The lockdown has stolen my fashion identity

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  • Follow fashion editor Penny Goldstone's monthly fashion musings in this column...

    The novelty of lockdown has well and truly worn off. Last Spring, I wrote about the joy of dressing up in lockdown, waxing lyrical about the positive impact clothes can have on mental health.

    I thrived off wearing a different dress every day, and invested in some new wardrobe pieces – thanks to the money I was saving on commuting – that I knew I’d love forever.

    Well safe to say, those days are long gone. Put simply, somewhere between lockdown 2.0 and lockdown 3.0, I lost my fashion identity

    Now my wardrobe consists of an endless rotation of sweatshirts and joggers (matching if I’ve really gone all out), and knitted co-ords. Even putting on a pair of jeans feels like a herculean effort, and I haven’t looked at a banana bread recipe in months.

    I did dress up for New Year’s Eve, and I dressed up hard. I threw on a black silk and lace Alexa Chung dress, paired with my trusted sparkly By Far sandals, for virtual drinks with friends and dinner ‘en amoureux’. But if I’m honest, my heart wasn’t in it.  I changed into my PJs not a minute after dessert.

    To be clear, this is all very unlike me. I’ve been known to scoff ‘I wouldn’t be caught dead in those’ in regards to the Balenciaga Triple S trainers, and ‘I legit don’t understand why anyone would wear sweats outside of the gym, this isn’t LA’.

    In the past, I was known for my many, many dresses, and my motto was always to be overdressed rather than underdressed (not quite as dramatic as the main picture, but not far off). I used to pride myself at being the last one standing in heels at parties. Those dresses now hang forlorn and abandoned in my closet. My party heels lie in dusty rows, patiently waiting in their tissue paper for better days.

    Ladies and gents, I’ve eaten a chunky humble pie, and it tastes bitter. I take solace in the fact that I’m not the only one in this particular frame of mind.

    Chatting to friends and family, it seems we’re all suffering from lockdown fatigue, and are prioritising comfort over everything else. With nowhere to go apart from the park for your daily work, it’s no wonder we don’t feel like putting on our glad rags.

    Shopping doesn’t feel right either. Where before I used to love my weekly browse of the new-in section on Net-A-Porter and Zara, now it all feels a little bit pointless. By the time we’re all allowed out, a new season will have started anyway.

    I know this all sounds very doom and gloom, that’s not my intention. More a little memo to myself that that woman who loves to dress up is in there somewhere, ready to make her comeback when this lockdown is all over.

    And in fact, to motivate me, here are some things I’d like to wear when I’m out of my style rut (a girl can dream).

    RAEY High V-neck bias-cut silk crepe de Chine dress, £197 at MATCHESFASHION

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    LOEWE Flamenco mini leather clutch, £1,200 at Net-A-Porter

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    In the meantime, I’ll try to practice what I preached back in March and see if I can recapture a little bit of that feel-good magic by making a bit more of an effort.

    So tomorrow, I might wear jeans and a nice top, with my favourite UGG slippers. Because baby steps.


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