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 Dr Ingrid E. Mida (aka The Dress Detective). You can find her on Twitter as @ingrid_mida and on Instagram as @the_dress_detective. Her next book, Reading Fashion in Art, is due out in September 2020.
1) Can you describe what your personal style was like before lockdown?
I dress to please myself and generally aim for a look that is elegant but understated. During the workweek, my typical look is oriented around dresses, pencil skirts or trousers with a blouse, even if I was doing research in an archive. I own a couple of natural toned lipsticks, but I’ve never worn much makeup.
2) How would you describe your style now?
Initially after lockdown, I wore jeans, but I found that I didn’t feel like myself. The days bled into one another. One day, I decided to dress as I normally would have before lockdown and I felt entirely different. Dressing became an act of selfcare. And while I am not dressing up every day, I put some thought and effort into my appearance and chose something that makes me feel good. I seem to be wearing more knits, including sweaters, dresses and skirts.
3) Has your approach to fashion and style changed as a result of the current situation?
Not really. My look is fairly consistent for work and casual wear since I am keenly aware of how my clothing affects how I feel. In dressing up, I feel more put together and more like myself. It also makes my husband smile to see me dressed up.
4) What are the social situations you find yourself in now (even if remotely), and how do you dress for them?
I have had Zoom work meetings, calls and remote dinner parties with friends and family. It gives me pleasure to pull out favourite items from my wardrobe for these social events.
5) What’s your shoe situation at home? And how does this affect your sense of self?
I feel an outfit is not complete without shoes. If I am dressing up, I feel like I may as well wear my prettiest shoes, even if no one will see them, I will. And I especially like that I don’t need to worry if it will rain!
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.