Yes, we really can still feel 'put together' and chic without sacrificing comfort!
When lockdown was first announced I retreated into my cosiest most comfy leggings and t-shirts, regardless of the fact they were full of holes and completely stretched out of shape. I didn't brush my teeth til at least 2pm and watched endless hours of Corona Virus related news on TV... I'm sure I'm not alone. But as one week turned into two, I began to crave some sense of achievement and feeling a little more... well me.
Luckily my local parks opened up again and I began to stride out on a different walk every day. I was very proud of reaching the 9 km mark on one particularly beautiful walk by the river. I even found a little Italian deli that sold oat milk lattes and gluten free cake alongside their groceries. Never has a take away coffee tasted so good :-)
So how does this affect the way I dress? Well for a start, even going for a walk, I had a sense of pride of not wanting to look like I got dressed in the dark. I had very little money to spend on non-essentials as my styling work ground to an abrupt halt with the lockdown, but I calculated I had just enough to buy one fashion item online to cheer me up. I chose carefully and it came in the form of a pair of sunshine yellow Nike sneakers. While sorting through piles of old paperwork I found a cut out of them in all their yellow glory. I became a little obsessed and searched everywhere online, but to no avail... until I found one pair, unworn on ebay in exactly my size, 6.5! A small but satisfying victory.
“ I chose carefully and it came in the form of a pair of sunshine yellow Nike Internationalist sneakers”
These little beauties elevate every pair of leggings, track pants and jeans I own. They also happen to pick up on the yellow writing on my lockdown cap, a vintage find that covers a multitude of sins and makes me feel almost cool :-) For a bit of overkill, I add a pair of white love heart sunglasses I bought from from Mango last year. Since I am only wearing a tracksuit, why not ? It makes me smile and seems to make other people smile too, albeit from six feet away.
Just before Coronavirus changed the world as we know it, I picked up a pair chic William Morrissesque pyjamas from Primark. At a mere £20, yet looking like I spent well over £200 for them at at Liberty, they will truly earn their CPW (cost per wear). I bought them for my then upcoming trip to Positano, and imagined myself swanning around on the terrace of our accommodation, drinking Italian coffee in the morning sun, while looking out over the pastel coloured houses to the azure blue sea sparkling below.
The holiday was of course postponed and I spent my birthday in lockdown. However, when I woke up I used my Korean scrub gloves in the shower, put on some St Tropez 'In shower gradual tan', spritzed on my favourite perfume, Angela Flander's Lavender and Amber (from Columbia Rd Market) and put on my birthday pyjamas. Breakfast consisted of heavily buttered toasted hot cross buns and Italian coffee. A beautiful bouquet of flowers arrived from my boyfriend (he has never given flowers to anybody in his life before!) I sang along loudly to my favourite songs and watched three episodes of Heartland, a gloriously sentimental escapist box set, set on a ranch in Canada, and had lovely chats with the people I care about. I actually don't think I could have enjoyed my birthday any more,
even if I were in the Seychelles :-)
Photos by Vanessa Kark