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  • Fashion after Covid-19


The global pandemic has forced us all to focus on what is essential, so fashion was not “in” this year. Fashion weeks and other major events were canceled, and any event that managed to survive was forced to go digital or was presented in another creative way.  What will happen when Covid-19 is no longer a determining force in our everyday lives?

During the first and second world wars, all materials were put toward the war effort which left little room for fashion. Clothing that was manufactured used the least amount of fabric possible: sleeves were short, hemlines were only to the knee, and silhouettes were close-fitting to the body. In the years after the end of WWII, fabrics were slowly released and the world of fashion boomed. As a celebration of no longer living in wartime years and needing to ration goods, Christian Dior’s New Look was born. This look moved back toward feminine silhouettes with fuller skirts with hemlines sweeping the mid-calf and ankle by the end of the 1940s. Without the war to limit fabric usage, dresses could be as extravagant as people chose.


In many ways we cannot compare Covid- 19 to the world wars; however, they both labeled fashion the same way: non-essential. As history tends to repeat itself, the fashion industry is due for another boom. As we can start returning to events, returning to malls, and returning to normal life, people will be wanting to buy new clothing. Many people have been retreating to comfortable leisurewear as they work from home, however, judging by the trends present after the wars, sweatpants will soon be pushed to the back of everyone's closest. Clothing will have less of a focus on comfort and center around extravagant pieces to celebrate the return to normal life. As events begin to return, people will embrace being able to dress up again.  We are already beginning to see trend emerge for Spring/ summer 2021 that don't have comfort in mind. Corsets are all the rage this spring and cut outs are in in a big way. People are searching to tastefully showoff skin and their figure that has been hidden under leisure wear for the past year. However, Some trends that arose during the pandemic are here to stay.

The face mask isn’t going anywhere. As Covid has progressed, face-coverings have become more and more extravagant. People have been using masks as another form of expression, and post-pandemic life will likely not see a decline in fashion face masks. Countries in Asia have been using the face mask as a fashion statement well before the pandemic. It is common for them to wear facemasks to protect themselves from pollutants, protect others from a cold they may have, or to complete their outfit of the day. In Canada, the face mask serves a whole new purpose by keeping our faces warmer in the winter months. Winter coincides with the typical flu season, so the face mask will likely become a yearly occurrence for many people.  As the virus fades masks will no longer be something we need to protect ourselves. Because of this, we will begin seeing sheer and lace masks, pretty but not very functional.


The pandemic has been very difficult for small businesses and unfortunately, many of them have been forced to close. The struggle of these businesses has made people more aware of how important it is to support local. There has been a great push to support local rather than big box stores. The push to support small businesses will have a positive impact on our local economies and keep more money within our country. Supporting small business's will also dwindle the fast fashion industry ensuring that fashion becomes more enviromently and ethically friendly. 

Rawlco Radio's support local campaign
Rawlco Raidio's Support Local Campaign 

Global lockdowns forced people to stay home for months at a time. While having free time at home, many people Marie Kondoded their closets causing second-hand and consignment stores to have an excess of inventory. During the pandemic, many people have re-evaluated their priorities and realized their wardrobe does not need to be a revolving door of fast fashion trends. More people are buying quality items over quantity and if they are searching for more affordable options they are utilizing second-hand stores to gain quality pieces for an affordable price.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a very difficult time for everyone, however, it created a much-needed turning point in the fashion industry. Fashion as we know it has become a fast-paced industry that is responsible for a large portion of the world’s waste. Over the last year, we have become less concerned about fashion’s weekly micro-seasons and more concerned about the safety of the people around us. There is no doubt that the pandemic will have an immediate effect on what we wear in the coming years, but it will also forever change the fashion industry as a whole. Many people will be watching to see what is to come.

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