Exploring fashion in the times of COVID-19

Fashion is a universal form of expression. Of individuality. And of the society we’re living in. We think about what we wear every time we step out of the house, influenced by the fabrics of society but ultimately, our own hearts. Our style choices have evolved into a pattern of normality; a daily routine. Whatever the occasion, we dedicate thought, consciously and subconsciously, both towards our public appearance and our intuition of which clothes feel right for the day. 

Given the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown, however, fashion has experienced an unprecedented shift away from the usual routine and instead, entered a phase of new (and creative!) trends and perceptions. With more time to spend at home, there has been a rise in DIY projects and artisan apparel. Whether it’s crocheting, turning to more environmentally-friendly material, choosing slow-fashion, or finding new ways to outfit the existing clothes in your closet, COVID-19 has inspired a new horizon for sustainable fashion and has challenged us to look beyond the trends to develop a more comfortable style and mentality for the long-term. 

We may find ourselves in a turning point. Over the course of history, fashion has traditionally been a symbol of society, such as by its definition through the season, time of day, and matter of formality. Contemporary fashion has been more adventurous and postmodern, so to speak, but it is still largely bound by what is considered acceptable and normal in society. Over the past couple of months, however, we have had the opportunity to reflect on the current standards of fashion and experiment with alternatives; a trajectory that could, in fact, continue in the back of our minds. While we probably won’t see employees wearing pyjamas (or sweatpants) to work in a non-virtual world, we may feel less inclined to consider every single detail in the outfits we curate and instead, be more confident and personal in our style choices. 

Gradually, we are witnessing the transition back into the fashion we’ve always known, but regardless, COVID-19 has embedded itself in our memory through an exploration of fashion that has moved away from the times and instead, opened the door to a different realm of thinking.