Post-pandemic fashion “returns to normal” too quickly
Style Points is a weekly column on how fashion intersects with the wider world.
You don’t really have to be a fashion expert to know that its pendulum always swings between extremes – sartorial silhouettes range from bandages to bags and backs, and as soon as a trend hits its saturation point, you can bet his opposite is waiting backstage to deliver his solo. This has never been clearer than in recent months, as a body-conscious dressing with more cuts than a slice of Swiss cheese has taken off, replacing the all-comfort, permanent status quo. From Jacquemus to KNWLS to London Queen of Cling Nensi Dojaka, the fashion industry is betting on anything bare-skinned like a mood booster and life jacket all in one.
And I want to be excited about it. As a fashion lover and fan of all of the above designers, I appeal to everyone involved. But the pressure to achieve what society sees as the “perfect” re-emergence look, and the invisible work that often seems to require, is confusing for those of us who were used to clothes that swaddle, rather than show off. . As the lockdowns began here in the United States, those of us fortunate enough to work remotely quickly found that the tickling belts, underwired bras, and shoes that weren’t at least the best. cousins distant from a slipper were beginning to resemble relics of a less enlightened era. When I thought about the number of days I spent locked in the irritating agony of pantyhose, or buckled up in high waisted pants, it was like hearing about life in the 1800s: did people live like that?
While the before and after times aren’t quite as binary as they once thought, it has become a fashion and media concern to imagine dressing for the after and all the anticipation and fear that that implies. Amanda Mull asked Atlantic, “What do you wear to get into society?” and offered answers drawn from how previous pandemics have shaped fashion, while Talia Lavin pushed back the pressure to have a Hot Vaxxed Girl Summer with a frankly appealing alternative: Blob Girl Summer. Obviously, the extent to which you want to dress is still a personal choice. Many people are encouraged to use clothing as a lift. But for the rest of us, there’s an external pressure of follow-up from the Joneses that feels like a combination of the first day back to school, a college reunion, and the world’s most awkward mixer turns up. profile. When I hear people worrying about looking perfect for the coming summer, I doubt myself. (Should I have jumped into Invisalign or invested in a Platoon when I was just focused on survival?)
What happened to going easy on ourselves? Last year, the fashion firm refocusing on physical comfort – something that was in fashion long before the pandemic, with high-quality sneakers and tracksuits becoming the norm – felt like a benchmark of sorts. It was free not to think about how I looked at others or where I might fail, to let go of the idea that, especially as someone who identified with a woman, I needed to appear to a certain way and just achieve a certain level of grooming. do my job. (If athletics mobilized me, then the sweatpants radicalized me.) I was hoping that, in the same way that we reconsider the way we do so many other things – work, commute, structure our days – we could demand a drastic change rather than a return to an imperfect version of “normal”.
Instead, things feel like moving at super-fast speed, with fashion and beauty standards only. After accelerated than they were before the lockdown. For the record, I constantly hear about four-figure purchases or obscure plastic surgery procedures from people who were previously unfamiliar with both practices. When it comes to fashion, the unsustainable (in many ways) expectation that we will invest money to keep up with the latest trends has returned, and the idea of post-pandemic ‘revenge shopping’, while understandable, has returned. seems contrary to one of the biggest lessons we’ve learned over the past year. Namely, we really only need a lot.
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