Trend Bite: WFH style, the ‘corona tuxedo’ and the rise of ‘in-to-out’ dressing

The way we dress is closely tied to our lifestyle. So as COVID-19 alters day-to-day life for millions, it is also affecting our clothing.

“The biggest shifts in fashion have historically not come from runway or street style trends, but follow events that disrupt society on a huge scale” says Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, a fashion historian and author of “Worn on This Day: The Clothes That Made History.” 

“Their effects ripple through supply chains, the economy, social behavior, and daily life, accelerating and normalizing changes that are already underway.”

For many of us, nationwide stay-at-home orders have begun to heavily influence both our style and the way we think about our clothes. It’s probably safe to say that over recent months, you’ve been wearing sweatpants or leggings more often than usual, your heels and sequins have been rotated to the back of closets and their coveted spots have been replaced by your favorite lounge set. And when the allure of being able to wear PJs all day wears off, in comes the emergence of fashion in the post-coronavirus era: “inside clothes.” 

Our new clothing cravings are rooted in comfort-driven essentials, and “work from home” silhouettes that are both practical and stylish. The rise of the stay-indoors wardrobe inspires a focus on cozy, elevated basics that provide enhanced value to the wearer combining co-ordinated and interchangeable separates.

Throwing on a look that is comfortable for the home and cool enough for Zoom calls and supermarket visits, as well as easy to put together, has become the basis of our apparel needs. Thanks to emerging brands like Knorts, Studio Nicholson and Markaware, achieving this rare trifecta is now easier than ever. Instead of “day-to-night” looks that dominated our lives 10 years ago, we like to think of this new phase of dressing as “in-to-out” clothing.

It’s interesting to look to the East at this point, as the Japanese have prioritized elevated indoor dressing for years. Brand-of-the-moment Studio Nicholson cite Japan as a key inspiration for their aesthetic, stating that “pieces are carefully engineered to provide structure and elegance, forming the basis for the ultimate modular wardrobe.” 

Japanese label Markware offers an elevated take on minimalistic silhouettes featuring oversized henleys, button downs and linen blazers that are easily paired with indoor essentials like a wide-leg, cropped trouser. 

In the ultimate nod to comfort, Tokyo-based brand Graphpaper has released a series of over-sized, boxy button downs made from a high-thread-count cotton used in the production of extremely high-end sheets and bedwear. 

Finally, Knorts, the denim knitwear brand famed for their cozy, comfortable indigo knit cycling shorts, flared knit trousers and oversized sweaters truly embrace this transition of “in-to-out” dressing. 

And what could be easier to sling on than the Canadian Tuxedo? This double denim look has been weaving its way in and out of style for decades, but this time around, the simple denim set needs to tick all the boxes of the post-COVID era shopper. Interchangeable separates present as a sensible purchase in the minds of consumers and tonal dressing elevates softened, languid silhouettes to create a modern take on the original ranch uniform of yore. For this next generation of double denim duos, think non-traditional, oversized denim dusters paired with baggy harem style pants as the new form of the Canadian tux. 

As kids, we learned a lot about “outside” or “play” clothes, but we haven’t put much thought into the ensembles we lounge around the house in, otherwise known as our “inside” clothes. Inside clothes are no longer just pajamas or athleisure. They are what you wear when you actively live your life indoors, which is now practiced by many around the world. Coronavirus is not only affecting how and where we spend our new-found free time, but it has also transformed our buying habits by forcing many to re-prioritize what we consider to be “essential” in our wardrobes.

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