Has lockdown changed the way we dress and our attitudes to fashion?

Lifestyle

Not only has lockdown given us an opportunity to clear out our wardrobes, but it’s also prompted a shift in the way we think about our clothes, in general.

Yes, lockdown has physically changed the way we dress – with joggers, PJs, gym wear and dressing gowns forming the four pillars of the 2020 wardrobe – but it’s also made us think, psychologically, about our attitudes to fashion.

From the amount of clothes that are gathering dust in our wardrobes to our online shopping habits – the pandemic has made us question a lot of things.

Kate Oldfield, a designer from London, said she’s dramatically changed her views towards clothes and online shopping over the past few months.

She says: ‘At the beginning I was really against online shopping, because when the UK was at its peak I felt like I was unnecessary putting people at risk getting things that weren’t essential.’

Kate now wants to spend a bit more on clothes that last longer, rather than fast fashion.

She adds: ‘I did a clear out and I have loads of clothes that I’ve only worn once or never worn. I found ones with tags that I bought for holidays last year that I’d packed, taken with me, didn’t wear and brought back.

‘I’m not going to just buy loads of cheap stuff online anymore. I’m going to spend more on things that I can wear with loads of different outfits – so more of a capsule wardrobe, rather than buying loads.’

One enormous change is the way lockdown has altered the way people dress day-to-day.

While lots of people have opted for slouchy clothes, Rebecca Lockwood says she’s turned to more glamorous pieces to boost her mood.

She says: ‘I used to tone down my clothing when at home wearing sweats and comfy clothing. However, during my lockdown, my wardrobe has literally been transformed. I now wear comfy but sexy and colourful dresses when at home – especially when working from home.

‘I realised that although it was comfortable being in these clothes it wasn’t making me feel very good. For me to be my best self – in work, as a mum and as a wife – I also have to feel my best. Frankly, being in my sweats didn’t leave me feeling productive or very sexy.’

This is something Rebecca hopes to continue post-lockdown.

She adds: ‘I think I will definitely keep getting more dressed up each day. I noticed it makes such a difference to the way I feel which makes me get so much more done.’

Similar to Rebecca, Claudia Hardy says she’s also found a new appreciation for her nicer clothes.

She tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I’m living in my gym kit and I’m enjoying dressing up once a month way more than dressing up a few times a week.’

The pandemic has also prompted Claudia to scale back her wardrobe entirely.

‘I am not buying going out clothes at all and I have culled my wardrobe – I’ve found loads of clothes I’ve never worn with tags on which I’ve just donated.

‘I’d be keen to spend more on less clothes and just have a staple wardrobe,’ she says.

The pandemic also saw the high street grind to a halt.

Up until this week, shops stood still for months – many with Easter stock still in their windows.

Bethan Roberts, a doctor from Leeds, says this standstill made her question the importance of trend pieces in her wardrobe.

She says: ‘I’ve found it quite refreshing, looking in shop windows and there being the exact same clothes that there were four months ago. I find there’s a lot of pressure to keep on top of trends.

‘You look in a shop window and you think “I’ll buy that” and then two weeks later it’s gone because something more fashionable has come in.

‘So I’ve really enjoyed walking past the same dress in Urban Outfitters for the past three months and thinking “I still think that’s a really lovely dress” and then still wanting to buy it.’

Bethan adds that the past few months have made her think more carefully about her online orders.

She says: ‘I’ve found myself on a website and filling up a bag and then reviewing the bag more, rather than just clicking to order.’

However, people who don’t shop very often have found the pandemic has had little impact on their consumer habits.

Kezia Sullivan, from north London, tells Metro.co.uk: ‘My approach to shopping has not changed.

‘I didn’t shop before and I don’t shop now unless the jeans have worn out and even then I try and buy the exact same pair – because I’m quite hard to fit because I’m tall.

‘I probably won’t be shopping after lockdown until I can go and try things on – as stuff is a bit difficult to fit.’