Whether we care to admit it or not, COVID-19 has changed the way we think about and approach work. As we all go about our days carrying a weariness that comes from entering our third year of non-normalcy, working Gen Z and Millennials have turned their attention away from the 9-5 grind and towards the precious hours between 5-9.
While the the shift from #morningroutine to #afterworkroutine looks different on everyone, let’s take a look at two of the more prominent 5-9 aesthetics.
‘That Girl’, but make it PM
After her day that started with 6am pilates, That Girl is just as productive with her time after she sends off that last email. She starts her evening by refilling her 2L water bottle, changing into another matching workout set and hitting the gym. After that, she heads home to cook a healthy, balanced meal, before washing up and reading in bed.
Irony aside, this lifestyle as seen in girls like Emily Mariko promotes whole-of-life wellness and taking care of your health through good routine and diet. With so many hours of the day already taken up by work, the That Girl PM routine dedicates time to working on your own physical and mental health after grinding all day for someone else.
The ‘Night Luxe’ aesthetic
Of course, the critique of the That Girl lifestyle is that it feeds into the trap of toxic productivity, in that what may be productive rest for some, is just another set of unrealistic expectations for others.
As Liz Flora points out in an article for Glossy, for every trend there is a counter-trend, thus we see the simultaneous rise of the Night Luxe aesthetic. Picture martini glasses, beaded silk dresses and flash photography.
The Night Luxe aesthetic is the epitome of work hard play hard, tossing the “no fun on school nights” rule to the curb. It promotes maximising the hours not spent working to indulge in the moody and glamorous night life depicted in Gossip Girl.
This rising aesthetic parallels the original Roaring 20s, where a period of frugality and restraint was followed by the letting go of responsibilities and inhibitions.
While the two aesthetics seem to be night and day, they both promote using your after work hours how you like. Remembering that everyone rests differently, we’re glad to see the vibe shift away from workaholism and towards self-care, whatever the aesthetic.