Real Talk

Pambahay, You the Real MVP!

“If you are comfortable in your own home, everyone else will be too.
That sense of authenticity is what gives a home its soul.”

Had this been written under different circumstances, I would agree with the vast majority and say that being in your pambahay all day, for weeks on end, should probably prompt you to check in with your life goals. However, I write this from the comfort of my home, where I’ve been in isolation for what feels like forever, and my goals are just fine. I have 3 kids, I run a household, and we don’t ever leave our house; which means, we live in pambahay all day long.

Yay for less laundry!

I’ve noticed that the loads of laundry haven’t been as heavy, and everyone kept their favorites on rotation, unknowingly creating an ECQ capsule wardrobe. If we lived by KonMari teachings, we’d be forced to say thanks, and bid our closet’s contents goodbye in another 6 months. This is the reality we’re dealing with now.

What’s your pambahay style?

If I’m being completely honest, I would say that this has been a refreshing break from trying to figure out what I have to look like everyday. Being forced to stay indoors has given us the opportunity to dive into things that are more important than having to think about what to wear. Truth be told, choosing between a soft, old t-shirt (complete with holes) and a stretched-out tank top (with bleach stains, of course) has been the extent of my lounge wear dilemma. Not too much of a crisis, is it? Absolutely not, when you’re comparing it to a toddler’s epic meltdown because her sister ran away with a Lego she initially wanted nothing to do with.

Not to look down on tattered duds, though. We all know the oldest shirt we have (probably from the 90’s) is the most comfortable piece of clothing we own. But there’s so much more to be said about what you choose for comfort within the confines of your own space. I know some women who prefer tight fitting garments, others who like all things baggy, and a few who enjoy a reliable duster. A lot of guys turn to their old basketball shorts, some just rock their boxers, while others would rather wear sweatpants. You may not have realized it, but your choice of pambahay, as well as those of your kids, actually says a lot about your personality.

What your pambahay says about you

While we have unwittingly thrived in our very own curated collection of minimal household attire over the past few months, we have also subconsciously fashioned our persona into what we consider our truest selves. Believe it or not, there’s a revelation underneath all of that.

Back when workdays ended with a change of clothes, and going out meant choosing what gave you a boost in confidence, the pambahay was constant. As we shed the identity of who we became in public, the comfortable bottoms and the relaxed tops is what made us feel the most at home. In parenthood, this could not ring more true.

The versatility of our pambahay allows us to get things done when the occasion calls for it. Be it working in the kitchen or tackling piles of laundry, you are ready. Without hesitation, you can get on the floor with the kids, clean up an infinite amount of clutter, or simply care for a baby for hours on end. You are able to squeeze in some online work and get back to lounging with your family in complete comfort, without missing a beat.

Do you!

We are in the midst of an unprecedented crisis in our lifetime, and it’s not something we need to be reminded of. I do miss getting ready to face the day in what felt like my best ensemble, and expressing myself through the pieces I put on. Yes, fashion can be an artistic expression that enables us to feel more confident, there is no denying that. But as you sit at home, thinking about getting ready for your next Zoom meeting in a presentable top paired with your not so appealing bottoms, know that you are not alone. There are influencers doing their work, showcasing the perfection of parenthood, and it’s something that works for them. Don’t hesitate to decline from rising to their expectations. It’s simply not something we consider normal.

Whenever I would get ready for work, my son always tried to hand me back my house clothes as a way of telling me to stay home. To our children, I can only imagine that our pambahay has become our trademark look, a representation of safety and contentment in their eyes. Personally, that’s a timeless trend you just can’t beat.

So, what’s your pambahay style?

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