The pandemic has changed the way we buy and wear our clothes. Five Yorkshire women who love fashion tell Stephanie Smith how their style has changed to adapt to the “new normal” way of life.
As we approach a full year of not going out, with special events and evenings out put on hold and office work carried out at home and over Zoom, many of us have adopted a new way of dressing to go with our new way of life.
At first it was all about the joggers and leisurewear but slowly a new-found confidence in fashion has emerged, with easy, hybrid, multi-purpose pieces to mix and match, wear indoors and out, for work, play and for exercise, becoming the new norm. As we have turned our living spaces into offices, schools, gyms and home cinemas and our gardens into holiday destinations, so our wardrobe has adapted to be ready for anything – and nothing.
Here five super-stylish Yorkshire women describe their new style…
Lucy Playford – Harrogate
Lucy is a freelance social media manager and a lifestyle and parenting blogger. She lives in Harrogate with her husband and three children.
“This winter you’re going to be seeing me wearing a lot more sportswear. Aside from the comfort it offers while continuing to work from home and juggling the school run, I’m prioritising getting active. It is good for our physical health and mental wellbeing, and this January we’ve never needed that more.
“To keep me motivated I’m taking part in #MoveforMind, which is a pledge to get active every day in January, while also raising money for the charity Mind.
“I love the Good Move range from Marks & Spencer. It features lots of key trends – bright neons and bold prints – plus it’s great quality and affordable.
“With no events to attend during the pandemic, no work clothes or evening wear to shop for, I’ve changed my spending habits on fashion.
“I’ve been buying more casualwear and invested in higher quality pieces from local independents like Violet in Harrogate whose HGTE branded sweatshirts, hoodies and caps support the Harrogate Homeless Project.”
* Lucy Playford writes a Harrogate lifestyle blog – www.HarrogateMama.com – and you can follow her on social media @HarrogateMama
Alana Mazza – Lazio, Italy
In 2016 Alana and her husband Joe, sold their Huddersfield home and left their careers – Joe had a hairdressing business and Alana was retail director of Hobbs – to start Casale San Pietro, a boutique B&B farmhouse in Lazio, where they specialise in offering food, wellbeing and cultural breaks.
Alana says: “There is much more sunshine in Italy. Joe and I eat lunch out in December. We still need umbrellas and a light mac, but nowhere near as much as Yorkshire.
“The summer is much longer – it is warm from the end of April through to October, and that is when I wear linen and cotton. When I meet guests, I like simple but stylish outfits, usually a linen dress or a loose top with crop trousers. I do have a lot of statement necklaces, which add a twist.”
Alana’s favourite trans-season look is a black roll-neck and loose print trousers by Liviana Conti. “The back is pure silk, so it flows and is a wonderful length, covering the derriere. The soft flowing silk trousers have a gorgeous abstract flower print, giving a modern feel. They are so comfortable but very stylish, perfect for dinner out, dinner at home or daytime lunches, and they can be worn with boots, or the kitten heel, my favourite from Hobbs. My daughter-in-law, a designer, described this look as ‘contemporary London but so Italian’, and I will take that.
“Since moving to Italy and discovering Liviana Conti, it has become my go-to favourite designer.”
Scroll down to see more outfits from Alana.
* Casale San Pietro is open for Easter 2021 for its Easter break event and the Step into Spring break with sightseeing and pampering, both in April. www.casalespietro.com/events/
Bernadette Gledhill – Huddersfield
Bernadette is owner of the Bernadette Gledhill agency, offering modelling, style and confidence training and fashion events. She lives with her husband in Huddersfield and has produced the catwalk shows at the Great Yorkshire Show since 1997.
“It goes without saying that 2020 was the strangest year I can ever remember for fashion. However, I think it has made us all rethink the way we dress. We are now adapting to living in casual wear and looking for softer, cosier outfits for both working from home and relaxing. It’s very important though to ensure that we feel good about ourselves and I am a great believer that if you feel good it shows.
“My absolute staples for winter 20/21 were primarily purchased online – loose-fit cargo trousers and a selection of silk and satin shirts plus oversized knit cardigans and merino wool sweaters.
“In footwear, I am a big fan of Moda in Pelle and virtually live in my metallic flats. If I do have the occasion to dress up I just add a pair of suede shoe boots.
“I found it useful to have a selection of outfits that could easily be rotated by dressing up or down and still have a stylish feel for looking good at home, Zoom meetings or self taping.
“Despite having spent 40 years in the fashion industry, it’s never too late to make changes and my make-up has also taken a new style.
“I have actually enjoyed the less is more approach and it’s probably something that will stay with me when life eventually returns to some form of normality.”
Scroll down to see another outfit from Bernadette.
*The Bernadette Gledhill model agency is at www.bernadettegledhill.com Instagram – bcg2m
Ruth is an influencer and full-time mum who lives with her husband and three children in Leeds.
“I figure during these winter months, you can always hide behind a great coat and some good boots. This Gap puffa jacket is so old, but it’s something that gets worn year after year and still looks current. There have been some stunning puffa coats on the high street this year at Arket, Cos and H&M.
“The boots are super-comfy, by Shoe the Bear. Both are real investment pieces which is definitely how I prefer to shop. I try to think about how many times I can wear something before making a purchase.
“The sweater is from a second-hand vintage shop. I love a bit of thrift shopping too.
“It’s about feeling comfortable and as stylish as you can while working from home and schooling three kids. This year I’d love nothing more than to spend some quality time with our families, ideally in the sunshine, but above all I just hope we get control of the situation and we feel safe going back to our everyday normal lives that we just took for granted.”
* Ruth Preston is on Instagram: @wearitlikeruth
Annie retired from her career as a TV food stylist in 2017 and became a model in 2019. She lives at Brandsby, 12 miles north of York, with her husband and has two grown-up children and three teenage grandchildren.
“So many family gatherings and big birthday celebrations were put on hold, so I’m really looking forward to planning some great get-togethers to make up for lost time.
“We are lucky to live in the glorious North Yorkshire countryside with fields on the doorstep and a fox red labrador who loves nothing more than getting down and dirty.
“My winter wardrobe has to cope with all weathers and be warm and practical, while still allowing for a splash of colour. I recently replaced my dog walking jacket with this fabulous Barbour quilted fibre down coat. It was a bargain in the sale. There’s nothing like cashmere for comfort and this tangerine crewneck jumper can be layered up for warmth without adding bulk. My Cabi leopard print joggers are my go-to for ease and comfort and there’s nothing like an elasticated waist. My snow boots are from Manas, a gorgeous contemporary Italian brand, and are borrowed from a friend.”
*Follow Annie on Instagram @anniestirkmodel and on Facebook @anniestirkmodel and Silver and Sassy on Instagram @silverandsassy_ Annie is represented by J’Adore Models @jadoremodelsmcr
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