Lockdown Clothing Project


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.


Select 5 questions from the list below then email your answers to lori@rarelywearslipstick.com along with at least one photo, and a short bio (including links to your social media or website if you would like to share that). You can choose to remain anonymous or use a pseudonym if you wish.

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 you submitted your story to us earlier in the year and would be interested in adding some further reflections, please either answer the following 5 questions or ‘pick and mix’ questions from here and from the list above. Feel free to re-answer any that you included in your original story if your 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?

Remember to submit at least 1 photograph along with your answers. 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.


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 with others on social media (Twitter, Instagram, and on the blog’s Facebook page). All of the stories that have been published so far are listed below and can also be found under the Lockdown Clothing category.

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