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What our stylists learned about style this past year

What our stylists learned about style this past year

What a year and some odd months it has been. Here we are, officially emerging from a world in which sweatpants and slippers took a leading role in our lives (and brogues and blazers were pushed to the back of our wardrobes). So as life readjusts to a new kind of normal, one question becomes increasingly important: will our approach to dressing ever be the same as it was in pre-pandemic times? Per usual, we turned to the people whose style intel we trust more than anyone’s – our stylists – for their take on how a completely unprecedented year has (and could continue) to reshape the way we dress.

How has the past year changed how you buy clothes?

“It’s made me really look to other sources of inspiration for the kind of things I’m looking for. Instead of looking at what people are wearing on the street, or browsing in store, I dug deep into the stuff I’m really interested in, like archive vintage clothing and finding really specific ‘grail’ items as opposed to picking up new things, along with revisiting the items I’ve had in my wardrobe for a long time and obviously pivoting toward a more comfortable approach to dressing. I also lost a bunch of weight during the last year, so I took the opportunity to revisit items I’d previously not felt confident enough to wear.” Toby Standing, Thread stylist

“I buy clothes pretty rarely and almost always buy second hand – this year has been no exception to that. Because I cleared some pieces from my wardrobe, I’ve invested in a few new things that I know will last me for a really long time.” - Artemis Crowley, Thread stylist 

“It certainly stopped me from buying in store. I tend to shop mostly online anyway, but there are certain shops I love going to and some pieces you just don’t know for sure until you handle it and try it on. I think this made me more selective in what I buy online, taking a few days to sit on it to really figure out, do a little more research, think whether it fits well with my wardrobe – oh, and also being more patient with delivery. Those guys work like crazy and I definitely found a new level of respect for how demanding the work is. It’s a reminder for me to stop expecting everything to fast and just slow down a little.” - Freddie Kemp, Thread stylist  

How has the past year made you rethink how to style or offer style advice to others?

“It’s not really changed how I offer advice, but it has made me realise the extent to which our clothes are a means of communication. Without anyone to communicate with through these clothing choices, it’s surprising how quickly our clothes can become purely functional.” - Artemis Crowley 

“I think without the ‘performance’ aspect of dressing, it's made me look much more inward and really find what I like to wear and what I felt good in - the lack of trends I think is something I apply to advice usually anyway, but definitely more now.” -Toby Standing 

“I now tend to make more of an event of getting ready to go out. When we took our freedom for granted, I used to rush getting ready and only on certain days, if the stars aligned, would I really craft an outfit, usually saving them for special occasions. Now I put effort into every outfit and enjoy getting ready more than ever. Even if it’s just to go to the office.” Freddie Kemp

How do you think it will impact the way people get dressed in the longer term?

"I think people will make more use of the comfort-led stuff they bought for lockdown and also (hopefully) buy less." - Freddie Kemp

“I think the dress code relaxation has been sped up; not many workplaces can justify the need to have a uniform or dress code now I think. I also hope that people will invest a bit more in long-lasting items that are a bit better for the planet.” -Toby Standing 

“I don’t think it will. The only change I can imagine is that workplaces will be more relaxed about dress codes, but that was happening anyway before the pandemic.” - Artemis Crowley

Is there anything that's stayed the same since before the pandemic?

“Wide-leg silhouettes will always be my jam.” -Toby Standing 

“My attitude to clothes: buy less, buy better and second hand if at all possible.” - Artemis Crowley  

“To be honest, not much about my style changed during the pandemic. I was still buying clothes that fit my style, rather than to be worn at home.” -Freddie Kemp 

What else have you learned about your style in the past year?

“I’ve cemented more of a uniform style than I previously had. I used to just try and make things I liked work, whereas now I’m more selective and only purchase those that work in the uniform. That way the clothes I do buy work harder for me and get used more.” - Freddie Kemp

“That I don’t have to be as restrictive as I might have been in the past. It’s okay to dress like a minimal fashion goth in winter and then dress like a gas station attendant in a David Lynch movie when it’s hot. Don’t box yourself in!” - Toby Standing 

“I’ve missed wearing a variety of outfits.” -Artemis Crowley 

Words: Allison Pavlick & Thread Stylists
Illustration: Elliot Kruszynski