It’s officially been a year (give or take a day or two) since we were told to stay home, and it hasn’t really stopped. We’ve seen a multitude of fitness trends, drinking challenges, and mental health campaigns, but lockdown has also lead to a variety of fashion lessons learnt and new styles tried. We’ve seen small business blow up on social media, sustainability become more than just a trend or something ‘hippies’ do and there was even a point when everyone was walking around in tie-dye.
The pandemic has taught us the power of clothes. Whilst it seems odd to be saying that something as ‘trivial’ as a dress may have power when the world has been battling a deadly pandemic for months on end, we’ve learnt how important they can be for our mental health. Waking up and putting on a cute outfit was even advised and prescribed by professionals at one point, as we recognise how wearing something we feel good in and like can greatly affect one’s mood. It’s surprising, even to me, who is possibly the literal definition of fashion obsessed, that so much of the everyday persons mood and wellbeing can be decided by whether they stay in last night’s pyjamas or put on the ‘perfect’ summer dress.
Leading on from that, this pandemic has also schooled us in the subject of loungewear. I think most of us realised we didn’t own nearly enough cute jogging bottoms or the right tank top for any of the colourful leggings we had hoarded over the years. And whilst some of us may have pledged never to return to normal clothes after living in comfort for so many months, we have redefined the connotations of loungewear. A tracksuit is no longer a symbol of exercise or letting oneself go (very conflicting notions) it now has class and style and is not something we would hate to be spotted out in on a Tuesday afternoon. In a butterfly effect, we have also realised the importance of comfy clothes, that actually serve their purpose of keeping us warm and protected.
In lockdown, despite some peoples best efforts the fashions of the 2000’s reared its head. Low rise jeans, butterflies on everything and tiny slogan baby tee’s are back. Gen-Z seem to be the first to have embraced the clothes from their birth years but other generations are following suit. Thankfully, we are yet to see a jeans and dress combination or the type of double denim that made us want to run in the opposite direction. Whether you are here for the new cowboy boots and baker boy hats, one thing is for sure: fashion is cyclical in that sense and we were bound to see the return of the juicy tracksuit and teeny baguette bags.
TikTok stars are possibly the first to embrace this resurgence of trends, as they have become the influencers of the pandemic and possibly beyond. The 2010’s had YouTubers and we have teens on their phones- but criticise all you want! The new wave of fashion icon is here and they aren’t doing the worst job. We may question some of the looks they attempt to make ‘happen’ and not everyone is going to follow in their footsteps, but the still young social media has given us a new source of inspiration in the form of 1 minute long videos and trends like the ‘frow’ challenge.
Since almost every shop was shut, even the least tech savvy of us have been forced to turn to online shopping in search of our retail therapy fix. I must admit that before Covid I was a die hard advocate for actual shopping, as opposed to doing it from my laptop on the couch, but I have since woken up to its potential. Whilst I am not a complete convert, I’ve learn how to navigate even the most confusing of Ecommerce sites (Zara, anyone?). We’ve learnt tips on how to bag the best sales and discounts, found apps to notify us when the top we desperately need is back in stock and even dealt with the labyrinth of resale sites. The need to online shop has given me and I’m guessing others, a new respect for the world of ASOS and Depop.
Finally, the pandemic has changed our views on sustainability. A lot of us ended up spring cleaning our wardrobes and thus reviewing what we buy, what we wear and hoe we consume. Being locked down gave us all a new perspective on the fashion world plus the TikTok stars on our ‘For You Page’ and even a few BBC documentaries urged us to try shopping second hand. Beyond that, we seem to have a new respect for what we wear and a new care for the clothes we buy. There’s been a lot of re-wearing, re-purposing and re-selling in an attempt to heal the damage the fashion industry has done. And whilst we will never truly be able to undone what’s already been done, we can start working towards a better future of fashion.
What fashion lessons have you learnt during lockdown? Let us know on Twitter @Fashion_North!