The pandemic has put a big question mark on the idea of fashion, leaving those who swear by it in a dilemma. And some of the questions being: will we ever view fashion the same way? Will we dress up the way we used to and experiment with our looks, or are we going to be content with a pair of joggers or kaftan?
No matter what the future has in store, fashion has actually come to the rescue of many people who have been working from home for the past few months or so. In fact, it has somewhat helped elevate spirits in these trying times. And it is not just us, many working women echo the same sentiment.
Ahead, three women share why dressing up is still important for them, and how bright colours in their wardrobe are an ode to a hopeful future.
For Natasha, a Hong Kong-based ESL teacher and photographer, the idea of comfort has always influenced her outfits for work. “I gravitate towards floaty items, longer dresses, kurtis and culottes. In that sense, I don’t think that my work from home style has changed too much; I still choose comfortable pieces and makeup that is natural,” she told indianexpress.com.
But does she believe there will be a change in the way fashion is perceived post-pandemic? “I think more people will prioritise comfort. Of late, I have realised I am more productive on a working day when I wear something that makes me feel at home,” she said while adding how she has started investing in comfortable pieces, like fluffy socks and soft jumpers. And it is comfort fashion — a particular dress from Goa — that helps uplift her mood on a bad day. “A pink khadi dress that I bought from Goa is my go-to piece. I love incorporating bright colours into my wardrobe.” For her, a soft winged eyeliner, creme blush along with a pair of statement earrings is the way to amp up a look.
Zeba Chaudhary, 27
Dressing up for work used to be an important part of this Delhi-based travel consultant’s routine. “Earlier, I would sit in front of the cupboard for about 30 minutes trying out clothes for work. But now my priorities have totally shifted to keeping it as comfortable as possible but also presentable enough to attend a video call,” she said.
However, she doesn’t complain about the change as WFH allows her to wear anything on most days. “Sometimes, I feel so relieved from the unnecessary pressure of selecting outfits every day and trying not to repeat them,” said Chaudhary. So what does she wear these days? “I keep swapping between Batman PJs and my black waist top. I can pair them with any blazer, shrug or jacket to look presentable enough for a video call. But I also opt for basics like a white button-up shirt or any solid colour t-shirt paired with a scarf,” she shared.
She believes that working from home has totally changed trends and preferences. “My furry flip-flops have now become one of my most prized at-home fashion possessions. Also, my loose top with palazzos creates a relaxed, cosy and flexible outfit, exactly what I need for most working days.”
Kanika Soni, 22
A marketing professional, her wardrobe is filled with Indian wear. “I usually enjoy wearing ethnic outfits, and love to accessorise them with silver junk earrings,” she shared. However, now that she is working from home, she gravitates towards comfortable clothes that can also be worn for video calls.
“I pair my joggers or wide-legged pants with a semi-formal top and style it with fine gold or silver jewellery, if necessary,” she said, adding “or it is a pair of my favourite diamond studs styled with a sleek bun and minimal makeup”. While she believes that her style has altered since she started working from home, she believes that almost everyone has now truly found their comfort zone in terms of fashion. “This period could certainly lead to people styling their own WFH clothes that would also suit the office atmosphere,” she told indianexpress.com.
She adds that there has also been a slight but significant change in the way she now buys clothes: “Since the lockdown, I have been trying to cut back on buying branded clothes, and have supported local businesses. I get my home wear like pyjama sets made from the local tailor bhaiya in our locality by taking inspiration from high-end brands.”