When future anthropologists sift through fashion coverage from 2020 (they will; go with it), they’ll be convinced that 2020 women turned up to work video-calls wearing Zoom-friendly earrings, bright lipstick and statement tops. They’ll determine that we all dressed up for supermarket runs. And of course we wore high heels for Zoom cocktail parties with friends (“so fun!”).
The truth is probably closer to this: If you bothered to engage with waist-up dressing, below the waist you probably kept on the same leggings or pyjama bottoms you wore the day before. Nobody really bought a pair of earrings because they looked good onscreen. And after the first Zoom cocktail or two, the novelty wore off, and we returned to locktails with Netflix instead of with friends.
Can we be honest for a minute? 2020 was not a banner year for fashion. For most of us, self-presentation was far from front of mind as we grappled with a constant stream of new jargon, statistics, restrictions and general doom.
But now we’re in a new year, with plenty of pent-up hope for what could come next. It’s telling that on the day Matt Hancock announced that vaccine approval was on the horizon, the fashion team set aside a spread about the best leggings to buy now in favour of a much more colourful feature on glamorous re-entry looks.
So let’s own up to some of the bad style habits we’ve all succumbed to at some point over the past million months. And pledge to leave them behind with 2020.
Resolution 1: We will not wear leggings for more than two days a week outside of actual exercise
Like pyjamas, leggings are best worn for a specific activity, not as a replacement for skirts, dresses or proper trousers. If you’ve eschewed denim since the spring, try on jeans that are different to whatever you already own - straight-legged crops and patchworked designs feel current.
Resolution 2: We will not forget about comfort
For too long, fashion designers treated ‘comfort’ like a dirty word. While the rise of all-day tracksuits and slippers may in retrospect seem like taking things too far, there’s no need to forget how good it feels to… feel good. A pair of fashion clogs, or trainers that make you happy (even if you never exercise in them), represent a step in the right direction.
Resolution 3: We will break free of style ruts and try new things
Any outfit category that starts to feel effortless to the point of automatic deserves periodic reconsideration. Floral midi dresses, I’m looking at you. There’s no need to put your favourites on indefinite furlough, but get out of your comfort zone a little, why don’t you?
Resolution 4: We will not re-clog our wardrobes.
Wardrobe clear-outs were one of the universal activities of the spring lockdown, and one of the most constructive. Don’t let excitement about (eventually) returning to normality propel you into the kind of shopping mania that you’ll just have to undo with another huge sort six months from now. Hopefully it’ll be a long time until another lockdown gives you time for that kind of thing. Fingers crossed.