Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

Have we witnessed the death of uncomfortable clothes this year?

This year, along with the numerous other lifestyle changes that Covid-19 has brought in, fashion and clothing choice has also changed. Being told to work and study at home resulted in many of us ditching the tight jeans for joggers, the shirts for oversized hoodies and the outside shoes for slippers. So, the question is, with a lot of our uncomfortable but fashionable clothes remaining hanging in our wardrobes gathering dust, have comfortable clothes taken over our daily dressing habits? Are tight but trendy clothes out?

A lot of evidence would suggest that this indeed is the case. In fact, only the other day did I hear of a friend attending an online seminar sat in bed, in their pyjamas. Another friend remarked that for an online seminar, they changed their top half into something smart and presentable, and remained in their pyjama bottoms. Clearly then, working from home makes a lot of us very reluctant to get properly dressed.

This trend of wearing comfortable clothing makes a lot of sense

Interestingly, according to Refinery 29, “even before the pandemic (…), fashion had been headed in an overall comfier direction for some time”. This does seem to have been the case. Reflecting on my pre-pandemic clothing choices, I had swapped out my skinny jeans for baggier jeans later last year. Brands have definitely embraced this trend, with many clothing shops having a very popular collection of loose jeans, with styles such as ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ being very popular, even pre-pandemic.

This trend of wearing comfortable clothing makes a lot of sense. For me, as a student, wearing slightly looser clothes makes studying more comfortable. Most people can be seen nowadays wearing trainers of some sort, with big brands such as Vans and Converse constantly producing new designs, aiding the growth of this comfortable trend. Even my mum, who used to be an avid boot wearer, is now a converse convert. Comfortable fashion definitely is not a new thing, then.

Perhaps comfortable clothing will not remain everyone’s first choice

Athleisure is another trend we must consider when looking back at the recent growth of comfy clothes. Comfortable gym-style clothing has been extremely popular within the past ten years, with brands such as Gymshark marking the explosion in this trend. With a vast range of colourful and stylish gym clothing, brands are definitely catering to eager customers.

However, perhaps comfortable clothing will not remain everyone’s first choice, particularly when considering post-Covid times. Talking to The Guardian, Shalini Gapathy and Francesca Murton, two prominent individuals within the fashion industry, mention that: “customers will want to get very dressed up again”.

I don’t believe it’s fair to say that fashionable clothes have been completely neglected this year

I agree that, hopefully, in the future, when more social activities can take place, people will excitedly pick up their smart and less comfortable clothes and embrace them again. After all, the wearing of comfort clothes does not mean that smart clothes are forgotten about.

That being said, I don’t believe it’s fair to say that fashionable clothes have been completely neglected this year, even though Covid has made us all stay at home for most of the time. Fashion is completely unique to each individual, and clothes can hold various functions for us.

Fashion is a choice, and it really does depend on the individual

While some might only get ‘dressed up’ when going out somewhere or when celebrating a special occasion, these particular clothes are not restricted to these uses. Some days I like to dress up a bit, even if I am staying at home and doing work. For me, personally, getting ready properly sets me up for the day and motivates me to do work. I personally really struggle to get much done when sat in my pyjamas.

Fashion is a choice, and it really does depend on the individual. Before the pandemic, I would put in more effort on some days and resort to comfortable clothes the next. As stated in the above articles, comfortable clothing has been popular long before the onset of Covid. While, certainly, these odd times have increased people’s consumption and use of comfortable clothes, it doesn’t mean that this is set in stone for the way people will continue to dress in the future. Even if people continue to stray from ‘uncomfortable but trendy’ clothes, this might just be the movement we have been witnessing for years. Comfort is the new trend.

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