Most fashion enthusiasts rely on what they see on the streets in order to predict trends for a season. In major cities around the world, the streets are empty because of quarantine and stay at home orders. There has also been civil unrest that accompanied the pandemic, bringing protests to the streets, some peaceful, others violent, in the fight against racial inequality. Many fashion houses and manufacturers have had to lockdown their operations and, in some cases, have not reopened. Apparel sales have dropped 40% this year with companies looking to excite customers to shop.

For those top designers that were able to complete their collections for Fall 2020, the runway looked more like a battlefield with hooded parkas and protective padding. Paco Rabanne reflected on a religious theme honoring Saint Joan of Arc, with armor and chainmail. Marc Jacobs and Gucci tried for a look of innocence with nun-like wide white collars and short hemlines. 

What to do when streetwear has been transported to Zoom-wear? One strong message coming out of fashion is comfort. After months of wearing sweats and athletic wear at home, adapting the look to adventuring outside takes a bit of imagination. Trends are showing cropped tops and fitted tanks with baggy pants. This look may not be a great option with additional curves from COVID eating, but there are beautiful knit designs that offer comfort while giving a pulled together look. Designers that showed evening wear attempted to give hope for post-pandemic with the use of sequins and brocade. We can dream, can’t we?

Some other important essentials this season:

Sneakers are a great option for changing a look, even paired with flowing skirts and wide pants. Ladies, put the stilettos away.

The jacket has been pared down to be more form-fitting. Having the right cover up to throw on during a Zoom meeting is crucial, especially since working remotely seems to be the mode of operation for the next few months.

Cardigan sweaters are a must for layering, especially in vibrant colors and soft textures. They are a great alternative to the jacket.

A return to grunge with oversized sweatshirts and lots of flannel and ripped clothing.

Say goodbye denim, for now. Jeans and denim are reported to be losing out to comfort. Levi’s has announced plans to cut 700 corporate jobs because of plummeting sales.  The comfort of an elastic waist wins the moment. Jeans sales have slowed the last few years and companies like True Religion, Lucky Brand and G-Star Raw have filed for bankruptcy.  

Meanwhile, Athleisure has gotten a lift with retailers like Lululemon and Gap’s Athleta showing growth in sales of leggings, yoga pants, and joggers. 

Finally the “Mask!” Wearing the mask is now universally known to be essential and, in a lot of cases, mandatory. The top accessory for 2020, it seems as if everyone has gotten on board creating a version of face coverings. Designers have replaced their clothing designs with mask collections. Arturo Rios, a famous hat and fascinator designer, has taken his elaborate designs and turned them upside down, creating spectacular masks for the next gala on your calendar.

2020 will not only be known as the year of Covid-19 but will be remembered for survival fashion. 2021 can’t come fast enough for fashion enthusiasts and everyone else on the planet!