Those of us who work from home have likely spent the entire pandemic in various forms of sweatpants — if we even bother to get dressed at all.
But one jumpsuit apparently tops them all. It’s developed somewhat of a cult following online, with influencers and regular people alike admitting they own several in various colors.
One of the original jumpsuit evangelicals, Alyssa Keiko, began tweeting about the item in November.
“A hooded jumpsuit time to be COZY,” she posted with a photo of herself wearing the style from Old Navy in gray.
Keiko said a friend who is “much more fashionable” told her about the look and she was immediately sold, wearing only the sweatsuit for the next six weeks.
“I love it (and all jumpsuits) because I never want to put an outfit together and particularly now I don’t want to think about two or more items of clothing,” she explained to TMRW in an email. “Instead of standing in my underwear trying to figure out what two items of clothing to wear that no one will ever see, I just put on one of my jumpsuits.”
She added that this specific jumpsuit is "so soft and cozy," as it is advertised, but it was the waist that really convinced her.
"There’s an inside drawstring so you can define the waist if you want but as a friend said, 'We’re at the point in the pandemic where I don’t even want a stretchy waistband,'" Keiko said. "Jumpsuits keep your ‘pants’ up without a waistband. It’s what everyone needs right now as our government fails us."
She added that being from Philadelphia, it was only natural she switched to an all-sweats look for the pandemic.
“I reference Philly being ranked No. 1 in sweatpants per capita a lot because it’s funny, but I’m from Philly and we do love sweats so it’s just in my blood,” she joked.
Her friends and Twitter followers kept asking where they could get their own and the sweatsuit fandom expanded.
"I didn’t INTEND to spread the word about the jumpsuit but when I posted selfies in it, because there is nothing else to do, people kept asking where I got it so it became more efficient to preempt the questions by saying 'It’s here, it’s on sale, get one for you and a friend and your brother and grandma and unhoused neighbors,'" Keiko explained.
Last week, another popular Philadelphia-based influencer posted about accumulating all four of the sweatsuit colors.
“As of Monday, I have accomplished one (1) thing I am incredibly proud of this year: I own the Old Navy jumpsuit in all four colors,” Christina Grace, aka @C_GraceT, said.
Old Navy confirmed to TODAY that this particular jumpsuit has been a hit since it was released.
“On social media, fans have coined it the ‘pandemic uniform’ and alert each other to restocks,” a spokesperson said. “Since we launched this style in late October, this jumpsuit has been among our top sellers weekly and maintains a 4.5 star rating.”
Athletic leisurewear has been a huge hit, understandably, for people staying home during the pandemic. Old Navy reported offering 55% more activewear during the third quarter, which ended Oct. 31, and saw overall sales for the brand go up 15%.
CNBC reported at the time that Gap, which owns Old Navy, said the increased production of cozy clothing had been to meet the needs of customers looking for comfortable options as they spend more time at home.
Other companies, like Nike and Lululemon, also reported strong sales during the pandemic, while some big box stores, like Kohl’s and Target, are launching their own versions of comfortable athleisure.
“Athleisure has changed consumer expectations regarding comfort and fit of their apparel,” Coresight Research founder and CEO Deborah Weinswig told CNBC in November. “We expect the boundaries between athleisure and sportswear and casualwear will continue to blur.”
As for Keiko, she plans to keep wearing the sweatsuit, even after pandemic restrictions ease.
“It’s extremely good for taking my pup out when it’s a bit cooler because it has pockets for treats and bags and whatever,” she said. “But I also wore full gray sweatsuits in high school and college so there was a non-zero chance I would be wearing it even if we hadn’t ever been in lockdown at all.”