Will COVID change the way we dress forever?

    While the COVID pandemic has made major changes to the way people approach everything from working to entertainment, it seems that it has also affected the clothing and shoes we choose to wear on a day to day basis. You might think it obvious that people spending more time at home would dress more comfortably, but there is a possibility that the shift in fashion will carry over once everything reopens once again.

    Can you expect casual layering fashion to take over your corporate office? Will facemasks forever be part of your outfit — whether you’re matching your festival outfit or putting something on for a trip to the grocery store? Learn more about the long term effects of COVID on the fashion landscape when you read on below.

    Work from home

    Tailored to layered

    Many people have spent years curating their wardrobes to present them as high powered professionals that dominate their environment. With nobody there to see their outfits and respect their presence anymore, the tailored pants are gone, exchanged for comfortable robes and house slippers.

    So many companies are considering maintaining their work from home policies — now that everyone knows it’s possible to do the job from their own living room — that the shift to comfortable clothing could be permanent. You may still want to look professional for video calls and meetings, but you no longer need to throw on those stiletto heels and designer blazer every morning.

    Fancy or laid-back

    There are two theories about the direction post-pandemic fashion can take: it can spur fashion forward to get more elaborate and fantastical or it can continue to highlight the benefits of laid back looks for all occasions.

    For the people who are tired of wearing pjs and having nowhere to go, fashion will take on a new importance in their self expression. Tailored outfits and one-of-a-kind pieces could be more popular than ever. This type of ramped up style won’t be true for everyone though. There are plenty of people who transitioned from mandatory stylishness to comfort casual, and they never want to go back!

    Face & Body

    With movie theaters, shopping malls, and other entertainment spaces opening up again, a new trend has emerged that’s taking face masks to the next level. Since it looks like facemasks will be with us for a long while — if not permanently — it’s no surprise that designers are looking to mix them up and make them more exciting. You’re far more likely to wear a mask if it matches your outfit. Many clothing designers are releasing matching sets, while independent retailers are shifting their focus from basic white and including tons of colors, patterns, and pop culture references in their facemask offerings.

    Looking to match your facemask to your purse or shoes? At this point, you can probably find a perfect piece to go with all the favorites in your wardrobe.

    Special occasion fashion

    Because people have been trapped inside with their cardigans and sweatshirts for so long, there is a belief in the fashion world that many will take the opportunity to push boundaries wherever they can. Instead of making a Target run in sweatpants and flip flops, suddenly, every chance to get out of the house is a reason to look amazing! This will also translate to special occasions and events. People want to take everything up a notch, so you can expect to see even the least fashion conscious people putting effort into their look.

    Mental health & fashion

    work from home in covid lockdown

    There has long been a connection between mental health and fashion. The way clothes make you look and feel has a big impact on how you handle difficult moments and stressful life events. COVID has cast a new light on the way people are looking at mental health and stress management. Since fashion has always been a representation of how people are feeling, the attempts (especially among younger people) to find a peaceful space within themselves has inspired a turn towards emotional colors, basic staples, and natural fabrics.

    Neutral tones and natural materials can have a calming effect on those who wear them, and surrounding yourself in calming, eco-friendly clothing and decor seems to be taking over the world. While eventually people will return to dressing up for the sake of dressing up, you can expect natural fabrics and neutral hues to maintain their newfound place in the fashion system.

    Shifting focus

    The pandemic is far from over, and these are just a few of the shifts and trends that experts are seeing on the horizon. Have you noticed any other changes in the fashion landscape? Is there anything new you’re doing that uniquely changes your own fashion choices? Comment below to join the discussion.

    Tess DiNapoli
    Tess DiNapoli
    Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and the world of fitness.

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