The Fashion Habits We Learned in Lockdown

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Most of us adopted comfortable new working wardrobe norms during lockdown: smarten up your act now, with a new regime …

GOODBYE STRETCHY LEGGINGS, HELLO SOFTLY TAILORED TROUSER HYBRID …

Did you spend lockdown in leggings, allowing the forgiving stretch waist to accommodate your Quarantine15? Hold that thought but smarten up now with Spanx firming, flattening leggings or Joseph’s tailored gaberdine version, renowned for not losing shape or colour. Gucci’s fabulous leggings with pink stretch waistband and tailored, tapered leg are delicious but may cost more than your desk and chair combined, while softly tailored trousers won’t pinch at waist or bottom but look super-smart with penny loafers and a simple sweater. Wide-leg wool trousers with front pleats will billow as you walk. Wear yours with sneakers and let the hems graze the floor.

Pleated woven tapered trousers, Le 17 Septembre, €355; www.net-a-porter.com 

TRAINERS HAVE THEIR PLACE, BUT HOW ABOUT A HEEL?

Unless you are going to a meeting, it doesn’t make sense to wear high heels at home, and frankly we were not sorry to furlough frumpy courts (how many pairs must be languishing under desks in offices all over town?) But sometimes the act of slipping on a heel, even a low one, makes us feel more dressed, more powerful, even if our only trip is to the green bin or the corner shop. Choose a platform trainer, a block-heel boot or anything that gives an inch.

Black Lange leather ankle boots with curved kitten heel, €455; www.byfar.com

LESS IS MORE … UNTIL YOU REALLY HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR

Was your lockdown purge too drastic? Are you left with a wardrobe that looks like a Comme des Garcons shop in the 1990s – a few jangly hangers – and an armload of mate-less tops and bottoms? In the spirit of simplification, wear those favourite items you still possess with a very nice white cotton shirt. Buy five and launder them together at the weekend, ready to re-hang on Sunday evening. Fresh, businesslike, no-brainer dressing. Every well-edited wardrobe should include a classic white shirt. Iron while damp collar first, then cuffs, sleeves, shoulders, fronts. The back is last.

White ruched-detail organic cotton shirt, Victoria Victoria Beckham, €260; www. victoriabeckham.com; white cotton shirt with feather trim, €79.95, at Zara.

GROOMING FOR ZOOMING …

Still sporting a weird badger stripe at your parting? Concealing dirt from the dahlias under your fingernails? Magic brows? (Now you see them, now you don’t, depending on whether you had time to draw them on or not.) Escalate hair, nails, brows and lashes problems, for immediate resolution. Draw attention to polished nails with a nice cuff – when you WFH, there’s no one to bitch about it clacking against your keyboard as you type. Add interesting spectacles, the accessory du jour, to see your way through that glass ceiling, or force you to call the window cleaner …

Pearly Princess glasses chain, €245; www.framechain.co.uk; black leather cuff, €245; www.ysl.com.

FOUR RATTY WOOLLIES REPLACED BY ONE GORGEOUS SWEATER

If you are working from a freezing garret/bedroom, or trying to keep the heating bills down, you’ll need a sweater. There are so many beautiful knits about, it’s tempting to plough the money you save by switching energy providers (because now you have the time to do so!) into a delicious Irish knit. Better than the four cheapos in which the moths have partied during lockdown.

Camel wool blend sweater, JW Anderson, €678.75, at Brown Thomas

BURNING BRAS … AND OTHER INCENDIARY IDEAS

Lots of ladies ditched the fixings while WFH in the summer months but now is not the time for drooping or sagging – at least for the well-endowed. Invest in affirming, pretty underthings which lend support and give shape under blouses and tops. While you are at it, do an edit of your most depressing underwear and consign it all to the Junk folder. Easy, instant morale booster …

Black Èclat 3D plunge bra, Simone Pérèle, €83.61, at Arnotts. Mist embroidered bra, Noelle Wolf, €103.29, at Brown Thomas.

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