As an introvert at heart, I secretly enjoyed lockdown. I loved the respite from social commitments; the way we all hunkered down at home and focused on family and friends; and the collective embrace of a relaxed, elasticated-waist and just-rolled-out-of-bed aesthetic (seriously, some days, I barely brushed my hair). Yes, there were challenges, but until couple of weeks ago, I half-hoped lockdown would never end.
But then, last week, something shifted. Shops opened. Restaurants and bars started taking bookings. Even gyms announced they’d be back in business in short order. Somehow I found myself out for dinner with friends. There I was. Dressed in clothes that weren’t athleisure. With my hair blow-dried.
Reader, it felt fantastic.
Right now, there are – of course – far more important issues to discuss than fashion. But if you’re planning a night out, you’ll presumably have to wear something.
And last week I was reminded that what we wear and how we present ourselves to the world matters – mostly to ourselves. Last week, making an effort felt enlivening, as if I was reengaging with the world.
So, if you, too, are tentatively taking your first steps back into the world of restaurants and evenings out, our shopping editor Tara Morris has pulled together 16 pieces to help you look and feel good.
Her tips? For a quick (and cost-effective) pick-me-up, try a new pair of earrings. “I love a Marni statement earring… or Natasha Schweitzer,” says Tara, who adds that Zara and Lovisa are great options when budgets are tight.
Statement sleeves are another winter winner, being both cosy and on trend. “I’d also suggest investing in a going-out coat,” says Tara. “If you’re wearing the same coat you’ve worn every single day you’re not going to feel special.”