The lockdown has, among other things, taught us to prioritize comfort over everything else, making us choose comfortable, easy silhouettes over body-hugging clothes even when returning to the workplace.
At the runway, too, the year started in favour of baggy clothes—oversized shirts, XXL jackets and big jeans reigned supreme at the fashion shows of Balenciaga, Prada, Valentino, Schiaparelli, Louis Vuitton, Fendi.
“I think with all the bleak news of the past year, people just want comfort over anything else. It also gives a sense of it being an armor or even just a shell behind which you can hide the body that you haven’t had the inclination to pay much attention to,” says Rin Jajo, creative head at Ogaan India. Model Merrylin Boro agrees. “I think because of the fact that everyone had so much downtime to be in comfortable clothes, there will be a certain transition period where people will hold on to that and treat comfort as a first priority,” explains Boro, who herself “pretty much lived in oversized clothes during the lockdown.”
The oversized aesthetic, however, isn’t simply about buying two sizes up. Elegant, well-tailored and structured clothes are the trend.
At Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccioli gave the good-old shirt dress a new lease of life in a shocking pink. The Row paired big blazers with bigger trousers, defying the notion of balancing an oversized piece of clothing with a more cinched shape. Similar was the vibe at Fendi and Paul Smith. Prada, on the other hand, brought hoodies to the runway and paired them with billowing midi skirts. Denims replicated the comfort of sweatpants at Balenciaga, Chloe, Etro and Celine. Louche jackets, coats and blazers paved the way for roomier layering for Spring-Summer at Louis Vuitton.
Closer home, brands are also adjusting their aesthetics to fulfill the growingdemand. “Dhruv Kapoor, for example, has worked on redefining what are essentially basics—shirts, jeans, sweatshirts, denim jackets, by updating them with oversized silhouettes. Bhaane also has a lot of oversized pieces in their collection. Lovebirds’ latest collection is full of roomy dresses, oversized tops and trousers,” says Jajo.
Fashion influencers like Diksha Rawat, Santoshi Shetty and Jas Sagu have also played a role in popularizing oversized clothing. “We all love dressing up, going that extra mile, but I somehow feel that the pandemic has given me an excuse not to do so,” says Sagu. “I also feel that dressing in comfier silhouettes does have a psychological effect because you recognize and know your comfort zone and ease. It gives me a lot of confidence when it comes to everyday movement, it helps me stay at ease and be more productive when I am creating content. And now, even with people venturing out, that has become a part of our style.”