Protective face masks have become the must-have fashion accessory of 2020 — something no one could have imagined this time last year.
Indeed, the pandemic has shaken up our daily lives, from ways of consuming to ways of working and even fashion inspirations. Bandanas, XXL jewelry, belt bags and platform thigh boots were initially primed to be fashion’s stars of 2020. But the novel coronavirus pandemic soon put paid to that, changing the plan for designers, brands and major ready-to-wear chains.
While certain pieces, fabrics and colours managed to defy the various waves of the pandemic, most faltered in the face of lockdown measures and even more so with the rise of the face mask. In fact, masks became one of the year’s hottest accessories, way ahead of the stilettos, jewelry, it-bags and other items proffered by big-hitters in the world of style. After all, if you’re going to have to wear face masks, you might as well invest in trendy models or designs to match your outfits.
Comfort is king
The quest for comfort inherent to the pandemic gave rise to new trends that may never have flourished without the public health crisis. As people bunkered down and worked from home, activewear proved a major hit alongside loungewear such as pyjamas.
Similarly, the cottagecore trend — which sees the return of clothing in romantic styles and/or inspired by nature — has boomed this year, putting a spotlight on floral dresses, Peter Pan collar blouses and cable-knit cardigans.
Comfort and relaxed styles, plus the need for functional pieces, also largely drove a utility wear trend and sparked interest in boiler suits, combat boots, cargo pants and even bucket hats — despite these being banished from womenswear wardrobes for more than a decade.
Making fashion more sustainable
Sartorial trends this year have also taken a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly direction. Vegan leather and eco-friendly fabrics in general — whether sustainable or recycled — have found favour along with upcycled collections
When it comes to colours, this year’s top trends are focused on soft shades and retro hues, with brown, lavender, and coral — shades that once again evoke nature — being particularly popular.
(Main and featured image: Nevena1987/ iStock)