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by Sara Heron, Owner, Personal Style and Color Coach
Lockdown loungewear – the new norm
All our lives turned upside down as a result of the worldwide pandemic this past year. Covid19 presented unprecedented challenges and forced many to live an unfamiliar life. Our lives became a rollercoaster of emotion that tested our resilience. Most of us experienced drastic changes in our daily routines. I know I did.
Early on in the lockdown, many of us saw this time as an opportunity to unclutter our homes, learn new skills, take daily walks and more. As time went on, the streets became eerily quiet and we felt increasingly isolated. Businesses closed, people lost their jobs and a lot of us tightened our belts, buying far fewer luxuries and non-essentials. Unemployed or working from home, most of us stopped dressing up; comfortable lockdown loungewear became the new norm. Now, at last, there seems to be a light at the end of this very long and dark tunnel.
Now that the end of lockdown is in sight, how will we adapt?
There are a lot of unanswered questions. Will life ever be the same again? Do businesses plan to reopen offices or ask employees to continue to work from home? Will we go back to dressing up more often or at least wear clothing without elastic waistbands? Many of us prioritized our time, travel and money in completely different ways this past year; these changes will likely affect our “new normal” long term.
Does your pre-pandemic closet still work for you?
I know I’m not alone when I say my pre-pandemic closet no longer works well for me. As I work from home as a personal color and style coach, I continued to dress professionally during the lockdown – if only from the waist up. What changed is I did not need business dresses or suits for networking events or face to face meetings. And – this is a big AND – I piled on lockdown pounds this year as I became less active and spent more time at home sitting at my computer. My current range of clothes no longer fit.
I admit I am envious of those I know who threw themselves into fitness and exercise during lockdown. They lost weight during the pandemic and now have a different body shape. Ironically, they probably spent more time than most in loungewear and fitness clothing than others.
Whatever our situation, most of us need to review what’s in our closet as the world opens up.
There’s no doubt self-care suffered during lockdown. Our mojo is low. Women told me they had little to no interest in clothes while hunkered down at home. They said they just couldn’t bother to dress well. I get it.
The truth about wearing black
For some time, long before lockdown, I hid in black clothes. I was in a dark place emotionally and wanted to be anonymous. For years, I was a single mom who put the needs of others before my own and lost my sense of style along the way. Black is readily available and easy to wear, and I told myself it was slimming.
I believe the lockdown created that same darkness for many women. In truth, black is actually a very difficult color to wear as we age. It can drain us of color, and accentuate fine lines and dark circles, which ages us terribly. I look at old photos of myself in black and wince! Black is only really worn well by people with high levels of contrast between their skin tone, eyes and hair – what we call a “Winter” seasonal palette. Think Snow White – jet black hair, very pale skin and dark eyes – she’s the stereotypical “Winter”.
When my children grew up and left home, I completely lost my purpose. I decided it was time for me to practice some self-love; it was at that point in my life I happened upon a color analysis professional. The staff draped cloths of different colors over me while I looked in the mirror. During the session I discovered the colors that naturally and physiologically suited me best. I learned how to flatter the areas of my body I like best and downplay the others. The process was transformative. From that point on, I dressed in clothing in various colors and styles based on that session. I looked and felt so much brighter and put-together, which in turn boosted my confidence. I now feel happy in my own skin – so much so I started a business to help other women feel good about themselves.
Launch yourself out of lockdown with confidence
As the world starts to open back up, think about how you feel about yourself today compared to a year ago. Did you stop caring about how you looked during the pandemic, even when you left your house? Many of us hid behind our masks and felt it didn’t really matter how we looked.
The time is right to lose the lockdown loungewear and launch yourself back into the world with confidence. Embrace who you are and define your purpose moving forward. Identify your body shape, your coloring, your style personality, and what works best for you. Let your style choices on the outside reflect who you are on the inside. A huge post-pandemic world awaits you. Let’s lose the lockdown loungewear. Are you ready?
About the Author
Sarah is a personal color and style coach but non-stereotypical in her approach. Not being a size zero, not shopping in expensive designer shops, not wearing spiky heels or squeezing women into clothes that don’t suit them, is what sets Sarah apart. She’s down to earth, grounded and empathetic in her mission to empower ‘everyday’ women to feel better about themselves. As someone who has battled toxicity in her personal and professional life, Sarah retrained to offer color and style services, having experienced the huge uplift in her own confidence and the physiological changes that wearing the correct colors and styles can achieve.