Excerpt via WSJ
It’s time to pack up those tie-dye shirts, Nap Dresses and other vestiges of 2020 fashion. Instead, try these women’s and men’s styles that signal a return to regular life.
We’re seemingly coming out the other side of the pandemic and the image we want to project in this newish world is driving how we dress now. Whether due to job changes, lifestyle shifts or the passage of time, many of us are leading different lives than we did in March of 2020.
“We’re seeing emphasis on self-expression and unique personal style,” said Sasha Skoda, director of women’s at consignment retailer the RealReal. Jenna Gottlieb, a shopping editorial merchandiser at Instagram, sees a number of factors at play: “There’s a mix of dusting off and rediscovering [and] buying new things because we have somewhere to wear them.” But not everything deserves revisiting. Some pieces are dated. Others aren’t fit for real-life interactions. And, as Rajni Lucienne Jacques, global head of fashion at Snapchat, put it, “We may want something to differentiate between pandemic and post-pandemic style.” Here, fashion experts opine on what looks are best left in the past—and what to try instead.
TRENDS FOR WOMEN:
Wide, flattering jeans—not at all ‘mom’ style PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK
Instead of: Mom Jeans
Try: Long, Loose Denim
A prepandemic and lockdown favorite, “mom jeans”—with their high, peculiar-fitting waist and straight, stovepipe legs—should get shelved. “They can feel unimaginative and, at times, simply too casual,” said Instagram’s Ms. Gottlieb. Snapchat’s Ms. Jacques, meanwhile, faults their lack of comfort: “I want a jean that’s not so confining,” she said. Her swap: denim with a wide, elongated silhouette. “This season’s longer hems and roomy legs have a cool, louche vibe,” said Ms. Gottlieb, who considers them ideal mates for great boots. “They also beg for a belt, which is such a brilliant and often-forgotten outfit punctuator.” Play up these jeans’ protracted shape with a cropped or tucked-in top.
Instead of: Puff Sleeves
Try: A Different Way to Party on Top
The need for “Zoom shirts” overinflated the trend for puff sleeves, a style that epitomizes the “party on top” approach. It’s still relevant to prioritize above-the-waist fashion, said Aya Kanai, head of editorial at Google Shopping. “Hybrid work seems here to stay so having statement tops for video calls makes sense,” she said. But an updated approach is in order. “The puff sleeve is ‘Bridgerton’-esque and needs to be put to bed,” said Ms. Jacques. Plus: Such sleeves are awkward. Stylist Britt Theodora called them “tricky,” “not the most flattering,” and hard to stuff into a jacket. The swap? Statement knit tops in pop colors, prints and textures like mohair. “I love pairing [them] with a mini skirt and a low heel,” said the RealReal’s Ms. Skoda.
Instead of: Cottagecore
Try: Sleek Columns
Women who spent lockdown going down Zillow spirals, consumed with fantasies of buying country homes, gravitated to clothes that supported such pastoral dreams. Result: the rise of cottagecore, a crafty aesthetic that found expression in floral prints, billowing peasant dresses and a quaint, Laura Ingalls Wilder-ish nostalgia. While hankerings for the countryside persist, a smocked Nap Dress suits a bucolic weekend better than it does the office. Consider instead a sleek columnar silhouette, said Ms. Skoda—a look that can be structured or more fluid. The former pairs well with layered knits and flat boots; the latter, which ideally has more give, can be a nice counterpoint to a more fitted top.