Michela, a close friend of mine, is a physical education teacher. When I went to visit her at home I found her impeccably dressed, in stiletto heels and very elegant. I asked her why. “I spend all day, every day in my gym clothes, and when I get home I have to dress differently,” she replied.
We used to do the same. I remember my dad's ritual of coming home, taking off his tie and reappearing 20 minutes later in his brown sweater with a copy of the Corriere: he could read the newspaper at last. Changing his clothes, therefore, was a daily ritual to mark the end of his working day and the beginning of a few hours of personal life with the family.
And now? In this sphere too, the dividing lines have become blurred by coronavirus, to the extent that some American universities have found it necessary to have their students sign a code of conduct. No lessons in swimsuits – and, please, at least wear your trousers. The rock concert T-shirt, which once nobody would have dared to wear in a business meeting, has now become a prized trophy to show off. We’ve stowed our ties in the attic and a well-ironed shirt is as far as we’re prepared to go.