Why yes, we have been wearing sweatpants and T-shirts for the past 10 months. There’s just been little reason to get dolled up in the morning (particularly from the waist down). But with COVID-19 vaccines starting to be distributed, a new administration moving into the White House and a touch more daylight with each passing day, it’s time to think about spiffing up our attire once we emerge from our lockdown cocoons. I’m planning to add a new pair of super-high-waisted jeans to my lineup of ... sweats and T-shirts. Read on for more inspiration, from a truly DIY wardrobe to supporting creators across the globe.
Annie Siebert, OZY Contributor
1. You Can Thrift It!
If you agree that we need alternatives to feeding the fast-fashion machine, there’s a super-sustainable (and chic) option: thrifting. From Goodwills and Salvation Army stores to consignment shops, there is a ton of “gently worn” (or sometimes brand spanking new) clothing out there priced to sell and waiting for treasure hunters to find it. So, the next time you have the itch to shop, consider masking up and heading to your local thrift store instead of spending yet another hour scrolling the aisles on your laptop.
2. Updated With Sunscreen
Retro looks may be in vogue, but we’d all like to avoid retro skin for as long as possible. With spring looming, now’s the time to work a sunscreen into your daily routine (assuming you haven’t already). Olay’s Complete Cream Moisturizer with SPF 15 is a great pick to ensure a radiant face peeks out from under your fedora. Find this and other Olay products at Walmart.com.
3. That ’70s Look...
With hippie-adjacent, ’70s-inspired outfits and low-maintenance shag haircuts dominating our feeds, many of us are resembling our mothers circa high school more than ever. So queue up some Steely Dan, spritz on some Charlie perfume and feel fabulous. And while you’re channeling your mother’s classic look, why not adopt her beauty routine too, ditching pricey and complicated skin care routines for classics that have withstood the test of time — like Olay moisturizer. Find this and other Olay products at Walmart.com.
hot looks for 2021
1. How High?
The waistlines of jeans have been rising ever higher for years now, a tremendous blessing to those of us who lived through the fashion trends of the aughts, when “waistlines'' well below the hips were the norm. But now? Bend over freely, my friends: High-waisted pants are hot. It may take some trial and error to find the pair that fits your individual measurements juuust right, but it’s worth the search. Because once you find that perfect pair, you’ll reach for them over and over, leaving those worn-to-death leggings in the dust (where they belong).
2. That’s a Wrap
There’s something about an old quilt — the softness, the delicate hand-stitching, the fact that it’s a one-of-a-kind keepsake made for you by someone you love (or someone who loved someone who donated it to a thrift shop). Why not wrap yourself in all that comfort? Quilted coats have been popping up on my Instagram feed a lot lately, but if you want a special garment that’ll last a lifetime, why not ...
3. Do It Yourself
Sewing machine sales have boomed amid the pandemic, and it’s no wonder: Most of us are trapped at home, desperate to do something with our hands beside wring them (see also: sourdough). I took up the hobby after my BFF’s mother loaned me her beloved Bernina. I’ve knocked out two quilts, three stockings and several Etsy-worthy lined zipper pouches. But now, I want to tackle making my own clothes. With many consumers waking up to the horrors of fast fashion and the fact that the fashion industry doesn’t even try to cater to diverse body types, there’s a strong argument for taking things into your own hands (and by “things,” I mean needle and thread). First up for me is a simple pair of pants, but I can see that quilted coat on my stitching horizon.
While helping her Nigerian father recover after a stroke, Okaro found herself up at 3 a.m. bent over a sewing machine. She hadn’t touched it in a quarter century, but the Maryland lawyer turned nonprofit fundraiser was quickly hooked — and decided to create Custom Collaborative, a workforce development and incubator program training women to launch careers in design and fashion. Embodying a “grassroots guerilla” approach, Okaro guides students from 20 countries, 85 percent of them mothers and 80 percent living below the federal poverty level.
The designer broke through with an #IMadeYourClothes campaign on Instagram in which she gave a face to the men and women who work for her, part of the global #IMadeIt movement to highlight the work of local tailors and artisans. She is part of a group of Pakistani fashionistas challenging assumptions about not just clothing but also what it means to live and love. Her label is known for its feminine aesthetic and her love for florals, with an attention to detail born from Shahjahan’s background in miniature painting.
The Lebanese-American fashion lover started with a simple premise: Talent, not cash for expensive tuition payments, should determine who gets to study design. And so after graduating from the elite Parsons School of Design in New York City, Hermez passed on joining a major fashion house to open the first free fashion school in Lebanon’s capital city, Creative Space Beirut, where anybody can apply regardless of class or wealth.
This entrepreneur is pioneering a new type of sustainable fashion: vegan wool woven from wild shrubbery. Weganool is primed to take off as the next big thing in Europe and elsewhere, as creators embrace vegan materials. Shankar’s shift toward environmentally friendly design came after he began his career working for a leading fashion designer and realizing how much pollution there was in the industry. This led him to experiment with everything from banana and hemp to bamboo and aloe vera before settling on calotropis gigantea fibers, which are found in abundance in southern India.
The oft-maligned (yet crazy comfortable) Ugg boot rose to prominence alongside the uber-low-waisted jeans of the 2000s. Twenty years later, they’re once again adorning celebrity feet, but this time we’re seeing a shorter, smaller version. They’re adorable with leggings, which seem to be here to stay.
2. Not Your Father’s Button-Down
Oversize button-down shirts are projected to be big this year — and they’re a great project for your new sewing machine! If you’re not up for DIY, though, you’re bound to find a slew of them on the men’s racks at thrift shops. Grab a few to top off your new Uggs-and-leggings lifestyle.
3. Wear What Feels Good
To borrow a line from my fave yoga instructor, Adriene Mishler, find what feels good. If high-waisted jeans feel like too much right now, stick to sweats! If there’s one trend I hope vanishes with the pandemic, it’s being judgy about what people wear.