In these challenging times, it is an unsurprising (if not instinctual) reaction to long for a different reality. Naturally, we find ourselves looking nostalgically to the past and dreaming about a different way of life, reminiscing about feelings of stability and comfort.
Having been boxed inside for almost a year has made us want to seek beyond the other metaphorical boxes imposed upon us, by escaping to another era. As a result, fashion trends this year have tended towards heartwarming sentimentality and imaginative designs.
Breaking out of these boxes has coincided with lacing ourselves tightly into corsets; in a celebration of femininity, this trend transports us back to another time period.
Mainly thanks to Netflix’s Bridgerton, we’ve been imagining ourselves dancing at balls, gracefully floating around in sweeping skirts and, busting out an intricate corset seems like one of the best ways to transport yourself to that time, and after all, this is the year of, “you have to start romanticising your life”.
This sense of mythic creativity has been slightly smeared by a new adoration of the colour brown, which wiggled its way back into people’s lives with the infamous brown North Face puffer jacket circulating online. It’s somewhat fitting that the colour brown has followed suit after what felt like a very crappy year.
That being said, the past year of fashion can be characterised by bold prints and its nostalgic feel. From the legendary Hockney dress that has suitably defined the year or the return of 70s inspired flared jeans that transport us back to the hippie era’s summer of love, it seems that we would all much rather imagine ourselves living in a different time.
Equally, alongside the revival of styles from different decades has come the emergence of labels, otherwise known as aesthetics, for each of these styles. From cottagecore to e-girl to dark academia, there seems to be never ending choice, emulating a child in a sweet shop, excitably pouring over the decisions but unable to make up one’s mind.
There is the danger though, with the emergence of various names for these different styles, that we may imprison ourselves into trying to match the job description, putting us back in the very boxes we tried to escape.
Nonetheless, there is one thing they all have in common: the act of self-expression. One day you may wake up and imagine yourself as a Jane Austen character, galloping through countryside fields, wearing long floral dresses…which is coincidentally how I feel most days. Other days, perhaps you wake up and, quite literally, roll out of bed in rollerblades and flares as a reincarnated Farrah Fawcett. Either way, I hope you look at your clothes as a child looks at their dressing- up box; capture that child-like excitement and imagination.
Perhaps your only outing this week will be browsing the aisles of Lidl, but instead of walking up rows of cereal and eggs, envision yourself in another era, wandering carelessly through the corridors of a castle, away from the ball, and most importantly, dressed for the occasion.
Image: Clker-Free-Vector-Images via Pixabay. A black and whtie illustration of a woman dressed up in a ballgown.