Pandemic Fashion: Four Sartorial Trends Triggered by COVID-19

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COVID-19 turned the world topsy-turvy. The things you could do with ease before you can no longer go for now. At least not without conscientious planning and the utmost consideration of potential health risks to you and others.

If during pre-COVID you could just drive to a nearby beauty clinic to get permanent body hair removal, now you’ll have to weigh things with great care. You have to take extra precautionary measures to make sure that you go home not only without body hair but also without a potentially deadly virus in your system. Yes, sometimes the whole thing gets very tiring.

But, in some aspects, the new normal tends to be quite fascinating, too. For instance, in the world of fashion, the global pandemic has triggered some curious trends. Here are four of these sartorial fads:

1. Slob-chic

This trend was most apparent during the extensive community lockdowns. People could not go out. Most worked from home.

And so the pajamas and sweatpants came pouring out of people’s closets. Thereafter, the term slob-chic was born. Slob-chic refers to a fashion ensemble that’s comfy enough for extended hours on the couch while still maintaining a sense of presentability enough for when one should show up on an urgent Zoom call with bosses or clients.

Slob-chic does not equate to cheap clothing. In fact, more and more people are investing good money in good PJs and sweatpants nowadays. Brands such as Moments Crop and We Are Hah sell $200 PJs.

2. Fashionable masks

Protective masks have become de rigueur in pandemic fashion. That is mostly out of necessity. You cannot go out maskless nowadays and come off as a responsible citizen with the slightest concern for the well-being of the entire community.

But we’ve come a long way from using facial masks for purely health reasons. These masks have turned into a fashion symbol. They are now used as accessories for self-expression.

woman putting face mask with cat whiskers on child

Now, designer masks are a staple of online fashion retailers. Some brands that were quick to spot the opportunity include Matrushka, Maison Modulare, and Ball and Buck. These brands sell masks ranging between $10 and $60.

As for luxury masks made by fashion designers that used to frequent pre-COVID runways of Milan, New York, and Paris, prices could go as high as $100 apiece. One such designer is Collina Strada who creates masks from leftover fabrics.

3. False eyelashes

Since all upstanding citizens are expected or required to wear masks in public places, faces have become obscured during social interactions. This has made some people feel like they’ve been robbed of their sense of individuality. But that’s not enough reason to ditch those masks.

Thankfully, more creative individuals with fashion running in their veins have found ways to stay true to themselves even behind a facial mask. They zero in on the eyes. As of late, sales of false eyelashes have been on the rise.

Meanwhile, sales of lipstick have seen a decline in recent months. The reason behind these trends is easy to grasp. These days, we have no choice but to look into people’s eyes, and not their hidden lips, while they’re talking.

4. Comfy footwear

When it comes to footwear, it’s all about comfort. More and more women are abandoning high heels and dress shoes for comfier alternatives. Again, this is a logical departure. There’s already so much unpleasant stuff going on in the world that to willingly endure pain brought about by stilettos seems ill-advised—at least for now.

So what are these comfier alternatives, you might ask. Think Crocs. Yes, the brand that has been maligned for years for their allegedly tacky footwear has found its redemption. That is thanks to the undeniable comfort one gets from wearing Crocs and the fact that they’re actually fashionable in an off-kilter kind of way.

Just because our collective existence is in peril does not mean that we have to totally abandon any efforts to look good. That tendency is a bit counterintuitive if we come to think of it. Now, we have more time in our hands, more time to devote to self-improvement.

So do not feel guilty if you have that nagging desire to update your wardrobe. Do not feel guilty if you’re still obsessed with fashion amid a global health scare. These might just be one of your natural coping mechanisms.

So paint your face, dress up, and look fancy. It does not matter if you’re just staying home to watch Netflix and chill. No law says that you can’t look beautiful and all dolled up on your couch or bed.

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