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For post-pandemic fashion, go with your gut

BY AIDAN SEIDEN | Did Coco Chanel predict the coronavirus pandemic?

“Fashion has two purposes: comfort and love,” Chanel said.

While, no, the famed 20th-century French designer was not a clairvoyant, this quote has a stronger relevance than Chanel could have ever expected.

Following a turbulent last summer dominated by a litany of fashion trends, one common theme emerged: apparel that prioritized comfort.

Partly due to the rise in popularity of the app TikTok, the resurgence of Y2K velour tracksuits and tie-dye sweat sets has made its way back into the fashion mainstream.

During the pandemic, people spent months at home idly shopping online, all the while holding out hope that one day they would be able to wear more than just pajamas. Now, with the recent lifting of all COVID health restrictions in New York, it’s a new dawn for fashion.

We experienced a peak comfort moment during the pandemic, according to Nicole Zane, a Brooklyn-based stylist and fashion reporter.

“However, the pendulum always swings back from one extreme to the next,” she noted.

Now people, especially younger generations, are letting go of their worries and indulging in more frivolity and excess than ever before. They are being more bold with their style, having more fun with their fashion, and dressing up more than usual, especially now that it’s summer. New Yorkers are crowding into every outdoor restaurant and rooftop bar they can find, desperate to display their chicest ensembles.

“I think women want to be seen,” Zane said. “They want to dress up more for little dinners or parties, especially once people feel financially comfortable again.”

Fashion mirrors the times. After a long period of seclusion, individuals are exposing more skin and wearing more provocative clothing. And, of course, it’s summer, which — amplified by the city’s “heat island” effect — means bikinis, tank tops and shorts of any kind are deemed “standard attire.”

“Matching tops and skirts/shorts sets, sheer blouses and dresses, crochet hats and bikinis” are all trends, Zane said. “I am a bikini girl, so I am excited to wear skimpy swimwear this summer, especially ’80s and ’90s styles.”

However, she added, “It’s not worth it spending all your money for fleeting trends. Go with your gut and what makes you feel comfortable and sexy on the inside and you’ll look cool on the outside.

“I would invest in a pair of earrings/necklaces you’ll wear every day that are unique to you,” she offered. “They can be new or vintage, but if you curate and layer them, that’ll set all your outfits apart from your friends.”

Even though many are mesmerized and seduced by the seemingly dazzling, perfect lives of influencers and bloggers on social media, Zane advises to stay as far away from them as possible.

“I don’t like to give people advice but don’t follow what you see on Instagram,” she stressed. “Most of the outfits you see the influencers wear are thrown together with freebies and then they send them back.”

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