Woman getting dressed into a yellow jumper

Getting dressed post‑Covid

“Wear clothes that matter”

Solitaire Townsend

As the pandemic continues, our lifestyles are changing and our attitude to life is changing too. This is naturally affecting the way we dress and show up in the world.

Many clients have commented that they feel they are going through a transition and are no longer the same person as they were pre-Covid. 

We are seeing a shift in how people shop and the way personal style is developing. What is interesting is that our wardrobes have begun to evolve around our health and wellbeing more than ever before. 

Here are 3 things to think about regarding your personal style and wearing clothes that matter as we move into a new era.

Is comfort really king?

The first obvious style change since the coronavirus lockdowns started has been the ‘comfort is king’ trend.

No more office attire. Suits and high heels were suddenly unnecessary. In fact most of the world has been working in their pajamas and loungewear for the last 10 months. 

In the beginning, comfort mattered, whatever ‘comfort’ looked like. But what matters for your wellbeing is not loungewear 100% of the time.

Sweatpants and yoga attire are only empowering in the gym or a yoga class. But once you get home – AKA the office – loungewear is bad for productivity and can even lead to weight gain, which can then make you feel uninspired and far from motivated. 

The way we dress, even if we are not going anywhere or no one is seeing us, really affects our performance and the way we feel

Even if we are still at home it’s vital to our wellbeing to feel powerful and productive and that we’ve achieved something by the end of the day. That’s why your daily ‘getting ready’ ritual and what you wear is fundamental.

Intentionally getting dressed, wearing something that makes you feel empowered will set you up for a good day. That doesn’t mean wearing a stiff shirt and jacket.

Instead of wearing ‘slouchy’ clothes, how about wearing smarter functional items and choosing natural and organic fibres instead of manmade ones that contain plastic? Wearing natural fibres such as cotton, linen and pure wool will make you feel good, with the extra bonus of being kinder to the environment.

Get to know about different fabrics and what feels good on your skin. See how great you feel wearing a smart cashmere sweater instead of an acrylic fleece. 

Do you need lots of clothes to be stylish?

Back in March when the world came to a halt many of us started to question our lives and how we are living. During the first phases of lockdown we began to see how much stuff we actually have, asking why we have so much.

Most people tend to wear 20% of their clothes, 80% of the time.

When you have a wardrobe optimised around your own style, you’ll need less clothes to put outfits together and you are less likely to make additional wasteful purchases. An easy way to get into the habit is to stop before you buy something, and ask yourself:

“Is this item a necessity, do I really need it? 

How often am I likely to wear it? 

Is it likely to still be in style next year, or the year after?”

Following these principles will help you make more conscious and better choices. The motto is simple: buy less, wear more and ask yourself questions. 

Creating a functional wardrobe 

I do believe that the way we dress started evolving as a result of Covid-19 and gone are the days of the separate work and casual wardrobe. 

Our wardrobe will become more functional with a fusion of items that means we need less clothes to create outfits with.

A functional wardrobe is established by making good choices, we don’t need to go ‘full minimalist’ but we do need to be more intentional with what we choose to add to our wardrobe. 

First you will want to get clear on your unique style and then start to focus more on the basics – think wardrobe essentials. Look at neutral colours and the accent colours you want to include, which should be only 2 or 3 colours. 

Using accessories to express your style

Obviously having a more functional wardrobe is great, but many ask me how they can add their own style personality. I always say instead of just buying more clothes, invest in accessories. 

Think about adding statement jewellery to your LBD (little black dress) or adding a scarf around your neck with a white t-shirt. 

Add some statement glasses to a casual look, or some statement earrings. Add a belt to a plain dress. 

Accessories have the power to take your style to the next level and transform your outfits without bulking out your wardrobe.

How can we help the planet?

The enforced lockdowns have made us slow down and think about all aspects of life, including the human impact on our planet. 

You’re probably aware that the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries on earth. It emits more carbon than international flights and maritime shipping combined. 

Being stylish does not mean you automatically contribute to the fashion industry problem. In fact, it’s our chance to help turn things around.

Think about it:

Every time you buy something new you are casting a vote for what kind of world you want. 

Take the time to find out where you’re investing your money when it comes to clothes. 

  • Look into how long products will last, where they are made of, how they are made and who they are made by. 
  • Make the decision to stop spending on fast fashion and steer your spending habits to more sustainable clothing. 
  • Start to look closer to home. Buy locally, supporting small businesses, creatives and artisans. 

Shop preloved 

The vintage, preloved and second hand textile industry is set to go beyond the growth of fast fashion in the coming years. There are so many vintage and thrift websites popping up now and there will be more to come. 

I often shop in vintage stores for more statement pieces which are unique and individual. 

There is also ‘preloved’ which usually means designer clothes that someone has owned previously. These are good if you want to invest in investment pieces but couldn’t necessarily afford them brand new. 

Check out preloved items on both Vestiaire Collective and Edit Second Hand

There is life after Primark

Yes, you can have the freedom to express yourself through our own unique style, without having to have a ton of clothes, whilst at the same time becoming a more conscious consumer and looking after our home, planet earth.

If you need guidance on how to tap into your unique style and feel more confident, feel free to join my facebook group or book a coffee chat with me.

Lou Stokes

Lou Stokes
Verified Coach
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Lou Stokes is a style consultant from London based in Madrid. With online coaching, she helps women around the world cultivate confidence by developing their own, empowering style. Email lou@loustokes.com or visit loustokes.com to find out more or book a call with Lou right now.

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