By Jess Cartner-Morley
Our clothes have reflected our derailed and diminished lives during the pandemic. But now is the time to embrace colour, style and fun again, as we move from sofa to social life
The day I realised my lockdown wardrobe was becoming a problem began exactly like any other day. Which was precisely the problem. I had just started work when I looked down at what I was wearing – chunky navy sweater, faded jeans, the leather ballet shoes I wear as slippers – and realised that I had been wearing pretty much exactly the same thing, every day, for as long as I could remember. Somewhere in the dark days of lockdown No 3, my go-to sweater had crossed a line from favourite to being a kind of cable knit therapy pet. With nowhere to go, I had stopped thinking about what to wear. Had I forgotten how to get dressed?
Have you? When did you last get dressed? I don’t mean put clothes on – I mean properly get dressed. Now we are not seeing anyone, or even leaving the house much, clothes have been absorbed into our domestic routine. They have become household objects, like saucepans or cushions or doormats, rather than fashion objects. Wake up, put the kettle on, change out of pyjamas, open the curtains. Shoes on, take the recycling out, kettle on again. If you feel fancy, some earrings on before you switch the laptop camera on. Repeat to fade. We are still wearing clothes – indeed we can look perfectly presentable, when we need to. On a Saturday, if we are going for a walk and to splash out on a flat white at the new posh place that has the queue, we might even push the boat out and wear, say, a jazzy scarf.