Dressing after a pandemic

by | 8 Apr 2021 | Fashion and style

photo of women's skirts, guessing what dressing after a pandemic

Written by Moira O'Toole

I am a part time milliner and colour and image consultant with an interest in all things fashion related.

At the beginning of the pandemic it was all about bright and cheerful colours and frills and ruffles on the rare occasion we got to dress up.  At home it was all about comfort with leisure and lounge wear. Now as we are getting more weary of restrictions there has been a shift in people’s thinking for dressing after the pandemic. Many are moving from “the happy ever after fairytale scenario” towards more versatile and classic investment pieces.

Practical & creative style

The fashion industry has been looking at events in history eg. the first world war & the depression to try and predict how fashion will move. Laura McLaws Helms, fashion and cultural historian describes what happens during these times:

“…it kinds of slows the changes down, but it also shifts the focus”.

After the wars, fashion for women became more practical and serviceable, as women were in the workforce. However despite poverty and lack of finance people still nurtured their love of fashion. They became more creative and used materials that they had available to them.
Possibly a more minimalist look will be popular for a while. Decorative and embellished style appears to diminish during wars and recessions. Capsule wardrobe dressing and more classic tailored looks may become the norm rather than fast fashion and trends.

Moylan of ‘Fashion Snoops’ predicts
“..when we’re back out in the world and in our offices, we’ll run in the opposite direction from schlubby loungewear and toward tailored looks”.
Some analysts have forecasted a post Covid party-like recovery, that it will be like the roaring twenties.
The sustainability movement has also gained momentum making us all more conscious of our spending habits and reminding us to be more mindful about what we are buying.


Veronica Toppino designed distance friendly hats to make people more aware of the role of functionality in fashion during the current pandemic. It encouraged social distancing as the crinoline skirts did during Victorian times.
Designers are offering every style imaginable.There is fairytale fashion to encourage optimism, and sustainable style for the conscientious.  Minimalist structured style is on offer for those who want to move away from the relaxed leisurewear of the past year. The list is endless.
It’s anyone’s guess what turn fashion will take. Maybe we will be more adventurous and creative.  Possibly we will be more aware of what style suits us and our needs and not be so dictated by trends. Hopefully we all have learned a bit more about ourselves and our style personality, which may inform our choices for dressing after the pandemic.

As Philip Treacy describes one important piece of fashion
” A person carries off the hat.
Hats are about emotion. It is all about how it makes you feel”.

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