Who knew that attending a Zoom meeting in your pajamas to discuss important business matters would become the “new normal”. Even News Anchors across the globe have converted their kitchens and dens into makeshift offices. On top of that, the bonus is that all you are required to sport is a nice top and a somewhat presentable face (perhaps just wash it and comb your hair) while still wearing your PJs and slip-on. Feels like a Sunday everyday kinda moment, doesn’t it?
The pandemic has made a major impact on our lives for better or for worse making 2020 a very challenging year no doubt. The change was felt through lifestyle choices as well and opting for comfort during lockdowns and restricted life eventually led to the rise of casual culture. Considering the fear, immense stress and limitations everyone was going through giving priority to dressing up was not part of the agenda. Going for something comfortable came naturally but turned into much more. This terrifying past year has definitely set priorities straight for most of us, if not all.
“Fashion is a potent visual marker of our times,” says Caroline Stevenson, head of cultural and historical studies at London College of Fashion. “Trend analysis of any given era will reveal society’s values and aspirations.” Let’s take this quote and understand it better by taking both World Wars under consideration. Due to the scarcity of resources and limited funds luxury was not welcomed thus shifting focus towards more practical, simple, or/and pre-loved apparel.
Again, during the great depression, flappers were discarded and plainer clothes, also known as utility clothing, with simpler forms, were adopted. These instances confirm that not just socioeconomic but global upheaval definitely affects our lifestyle on multiple levels.
We all witnessed a similar trend unfolding during the 2020 pandemic. Fashion and style took a more practical route but there was also an added element of security. Masks are now a common and crucial accessory. A lot of loungewear collections were launched and of course, masks were quick to follow lead to join the style crew.
Dressing up to go out and be seen is no longer a priority for most. When engulfed with global turmoil what we seek the most is comfort. There have been more purchases of sweatshirts and loungewear in 2020 than any other fashion item. Individuals even opted for thrift because it gave them a feeling of worn and cosy. It gave our mind a little ease through our physical easement. Caroline Stevenson sums it up quite well; “Clothes will become more an extension of our homes, offering comfort and reliability amidst global turbulence”.
Along with comfort came security. Mask, one of the most important products of prevention and control to limit the spread of Covid19, became as essential or maybe even more than your undergarments. They were not just adopted as a means of protection but evolved into fashion statements. However, the most important element remains crucial: to breathe with ease. It didn’t matter how beautiful the mask was, if it was not comfortable, nothing else mattered.
A notable mention out of appreciation to innovation must be given to the Diesels “Upfreshing” collection which is said to be layered with “Antibacterial” coating. There have been talks about many even opting more for water proof clothing in general as well. The forecast of style is definitely getting more casual, practical, sustainable if not cheap.