Admit it. You haven't worn "hard pants" in about 14 months. Neither have we, and neither has Modern Luxury's VP of Fashion and Creative Director, James Aguiar.
Yes, the pandemic gave us all a lot of space to get comfortable in sweats, but even before the world heard of COVID-19, it was getting pretty trendy to treat yoga pants like actual going-out attire. Aguiar has a lot of thoughts on society's reemergence and what that might look like from the sidewalk to the office, the runway and beyond.
Is this our chance to make elastic waists chic, or is it time to embrace old-school glamour? Read on to find out.
So much has been said recently about life post-COVID and how we will “look” as we face friends, families, peers and the people we’ve enjoyed avoiding for over a year. It has been a secret game of mine to count how many times I’ve heard the term “it’s going to be like the roaring ‘20s.” Lets just say, if it was a drinking game I would be hospital-drunk within an hour.
The unavoidable truth is that even I have relaxed my standards during the pandemic.
Recently, I was tasked with purchasing an outfit for a newborn baby, and as I perused cuteness in all its forms, I stopped on a simple heather-gray hoodie and matching elastic waist pants in cashmere (I’m the gay uncle, so I am allowed the absurdity of cashmere for babies).
As I held it up for inspection, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror wearing the exact same thing head-to-toe—albeit without the embroidered melting ice cream cone for extra cuteness.
Immediately, I began to panic, scream inside and ask myself ”have I become an adult baby?”
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This is not a new fashion trend. In fact, I have spotted adult baby syndrome for years. In airports, groups of travelers well beyond toddler years have made air travel less glamorous. The look is generally accessorized with a giant pillow or oversized stuffed animal to really finish it off, and the median age is anywhere from 18 to 32 (not a clinical analysis. Just a guess).
Adult babies can be seen wandering grocery stores in outfits so comfortable, I wonder if they are planning on sleeping over after getting their produce and condiments.
As someone who deals in trends, I can’t say I didn’t see this coming. Years ago, corporate culture unleashed the dreaded casual Friday. All bets were off, and all “soft clothes” were on.
The pandemic revealed a new phenomenon--dressing for Zoom. Suddenly, I heard the terms “Zoom Blouse” and "Zoom Top,” and while fashion experts focused on what was happening up there, no one talked about down there. It is even rumored that RuPaul sits in sweats and slippers behind the judging desk of Rupaul's Drag Race. The ultimate con in my opinion and also the ultimate in Zoom “lewks."
That’s how the slippery slope of adult babying is born. If the most glamorous drag queen in the world has thrown in the towel (at least down below), what hope do mere mortals have?
In 2013 the legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld famously said “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life, so you bought some sweatpants.” What would Karl have said of fashion in 2020 and, even more telling, 2021?
We will never know the answer to that but we can answer it ourselves.
Will I be running around in a three-piece pinstripe gangster suit and drinking copious amounts of gin and champagne with my fringe-dress loving, feathered-headband wearing female counterparts? Not likely.
I will, however, gladly ditch the sweats, look at myself from top to bottom, and begin my re-emergence in jackets with shoulders, pants with zippers, shirts with collars and buttons. I will learn to dress again. I will relearn how to tie my own shoelaces, and like all babies do, I will finally grow up.
Photography by: Pexels