A year of pandemic dressing: 8 ways our style changed in quarantine
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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot about our lives, from how we shop to how we work to how we work out. It’s also changed how we dress. Because many of us spent so much of the last year quarantined at home, gone were the days of business casual wear for the office and dressy outfits for nights out.
Instead, we turned to comfier, around-the-house alternatives, from cozy loungewear to laid-back sneakers. And no roundup of pandemic fashion would be complete without face masks, which have become the ultimate, essential accessory of the past year.
As Reviewed’s style editor, I’ve rounded up eight of the most popular style trends that were born from quarantine, some of which we hope will continue long into the future.
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Loungewear, the even more relaxed cousin of athleisure, was one of the hottest commodities of 2020, and it continues to be trendy in 2021. Whether it’s a Lou and Grey matching set or a comfy pair of joggers, loungewear became the new stay-at-home uniform. I’ve tested some of the top offerings of the past year and fell in love with picks from Instagram-famous Richer Poorer and bedding brand Brooklinen.
For many of us, spending more time at home meant returning our heels and dress shoes to the back of the closet and opting for cozy slippers instead. They became so coveted around the holidays that many styles sold out. Ugg slippers in particular have been a must-have item of the last couple of months. One of our writers tried the Ugg Fluff Yeah, which has thousands of reviews on Amazon, and raves they’re as soft and comfortable as everyone says and worth every penny.
When gyms closed last year due to the pandemic, home workouts and virtual fitness classes exploded in popularity. With them, came an increase in activewear sales. While there are plenty of amazing brands out there for exercise enthusiasts, some of our favorites include Athleta, Alo Yoga, and Lululemon (the Align leggings are many of our staff members’ top pick!).
4. Face masks
These days, we never leave home without a face mask. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend people wear a face covering to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as states continue to reopen and even for those who’ve been vaccinated. Our experts at Reviewed tested some of the most popular face masks out there and found the Athleta masks to be the most comfortable and breathable, with a triple-layered construction for more protection. We also liked the Old Navy masks for the same reasons along with their soft material and affordable price.
Our clothes aren’t the only things that have become more casual during the pandemic—so have our accessories, specifically our shoes. Sneakers from brands like Adidas (the Stan Smiths are still best sellers), Allbirds, and Meghan Markle-approved Veja have been all over social media. My personal favorites of all the ones I’ve tested at Reviewed are the Cariuma sneakers, which are easily the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever put on my feet.
PSA: Pajamas are no longer just for sleeping. Thanks to quarantine, they’ve become appropriate for lounging around the house, working from home and, in the case of celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Jodie Foster, attending awards ceremonies. Some of the most popular matching sets include those from Summersalt, Eberjey, and Nordstrom.
7. Tie-dyed fabrics
Tie-dye really took off at the beginning of the pandemic, when we were all looking for ways to stay entertained at home. Not only did tie-dye kits sell out at almost every retailer, but we saw a surge of tie-dye everything, from loungewear to sneakers to T-shirts. If you want to try it for yourself, our experts wrote a handy step-by-step guide on how to tie-dye your clothes.
8. ‘Zoom’ tops
Sure, loungewear and pajamas are great when you have nowhere to go, but they aren’t exactly great for video meetings with your boss and coworkers. (A hoodie or silk PJ set do not scream “I’m a professional.”) Enter Zoom tops, which are, yes, shirts that are appropriate for Zoom video calls. The key is finding something that’s polished yet comfortable, like this puff sleeve blouse with nearly 8,000 reviews on Amazon or this breezy button-down from H&M.
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