Lockdown Clothing Project

Please Note: The Lockdown Clothing Project ran from April to December 2020 and is currently closed. We are not accepting new submissions.


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 aimed to shine a light on those changes and reveal some of the many and varied personal stories relating to fashion and dress in 2020.

Participants selected 5 questions from the list below and then emailed their answers to us along with at least one photo, and a short bio (including links to social media or website if desired). They could choose to remain anonymous or use a pseudonym if they wished.

Question List (last updated May 2020)

  • Can you describe what your personal style was like before lockdown – what did you wear most often?
  • What types of clothing do you wear most often 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 clothes 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?

Follow-up Questions (added October 2020)

If someone had  submitted their story to us earlier in the year and wanted to add some further reflections, they were invited to either answer the following 5 questions or ‘pick and mix’ questions from here and from the list above. They were encouraged to re-answer any that they included in their original story if the response has changed.

  • Can you describe how your daily routine and/or social life has changed in recent months?
  • Has your approach to clothing changed since you submitted your story to us?
  • If you feel that your personal style and/or self-perception has changed since the first lockdown, can you describe how?
  • Is there anything that you wear now that you didn’t wear when you submitted your story? If so, why?
  • Has your approach to purchasing clothing changed as a result of lockdown? How so?

We asked them to submit at least 1 photograph along with your answers. Photos did not have to include their face, or even be of them wearing the clothes if they didn’t feel comfortable doing that.


Submissions are all posted here on rarelywearslipstick.com, with the author’s permission. A link to the blog post was shared with the author and with others on social media (Twitter, Instagram, and on the blog’s Facebook page). All of the stories that have been published are listed below and can also be found under the Lockdown Clothing category.

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