What could be more exciting on these crazy days than our wardrobe, or more inclusive, fashion! After all, there is no other concern at hand; everything is already well! The world stopped in its tracks. More and more countries are closing their gates, and citizens lock themselves in their homes like dogs in their kernels. The whole world is undergoing an emergency regime following the outbreak of the incurable corona disease. Will it also change fashion as we have known it before?
Many fashion changes are closely related to historical events. After the French Revolution, women removed their hoop underwear so as not to appear as a member of the nobility. They feared the crowds on one side, and on the other hand, desired to empathize with the Revolution. An equally clear example is the wearing of pants by women after World War II. The requirement and necessity for women to work in factories to help with the war effort made the wearing of dresses a safety hazard, and women had to wear men’s clothing. After discovering the many conveniences of pants-wearing, they refused to give it up. But there are still some populations that boycott pants-wearing by women and force them to wear skirts and dresses of different lengths.
The voluntary quarantine is in good faith, protecting citizens from contagion. Yet, it is tough to perceive how contagious infectious-diseases are because it is not something tangible. Years ago, I met a friend on the street. Happy to encounter, we embraced, and she told me that her boyfriend has the Measles. Ten days later, I got the Measles (yes, Darling by saliva, or skin-to-skin contact.) That is a firsthand witness for anyone that has trouble believing in the incredibly high level of infectiousness.
But if we put aside the danger hovering over our head for a moment, the situation has some positive personal effects as well. There is no danger that the “on duty” aunt will be interested in someone’s love life (and why they are still single), or about their future breeding plans (if they are not alone) as is the custom on Passover eve dinner. Adults, hosts, and guests alike, are relaxed too since they do not have to decide who will host the dinner. The endless discussions about what to cook and who will bring what are irrelevant nowadays. The nightmare of traffic jams on the way to Seder dinner is also immaterial this time. Calmness hovers over the public. There is a chance to have dinner at a reasonable hour and avoid the extended reading of the Haggadah. The text will wait for better times. The quiet streets remind us of Yom Kippur, but without children’s delight of riding their bicycle in the middle of the road. Pure silence rests upon the city (Listen to the Birds, Darling.)
As usual, in March, Daylight Saving Time started, though this year it was in great danger to be canceled. Trees start blooming, and buds are growing, and there is no use for bulky jackets, umbrellas, and boots. The custom of buying new clothes for the Seder’s dinner turns clothes into a significant issue. As the weather gets warmer, there’s a need to change the wardrobe from winter to summer. Down with summer clothes and up to storage with the winter ones. However, this year, spring started a bit weird. Torrential rains pour, so fierce that it “harvest” the newly emerging flowers and buds. The temperatures are uncharacteristically chilly. Even the heat waves, Khamsins, typical for transitional seasons, disguise themselves. They are still very dry and hazy, but not hot.
Along with all the changes, we say goodbye to winter’s clothes. In winter, it doesn’t matter what you wear but how many layers you wear, and how you deal with the cold, the winds, and the wetness. Summer is a time when it does not matter what you wear also as long as it is the minimum. As if wearing less makes it less hot! In short, March and April are months that you must pay attention to clothes, if only by changing your wardrobe from winter to summer and leave aside some warm garments. Here is where the internal debate begins (Of course internal, Darling.) Will this garment also fit in the year to come? Is it not faded, worn, stained, too long, too short, too wide, too narrow? On the other hand, it cost a lot, so maybe I should leave and see if I‘ll become fat or thin, or just feel better in the garment?
The changing of seasons is also the beautiful hour of the stylists. Those who know what fits our body’s structure, who can help us choose which ones to throw out and what clothes to buy, arrange closets, and pairing between garments. I follow several stylists to enrich my knowledge and sometimes oppose what is right in contemporary fashion versus what I love and see fit. For example, the low-cut pants fashion that I couldn’t stand, not for me and not on others.
One of the most refreshing ideas that I got from an Israeli stylist, Shani Zohar is: “Do some shopping in your closet.” Our wardrobe has clothes that we do not use and do not even remember, so much so that we can “shop” in our wardrobe. There, we can find clothes that we bought and still haven’t put on (even has a label, Darling), or make new and daring pairing between clothes. Another Israeli stylist that I follow is Galit Sharon. Galit is more oriented toward corporate culture and style and advises women and men alike. She, too, gives terrific tips. She believes in creating pre-made mixtures to simplify the clothing selection process, creating “a Looks Book” by taking a picture of the prearranged combination.
While stylists engage in shopping and creating “looks,” I met online Courtney Carver. The hardships of life led her to the fashion project “333.” In this project, you have to take out all your clothes, jewelry, shoes, and accessories (purses, hats, scarves, Darling) and spread all the “goodies” on the bed (but everything, Darling.) Why on the bed? To be motivated to finish the screening before going to sleep. The second phase is sorting of the stuff to three piles: the one to save, throw away, and to pass on. Out of the “save” stack, you choose 33 items (shoes, purses, hats, pants, shirts, skirts, dresses, etc., not including home clothes, workout clothes, and regular jewelry.) For the next three months, you will only wear the 33 items selected. My wardrobe is full of clothes and I use only a few of them. So, I decided to try this method. As soon as I gather my courage up and do it, I promise to report.
The last word: “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” Oscar Wilde