10 pandemic proof trends that'll REALLY cheer you up this summer

10 pandemic proof trends that’ll REALLY cheer you up this summer: Lockdown life killed off many of the looks we thought would dominate 2020 – now, crippling high heels are OUT in favour of fashionable flats

  • Shane Watson said seasonal trends feels inappropriate amid coronavirus
  • However, British beauty expert claims there is still a need for fashion 
  • She revealed a selection of timeless styles that can be embraced in lockdown 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Let’s be honest, summer trends have gone the way of Glastonbury and Glyndebourne, big fat  weddings and dinner parties. If this were a normal year, we’d be rolling out the top ten new looks for the season ahead, including shorts-suits and trench coats. But this year is far from normal and no one has any use for a shorts-suit (phew! Wasn’t sold on those), or trenches, or three-quarters of the trends showcased on the catwalks last year in the world Before Coronavirus (BC). 

Now we’re all working from home (WFH), socialising from our sofas, and have nowhere to show off our clothes but the park or in the queue outside the supermarket. The idea of buying into a trend that will last six months feels irrelevant and inappropriate. 

But that doesn’t mean we don’t need fashion. The opposite, in fact. Of all the unexpected outcomes of the lockdown — a national exercise frenzy, an explosion of quizzes, the return of butterflies (or did we just not see them before?) — the most surprising may be that, after a short lull to catch our breath, we still want fashionable clothes, just not in quite the same way. 

British style expert Shane Watson, shared advice for effortless style throughout lockdown. Pictured: Top, £125, trousers, £150, and belt, £60, reiss.com

This time last year we were shopping with our safe-bet glasses on — if they had it in the navy or the khaki we were going for the navy or the khaki nine times out of ten. 

The thing about right now is we no longer need clothes to get us from A to B and then out to dinner, we need clothes we want to wear for the sake of it: comfortable, yes, low-maintenance, yes, but also transforming, joyful, fun, pretty. 

Clothes that make us feel feminine and distract us from our growing-out roots and the WFH blobs we have become. So, with that in mind here are ten trends for summer 2020 we think will answer your needs in the months to come . . . 

White lace

There was fabulous white lace at Alexander McQueen, even more of it at Loewe. Too bridal? Too girlish and pretty? Not if you don’t go for the full floaty dress. The right lacy blouse will look lovely with tailored trousers, or under a jacket or cardigan with an A-line skirt (see the light, lacy tops at Stella McCartney). A little bit of broderie anglaise can look fresh. For broderie anglaise tops on the High Street, look to Monsoon, Reiss and La Redoute.



There was so much silver on the catwalks, a lot of it leather (no thanks) and plenty of it unwearable unless you happen to be a starlet still posing on Instagram.

That said, where there is this much silver, then it will trickle down from the liquid lamé dresses at JW Anderson to the High Street. And it does brighten up the day.

Start with Topshop’s slinky silver palazzo pants (£59, topshop.com) or the skirts (below).



Floral on floral

Shane suggests taking inspiration from the Marc Jacobs’ catwalk, for embracing the floral trend. Pictured: Dress, £250, boden.co.uk;


Doubling up the florals is just twice as feminine, twice as summery and twice as right for now, when a little bit more feels right. There was plenty on the catwalks — a three-piece flower power suit at Marc Jacobs; jackets worn with trousers in mismatching psychedelic prints at Paco Rabanne. 

Meanwhile, back at home, you can either go for the matching blouse and trousers (see Zara’s blue floral straight-leg trousers and matching blouse £49.99 and £29.99, zara.com), which is like a trouser suit but more relaxed; or mix it up in the same prints with different coloured backgrounds. 

(That’s the way to go if you don’t trust yourself to get the clashing right.) Try Boden’s multi-coloured florals (left) or Topshop’s two-inone black and white dress (£39, topshop.com).


Waistcoats — banish all thoughts of snooker pros — are one of those fashion items you can live without, yet there’s something about them that’s appealing.

