Kirstie Clements: Call it COVID couture, this new love for all that’s comfy

I haven't quite let go of that comforting lockdown wardrobe, Kirstie Clements writes.

I haven't quite let go of that comforting lockdown wardrobe, Kirstie Clements writes. Photo: Getty

It’s something we talked a lot about during the pandemic and the lockdowns, the fact that we were now living exclusively in comfy, cosy, stretchy clothes such as hoodies, leggings and T-shirts.

Special occasion fashion, like party dresses, designer handbags and high heels all stayed in our cupboards, unnecessary and Irrelevant.

The big prediction was that fashion designers would squirrel away during these months, tapping into pure creativity instead of commercialism and coming up with outlandish, surrealist designs.

To an extent that did happen, because the runways are more crowded than ever, full of extravagant experiments, from couture to cruise shows.

There also seems to be a new and frivolous micro trend emerging every ten minutes, some based purely on marketing like Cottagecore (inspired by the series Bridgerton), Barbiecore (unless you’ve been living under a rock, you get it) and Mermaidcore (god help us).

Beauty meshes with practical

But I haven’t quite let go of that comforting COVID lockdown wardrobe, and I seem to be shopping using the same principles: everything has to have an element of stretch, it has to feel beautiful, either in texture or in softness, and it has to be practical.

Maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of Alone, the fantastic series that is currently showing on Binge, where people are dropped into the wilderness and have to survive on their own, but I am very into performance wear at the moment.

In a world where there is so much fashion waste, I have new appreciation for clothes with integrity, that are designed to protect you, or to keep you warm.

Okay, sure Louis Vuitton is showing again, but I am far more interested in Nicole from Alone Series Two, and her plaid jacket, which she wore stylishly belted at the waist after she dropped about 10 kilos from living on limpets and bull kelp.

I think I may be entering the health-sandal phase of life’s fashion journey; in fact I know I have. All my favourite items of clothing and accessories are all now incredibly functional and practical.

If the shoe fits…

My podiatrist suggested I buy a pair of Hoka slides, and while I was horrified when I first saw them in the store, they are the most incredibly comfortable shoes to wear, like walking on a big fluffy cloud.

A stylish fashion editor friend told me she thought they looked cool, so I am now Hoka’s biggest fan and have bought another pair in pastel blue for spring.

I bought a chic oversized parka from Oroton in a shiny evening fabric, with a hood and big deep pockets, so I can go to parties without a handbag. Instead of dresses and resort wear, I’m now scrolling through Instagram earmarking canvas chore jackets, cargo pants, denim shirts and cotton fisherman’s sweaters.

The fact that I live in the inner city is not going to deter me from adopting a new wardrobe that it is something close to that of a Canadian survivalist. One needs to be prepared.

Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.