Buttoning down in style

As work from home becomes a way of life, fashion influencers find ways to spice up their wardrobes

“Don’t think I am mad, I just wanted to show it off to you,” says Neena Gupta, the veteran actor concluding her Instagram video wearing an elaborate choker in gold that decorates her neckline.  She is in the mountains in Mukteshwar with her husband and can be seen introducing her recently bought jewellery to her followers.

She made the purchase before the lockdown was announced and with no place to go to, she ends up wearing it indoors and showing  it off on social media hoping for some praise in return. She adds, “Mai sochti hoon aajkal poora poora din night suit me hi beet jaata hai. Hum log ghar me taiyaar nahin hote, baahar jaana ho tabhi taiyaar hote hain kyunki ham sabko appreciation chahiye. Koi kahe ache lag rahe ho.” (These days the entire day passes in a night suit. We never get dressed up at home, only when we go out, to get appreciation.) 

Gupta’s video portrays what many of us may be going through in this time of lockdown. Some are revisiting their recent shopping by looking at their new clothes, hoping to wear them for an occasion soon. Some have packed away office clothing and footwear as they will not see the light of day for the next couple of weeks. Some are switching between a couple of pairs of pyjamas as daywear that used to be the night’s staple.

The lockdown is giving all of us a break from our usual routines and allowing creativity to flow like it never did before. On WhatsApp, you can see a video of an employee at a Zoom meeting, wearing neat office wear while cutting vegetables underneath the table. This happens as he promises his boss that he is working on the presentation and will submit it soon.

Those who are working from home are still wrapping their heads around working remotely. Daily office wear is one of the many things that set the mood for work, but as that is not an option anymore leaving most people lax about their daily wardrobe. 

Prateek Bharadwaj, a young lawyer based in New Delhi, tells us he has been rotating a few garments since the lockdown began. “I am wearing three T’s and two pairs of shorts — three of my oldest and most comfortable shirts.” Bharadwaj has designed the most comfortable wardrobe for himself and looks forward to sticking to it until it is safe to go out.

Kusha Kapila, a celebrated influencer, is keeping people entertained through a variety of avatars ranging from that of her mother in a typical salwar kameez teaching her how to cook on a video call, to Delhi housewives in glittery attires chatting during a kirtan using Zoom call and that of Poo played by Kareena Kapoor Khan in an all-pink nightie cleaning the house.

In this frenzy, Parul Gulati of Nish Hair decided to create three looks for her followers from her recent shopping at Zara. She compiles the looks wearing the summer pieces she thought would come in handy in the month of April as this is the time summer arrives in India. Komal Pandey, who is a YouTuber, shows us ways to drape dupattas and sarees into a blouse. This is in continuation of her portfolio where she is known for creating trendy looks for her followers.

Anannya Bhowmick, a service designer based in New Delhi, is happy in a T-shirt for the most part of the day unless she has meetings to attend on Zoom. “I recently participated in an MIT hackathon where we created tools to be used by medical professionals in this pandemic. I was a part of a team, working remotely, thus on video calls, I ended up wearing something decent. Otherwise comfort has been the mantra these days. Whereas Jasnoor and Jasroop Grewal, twin sisters and fashion content creators in Delhi are working from their home in Saket. “For us, it is no pants for these 21 days. We can do it as it’s just me and my sister here. We are very happy like this”, adds Jasnoor. 

With no certainty regarding the lifting of the lockdown, little can be said about the kind of sartorial choices we will make after staying at home for this long. This is when retail outlets and fashion brands are desperate to make sales to keep their companies running and rethinking their marketing strategies in this time of quarantine. No deliveries can be made, no production team to actually produce stock to be put on retail. It is indeed unknown territory for all of us.

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