LAST MONTHI discovered that I was obsolete out of fashion. I was on my way to a socially distant lunch in New York when a look at my reflection in a shop window winced: My leggings were paired with no longer trendy “ugly” sneakers. A puffer jacket that was worn to stay cozy while eating in a roadside hut firmly planted me in 2017, the year I bought the voluminous chubby one at H&M.
After a year of serious concerns, there is no shame in holding on blissfully to a bygone era. But when we emerge from our zoom cocoons, the time is right to rethink our fashion choices and expand our wardrobes for a post-pandemic period – within reason, of course. “Seven-inch stilettos don’t match what we’re going through,” said New York fashion brand consultant Dani Stahl. And don’t let beautiful celebrities make you your only style guides – they can make almost anything look fabulous. “What looks out of date on one person is super cool on another,” she said. “If [model] Bella Hadid puts on tight jeans, it’s current, but you can see it elsewhere. “That means they’ll be” off “on me, I think, and many, many others.
What makes an outfit out of date? Recognizable fads – like news-printed T-shirts or no-show socks from the early Aughts’ era – are outfit poison, and fallbacks like chinos and shapeless cardigans are precious relics. The cut of a garment can also be “out of date”. “You don’t want to look like you were in a jacket from 30 years ago, so updated fits come in,” said Ralph Auriemma, Paul Stuart’s creative director. He suggested bespoke sportswear for a slimmer, modern fit.
When planning our re-entry outfits, comfort remains a factor, said Tracy Margolies, chief retailer at Saks Fifth Avenue, “but people want to be stylish.” That’s why suffocating skinny jeans bow to options with straight legs and roomy denim joggers, for example. Below is 10 men’s and women’s styles that will subtly date you – and advice on how to bring your wardrobe back to life.
Demurely Bucolic Dresses
Why they are out: In my student years I called clothes from the commercially well-known British brand Laura Ashley “Heidis”, named after the classic children’s book by Johanna Spyri about an orphan who grew up in the Swiss Alps. Today’s frilled floral dresses – referred to by many as “cottage core” – nod to Laura Ashley’s 1980s Liberty print dresses and conjure up a combative frivolity that is at odds with our 2021 selves. “Cottagecore sounds like a house muumuu … it’s very dated,” said Ms. Stahl, the fashion brands consultant.
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