Most of us have spent our weeks in lockdown curled up on the sofa in our pyjamas or a favourite pair of trackies.
But a stylist has revealed the key wardrobe pieces everyone should be investing in now so you are ready to look your best when lockdown lifts.
Katie Eastwood, a stylist ambassador for Stitch Fix UK, explained it is worth investing in high quality knitwear that you can wear now and reuse for years to come. She said it is also the time to buy a new coat for those daily winter walks.
The expert also shared her tips on how to nail a great Zoom look, from statement accessories to wearing a roll neck under a blouse to look smart yet cosy.
However there are definitely things everyone should avoid buying while we’re stuck inside, including tight-fitting jeans and other ‘hard trousers’, as well as new shoes.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Katie shared some of her essential style hacks to make sure you are still getting out of your cosy pyjamas during a winter amid the coronavirus pandemic…
STOCK UP ON KNITWEAR THAT YOU’LL WEAR FOR YEARS
Time to invest: Katie said now is the time to splash out on high quality jumpers made from cashmere or wool. Pictured, the Pure Cashmere V-Neck Relaxed Jumper by M&S (£89), left. Or go bold with something like the Effingham Fluffy Jumper (£85) by Boden
Something we can all be sure of when it comes to lockdown 3.0, is that we’re going to be spending lots of time indoors, likely cosying up on the sofa with a book or in front of Netflix.
Revealed: How to style your new jumper
One of my favourite things about jumpers or knitwear is just how versatile a wardrobe staple they are, meaning you can create many different looks based on your personal style, or even just your mood that particular day!
For example, opt for a plain, pattern-free affair and let your colour of choice do all the talking, or keep it simple in neutral tones and jazz it up by layering on some statement jewellery.
Alternatively, you can go in completely the opposite direction and make your jumper of choice the main event by embracing a bold print, quirky pattern, clashing colours or statement embellishments.
That means we need comfortable clothes to go with it – so invest in a great, wear-with-anything knitwear staple such as a jumper or cardigan that will ensure you get out of your dressing gown, but gives you the comfort you need for a wintry lockdown.
When it comes to staple knitwear, you can’t ignore the comfort and durability benefits of a high-quality fabric. Naturally this can come with a slightly heftier price tag (hello, cashmere!) but if your budget allows for a little luxury, it’s 100% worth it!
If cashmere isn’t your bag then other natural fibres such as wool are excellent go-to fabrics for cosy knitwear choices – and that’s not just in terms of quality, but also comfort and just how long they’ll last (a well-made jumper or cardi should last you for years).
Whilst synthetic materials may prove more wallet-friendly, generally speaking they make for a quick win that may not stand the test of time.
My advice? Make the investment purchase if you can – it’ll be worth it and you’ll thank yourself when you’re cosied up on the sofa or out enjoying a frosty walk.
If you’re on a budget, cotton (organic if you’re after a more sustainable and ethical offering) is your best bet.
It still provides that warmth and comfort, but is cheaper than wool and cashmere – just watch out when washing the item as some cheaper cottons might lose their shape over time, and stick to 30 degrees to avoid any unwanted shrinkage.
EXPERIMENT WITH RAINCOATS, PUFFER JACKETS AND ‘SHACKETS’
Something for everyone: It’s time to update your coat for your daily walks, whether that’s a raincoat or quilted jacket like this Oversized Quilted Coat by Mango (£89.99). Katie also suggested looking in to a ‘shacket’ – or shirt jacket – which will look great in spring over a dress and a pair of boots. Right, the Blue Check Longline Shacket With Wool by Next (£65)
Daily walks continue to be our favourite (albeit only) thing to do in lockdown – and with the weather turning colder each day, you’ll definitely need a toasty coat to wrap up warm in!
Finishing touches: Don’t forget a hat!
Then there’s the accessories – scarves, gloves, and in my mind the best of the lot, the hat.
Fur bucket hats, beanies in bright colours or animal print – a hat is sure to keep you warm on those walks, so is something I always include in a Fix if a customer asks for a cosy yet practical accessory.
Think puffers, faux fur, duvet style, hooded or waterproof – whichever your style of choice, invest in one that’ll protect you from the cold and make you excited to step out in.
Some of my favourites we currently stock are a longline puffer from Mango and a wax jacket by Mint Velvet, both super comfortable and versatile.
If that’s not your thing, why not try a chic raincoat or waterproof jacket? A raincoat is a wardrobe staple and so practical, you’ll wonder why you don’t have one already.
Paired with a hoodie, your favourite jeans, plus a pair of biker boots, the raincoat makes for an effortlessly cool look, whether it’s khaki or black, or a more out-there shade of lilac.
The ‘shacket’ trend has also gained popularity in recent times, inspired by Taylor Swift’s lockdown looks.
