How COVID-19 Has Changed the Way We Get Dressed

Since the coronavirus pandemic has spread around the globe in early 2020, life as we knew it before has changed drastically for nearly everyone, as countries from China to the U.S. have been affected. Since many countries found themselves under government-mandated lockdown, the way that people dress has naturally shifted, as social gatherings have been canceled, restaurants and bars have shuttered their doors, and vacations seem like a thing of the past.

Many people are trading in their dress pants for sweatpants and dressing up their usual accessories like gold chains with fashionable face masks. As cities begin implementing their reopening plans, many are wondering what the effect the last few months will have on fashion choices. Do you even remember what it’s like to get dressed up anymore? Yeah, we don’t either. Let’s take a look at how COVID-19 has impacted the way we dress.

Wearing Comfortable Choices

The biggest change that’s taken place since coronavirus is definitely the shift toward more comfortable clothing. We haven’t taken our sweatpants off in months. Because people are being told to stay home, they’re ditching their fancier pieces for the sake of comfort. Many people in the fashion industry think that this might be a change with some staying power.

As people slowly start to re-engage in social activities, they may feel more comfortable in the same types of clothing they’re been sporting for the last two months—sweatpants, leggings, oversized hoodies, comfy tees, etc. Although many companies have already capitalized on the athleisure trend of recent years, it’s probable that other clothing companies will jump on the bandwagon and start designing chic athleisure.

Adding Masks as an Accessory

Currently, the CDC is still recommending that people don face masks if and when they have to go out in public. If you’ve been anywhere in the last few weeks, you’ve definitely noticed the trend. What was once a somewhat unusual sight has become a normal part of everyday life, so, of course, many people are simply embracing the strange new reality and investing in fashionable masks to wear with their outfits.

In the last three weeks, there has been widespread protesting in U.S. cities, during which crowds of people have gathered, most of them making a point to wear masks in an attempt to protect themselves and other demonstrators from potentially spreading the virus.

Whether you’ve been a part of the protesting or you simply need to leave your house for groceries and other essentials, masks are a part of our daily fashion now, so get creative. Invest in several different masks that are well-made and stylish, so you can stay looking fly while following public health guidelines.

Although masks are more commonly spotted than gloves, at this point in the pandemic, some fashion gurus believe that gloves will also be a new part of the way that we accessorize. People are looking for ways to protect themselves while also being able to leave the house.

Not Getting Dressed First Thing in the Morning

In the pre-Corona times, most of us had a pretty regular morning routine. Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, go to work. Or, some variation of that. After being in quarantine for weeks, most people’s schedules have been turned on their heads, with some people finding themselves staying up much later than usual and sleeping in longer than they have in years.

To help keep us sane during these uncertain times, sticking to a routine is important. It will help give structure to your day and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression that so many people have been experiencing during this time. Even if you’re not able to go out and do the things you used to enjoy doing, try to start getting dressed in the morning, even if you’re just changing from your sleep pajamas to your chillin’ pajamas—and add some fun accessories like gold chains while you’re at it.

Increased Online Shopping

With brick-and-mortar stores shut down indefinitely, in some cases, people are turning to online shopping more than ever. For many people looking to revamp their summer wardrobe, the internet is the best source of fashionable items at reasonable prices without having to leave the house.

As stores reopen in some areas, many companies are restricting people from trying on clothing in the store, and they are not accepting items to be returned as a precautionary measure. Because of this, even people who have access to open stores are choosing not to go. If you can’t try on clothing and you can’t return it if it doesn’t fit, it seems a bit silly to even buy items from the store. Instead, people are dishing out money to online companies.

Digital payment service Klarna released a report in March stating that consumers using their platform have increased their spending, week after week, on clothing and shoes. Gen X, millennials, and Gen Z all showed an uptick in online spending, as people invested in more leisure wear and—potentially—workout clothing, as people have been exercising at home, not having current access to their local gyms or studios.

Vintage Items Becoming More Popular

Another major shift in the way people are shopping and dressing revolves around secondhand clothing. Many online consignment retailers have also reported an increase in sales. With so many people out of work during the pandemic, many are looking for other sources of clothing that are cheaper than the more expensive, brand-new alternatives.

Others are taking on their own projects by learning how to sew. Since so many people have an unusual amount of extra time, people are trying to pick up new hobbies like sewing to be able to create their own fashionable masks—and maybe even add to their wardrobe.

With the New Normal Comes New Trends

As we all adjust to the way the world has changed, our wardrobe is adjusting, too, leaving professional clothing and formal wear in the dust. When things begin to reopen and social gatherings are permissible once again, experts believe that people will want to remember what it’s like to get dressed up, but—for now—athleisure is ruling the world of fashion.

Just because we want to be comfortable, it doesn’t mean we can’t look great by styling a relaxed tracksuit with our favorite gold chain or dressing up our look with a fashionable mask, as it seems like masks are here to stay for a while. Make your look your own and stay in the know about safety precautions as we continue to learn more about the virus.



Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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