Lockdown Style

Pictures of Nicola wearing different outfits

Over the past few weeks, quite a few people have suggested that I write a style guide on what to wear during lockdown. I must admit I have hesitated to do this till now because the last thing I want to do in these difficult and stressful times is suggest that we should be focusing on what we look like. Goodness knows there are far more important things to worry about…. BUT

I know we tend to feel better about ourselves when we are confident about our appearance and also that wearing some colour can be uplifting, not only for ourselves but also those around us. Therefore, what we choose to wear in lockdown can have a real impact on our sense of well-being.  Now that we’re confined to home,  most of us will want to dress more casually but I do think it’s important to maintain a sense of “self”.

My style personality is Classic / City Chic which means I am never going to feel good about myself if I look scruffy. Equally though, now that I am not seeing clients in person on a daily basis, I don’t feel the need to “dress up”, put on a full face of make-up and wear my heels. Therefore,  I’ve made the following adjustments to create the right balance for me during this time of social distancing.

Hair

I continue to wash my hair daily but I have abandoned my hair dryer altogether. I have discovered that (oh joy!) my hair looks absolutely fine when left to dry naturally (in fact just fluffing it up with my fingers seems to work better even than using a comb, for some reason); not as sleek as when I blow dry it, but fine, nonetheless.

If the lockdown goes on too much longer, I will be getting out the scissors to give myself a trim. I must say, I’m not looking forward to putting my hair-cutting skills to the test but, as an impoverished student, I regularly used to cut my own hair so hopefully it won’t be an unmitigated disaster. Mind you, that was a long, long time ago…

Make-Up & Skincare

I am still wearing some make-up every day (just because I feel better when I do) but I am skipping foundation and eye make-up (apart from mascara) altogether. My Sheer Breeze lipstick is a lockdown essential though because it makes me look and feel brighter.  I am keeping up my normal skincare routine – after all, when I eventually get back out and about, I want my skin looking as good as possible! – and, to combat the increased hand washing, I’m making sure I use copious amounts of hand cream.

Nails &  Eyebrows

Fortunately, I’m fairly low-maintenance and have never had a manicure or my brows waxed/threaded professionally, so I have no problem taking care of my nails and brows during lockdown. I’m not using nail varnish these days though as I think this is a great time to let my nails “breathe” and get rid of a degree of discolouration from previous continuous application of coloured varnishes. Honestly, filing your own nails and tweezing the odd stray hair from your brows is not a big deal, so I’d say just give it a go (taking the approach less is more, to be on the safe side though) if you can’t wait till you’re allowed out to get it done professionally.

My Lockdown Wardrobe

The photos at the top of this post are examples of what I’ve been wearing during lockdown. I’d sum them up as comfortable, colourful and (relatively) chic.  In each case,  I’ve left my hair to dry naturally and worn a little makeup (as detailed above). I’ve also swapped my usual heels for more casual (and comfortable!) flipflops.

I love dresses and I see no reason to stop wearing them now.  The beauty of a dress is that you don’t have to worry about co-ordinating it with other garments. All the dresses I’m wearing in the photos are wardrobe staples and are easy and comfortable to wear. An added bonus is that they don’t need ironing. Sure, I now have time to iron stuff but, frankly, who wants to?

My ivory jeans are getting a lot of wear too. Ivory/white is such a versatile colour (see a previous blog) and over the past few weeks I’ve been wearing them with everything from cashmere jumpers to Summer tees. While in “normal” times, I might dress them up a bit with heels, I’m happy going barefoot or wearing flip flops to pad round the house.

Wearing nice, comfortable clothes and a bit of make-up in these trying times keeps me feeling upbeat.

How about you?

You may have an entirely different style personality and never wear make-up; you may positively relish not having to get dressed for work and love being able to wear your lounge wear all day. If so, that’s absolutely fine, but do just ask yourself:

  • Do I feel good in what I’m wearing?
  • If someone outside my immediate family were to see me, would I be a bit embarrassed about how I look?

If the answer is “yes” to the first question and “no” to the second, whatever you’re wearing obviously works for you and is not negatively impacting your well-being. If, on the other hand, you don’t feel good and/or you would feel embarrassed, stepping up your game is likely to make you feel better about yourself. You probably don’t need to make radical changes, but you might want to think about smartening up a little. Changing, say, the old baggy joggers for some decent jeggings, wearing a colourful top and running a comb through your hair ( if you’ve got out of the habit) could make all the difference.

In Summary …

In these lockdown days, the pressure to look good is off because no-one, apart from our nearest and dearest, is going to see us. For some, this will be one of the few upsides to being confined to home.  However, if you normally take pride and pleasure from looking your best, you will undoubtedly find that continuing to do so (albeit with some concessions to your changed circumstances) will help you maintain a sense of normality in these difficult times.

In short, wear whatever makes you feel good!

Caveat Emptor

If you are working from home and taking part in video calls, you do need to give some thought to what you’re wearing. Even if you feel great wearing your PJ’s all day, this will almost certainly not be your best career move! Look out for my next blog for tips on what to wear while working from home.

Stay safe and try not to worry! Hopefully, we will emerge from all this stronger and wiser.