When packing to come home from university on the 18th March 2020, it became evident that I need not have packed my ballgowns, and that what I should have been packing were endless hordes of pyjamas. I, similarly to the rest of the country, was shockingly unprepared for the emotional, physical and mental inundation which was about to explode across the nation.
Agonising over which tea dress I would need should not have been my priority, and yet I find myself delving time and time again into the dregs of my wardrobe. Having been at home for an unthinkable almost-4-months, my ability to spend days trawling through garments has become painfully apparent. At the debut of my lockdown career, I was ridden with guilt for spending more time trying on all of my clothes in lieu of revising for my looming final year exams, but the deeper I dove, the less guilty and more pensive I became.
I rediscovered my adoration for asymmetry, a coveted contentment with my
‘comfies’ and a seismic surge for sweaters. As I adorned myself in outfit after outfit, the realisation of how clothes truly function dawned on me. Never before had I been faced with so many garments, and so few places to wear them. In my transient state of should-be-studying vs wandering-through-wardrobe, I noticed how much better I felt when I dressed in my favourite pieces.
Certain items previously banished to the back of my drawers made their 2020 debut. I began to receive personalised adverts targeting my love of these very items. I think we can all guess what they were: the joggers. I like to think of myself as someone who knows her clothes. Experimenting with block colours, hand stitching daisies inside the infamous Nike tick, colouring my accessories Crayola, are feelings like no other. I often flounce about my house in fairy wings, totter to lectures in tutus, soundly sleep in silk through my 9ams, but not since I was 13 had I considered joggers to be a staple. So, all of you jogger aficionados, you can imagine my surprise when I doffed my denim and took up trackies. Sifting through my favourite magazines I began to notice a trend. The world of fashion appeared to be finding new appeal in jogging bottoms. Everywhere I looked I saw joggers: tight fit, rib-knit, ankle-cuffed, beige-buffed,
for-wearing-as-a-slouch, for sitting-on-the-couch, the minutiae of detail woven into the world of leisure-wear astounded me. Of course, I am an avid follower of sweaty-betty, I have spent many a penny on patterned yoga leggings, but what I realise now is that this uber house-bound trend is driving fashion full-throttle.
What does this mean for me? I hear you ask excitedly. I advise joggers, sweatpants, and leggings for all occasions: after all, staying in is the new going out. Today for my digital meeting, I paired some lovely slim-fit grey joggers from Topshop with a white scalloped vest top from Shein, festooning my mane with bridal-esque sparkling hair clips from an independent shop in my local town. I’ve yet to play Romesh Ranganathan’s game of ‘trousers or no trousers’ with my colleagues, but it dawned on me that as long as I never stand up, I never have to be fully suited-and-booted. This outfit was more than zoom-worthy, and I predict that this will become the new norm. As we all return physically to work, or rather don’t, perhaps the catwalk will begin to see what, for many generations, will epitomise the work-life balance. Business at the front, party in your living room at the back. We look to brands such as Sweaty Betty, Asos, Gym Shark, Cuyana, iets frans, Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas, Lulu Lemon, for inspiration as well as breathability. The days of skinny jeans cutting into our quarantine-fifteen stomachs are no more, and for brands that want to stay afloat this stormy season, it’s time to up the ante by bringing it home.
There’s no reason we can’t feel good in comfortable clothing. As I said before, I was surprised by how powerful I felt in my renewed clothes, in front of my colleagues dressed clandestinely, knowing that I was in a work meeting, being comfortable at the same time! If you weren’t already sold on joggers, here’s a little something-something for all those who need a little more convincing: their neutral tones of gun-metal grey, sugar-spun pink and barely-there blues provide the perfect tonic to outrageous oranges, gratifying greens and processed purples which we all secretly love to wear to try and stand out at work. They can be matched with anything. In all seriousness, this is a tough time for everyone, and I firmly believe that we’ll get through it that little bit better if we reach for home comforts. I know I could take over the world in jeans and heels, but it would much easier in a nice comfortable pair of slouchies.
We need only look to the goddess Chanel as someone who knew this better than ever: her jersey striped dress was created one windy yet sunny day in Normandy as a solution to the ever inconvenient problem of what to wear comfortably when it’s both sunny and cold. Chanel taught us that you can still be comfortable and get stuff done. The commencement of the first digital London Fashion Week has provided us with the much-desired opportunity for a blank canvas. It’s time to reclaim our rights as powerful people who know how to balance comfort with style. Now more than ever, we are beginning to look at ourselves in a whole new light - are we going to like what we see? I for one am going to make sure that my joggers don’t say to the world ‘I’m a slouch’, but rather ‘I’m a slouch, and I can still be productive.’
Diane von Furstenburg was right: ‘give a girl the right pair of shoes and she can conquer the world.’ Hey denim? Step aside, there’s a newcomer in town. to get started? Simply create a new post now.