How quarantine might influence fashion for the better

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The last couple of months have not been flattering for most of us. Bed hair, hoodies and jogging bottoms have become something of a uniform for a nation of home workers. Even when on video call, there’s nothing to stop you wearing your most garish pair of slippers under the desk. And yet, as the fashion police take some time off, I hold out hope that it might encourage us to let loose with our style.

Unleashing everyone from isolation could go one of two ways. Either London will go absolutely crazy, donning every jewel and raiding the wardrobe in an attempt to impress. Or just maybe, quarantine might have taught the fashion-conscious capital that less is more. Take conference calls, for example. Since the video chat has taken over our lives, there has been lots of advice on how to look good for online meetings, including the suggestion to dress yourself in neutral, muted tones. In context, this is to prevent you washing yourself out and messing up the colour balance on your camera – but this tip could be just as useful in general life. A pastel palette can do wonders for accentuating your natural features and elevating your tan.

When it comes to caring for your complexion, quarantine has also taught us a lesson more valuable than any makeup tutorial. Where once we might have plastered our face in foundation before leaving the house, without the pressure to fit in, many of us have been sporting the nude look. Aside from giving us clearer skin, it’s provided a welcome reminder that we should learn to be happy with the face we were given. This is not to say you can’t put on some mascara or a bit of lippy – I’m very much of the opinion that it’s totally fine to wear makeup in a pandemic – but rather to say that it’s healthy to have confidence without it.

If we are saving money on cosmetics, we are saving even more on our clothes. Not going to the shops to scout for the new season’s best looks means that instead of maxing out the credit card, we are being resourceful with our wardrobe. The extra time we have on our hands is perfect for reinventing our style, recycling old pieces, layering and reworking old staples into something new. Many are even questioning whether a greener fashion industry will emerge from the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

When I say that fashion rules would benefit from staying relaxed, I don’t mean that we have to get lazy. Dressing formally in the appropriate situation is important – and it makes us feel good about ourselves – but it’s equally important that we don’t just hide behind flashy garments. Instead, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all learn to dress comfortably in clothes that complement our natural attributes?

Rosamund Kelby

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