exercises have kept me sane and, oddly, found me suddenly craving taking up gardening. It’s incredible how we often find ourselves wanting the things we can’t have. And I know I am not alone in this sudden craving for nature and the freedom to get out and about.
Outdoorsy Looks for Non-Outdoorsy People
I got this request from a Facebook Group member to do a post about outdoorsy looks for those who don’t consider themselves particularly outdoorsy. Despite the fact that the world may be slowly trying to open back up again, we’re still social distancing, still without many outlets available to us for our pleasure or entertainment, still may be relying on the great outdoors to keep our sanity intact, I thought it was a great topic. I have put a few looks together that are outdoorsy yet still stylish for all different types of activities.
Before I get into this looks, I have to share this quick story about this pigeon we encountered while on one of our daily walks.
My husband, Frank, and I weren’t more than five minutes on our walk two weeks ago when we spotted a pigeon in the road. It was clear she couldn’t fly and was stuck. We had to save her. I stood in the road so cars wouldn’t hit her while Frank asked a man doing outdoor work for a garbage bag. Frank scooped her up in the bag and our new pigeon friend was completely docile and allowed Frank to hold her. The question next was what to do now that we had her in our possession.
Our first call was to our pet store that happens to keep homing pigeons. They couldn’t help and wouldn’t accept this wild pigeon for fear of it infecting their pigeons, but they did give us a number to call, which led us towards another dead end when we couldn’t get a human on the phone. Our next try was veterinarians and an animal hospital in the area who told us they don’t take in wild animals and to call the Wild Bird Fund, NYC’s only wildlife rehabilitation center, caring for orphaned, injured, and ill animals. When we tried them, we only got an answering service that told us we had to bring animals in. Being in Brooklyn and the Wild Bird Fund on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, we were looking at a lengthy trip either by subway (during coronavirus, no thank you) or a $45 Lyft ride each way with no guarantee they’d be open by the time we’d get there because it was the end of the day. In desperation, I even flagged down a police car to see if they might have a solution.
We were now left standing in the street nearly an hour, Frank holding the pigeon this whole time, who sweetly just looked around and rested. People passed, didn’t offer to help. Although I can’t blame them. They would have been just as clueless as us, and we floated the idea that as much as it would pain us, putting this pigeon out of its misery might be the most humane thing to do. That just brought me to tears and left Frank with a heavy heart knowing the task would be his to do. There was no way we would kill this pigeon and we certainly couldn’t bring it home to a small apartment with our two cats.
Just then, a woman walking down the street stopped when she saw us in distress and after understanding this situation, told us she has “pigeon friends” and might be able to get help. In a matter of a few texts and calls, she was able to take the pigeon off our hands and get it to an animal rehabber she knows who, what are the chances, works at the Wild Bird Fund and would take her there tomorrow. We found an empty Amazon box in front of someone’s home, put the pigeon in there and she was off to safety.
We got an update a few days ago, because we are now obsessed with her recovery, that this pigeon is convalescing at the Wild Bird Fund with a broken wing and a poorly functioning leg, both that are in splints. She has a long road ahead of her. Even if she doesn’t make it, she was given a chance, and if it wasn’t for this angel who stopped to help us get her safe, none of this would have happened.
Okay, now on to the looks.
These pants look like a pair of stylish, modern trousers, but they are actually from Athleta and have seven pockets where you can store things. I styled them with a soft blue active t-shirt from Beyond Yoga and finished the look with navy walking sneakers, blush crossbody bag from Caara (if the pockets in the pants don’t do it for you), and a mask from Nordstrom that pulls the colors together.
While putting these looks together, I thought it would be fun to create looks for different types of activities. One positive shortage we have had in New York during the Coronavirus has been an animal rescue shortage. With people stuck at home, many have looked to feline and canine companionship to stave off loneliness.
I created this look for the dog walkers, although, certainly minus the dog walking props it could be a great look for people sans-dogs. I styled this jumpsuit from Zella with a pair of coral Birkenstock Gizehs, a paisley mask from Old Navy, a water-resistant small bag, a retractable dog leash, and a waste bag dispenser with a built-in flashlight for those late-night walks.
For those who have hoped to develop a green thumb during this lockdown, I styled this look that is perfect for digging in the dirt. I put together these Gap overalls with a Hanes T-shirt that offers UPF protection. I finished the outfit with gardening clogs from Hunter, a wide brim hat with UPF protection, gardening gloves, and garden tote. Mask not required if you are just tooling around in the yard.
For a lengthy walk, I styled this look with high-waist pocket crop leggings and a red tuck front t-shirt, both from active brand Zella. I finished the look with a pair of Allbirds runners, running belt bag, an Apple Watch, Airpods, and linen mask from Etsy.
One thing I always do when we head out on walks is to use a reusable tote bag to carry my things because, invariably, we will need to stop and pick up things from the drug or grocery store. In addition to my tote, I usually have another bag inside the tote in case I wind up picking up many things. I particularly like this rip-stop style that collapses. City dwellers rarely have a trunk to throw things into.
I styled this outdoorsy Patagonia dress in lightweight Tencel that offers cool, breathable comfort in warm weather. To the dress, I added a packable bucket hat, striped grocery tote, soft pink face mask from Kohl’s, and stretch basket weave slip-on sneakers.
Be outdoorsy safely this summer by accessorizing your looks with the most important accessory. Sunscreen.