After the Pandemic, We Will All Dress Like Jordan Bunker
The British style blogger's wardrobe has always mixed casual and formal principles with elegant aplomb
Over the next two weeks, we’ll be publishing a series of interviews with thought leaders from a number of industries about the impact of COVID-19 and — more importantly — the improvements they expect to last well into the future. Get to know Post-Pandemic America.
2020 was the year that closets came to a standstill. With the onset of the global pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns that followed, the clothes that once served us in our everyday lives were suddenly futile, closets becoming mausoleums that housed reminders of the way things once were. People were quick, and eager even, to adapt to the changing circumstances, relishing the occasion to wear sweatpants as they worked from the comfort of their home-cum-office. For many it provided a much needed reprieve from the business attire they wore Monday through Friday and the dress codes that governed them.
But soon the novelty began to wear off as the practice of getting dressed consisted of little more than putting on some loungewear. The thrill of wearing sweatpants while “at work” quickly lost its appeal as brands scrambled to cater to the new work-from-home lifestyle, peddling wares that prioritized comfort and coziness and inundating the retail market with little more to choose from than terry and fleece.
Some attempted to keep up the pretense of getting dressed, appearing on Zoom meetings with their upper bodies sheathed in button-ups while their lower, unseen halves conveyed a less formal occasion. Eventually “Zoom attire” became something of a joke and even fodder for fashion designers, Miuccia Prada proffering her own interpretation that saw models in crisp white dress shirt and black ties, both of which were tucked into sweatpants.
Yet while many of us grappled with our wardrobes, attempting to conform and shape it to fit within the current moment, or abandon them altogether and succumb to a rotation of sweatpants, others found themselves faring better, their style already equipped to handle life in lockdown.
“The way I like to dress, in hindsight, was probably quite well suited for lockdown. Loose-fitting clothes with big proportions that prioritize comfort,” says Jordan Bunker, menswear writer and fashion blogger. “I am sure many guys have had to think a little differently if they are going from an office setting to a dining room table, but I was able to smoothly transition into our new way of working.”
Looking through Bunker’s blog and the various outfits he’s documented both prior to and during the pandemic, his sense of style, and by extension self, is readily apparent. It’s clear that Bunker has his wardrobe figured out, evidenced by the staple pieces that make several appearances throughout the course of his blog, from an oversized camel coat to his refreshingly well-worn white Common Projects sneakers.
He attributes his style, and his ability to maintain said style despite the lockdowns, to his prioritization of comfort. “Comfort is one of my main areas when it comes to how I dress. First and foremost I want to wear clothes that make me feel comfortable. If you do that you then provide yourself with a solid foundation,” says Bunker.
This isn’t to say that Bunker’s style was insusceptible to the influences of the casual, WFH lifestyle, as he notes an increased penchant for Birkenstocks over the last year, favoring the Boston clog paired with socks and even venturing to wear them to London for work, something he says he wouldn’t have done pre-pandemic. And like numerous others, Bunker has indulged in sweatpants. “Pre-pandemic I very rarely stepped out the house while wearing sweatpants. Now, I embrace it. I even put together a whole blog post advocating for the normalization of them. I think we’re all past the point of caring and I for one will happily turn a blind eye to anyone that feels like they want to continue wearing sweatpants 24/7,” Bunker tells InsideHook.
Whereas some believe that post-pandemic will see society seizing every opportunity to get dressed up, Bunker is of the opposite belief. “I think people will embrace comfort in shared workspaces. If the fashion dos and don’ts were beginning to be ignored before the pandemic, they certainly will be now. Policing what to wear and when is the least of everyone’s worries after the experiences we have all had.”
As for his own hopes for the future, Bunker would like to see less consumption, particularly in response to the failure from many companies to save fashion retail from the suffering it endured. “The system and business model of fast fashion relies on people buying beyond what they need. I would like to see this change. People spending more on less and investing in items they’ll own for years to come.”
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