Pre-pandemic, the idea of “comfort dressing” never really crossed my mind. At the office, I’d always dress to impress, gravitating towards constricting trousers or blazers in which I could barely move my arms. After work, I’d then meet a few friends for happy hour drinks and slip into some Cuban heeled boots, tight pants, and a clingy top that would itch and scratch me all night. Ah, memories. Coming home, slightly buzzed from martinis—my arches aching from the boots that I stuffed my feet into—I’d have zero regrets about it all. I didn’t care because I looked good in the moment.
The words “comfy” or “practical” were ones I rarely thought about in my wardrobe before last year—but ironically, comfort dressing ended up becoming my prime fashion focus in 2020. With a stay-at-home order and a new work-from-home lifestyle, I suddenly found myself giving my uncomfy clothes a major rest this past year. The most worn item in my wardrobe has become the sweatsuit—and admit it, it’s yours, too! I’ve worked in sweats, I’ve run errands in sweats—there isn’t much I don’t do in sweats. And with nobody around to see what I’m wearing, why bother with anything else when I can be cozy?
However, that was then—and this is now. Spring is officially here, and as the vaccines are being rolled out, it seems like it’s officially time to think about reemerging into the world again. And more importantly, it’s time to start dressing up again. I certainly have missed flexing a statement outfit and wearing something uncomfortable, just for the sake of the look. Beauty is pain, after all! And it turns out, I’m not alone in this sentiment.
My colleague, Vogue market editor Rachel Besser, agrees it’s time to bust out the going-out heels, corsets, and slinky tops again. “This past year, I didn’t want to think about, let alone feel, my clothes on my body as I spent my days cooped up at home,” says Besser. “Now, with reemergence on the horizon, I have found myself craving the antithesis of comfort-first clothes. I want to wear clothes I can physically feel on my body again.”
Lucky for us both, there are a few spring trends that are emerging now, which are perfect for putting our anti-comfort sensibilities to the test. Whether it’s a skyscraper heel, a saucy tight pant, or a bold (and heavy!) earring to finish off the ensemble, there’s a number of fashion-focused pieces that one can start considering again this season—they might even make us feel “normal” again, too. “To me, earning slightly-sore feet from a pair of heels, or feeling snug and cinched in a structured top as I head out to a socially-distanced dinner, actually help mark the end of what’s been a long and turbulent year,” says Besser. “It’s time to get uncomfortable again.” So long, sweatpants!
Below, four things we’re ready to wear again this spring.