If you’re anything like us, you’ve been rather excited about the roadmap out of lockdown. Perhaps you’ve been booking restaurant tables from the 17th May to infinity. Or organising the first picnic of the year (come rain or shine) for the 29th March. Maybe you’ve just been lining up enough hair, nail and spa appointments for the 12th April to keep a Kardashian happy. But have you got your sartorial game plan sorted?
After nearly a year of elastic waistbands, ‘practical’ coats and moth-eaten jumpers, we’re all going to need a helping hand in the wardrobe department when it comes to navigating a social life once more. The first rule, however, is not to be intimidated by the prospect of going out somewhere other than the corner shop: the usual summer staples of good jeans and classic sandals will take you almost anywhere. But if you do want to elevate your looks to a new level – after all, it’s been a while – whether you’re heading to the pub, the park or even (deep breath) a club, we’ve compiled a nifty fashion roadmap to see you through every stage.
Calendar Update? 29th March
Restrictions are, bit by bit, lifting – but don’t get ahead of yourself. For now, you’re limited to playing sports outdoors or meeting up to six friends for a picnic in the park, though even that will feel like a rave after the year we’ve endured. Don’t be fooled into thinking shorts and a tee will work at this stage; you will be freezing, which will hinder your enjoyment of an alfresco sausage roll. Instead, opt for layers you can pull on or peel off, depending on the ever-unreliable Great British Spring. A waterproof (but fancy) coat will double as a picnic blanket – ditto a large scarf. Bare legs and boots remain a perennial favourite for eternal optimists.
Calendar Update? 12th April
It’s time to start having a little more confidence, both in the prospect of real freedom and warmer weather. You’ll also be able to visit some actual shops by now, so wave goodbye to the infinite stress that is online shopping. Celebrate your first pedicure in months by taking an open-toed sandal for a test drive and don your hardiest jeans for a visit to the local pub garden – you’ll be sitting outside (hopefully for a good few hours) and a short dress won’t guarantee the necessary comfort. By this stage, you might even be heading off for a well-deserved minibreak (within the UK, that is, for those of you getting excited about kaftans and teeny bikinis). Give the trip the gravitas it deserves with a brand-new overnight bag which – fingers crossed – you can use all summer long.
Calendar Update? 17th May
Finally, you can plan an outfit for… well, anything, without thinking about your coat: restaurants have opened and dinner parties indoors are back on the cards again. Without the constraints of tight sleeves and cover-ups, feel free to let your imagination run wild in the top department and go for big sleeves and bold necklines. You may also find your calendar overrun with the much-postponed nuptials of friends, now that weddings with a guestlist of up to 30 people are allowed again. Mark these joyous occasions with the brightest colours and frothiest frocks you can find and, after a year in trainers, keep the heels low – baby steps, as they say.
Calendar Update? 21st June
All social distancing restrictions have been lifted, it’s now the height of summer and frankly, we feel it would be rude to impose any more rules at this stage. All we ask is that you don your fabulous, least-worn and most-loved clothes and reacquaint yourself with a dance floor that is not your own living room. Think sequins, (comfy) platform heels and a stupidly sparkly evening bag (remember those?) to drape over your shoulder. This should, with any luck, make you feel like an 1980s disco queen (just make sure you have a go at the matching dance moves at home first as, let’s face it, we’re all a bit out of practice).