Summer is in full swing, and a multitude of the fully vaccinated among us have begun to venture out into public again. Many others, ourselves included, are fully vaccinated but still hesitant to emerge from our lockdown safe spaces. Sure, factors like the widespread coronavirus variants and possible interaction with the unmasked and unvaccinated give us pause.
However, one question sparks a different type of social anxiety: What the heck should I wear?
Fashion has always been a creative outlet. Not just for those who design the clothes, but also for those who use clothes to express their personalities. Netflix CMO Bozoma Saint John, for example, wears bold prints, bright colors, and often, sequins. She dresses to suit her mood, not the occasion, and it makes her an even more powerful force.
I started working from home almost a year before lockdowns began. Prior to the pandemic, my style could be described as ‘90s grunge meets tired mom. My closet is filled with jeans, T-shirts, Vans, Doc Martens...and lots of black. My personality is equal parts The Clash and The Cure.
So when lockdowns happened last March, my personal style didn't really take a hit. Online, however, my feeds filled up with people trading work clothes (blazers and heels) for work-from-home clothes (stretchy clothes and Crocs). Being comfortable and cozy gave us all a respite from the stress of an unprecedented pandemic.
Simultaneously, we saw the emergence of a new phenomenon: Zoom wear. All of the meetings normally conducted in person were now happening over Zoom. With cameras on. 😒 Zoom shirts and blouses were in, and it didn’t matter what you wore on your bottom half!
Now that we’re beginning to see glimpses of the end of the pandemic, businesses are open again and some workers are heading back to the office. We’re now seeing a different phenomenon: Revenge shopping. Forbes describes it as shopping to make up for lost time. When it comes to fashion, it means ditching the loungewear for dressier clothes.
It’s easy to get caught up in the rush to leave the pandemic behind. But are we ready to give up the style freedoms (elastic waists and stretchy fabrics) many of us found during lockdown?
For over a year, most of us have had the time - for better or for worse - to just sit and think about what’s most important to us. Our daily schedules and routines have been upended, and our wardrobes have evolved. These months of daytime pajamas and couch clothes have made us intolerant of scratchy fabrics, tights (ugh!), belts, and ties.
Maybe my previous question shouldn’t be, “What should I wear?” but rather, “What do I want to wear?”
Life will inevitably look different as we continue towards that post-pandemic goal line. We’re dealing with trauma, anxiety, and joy as society reopens after a very long, arduous year. So let’s give ourselves a break. Let’s wear whatever we want, wherever we want.
A floor length gown to the grocery store? Yes! Yoga pants to the office? Wait...I think that was already a thing. Either way, just do you. I’ll be wearing my usual uniform of Vans, shorts, and a T-shirt pretty much everywhere. Besides, who’s going to tell us not to? 😉
What's your (almost) post-pandemic style? Join us on Visva and let us know!