How do you measure a year with the pandemic?
You can measure it in the rising number of cases, in death tolls, in increasing unemployment rates, in social distancing, and in anxiety. It has been a year of change for everyone, and one of the industries that felt the impact of these changes is the fashion industry.
2020 was the year when we were told to “stay at home” in order to prevent the spread of the virus. We did so, out of a sense of duty and responsibility, and perhaps also out of a sense of fear and uncertainty. This was the year when we looked in the mirror and found ourselves without getting a haircut, a facial, or even finding a need to wear full-on makeup.
In an article with Tatler, the previous year was where the beauty and fashion industry felt an existential crisis. With social distancing laws being implemented, and people finding little reason to get all dolled up from their French manicured tips to their Manolo Blahniks, they had to find a way to gravitate towards a less superficial purpose.
In the article, Jenni Middleton, who is the fashion director for WGSN said that beauty has now taken a new role. Instead of being perceived as just a style or a look, they have now taken on the role of a healer as well as a protector.
It Is Time To Try Things Online
The events of the COVID-19 pandemic have changed the way consumers are making their purchases. They now choose to do their shopping, as well as their daily transactions such as paying bills and depositing money by means of an online app. This means that department stores and even Sephora counters are now devoid of customers. So how did top beauty brands Chanel and Mac manage to cope with this crisis? By offering customers virtual try-ons. This way, customers would be able to “try on” makeup in a contactless yet realistic way. They will be able to swatch on foundation shades, lipstick, as well as hair and nail colors.
By doing so, beauty brands have allowed their customers to not only give their customers the option of making their purchases online, they can also get the experience being in the store without having to leave the comfort of their homes.
It Is a Question of Style vs Comfort
Consumers are now embracing comfort over style. With more people reporting to work remotely, they have now preferred sweatpants to statement pieces. According to August Man, more women are now choosing to wear loafers or sneakers when they go out as opposed to heels. Also, more consumers have become more aware of conscious fashion, preferring a minimalist wardrobe to fast fashion.
Because of these, brands such as Nike, Balenciaga, Birkenstock, and Dior have taken advantage of the comfortable casual look and have incorporated these into their brands, which proves that even during the pandemic, fashion is not dead.
No-Fuss Maintenance Hairstyles
With lockdowns being implemented in March last year, many salons and barbershops were closed because they were deemed to be “non-essential” services. Because of these, many have either decided to grow out their hair during the quarantine or learn how to cut their own hair. It was only until recently that salons and barbershops were allowed to open and people could now get their haircuts.
Men’s haircut trends tend to go for no-fuss maintenance such as a buzz cut. While women preferred to go for either a pixie cut or the long-grown out hair look. People are now going for a look that requires lesser maintenance yet allows them to be stylish and put together at the same time.
Bringing A Sense of Comfort into Your Home
Facials and massages are among the services many people will be missing out on during the lockdown. In order to bring these services closer to home, many consumers, yourself probably included have invested in diffusers, essential oils, and spa starter kits to have a spa day right in the comfort of your home. After all, self-care is something that you would not want to miss out on.
The pandemic has certainly brought about a global impact and is changing the world as we know it. Fashion and beauty trends will always evolve and will learn to adapt to the times. Such as in the case of the human spirit. We evolve in whatever era we are in, and we adapt to the times because we are here to stay and not a fleeting memory.