With the phased relaxation of lockdown imminent, you, like me, have probably spent your days obsessing over the important things: how to get to work; when the kids will actually go back to school; whether it’s safe to see the in-laws again… and how to dress for it all.
Now that we’re likely to interact with people from outside our households, thinking about what to wear is only natural. Even if shopping has been the furthest thing from your mind over the past 10 weeks, by now you’re bound to crave something fresh and unsullied by familiarity. Something new.
What we need now are deliberate buys that answer a need in our wardrobes. And yes, ‘sparks joy’ is a totally valid need. Here are five ideas to help you on your way.
A celebratory day dress
Putting one on for a work video call or a Zoom faux-casion is probably about as much mileage as you’ve had out of your dresses lately. It’s hard to see the point, especially if dry-clean-only fabrics are involved. But here’s the point: if you’re a dress person, then dresses make you happy. So wear them. The end. Since we’re unlikely to be going out at night any time soon, make your newest one a day dress.
Elevated fit kit
The yoga studio whose live-streams have helped keep me sane shares its students’ Instagram stories from their at-home practice. A recent one depicted only feet on a mat. The caption read: ‘Why bother with clothes? This is about to get weird…’ Naked exercise won’t cut it any more. Reward your exertions with a workout kit worth showing off to the outside world. One of the yoga instructors I follow wears an Ernest Leoty all-in-one – whatever high jinks her students might get up to in the privacy of their homes, she always looks good.
A bright top
If all the Zooming has taught us anything, it’s the power of colour. Carry that lesson out into the world with a breezy, puff-sleeved linen blouse – just the thing to wear with jeans and your new sandals (keep reading).
Ilona bodysuit, £250, Ernest Leoty at Net-a-porter; Silk joggers, £250, Me+Em; Knotted-bandana sandals, £115, Arizona Love at Browns Fashion; Linen shirt, £20.80, La Redoute; Cotton dress, £350, &Daughter
A smile-making pair of sandals
One of my favourite lockdown laments was the fashion editor bemoaning the fact that she couldn’t get hold of Proenza Schouler’s new Birkenstock collaboration, because Net-a-Porter held the exclusive and it was closed. It’s reopened, hopefully making all her sandal-shaped dreams come true. It turns out I have a few of those as well, though mine are more focused on Arizona Love’s tie-dyed knotted-bandana hiking sandals. Sounds weird, but it works. Now all I need is a pedicure, please...
Upgraded lounge trousers
Tracksuit bottoms and drapey trousers have been the true champions of lockdown dressing. And I get it: when all anyone can see is your top half, what’s the point of trying hard on the bottom? That, and there’s nothing like lockdown baking to make jeans or tailored trousers suddenly unappealing.
So start afresh. Spring for a pair of trousers that are relaxed, but smart enough for off-sofa pursuits. There’s no need to dispose of your go-to trews – but maybe give them a little rest. They’ve earned it.