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Case Studies

What's Your Re-Entry Outfit?

It’s time to rediscover the joy in dressing up to go out…

We are practically giddy with the anticipation of 12 April: the date in which our calendars spring back to life with visits to restaurants, hairdressers, and the pièce de resistance –pub gardens – once again allowed. Thrilling!

As we oscillate between pure unadulterated excitement and creeping nerves of what it will be like (and do we remember how to socialise IRL?), now seems the opportune moment to start considering your outfit. Whilst we have, of course, been getting dressed for the past 12 months, there’s a huge difference between pulling the first piece of clean activewear out of your drawer, and really considering how to put an outfit together. Vast swathes of our wardrobes have lain neglected, with dresses, jeans, and long-forgotten heels left to collect dust.

As we ponder the appropriate dress code for these new uncharted waters, the thought of pulling together a look could feel incredibly taxing right now. With that said, consider this a helping hand to navigate sartorial standards once again, whether you’re up for a bit of revenge dressing, or simply looking for transitional pieces to ease back in to ‘normality’.

Spring Dresses

Nothing can cajole you into a sunshine state of mind quite like a breezy floral dress. Groundbreaking? No. But after months of leggings, tracksuits, and the same sad jumper on repeat, we’re itching to add one of these to basket. When it comes to deciding on your chosen iteration there are endless possibilities. From the fun and frippery of a mini dress from the likes of Maje or Rixo, to high-octane glamour at BERNADETTE. Our love affair with slip dresses knows no bounds and it is perfectly versatile for spring: this Bias Editions number can be worn over or under a sleek roll-neck for ultimate wearability.

Chic Outerwear

Us Brits can be pervasively optimistic when it comes to the weather, but you’d be downright silly to forgo outerwear, especially when our social plans will be played out entirely outdoors until mid-May. Combat capricious bursts of sunshine and April showers with a chic roster of jackets, from trench coats and leather jackets to smart blazers – remember those?! It’s highly possible your jacket will be the only clothing on show, so you’ll want to make a statement with smart cuts and intricate details.

Statement Blouses

Our commitment to the classic ‘jeans and a nice top’ style equation has not wavered, and we won’t be relinquishing it any time soon. We’re now masters at dressing from the waist up, thanks to 12 months of Zoom meetings, so this part should be easy. From pretty florals to relaxed stripes, a blouse adds instant polish, whilst statement collars and frothy frills present points of intrigue. Refer to our CF denim guide to get acquainted with the jean silhouettes of the season, as we readjust to dressing from top-to-toe.

The Knitwear

Coupled with lightweight outerwear, knitwear is an integral wardrobe foundation for spring, which you can easily pull on or off depending on the weather. Stick to neutrals to work with, not against, an ornate base. Layered over a crisp shirt or midi dress, an on-trend vest offers great insulation. Alternatively, a colour-pop or ‘cottage-core’ inspired cardigan, lifts a muted palette. Consider fabrications too: you’ll want slim fits to tuck into waistbands and fit snugly under jackets, but a thicker knit can work as outerwear on balmier days.

The Footwear

Whilst we were once so enamoured with our slippers we thought we’d practically have to be airlifted out of them, now, the idea of wearing something else is practically euphoric.

For those not quite yet convinced – the most effortless footwear option is the humble mule, which has handily returned for SS21. Crafted in buttery soft leather you’ll hardly notice the difference between it and your slippers. Similarly appealing is the clog, an unexpected hero shoe of the summer with retro charm. Of course you can’t go wrong with a pair of box-fresh white trainers, perfect for pounding the pavements back to the office, or on a long walk rediscovering the city with friends. Some may approach a heel with caution, but I will be slipping my feet back in (after a pre-requisite pedicure). Opt for a sleek kitten heel for a seamless transition.

The Handbags

Oh how we’ve missed handbags. Their purpose was momentarily superfluous to our weekly traipse to the supermarket, but no longer! If you didn’t already splurge on an investment piece during lockdown, here are some styles to consider. With picnics being the activity du jour, a large tote or eternally covetable basket bag to contain bottles of Whispering Angel, fancy glassware, and various delicacies is top of our list. For revenge dressing, a micro bag in zesty hues is a worthy investment – perfectly formed, it fits your sanitiser, mask, purse keys, and phone.

The Finishing Touches

My personal mantra is to no longer save my best for special occasions, and I aim to take pleasure in those final flourishes long forgotten.

Daytime diamonds are a must and I’m turning to Vashi for signature pieces to elevate the everyday – this pair of earrings and ring in yellow gold with a smattering of pavé diamonds embody understated elegance. A silk scarf insouciantly tied around the neck or around hair (to mask grown out roots) is a nod to continental chic, whilst oversized sunglasses are a handbag stalwart. Rediscovering make-up should go hand-in-hand with this newfound freedom. The new Hermès limited-edition summer lipsticks are like sunshine encapsulated in a very chic multi-coloured bullet, and the poppy coral hue is rather lovely. Likewise, a decadent sweep of bronzer, care of Tom Ford, to coax a little colour into our sun-starved complexions is the ultimate accessory.

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