We’re deep into Lockdown 3.0, but there’s a message, beaming through the gloom, from us here at Regent: don’t give up!
In this blog we discuss how to stay positive and cheerful during the latest lockdown, with style tips to keep you chipper and well-positioned to head out of the latest restrictions in a better place than ever.
BREAKING THE HABIT
The hardest and yet the most advantageous thing about the latest lockdown is this: we’ve been here before. It’s hard because things feel like they’re going round in circles, but it’s also true that we know the drill this time – we’re ready for what’s coming.
It’s been easy toform bad habits during the lockdown periods. But with the vaccines currently being rolled out, we’re hopeful that this’ll be the last time we’re shut in, and we’ve been thinking about how to make sure we’re in the best possible position to head out of these latest restrictions with zero bad lockdown habits left challenging us when we’re back in the normal world.
In our beautiful home town of Salisbury the other day, we saw an elderly gentleman going for a stroll down the road, all dressed up in his jacket and waistcoat, hair done, shoes polished, looking dapper as anything.
This, for Regent, is the perfect example of how to get through this lockdown: meet it head on, with cheer, spirit and sartorial savvy.
DRESS WELL TO FEEL WELL
Multiple studies have shown that dressing up – be it smartly, or just in great quality clothes that make you feel good – lightens your mood, changes your mindset and increases your daily performance.
A smart look leads to a smart attitude: dressing well gives your day a routine (it helps you know when you’re in work-mode, and when you’re out of it), helps you feel confident, offers a stable bit of the day you can control (in the face of all the current uncertainty) and increases your productivity, too: you’re encouraged to deliver because you’ve already made a commitment, first thing, to it being a good day today.
Plus, what better time to experiment with your look, too! In lockdown you’re free, free as a bird, free from any fashion expectations usually laid upon you. Fancy trying out a patterned shirt rather than a plain one? A smarter pair of shoes over your customary shabby sneakers? A different type of tie to your usual office fodder? Now’s your chance – you can really shake things up and switch up your wardrobe, breaking the habit of how you tend to dress.
We feel passionately about the necessity to cheer oneself up during lockdown by doing whatever it takes, and we believe dressing well is a key to good mental health and daily joy. It’s the very first thing you do each day, and it sets the tone for the rest of it. So get out of those tracksuit bottoms, heave off that hoodie and scroll down to see our five top tips for enduring the latest lockdown and coming out the other end fighting fit and fashion forward.
1. Ace every Zoom call
Every Zoom counts, and especially – now (fingers crossed) it might not be so long till we’re heading back into the office – bosses are going to be looking at who’s retained their professionalism throughout this turbulent period.
Think about it: you’re looking at a sea of faces on a Zoom, and someone is dressed excellently: a crisp shirt, a jacket, perhaps even a suit, complete with top-notch tie. Everyone else is in a hastily assembled casual shirt or plain jumper. It’ll be clear who’s working from home and who’s shirking from home.
Our top tip for smashing your work Zooms out the park is simple: don’t hold back. A white Oxford under a V-Neck or Crew Neck looks excellent, especially with top button done up if you’ve gone for the Crew option. Even better: the classic jacket-and-shirt combo. Pairing something like a blue Oxford with a nice plain jacket or a tweed blazer, leaving the shirt open at the top collar and the jacket unbuttoned, strikes the perfect balance on Zoom for proving you’re in work mode without going over the top.
2. Make it a Big Night In
Friday rolls around and you need to blow off steam. Yet every day feels the same – there’s nothing to mark the differences. Pairing a special meal, some lockdown cocktails or even just a couple of beers with an outfit that marks the occasion is a great way to welcome in the weekend, or spice things up on a Saturday night.
We’ve spoken to a bunch of people over the past month who are getting properly dressed up on a Saturday – more so than they did before the word ‘lockdown’ was even in our vocabulary – to air some of their favourite smart outfits and to transform their mindsets. Popping on a suit to have a cocktail with your loved one is an excellent way to have a bit of fun and tackle the monotony of the pandemic with a bit of playful sartorial flair.
3. Sneak in bright things
Most of us tend to stick to plainer colours, perhaps block shades, for the bulk of our standard wardrobe. But pattern and bright colour are making a big comeback in 2021, which we’re not complaining about: a splash of quirkiness, a bold colour choice anchored by traditional palettes, or a dazzling pattern offset against block colours have long been tricks to signify one’s style in the Regent playbook.
Smartening up your shoes is a good idea for general lockdown busting vibes (getting out of the slippers and into a pair of boots or brogues does wonders for morale and helps you imagine you’re treading the corridors of power once more) but sneaking in a stripe of colour or a geometric pattern at the ankles with a wicked pair of socks is a great way to cheer yourself up: a bit of sneaky playful subterfuge that can’t be seen over Zoom!
Meanwhile, a tie that dares to do different – whether through an unusual but timeless pattern or a twist on a tradition – is a great way to spice up your shirt-jacket-suit combo, plus helps you stand out on Zoom. Don’t forget about the knitted tie, too, which can add a playful, unique spin on a traditional look.
4. Do something new with the ‘do
At the moment it feels like we’ve only got two options when it comes to our hair: shave it, or grow it. Break out of that bind with the simplest but most radical investment you could make in lockdown: a bit of product.
Thinking about your hair is a great way to freshen up your look, and a bit of product – to slick it back, muzz it up, comb it through – can add that extra dimension of pride and ritual when you’re preparing for your day.
Not a fan of the idea of putting too much extra in your hair? Try something more discrete, like a sea salt spray, a great natural way to keep your hair at its peak. Now’s also a great time to try out a ‘tache if you never have and have always wondered, or equally to shave off that beard, ditch the caveman look freshen up, ready to be ‘public-facing’ again
5. Gather inspiration
Don’t get us wrong: working-from-home outfits are great to pin down, and when in doubt, chinos, a classic smart-casual shirt and a crewneck are unbeatable for comfort and style reliability. But lockdown is also a great time to branch out, do your research and find the latest brands that’ll be your next go-to garments post-pandemic.
Take the time to research your style icons and hunt down what they’re wearing; look across the pond for timeless footwear, or to France for workwear inspiration, or to Sweden for iconic outdoorswear that’s well ahead of the pack. Brush up on the growing taste for eco-friendly clothing, or look back to stars like Steve McQueen and Paul Newman for timeless style inspiration, checking out jackets right down to trousers.
Putting in a bit of time researching and thinking about your look now will pay dividends and help you feel awesome when we’re all coming out of lockdown, like butterflies emerging from our cocoons.
Always feel free to drop us a call or an email: Regent are your modern-day butlers, ready to help you with your look and with any style advances you want to make. We love doing it – it’s our lifeblood, our pride and joy – so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. If you want something particular, we can get it for you, and we offer click and collect here in Salisbury or postage to all over the world.
Mr Regent himself is coming into work each and every day in a shirt and tie, avoiding the allure of a lie-in (even though he’d love one!) – stability and routine keep us all happy. Dress well, structure your day and avoid that lockdown slump, and you’ll be ready to burst back onto the scene as soon as this is all over.