It had to end, you know that. The unironed shirts, elasticated waistbands – they were great while they lasted, but it’s time to get back to reality, or at least a third of the way back. OK, sharp tailoring might not appeal, but it’s not all doom and gloom – dressing up for more than just the bin run offers more scope for personal style.

Remember shoes without rubber soles? You liked those. And handbags! And, in fact, the 97 per cent of your wardrobe currently not in use. Now that the lockdown measures have begun to ease, it’s time to dust them off and start to transition back to wardrobe reality.

And, since we’re now in a completely different season to when this all began, you might need a bit of a wardrobe overhaul. Here are my tips for a phase one wardrobe...


So long, Winnie the Pooh

Meetings held over Zoom introduced us to a new fashion category: waist-up dressing. Since nothing below the desk could be seen, we only needed to focus our attention on our top halves. Down below, many of us stuck to jeans, PJ bottoms or some sort of athleisure wear (tracksuit bottoms and leggings were some of the rare items to increase sales).

A few, and you won’t be surprised to hear that they’re mostly men, took it one step further and tried Winnie the Pooh dressing – nothing at all down below.

Pyjama bottoms are one thing, but pulling a Winnie the Pooh – top, no pants – is quite another. So perhaps it’s a blessing that more time spent outside, and more of us returning to work, means that bottom halves are back on the style agenda. Look for jeans with a bit of stretch rather than stiff selvedge, soft cotton chinos, or tailored trouser and short shapes in more relaxed fabrics like linen or crepe that will ease the transition back from leggings.


Waistbands: a (gradual) reintroduction

News of the Covid-15 – the 15 pounds we could all expect to gain during lockdown – was greatly exaggerated: I’ve only gained a teensy 11 pounds, which will probably drop right off now that I’m allowed to play sports with my household of, erm, just me. In the meantime, I’m taking a “slowly, slowly catchy tummy” approach to waistbands: they should be loose, a bit stretchy, or non-existent. Thankfully, it’s now the perfect weather for dresses: look for trapeze-shapes, wrap styles that can be tied tighter or looser, and bold prints that distract from any lumps and bumps, all of which fit happily into the category of Big Lunch Dresses.

If dresses aren’t for you, the waist-skimming potential of a jumpsuit or boiler suit might appeal.

The Daily Telegraph

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