At the start of the year, I doubt that many of us would have been able to guess how strange our lives would become in 2020. As people around the world have now been adjusting to living restricted lives for many weeks (and months!) in order to stop the spread of coronavirus, lots of us are realising all the myriad ways in which our lives have changed. Whether these changes remain temporary or continue to have a permanent effect remains to be seen, but it’s been interesting to look at what we now consider to be important.
One of the things I have been thinking about a lot is the clothing we wear, and a recent discussion with a friend has led to the development of a blog project to explore this further. We have come up with some questions we’d like to ask anyone who is currently in lockdown, quarantine or self-isolating, so please get in touch if you are interested in taking part. Full details can be found below the image (of my own clothing which is, I fully appreciate, way more colourful and dressed up than most people would go for a lot of the time!). We look forward to hearing from you and finding out your stories.
What is the project about?
We are two London-based fashion scholars – Lorraine Smith (aka Lori) and Jana Melkumova-Reynolds – who have always been curious about how others dress, and how this relates to identity. Recent social changes (due to the coronavirus pandemic) have increased that curiosity. How are people dressing when in lockdown and isolation situations? How is this different to the way they dressed before? Has it affected their sense of self? This project aims to shine a light on those changes and reveal some of the many and varied personal stories relating to fashion and dress in 2020.
How do I take part?
Select 5 questions from the list below then email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org along with at least one photo, and a short bio (including links to your social media if you would like to share that). You can choose to remain anonymous or use a pseudonym if you wish.
Photos do not have to include your face, or even be of you wearing the clothes if you don’t feel comfortable doing that. A shot of a garment that you have written about laid flat or hanging on your wardrobe door is fine. One image should be in landscape format (which is, handily, the format of most video calls/meetings from a laptop!), to be used as the featured image for the blog post.
Where will my submission be published?
Submissions will be posted here on rarelywearslipstick.com, with the author’s permission. A link to the blog post will be shared with the author and on social media (Twitter, Instagram, and on the blog’s Facebook page).
- Can you describe what your personal style was like before lockdown?
- How would you describe your style now?
- What is your daily routine for getting dressed to remain at home? If you don’t have one, why is that?
- Has your approach to fashion and style changed as a result of the current situation?
- Thinking back through what you have worn since you’ve been staying at home, what has been your favourite item of clothing and why?
- What were the social situations that you routinely found yourself in before the quarantine? And how did you dress for them?
- What are the social situations you find yourself in now (even if remotely), and how do you dress for them?
- What’s your shoe situation at home? And how does this affect your sense of self?
- Is there anything you feel you can wear now that you couldn’t in ‘normal’ times? Why? And is there anything you miss wearing (and why do you not wear it)?
- Has your self-perception changed in isolation? How so?
- How much does the space you are in influence your choice of clothes? Do some clothes feel “unnatural” to wear at home because they require, say, a bigger space, or is this not a consideration at all?