I would be lying if I said that I've hated the stretchy-waisted, head-to-toe-knitted, shearling-slipper-clad beast that my wardrobe has become over the last 10 months—honestly, I'm not sure my tolerance for skinny jeans and high heels will ever be the same again. However, as we enter a new year, faced with the prospect of wearing loungewear for the next three months, I have experienced a sort of mourning for my usual fashion-loving, experimental self. It hasn't helped that I've just moved into a new flat, which means slowly unpacking my entire wardrobe and greeting much-loved items of clothing like old friends. Turns out, I had really missed them. Who knew?
Obviously, my wardrobe's lack of airtime is very much a first world problem, but I wonder if there are others out there who have experienced a similar sort of detachment from their usual selves. Be it due to the absence of art galleries and theaters, the inability to blow off steam at a favourite gym class, or simply not being able to share a bottle wine with close friends who are as good as family. For me fashion is a way to play and (at risk of sounding like a cliche) express myself, and without it life is a little flat. So I decided to spend a day playing with my clothes, and you know what? It did the trick. I might not wear these clothes while slobbing round on the sofa during lockdown, but I know that, one day, they'll get their moment in the sun (hopefully literally), and it'll be glorious. As they say, absence makes the heart grow stronger.
Alongside the obvious feel-good pop of colour, I've found that reconnecting with my favourite vintage pieces has been a surefire way to putting a smile on my face, as they have that unique personality and statement-making power that I rarely find in brand new buys. That being said, secondhand is often a great way to add interest to high-street buys and wardrobe basics. It's all about that meeting of old and new. So, if there are any fellow fashion lovers feeling a little lost right now, I couldn't recommend a dress-up day enough. Scroll down to see the outfits that helped me to feel like myself again.
Colourful Knit + Slouchy Trousers
Gingham Blouse + Dungarees
Style Notes: I have long been an admirer of Batsheva's vintage-inspired designs, so when I got my hands on this gingham blouse in the Matches sale, I was one happy bunny. I've been layering it under this perfect pair of dungarees from new sustainable denim brand Seventy + Mochi.
Style Notes: Okay, so maybe I haven't quite given-up on the loungewear. I'm giving my black leggings a spring update with a fringed jacket and my fave vintage cowboy boots. Just add a cinching belt to finish off the look.
'70s Denim + Throwback Vest
Style Notes: One surefire way to help me reconnect with my fashion-loving self is to dig out some vintage gems. I feel like I've just stepped out of The Serpent with this '70s-inspired get-up, which includes a pair of jeans I found at a Peckham-based vintage store, a vintage crochet vest and L'Agence's button-up blouse for a bit of polish.
Style Notes: I've become a total statement trousers-convert, and I love pairing bold prints with a more simple top-half. I can't wait to wear this Omnes pair in the summer with just a white tee, but for now, I'll layer up with All Saints's suede shirt.
Plissé Blouse + Comfy Trousers
Style Notes: On those days when I want to feel pulled-together for work, but also want to be comfy I'll always reach for my trusty Lululemon On the Fly trousers, which somehow manage to look smart while still being super stretchy. I'll style with Proenza Schouler's dreamy plissé blouse, and I'm ready to Zoom (again).