Nope. Too dressy. Too sexy. Too casual. That doesn’t fit anymore. Worn once (in 2012). Will I ever wear that dress again? Fluro green? What was I thinking? Everything! Looks! Crap!
Sound familiar? The intensifying cries of a wardrobe in the midst of an existential crisis? If so, this is entirely expected after a year forcibly homebound. And, well, here’s the brutal truth of it all: wearing clothes entirely for your own benefit – to boost your mood, to dress up when no one is looking - is one thing. A very good thing. Though, let’s not forget the other part, that there is a thrill in wearing something to sanctimoniously display the lives we lead: our jobs, our travels, our weekend plans (hence the expression dress ‘code’). But when there’s no actual office to go to or holiday to pencil in, and when weekend activities are just a woeful recycling of the last, it can feel a bit like your closet is – and not to sound melodramatic – mocking you.
Though, with lockdown set to ease mid-April according to the latest government roadmap - with shops, gyms, hairdressers and – the pièce de resistance – pub gardens(!), springing back to life, it seems an opportune moment to at least consider putting together an outfit. Thoughtfully mixing and matching. Re-introducing the concept of “smart casual” into our lives once again.
IMAGE | KIRKE CLUB
For those who shudder at excess thought required in this department (we’ve all had our overanalysing fill of late, let’s not add fuel to that emotional fire) there is a suitable recourse. In the shape of an oversized shirt. Because hyper-versatile, gentle power dressing is where it’s at for the foreseeable and this is just The One. Flora Macdonald Johnston, Junior Fashion Editor at the Financial Times, has long been a purveyor of the perennial classic, whose personal collection exceeds 20.
“Oversized shirts provide the perfect sartorial pick me up,” she says. “Feel a little off or not having the best morning? Wear your shirt with wide-leg jeans or a colourful silky midi-skirt, pair with sneakers and voila! You’re instantly comfortable - and chic.” For spring, Flora wears hers open over a crisp white vest-top, paired with straight leg jeans and heeled boots. “Top tip: when WFH, style your oversized shirt with giant gold chain necklaces for some texture contrast - it will instantly elevate your Zoom look.” Emi Papanikola, stylist and founder of independent clothing e-comm store KÍRKE, agrees: “I can’t think of anything more comfortable and flattering than an oversized shirt.” Hand-me-downs are a good place to start – whether borrowing from the boys or just repurposing your nightshirt, but if you’re in the market to purchase something new this season, Emi suggests looking to SIEDRÉS for playful prints and bright colourways and Arket’s signature cotton styles for a more muted option. Le weekend style, we've missed you...