How Is Lockdown Affecting Style Trends?

Katie Inglis

It’s undeniable that over the past year lockdown has changed the way we dress. No longer are we required to drag ourselves out of bed to the office or a lecture, dressed in clothes appropriate for the working day. Staying in has become the new going out, and ‘working from home’ (WFH) fits have become our new normal. With the Coronavirus and the ensuing lockdown came a change in the way we live and as a result, much of our work and social lives have now been reduced to the confines of that little square box on zoom. 

It is no surprise that 2020 saw the revolution of loungewear, and it is clear that comfort really has become key – especially when you’re sat stationary at the desk in your bedroom all day. Although we’ve been seeing a move to more casual trends over the last decade, COVID has undoubtedly sped up this process. More and more people are investing in the comfies; joggers over jeans, sweatshirts over suits, and it seems the market for this kind of clothing has rocketed.

Throughout lockdown, social media was full of brightly coloured jogger co-ords and matching loungewear sets – it’s not hard to see where people’s furlough money was going – and brands are monopolising on this new phenomenon of comfy clothing. For those of you unfamiliar, loungewear is the glorified pyjama, the stage between your tracksuit and nightwear, that pair of cashmere flares that is obviously a wardrobe essential for all your Netflix and lounging needs. No longer is the tracksuit something you throw on when you nip to Sainsburys to buy milk, it is now a trend and considered fashionable, what a dream! 

While some of us are finding solace in the jogging bottom, it seems others have seen lockdown as an opportunity to experiment with more daring looks. More than ever are we relying on social media and those fashionable Instagrammers for our daily dose of style inspo. With our worlds majorly minimised to the four walls of our homes, lockdown has meant media platforms have become crucial, replacing the once popular #OOTD (outfit of the day) with #WFHfits (working from home fits). And with easy swipe up links and shortcuts to express checkouts, Instagram has become like a digital showroom for all your styling ideas. 

The Instagram @wfhfits, rising from the depths of the everyman’s isolation, has amassed an impressive 21.5k following since its first post in March of 2020, and features a range of- you guessed it- working from home outfits. However, the account suggests that not everyone is indulging in the overtly popular loungewear sensation, showing individuals sporting everything from clashing prints to purple Uggs, and has had appearances from the likes of Frank Ocean and Timothée Chalamet. Although not all of us have the motivation to conjure up these unique ensembles for our everyday slouching, it’s nonetheless a fun take to see how working from home looks for these stylish individuals, and if you fancy yourself up to it, why not send them a DM, they are open to submissions – providing you have a sprawling mirror and immaculate taste, of course. 

However, these are not the only trends we’ve seen soar over the past year. With more time on our hands, it is not unexpected that there was an increase of online shopping, I for one definitely whiled away endless hours of lockdown scrolling on various shopping apps. Not only does this mean we cut out the long queues and stressful experience of in-person shopping, but also those ghastly Topshop changing room mirrors, something everyone can do without (they are just universally unflattering aren’t they?). Yet more importantly, lockdown saw a change in our approach to buying and an effort to shop more consciously. There has been a move away from fast fashion brands and we have been encouraged to shop small and shop more sustainably. 

Depop (an app to buy and sell second hand clothing or from small businesses) say they saw “tremendous growth” over the year with demand doubling during lockdown, and Sara Maino, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia, saysWe didn’t respect the planet until now and in a way this [pandemic] is a message and unfortunately it’s a very, very heavy message’. As consumers, slowing the way we buy our clothes has called for more mainstream brands to buck up their ideas and understand that sustainability is not just a trend, but a necessity that is long overdue. With the lockdown providing many of us with more time, we have had the chance to reflect on our own buying habits and make changes to not only look after our planet, but also the workers who are often exploited as a result of our need to remain ‘relevant’.  This is a trend that we are all keen to ensure sticks around. 

Throughout the numerous lockdowns, we have seen some major changes in style and it seems they are here to stay. We’ve waved goodbye to formalwear and welcomed the warm embrace of slacks and slippers. But whether you’re all aboard the leisure-wear train, or a stickler for a carefully constructed laptop day get-up, staying inside has provided us with the freedom of creativity for our all-important zoom-fits and has changed the way we view our WFH wardrobe. Comfort prevails and I’m not mad about it – and in the midst of lockdown 3.0, it seems that this is something we will all be prioritising this for at least the foreseeable future. 

Katie Inglis

Featured image courtesy of  John Beans via Flickr. Image license here. No changes made to this image. 

In-article images courtesy of @thepangaia and @wfhfits via Instagram. No changes made to these images. 

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