As we approach the one year anniversary of the first lockdown, it has become increasingly difficult to remember a time without masks, social distancing or loungewear attire every day. And at this point, I mean every day. With a very empty diary that I have meticulously filled by scheduling my daily walk, it has been (the same) puffer jacket, pair of leggings and oversized hoodie that have been my closest companions.
So what can we expect from post-lockdown fashion? Events I once anticipated: a repeat of the roaring twenties, every-day-restaurant-visiting, drinks at every opportunity and many, many dinner parties. However, there appears to be an option that I hadn’t quite considered: remaining in loungewear; the softer fabrics that have supported and motivated us through one of the most difficult years, and in which we have found immense comfort and gratitude.
I think it will be difficult to separate society from their comfort-blanket wardrobe which has protected us for the past year. Sky News reported that ASOS have witnessed a 329% rise in annual profits due to the consumption of loungewear, with author Candice Brathwaite mentioning in an interview for The Guardian that shopping for quality loungewear helped to ease “the disastrous and mind-numbing experience” of lockdown. Balenciaga, Burberry and Marc Jacobs followed suit (pardon the pun) in their lockdown collections spotlighting pyjamas, tracksuits and oversized clothing, showcasing the prominence of loungewear globally.
However, I have also been thinking about how much ‘glitzy’ fashion will matter post-Covid?
A quick Google seemed to highlight words of humanity, rather than an emphasis on clothing; it is a change in scenery people desire, rather than a change in outfits they have seen hanging idle in their wardrobes – people want something new to feast their eyes on. In a recent interview with chef Kwoklyn Wan on BBC Radio 2, he mentioned that the first thing he wants to do post-Covid is to visit the sea. Similarly a Financial Times article about post-Covid plans highlighted the running theme of familial reunions and travelling to see loved ones.
Whilst I cannot wait to have a reason to wear heels and dresses, I think the first month out of ‘Covid life’ will be as heartbreaking as it will be exciting. People have grieved alone, celebrated birthdays and holidays estranged from their families, and learnt to survive without their usual immediate in-person support network. Jumping back into ‘normal’ life will be as jarring as it will be invigorating; when that time comes, I think we may need our ritualistic loungewear more than anything.
Speaking from personal experience, I, myself, want to remember the events of the past year, the hardships we’ve endured and our responses to the clunky disruptions. We have battled through one of the most difficult years, learning new skills and new ways to motivate ourselves; we deserve to show this off. Fashion marks history. And, I think we will want a reminder of the clothes that helped us survive this Covid nightmare.
So whilst it may be an ongoing battle between shopping in short, glittery dresses and heels or in pyjamas and slippers; the exciting thing is we’ll be able to try both. Adventure when we want to, whilst with full knowledge that our comfy wardrobe, marked with our laughter, tears and perseverance from this past year, will be there to support us when we return home.