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. Today’s interview is with Sigita M, a 37 year old software test engineer working in a medium sized fintech company which is usually based in the City. “I’m a proud Lithuanian Londoner (moved here in 2013), love this city and this country to bits, warts and all. I also am a bellydancer, love reading, walking about with my camera and normally I am a bit of a hermit but this has been challenging even for me.” You can find Sigita on Twitter as @abitof.
1) Can you describe what your personal style was like before lockdown?
My style usually is a bit more dressed up but still casual, I like a more tailored vibe (but only wear trouser suits or smart trousers paired with more relaxed tops or vice versa, more casual trousers/skirts paired with smart tops/blazers. Don’t do tailored dresses or pencil skirts). Haven’t worn/owned jeans for about four years now (except for when I need to do some tough gardening work, keeping an old pair for that purpose only). A few dresses that I own are shirt dresses in 40s-50s style, skirts are usually A line and relaxed, knee length or below. It’s a rather monochrome wardrobe with some funky shoes (mostly in brogue style), no heels however.
2) How would you describe your style now?
I don’t think it changed because I make a point to dress in my work outfits for work hours even if nobody else sees them (most of the calls with colleagues are with cameras off), except of course for shoes. I am not one to wear outdoor shoes indoors. I did notice I wear the same items couple days in a row more when at home if not in the exact same outfit. I also do sometimes skip make up but only if I oversleep. Putting on make up is one of those getting ready for work steps that helps keep the mental separation between work and home time.
3) Thinking back through what you have worn since you’ve been staying at home, what has been your favourite item of clothing and why?
I don’t think this has changed since lockdown: my favourite top is my dance troupe’s hoodie (featured in the pictures) and my favourite pair of trousers is the dark grey tapered dressy trousers from Monki which I have bought in two sizes, they are the comfiest ever while looking sharp. Pictures feature my second favourite trousers from Monki, as well as a navy flowery shirt from charity shop, two blazers from H&M and a Sparks t-shirt.
4) What’s your shoe situation at home? And how does this affect your sense of self?
Shoes are really a big part of my style identity and yet I do not wear them inside my flat. I really miss wearing them and getting compliments for the more unusual pairs from colleagues and strangers alike. I like dressing up in more subdued colours and shoes and lipstick shades are where I go to town when I feel like it. I do wear lipstick at home for work but I miss the shoes because they finish the whole outfit, however it’s only slippers or socks inside.
5) 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)?
I did sometimes wear non smart, “home” trousers/joggers when I worked from home but decided recently that it doesn’t have enough of a separation feeling for me when I don’t dress for it. I really miss wearing my shoes and my long coats and especially my long black mac which when unbuttoned, catches the wind just so and I feel pretty badass, almost like wearing a cape when I walk either outside or in tube stations where certain tunnels are pretty windy.
If you’d like to take part in the project yourself, you can find all the information you need in the blog post entitled ‘Lockdown Fashion: an exploration of dressing at home in 2020‘ dated 9th April 2020.