Whether it’s a longer length, check print or boxy style, the shacket can easily be teamed with chunky jumpers or hoodies and can be layered under a thicker, longline coat.
Another great thing about this style is that you can also get wear out of it in spring – styled with t-shirts and dresses.
DRESS FOR COMFORT WITH SHIRT DRESSES AND ELASTIC WAISTS
Comfort is key: Cos Wool Mix Shirt Dress (£89) is ideal for layering. Right, the Elastic Waist Crêpe Trousers by Arket (£40) are surprisingly versatile and can be dressed up for lunch
I’m a comfort dresser and so love anything with an elasticated waistband, including trousers and skirts.
Not only do these items help when my weight fluctuates, especially through the various lockdowns, but they are just so much more comfortable to wear whilst sitting at a desk or on the sofa.
The fashion dos and don’ts during lockdown
- Invest in wear-with-anything knitwear staples for daily wearing
- Jazz up your everyday outfits with statement jewellery
- Buy a cosy coat to wrap up warm in during those vital lockdown walks
- Make sure your wardrobe is full of wintery accessories, including beanies, hats and gloves
- Buy Zoom-friendly good quality T-shirts and long-sleeved tops
- Wear a roll neck jumper under a blouse to stay warm while WFH
- Wear floating dresses if your weight is fluctuating during lockdown
- Expand your loungewear collection
- Treat yourself!
- Stay in your pyjamas and dressing gown all day
- Buy jumpers in synthetic materials that will not stand the test of time
- Splash out on knee-high boots – but instead buy practical trainers
- Reintroduce ‘hard trousers’, including jeans, after spending time in more elasticated clothes
- Stock up your wardrobe your entire wardrobe with ‘lockdown only’ items
There are some great printed trousers with stretch or an elasticated waist that will feel comfortable without losing that style credibility. I recommend ‘dressing to your mood’ – so you can style a skirt with a loose oversized jumper one day or a fitted roll neck the next.
I also recommend dresses that can be worn in a loose and floaty way or with a waist belt for a more fitted silhouette.
Shirt dresses, jumper dresses and shift dresses are great adaptable, flattering shapes that can be cinched in at the waist, worn as they are, or styled with a long necklace to add shape, without the tight feel of a fitted garment.
LAYER A ROLL NECK UNDER A BLOUSE FOR AN EASY LOOK
We’re now experts at the WFH, 10-Zoom-calls-a-day routine, but to avoid rolling out of bed and grabbing the same old top and leggings each day, invest in a few basic but good quality tees or long-sleeve tops.
For an important meeting, or if you need to look like you’ve made an effort, accessories are your number one friend and the perfect way to elevate any outfit from the waist up.
A pair of earrings and a necklace can go a long way – even if it’s as simple as a pair of gold hoops and a thin chain.
Another tip I’ve been sharing with my clients, is to wear a fitted roll neck jumper or jersey top under a blouse – perfect for getting wear out of your work wardrobe and looking professional, whilst still feeling warm and cosy at home.
Mauvette & &et have some classic jersey tops with lace detailing or puff sleeves, which make them a fantastic option to wear whilst working from home. These easy-to-wear items offer a great balance between feeling comfortable and looking stylish when on Zoom calls.
Overall, when you’re working, you want to feel motivated, and focused, and whilst pyjamas may work for some, make sure you have appropriate items in your wardrobe that put you in the mindset for a day’s work.
… BUT GIVE JEANS AND SHOES A MISS
Lockdown living has made certain items harder to shop for or – dare I say it – a little redundant when it comes to our daily wardrobe needs.
Now’s not the time! Give jeans a miss
For me ‘hard trousers’ (aka jeans – a usual wardrobe essential!) were quickly eliminated from my daily outfits. When restrictions first started lifting last year, reintroducing my body to jeans was a bit of a shock to the system.
If you are in the same boat, take it from me that opting for looser styles, whether it be mom, boyfriend or wider leg flares, is the way to go to help ensure you still feel comfortable and not too restricted.
And if you’re not ready to even think about hard trousers again any time soon (and who can blame you!?) why not try out leather-look leggings for a stylish alternative?
It’s no surprise that footwear trends have also taken a huge turn – I bought a pair of white knee-high boots nearly a year ago and haven’t worn them outside yet!
I am sure that they’ll make a comeback in the summer but for now, avoid buying shoes unless they are wellies, trainers, walking boots or cosy slippers!
- Stitch Fix is an online personal styling service that combines expert human stylists with intelligent data science. With access to 140 brands, head to stitchfix.co.uk to sign up and share your style, fit and price preferences. Then just sit back, relax and look forward to receiving your personalised Fix of five items – handpicked just for you and delivered straight to your door.