One of the small pleasures of this whole global pandemic malarky was sifting through Etsy to find myself a cute handmade face mask (a lilac floral one to be exact) from a local business. If possible, I wanted to avoid handing my money over to yet another company exploiting a crisis for profit. I'm sure you will have also noticed the rapid influx of 'stylish' masks appearing on fashion retailer's websites, with some luxury options going for a modest $100. While it beggars belief that anyone would shell out a hundred for a face mask, there is no denying that global events have a profound impact on style and trends, and without going full 'Miranda Priestly cerulean blue' on you, this article really made me think about some potential knock-on style effects of the current situation.
The main one being, what will we consider 'workwear' when this is all over, given how much more comfortable we have become with video calling each other in our own homes? The corporate world's obsession with dressing as uncomfortably as possible has never sat right with me, and the idea that you can only look professional in a suit and tie is already on its way out - has Zoom only sped this transition up? Will the catwalks of SS22 be filled with loungewear/workwear hybrids (corpleisure - I'm calling it now)? Will I succumb to purchasing a designer silk mask? Only time will tell.
In the same way the pandemic has radically transformed our working lives with accelerated digitisation and remote working, I wonder if the crisis will break down some of society's traditional associations with workwear, and the stereotypes around what we deem 'professional' - which by design, can be limiting for those of us who aren't men in suits. I am not suggesting I be allowed to turn up to work in pyjamas, but I am interested to see where post Covid fashion takes us.
With COVID-19, there are two main questions of garb: Will face masks become long-term popular where they're not already? And have Zoom meetings from your living room spelled the end of formal workwear like suits and ties, even after COVID?