A snug black tailored waistcoat worn with micro shorts, boots and nothing underneath was one of Kate Moss’s signature looks (Glastonbury 2005) and that’s how our daughters might be wearing it this summer (taking their lead from Kaia Gerber on the Saint Laurent catwalk). Meanwhile, the grown-up waistcoat is having a moment, too: if you want to add Seventies flair to jeans and a crepe de chine blouse, take your cue from Celine, and add a waistcoat.

Shane claims cream duos are the summer version of double denim. Pictured: Waistcoat, £69.95, trousers, £59.95, massimo dutti.com

Cream duos 

They’re a dash of masculine tailoring to sharpen up softer, fuller shapes and they work well with a denim skirt, any high-waisted trousers, or a long, lean skirt if you happen to be in the mood for that (also quite Celine).

 Just because it’s the summer version of double denim and always chic (yes, even a Saturday Night Fever trouser suit). Trousers, top and cardigan/jacket in three shades of white, or a white dress, you can’t go wrong. Take a look at Massimo Dutti’s crepe single button blazer (£139) and trousers (£79.95 massimo dutti.com) or if all white sounds too much, mix it up with mocha and stone.

Switch-up trousers

Switch-Up trousers are having a much bigger moment than they would have were we living by old- world rules, because a) they’re a a one-step way of switching up your look (especially if you’re getting tired of the one-step dressy top); b) they’re the easiest way of wearing bold colour or print, if you like the idea; and c) we really want to get out of our jeans and leggings. The advantage of switch-up trousers is you get to wear a plain top, and cocktail pants are more original than a Zoom-worthy top. Zara and Maje do great pairs (above). Alternatively, there are those silver Topshop palazzo pants. Nail two trends in one!



The 70s jacket

You don’t exactly need this jacket now, but you will; a thigh-grazing, lean-fit blazer, plus narrow flares or wide-legged trousers will be your instant smart summer look once we get back out there. Wear with a big collared shirt and mid-heels. 

Iris & Ink at theoutnet.com


Flat shoes

We can’t blame the death of the high heel on coronavirus entirely — the Melania Trump ultra-high heel had already started to look a bit idle-rich and out of touch.

Now, we’re struggling to find a reason to get out of our trainers and flip-flops, and heels are not so much on our list(although never say never: I am convinced platforms are going to have post-lockdown appeal, as is a summer boot). Meanwhile, the flat sandal is definitely having a moment. Any sort, from Birkenstock styles to delicate slingbacks. The new details are fat braided leather and buckles. 



Cold shoulder

Shane recommends investing in a loose shouldered sweater or wide v-neck dress in a slippy fabric. Pictured: Top, £115, trousers, £150, reiss.com

We like the look of one shoulder, even off-the-shoulder, but they’re too studied for now, not to mention exposing. 

So, this is the sly, hedging-your-bets way to do it. There’s no one item that gives you the slip-off effect — it could be a loose shouldered sweater (remember Katie Holmes in her cashmere cardi, an early adopter of the shoulder slip) or it could be a wide V-neck dress in a slippy fabric. A place to start is a cardi or lightweight jumper with slip- off potential. 

The super sleeve 

Shane said any sleeve has got to have volume these days. Pictured: Dress, £39.99, shoes, £19.99, hm.com

We were already in statement sleeve territory BC, and now that we’re visible to the world from the waist-up only, it’s only common sense to make the most of it. 

These days a sleeve, any sleeve, has got to have volume: it’s not so much about Bo Peep roundness as long and puffy, ending midway between wrist and elbow, or wide, flared and floppy. 

The best on the catwalk were probably Stella McCartney’s big blousy sleeves on shirts and dresses; and on the high street, H&M has cornered the market in puff sleeves, including this dress (above), and if you don’t mind a high neck, a pretty, almost Liberty-print blouse (£29.99, hm.com).

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