The fashion industry has long been shaped by the shifting of the seasons—a yearly cycle that hinges on February and September as a tipping point for the months ahead. Fashion week is, in turn, a chance for us to look into a crystal ball and get a glimpse of fashion's future: the silhouettes, the colourways and the hemlines that will set the agenda.
However, what was once a clear delineation between spring/summer and autumn/winter has become blurred. The never-ending cycle sees brands creating multiple collections throughout the year, such as pre-fall and resort, in addition to the traditional bi-annual offering. Meanwhile, the see-now-buy-now model has allowed consumers to start purchasing directly from the runway. The regimented system that has shaped the retail industry suddenly seems restrictive in a digitalised world. After all, there has always been something somewhat incongruous about looking at summer dresses in the depths of winter.
The result? Designers have started to create hybrid collections that mix winter staples with summer separates and autumnal hues with spring silhouettes. In some ways, it's a more accurate reflection of the flexible way in which our wardrobes function: Case in point, the recent COVID-19 crisis has seen many of us confined to our homes, meaning that our usual workwear pieces and weekend capsules have been swapped for loungewear sets, leggings and low-maintenance separates. Add to this the fact that people are generally wanting to shop more sustainably and buy items that work across all year round, it only seems natural fashion adapts to demand.
This more flexible approach to design has been reflected in the high street's spring trends. A few months ago, long before lockdown, I popped into a few stores and saw this hybridity with my own eyes. For example, leather is no longer reserved for winter, and for 2020 it has been rendered in everything from dresses to short-sleeved shirts. Knitted fabrics have followed the same trajectory, and I found a Topshop's co-ord that I plan on wearing for long weekends lounging on the sofa.
Of course, shops are now shut and we should all be staying at home, but quite a few of my favourite pieces are still available online. So, if you're looking for a little mood-boost, either for yourself or for a loved one, feel free scroll down to see the high street heroes that will keep working hard over the next few months and beyond.
& Other Stories Fitted Top
Who What Wear
Style Notes: I've slowly come around to white denim, and while I think it works all year round, it'll look best in spring and summer. This Stories style will be a hard-working staple over the coming weeks, as will this collared top (Emma Spedding has it in black and swears by it).
Style Notes: I got so close to buying this winning knitted pairing (I'm still thinking on it). I wouldn't have thought that woollen trousers would be flattering, but for some reason, the flared fit made them look so good. A perfect WFH loungewear set.
Style Notes: Smock lovers rejoice because this throw-on dress style is sticking around for the foreseeable future. I, for one, am pretty happy about it. Stories' checked midi comes up very oversize (I'm wearing an XS), so only buy if you like that look.
Style Notes: I'm coming over all "country casuals" with this Arket quilted coat. I like the addition of the bomber style neckline and boxy fit, which keeps it modern (I'm wearing an XS). Throw on for your daily walkin the park.
Style Notes: Jackie O called and she wants her skirt suit back. This Stories co-ord might look like it's from the '60s, but it has been kicked into 2020 with its vibrant purple hue. Anyone for dress-up Fridays?
Style Notes: I thought I would be bored with black, puffed-sleeve dresses by now, but I was wrong. I'm totally for wearing black in spring, and this standout dress simply needs a gold chain and ballet pumps to make an impact. Plus, thanks to its comfy fit, it'll be a perfect fashion-based mood boost for chilling at home.
Style Notes: I've never been much of a print-clasher, but this Arket floral roll-neck makes it so much easier. Tight-fitting and colourful, it will layer perfectly with all the cosy staples in your wardrobe. Also a fun way to elevate your fave knitted joggers.
Style Notes: Take a deep breath. Yes, the waistcoat is having a bit of a moment, but there's no need to be alarmed. My suggestion? Either wear as part of a suit or get inspired by noughties Kate Moss and layer over a floaty silk shirt. You know you want to.
Style Notes: How good is this print? It looks like it's just stepped out of the 1960s and onto a rail in 2020. It's like nothing I've seen on the high street this season (Topshop Boutique is so good for originality). Endorphin dressing if I ever saw it.
Style Notes: The idea of cargo trousers will probably fill most people with horror, but thanks to Arket, it's possible to work the trend without the Destiny's Child undertones. This pair comes in a silky black fabric, which feels so expensive and feels particularly chic when styled with a colour-matching smocked blouse.
Style Notes: Leather! "Dad" shirt! Aqua green! Who knew all these things would go together? But lo-and-behold, it somehow works. Leather is the unlikely fabric that is sticking around for summer. We recommend keeping it loose and clean-lined.