Has The Pandemic Reduced Your Wardrobe To Nothing But Sweats Or Inspired Your Best Outfits Yet?
I once heard a celebrity say that society should judge people not by what they say, do, or stand for but rather what they wear when flying. I don’t remember who it was but, while it was funny, it really made me think. See, when I fly I opt for function over form. Usually jeans and a hoody. But this guy was saying how he likes to pretend he’s from the 60s and he actually dresses in his best outfits to fly. I know there are a lot of, “There are two types of people in the world…” setups out there but this one might be the truest and most divisive.
Because what you wear when you’re going to be in a confined space for hours on end says a lot about you; what you value and what you’re happy to let slide.
For instance, I always wear a hoody and jeans on flights because if there are any issues with my flight I know I can handle pretty much anything travel can throw at me in that scruffy suit. Have to wait another 6 hours for my flight? Well I won’t worry about getting pit stains in my silk shirt! Forced to sleep in the airport overnight for some reason? With a hoody I know I won’t need a blanket! It might not look great but it’s comfortable and versatile. But then again, that’s how people described snuggies, the wearable blankets. It makes me shudder and remember this interview:
While I’ve never taken my trousers off during a flight, hearing that celebrity talk about dressing up to fly was the first time I ever considered others might be judging me on flights for my appearance and it was kind of a turning point for me when it came to fashion. From that point forward I was keenly aware of what I was wearing any time I travelled. I still often wear jeans and a hoody on flights but at least now I have the decency to feel somewhat self-conscious about it!
So what does any of this have to do with you anyway? Well, I’m willing to wager COVID has revealed your inner traveler to you many times over since we all started lockdown. If you’re like me, you may have reverted to wearing a sort of socially acceptable zoom-suit (mine is barefoot with basketball shorts on bottom and a button up dress shirt with freshly coiffed hair on top. The perfect mix of clothes to make me and anyone I have to meet with as comfortable as possible.
If that’s not foreshadowing for the state of fashion right now, I don’t know what is!
Next Chief Executive Officer, Lord Simon Wolfson, has recently been quoted as saying, “No one wants to buy clothes to sit at home in.” But is that fully true? While the market may be down, and there have been many calls for a bailout from the fashion industry, I know there are people out there who dress to the nines to try to feel more like their usual selves.
I’m curious about those folks. Who are they? What drives them? Do they wash their own laundry or do they pay someone else to do it?
But most of all, I wonder what we’ll do when things finally return to, “normal”. Will this weird zoom limbo lead us into a new era of Supreme sweatsuits or will social distancing bring back Victorian-era crinoline skirts so poofy we can’t help but stay away from each other? Heck, maybe we’ll even end up with Bubble suits!
It’s impossible to say which way things will go but we can be sure that the UK fashion industry is hurting and needs our support. So if my words have made you feel a bit guilty for slumming it in sweats during the pandemic there’s literally never been a better time to support your favourite fashion designer or brand by buying something that reminds you how good it feels to wear your personality on the outside. If you’re like me and feel no shame zoom-suiting through your remote work week, more power to you, but please make up for it by trying out something wild and new when you’re back in public on a daily basis. After all, no one deserves to see us devolved to the point where we think it’s okay to make whatever COVID fashion choice is equivalent to taking our trousers off during a flight!