10 unexpected fashion moments that sum up 2020

Including the lockdown clichés – hello, tie-dye and joggers – the celebrity outfits and the new Zoom way of dressing.

2020 has been quite a rollercoaster. Usually at the end of the year we create a round-up of the biggest fashion moments – including annual awards ceremonies, festival appearances and star-studded events. This year, events have gone virtual. Although this limits the usual moments we look back on, there have been so many unexpected moments to highlight.

Among the stress and fear the year has bought, there have been happy moments, too; clapping for the NHS, Sir David Attenborough joining Instagram as the fastest person to gain one million followers (it took four hours and 44 minutes, in case you were wondering) and beating Jennifer Aniston in the process. We’ve seen more loaves of banana bread on social media than Mary Berry has seen in her lifetime. The Tiger King period had us all talking about Carol Baskin for weeks on end. Normal People’s Connell made everyone obsessed with chain necklaces, Zoom meetings meant only getting dressed from the waist up and we wore face masks more frequently than bras. Remember those?

This may all seem like a lifetime ago but it all happened this year. Add to this Harry Styles gracing the cover of Vogue as the first solo male in its history wearing a Gucci dress and Lizzo showing us how to do matchy-matchy with a mask, bikini and gloves outfit. And remember when Beyoncé sent an actual wardrobe of clothes to her A-list pals? 2002 has certainly been a time to remember. 

This has been quite a year, and though there are some things we will want to forget in a hurry (the new C word) there are some memorable moments, particularly in fashion, we think deserve some recognition. We’ve most likely all embraced one of these lockdown trends at some point – take a look at our top 10 fashion moments to join us in reminiscing.

Top 10 unexpected fashion moments of 2020.

1. Pyjamas got fancy

After us spending more and more time in the house, it didn’t take long before our new work uniform resembled pyjamas. That’s maybe because they are pyjamas. Hourly Zoom meetings became a thing and meant we had to start making it look like we were being semi-professional for meetings – enter: fancy pyjamas. 

From silky fabrics and sequins, to feathers and fluff, anything goes as long as they’re so good they can be passed off as normal clothes – if ‘normal’ clothes are totally extra, that is. 

2. Beyoncé sent her friends a wardrobe full of clothes

This happened B.C (before covid) back in January and we’re still not over it. To launch one of the 2020 Ivy Park collections, queen Bey sent an actual wardrobe, on wheels, complete with a full rail and drawers full of the new edit. 

Reese Witherspoon and Missy Elliott were among some of Beyoncé’s friends who received the signature orange box we all wished would arrive next to our Amazon package on the doorstep. 

3. Matching a face mask to your outfit is now a thing

Everyone from Lizzo to Kate Middleton has turned the face mask into a fashion accessory. We all have to wear one, so if you’ve ditched the disposable option in favour of a reusable style then you might as well make it coordinate. 

If you told us back in 2019 that we would be wearing, floral, leopard print and even chained masks, every day, we would never have believed it, but here we are. Lizzo’s matching gloves are optional.

4. Hand sanitiser sold out (and became an accessory)

Remember when everyone panicked at the beginning of lockdown 1.0 and toilet roll became extinct in the supermarkets? The stockpilers also took hand sanitiser and soap hostage and prices for the rare luxurious items surged. They were even sold on eBay for a marked up price – wild, we now. 

You’ll likely find a ‘sani’ in most coat pockets right now – we would say in every handbag but we’ve only just started to remember what these are. 

5. Zoom dressing now means accessorising all areas

The world of Zoom, Teams, work FaceTime’s and any other form of video chat has been let loose. We thought it was a phase but turns out it’s still here and most likely will be for the foreseeable. Although we quickly learnt this means you could stay in your pyjamas for the majority of the day, it also created the phenomena of dressing from the waist up. 

Statement earrings, layered jewels and statement tops (including supersize collars) are the new way to get ready for work with jogging bottoms, fluffy socks and slippers below the keyboard, naturally. 

6. Brands started getting creative with models working from home

The Instagram account @awkwardzara was created on 21 July and if you don’t already follow it, you should. With a lot of people working from home and shoots being cancelled, the likes of Zara and Asos had models creating their own shoots. Zara took this idea to whole new heights – including on top of the cooker. 

The account now has nearly 38,000 followers, but that’s no way near as much as @connellschain received after BBC’s Normal People, but we’ll get onto that next. 

7. Everyone wanted to wear Connell’s chain

After the Tiger King stage of lockdown, and somewhere in between still trying to work out if Carol Baskin did kill her husband, arrived the Normal People stage. Suddenly everyone has a crush on actor Paula Mescal and his chain necklace. Along with wanting Connell and Marianna to live happily ever after and wishing Marianna would lend us all her summer dresses, next came the need for us to get a piece of Connell and that sexy chain necklace. Shopping platform liketoknow.it even saw a 500% increase in searches for chains and Asos saw a 70% increase in sales of the necklace following the show. 

Stylist’s very own fashion news editor Billie Bhatia started the account we all needed, and @connellschain was born. Gaining nearly 180,000 followers in under a week, it was the link we all needed to keep the magic of the BBC series alive. 

8. Everything was tie-dye for quite some time

As banana bread was in abundance and boredom struck during lockdown 1.0, a lot of us started getting creative. DIY tie-dye took over Instagram and TikTok feeds and the nostalgic trend was officially back. Turns out a lot of you wanted the easy route and decided to buy it instead, Asos saw a 2,281% increase in sales for tie-dye socks in particular. 

Seeing as shoes weren’t really a thing for quite a few months, jazzy socks apparently brightened up working from home oufits. 

9. Harry Styles wore a Gucci dress on the December cover of Vogue

Making history, Harry Styles took the spotlight as the first male to ever appear solo on the cover of Vogue. Not only this, the ex One Directioner also wore an array of outfits including a blue gown and blazer designed by Gucci. 

Blurring the division between gendered dressing, this is one of the welcome changes being made by the magazine industry and it was one of those ‘break the internet’ moments that will hopefully become the ‘norm’ from here on out. 

10. Most people now own at least one tracksuit (and velvet styles returned)

Memes basically took over 2020 and the ‘how it started vs how it’s going’ trend quickly picked up thanks to a whole host of celebrities getting involved. It’s a struggle to know what day/month or sometimes even year it is right now, this was even more apparent after Kim Kardashian and pal Paris Hilton were papped in a velvet Juicy Couture-style tracksuit and oversized sunnies. 

Turns out they’re from Kim’s new SKIMS collection and people are buying, and wearing these again as if it’s the year 2002. Anything really does go this year but we guarantee most people have embraced the comfy set – Asos reported it sold 156% more joggers, 88% more sweatshirts and 83% full tracksuits this year. 

Images: Getty

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