Fashion Post Corona
What will fashion be like post corona? In my role as a public "opinion maker" in men's fashion I get one question all the time. What I, as a writer and podcaster, think about fashion after the pandemic. I think I know the answer and base it on history. (As well as a large portion of more or less qualified guesses…)
The Comfort trap
If we start with the current situation. At the time of writing, we have been living with this pandemic in Sweden for about 15 months and everyone has been affected. Many are those who have worked from home, me included. Although I normally do my best to keep the style standards high, I must admit that I, like many others, have fallen into the "comfort trap".
I will be wearing jeans and a shirt every day at the home office, rather than a suit with a shirt and tie that I almost always wear when I go to the office in town. I have thought about this and talked to others and in general, everyone I have talked to has dressed less formally during the pandemic than before. The big question then is what will it look like the day when we are back to normal again?
Where do we go from here?
What is fashion post corona? Was the pandemic the trigger for a more casual fashion? The answer to the question is both yes and no. Let me develop why. To begin with, a more casual fashion has crept into the business world gradually over the last 7-8 years. The tie began to be rejected by many long before the pandemic and home office. Since I have worked my entire career in the financial world, I have seen this, in an otherwise fairly formal industry, up close. Is it conceivable that the pandemic caused even more people to adopt a more casual outfit? Yes maybe.
However, I believe in an opposite effect! This is more fun and more interesting to talk about. My thesis is based on how it has looked historically over the past 100 years. The pandemic we are now going through is not the first crisis we have experienced in the last century. On the contrary, we have had everything from depression, world wars, energy crises, banking crises, real estate crises, IT crises and more.
For the sake of order, I do not want to compare today's tragic situation where so many have tragically passed away with a crisis of a purely economic nature. What I want to draw from to answer the question of how we will dress when today's pandemic is over, is how we have acted historically.
What history tells us...
If we start with the extremely tragic First World War that ended a little more than 100 years ago, it was followed by the roaring 20s. After the tragedy had taken place, people started going out and hanging out, dancing and dressing nicely. Fashion was a contrast to the situation during the war. The elegant and happy years were followed by the Great Depression and later the Second World War, which had the natural consequence that fashion and socialising suffered.
Once the war was over in 1945, the situation was reminiscent of the situation after the first war. People were longing to get out, meet, dance and live again. This was also reflected in fashion for more than a decade and it became elegant again. In this way, history repeats itself. After a crisis and tough times, you long for something else. Usually something happier, nicer, prettier, etc. Then it is not always so easy to directly say that after a crisis, consumption increases followed by a boom with a fashion that by definition is more stylish again.
One thing that obviously matters is how financially affected you have become by the crisis. In some cases, crises have historically led to high unemployment, which for natural reasons has affected our ability to consume. This crisis we are in now, and hopefully see the end of soon, seems to be somewhat different compared to what it has looked like historically.
Is this crisis like the others?
If you believe the statistics, we have, especially in Sweden, managed quite well financially. This is a consequence of some major stimuli, relatively active politicians, creative companies but not least citizens who have pulled their weight. This means that the preconditions are quite good once we return to the "new old" again.
I think many people are thirsty for social interaction. To go out and eat and socialize again. to meet our colleagues at work. When that happens, I think you want to be your best and most presentable self. Personally, I am eager to polish the shoes, press the shirt, tie the tie and slip into my bepoke suit (from Götrich of course…).
The collective responsibility
If I’m to mention one more thing after a year of pandemic, it is the collective responsibility that many have taken in their close vicinity. Messages like ”Support your local” are everywhere. We support and help the entrepreneurs in our community. It becomes a kind of help for self-help. Help them now so they may be back in a year. For me, this means supporting one of the few Swedish tailors so that they can continue to offer a great product, of the highest craftsmanship, locally in Stockholm.
I really hope I got this right as a more elegant world is always a little nicer.
Financial Advisor, golfer, father, podcaster etc.
You'll find Olof on Instagram instagram.com/olof1982 and hosting "Snobbpodden" with Peder Lamm on Acast https://shows.acast.com/snobbpodden
Here are Olof's previous posts as guest blogger: