In the past two weeks my sister has sent me links to multiple strapless party jumpsuits, asking if I thought they were good purchases. When I inquired where exactly she planned to wear a gold sequin one-piece or a shimmery floral number, she replied, “idk, dinner? Who cares? I’ll find an occasion.” And I don’t doubt she will. Friends Cristina C., in Colorado, and Dena S., in NYC, both mentioned wanting to add more color to their wardrobes in 2021. “I’m all about the two C’s right now: comfort and color! If it’s bright green or yellow or tie-dye, I want it,” says Cristina. And despite numerous think-pieces published early in quarantine about the death of high-heels, Dena is suddenly stocking up again. “My walkable heel collection for spring is really growing, in a major way. I hope I have at least a few occasions to wear them out-out, but if not, my future trips to the coffee shop will be rather stylish outings.”
Just as jazz-era flappers a century ago dared to chop their hair into sleek bobs and pile on the makeup, women nowadays are willing, eager even, to take more fashion-related risks. Chelsea C. says, “During quarantine, I was having a difficult relationship with my body. I always have. But post-pandemic, I’m hoping I can dive into clothes that have been deemed ‘not fit’ for women with curves, big boobs, big butts, and so on. I want to wear skirts and body con dresses. Maybe even a corset or two. I actually want to put effort into wearing trends and getting rid of the thought in my mind that I can’t wear it because of [insert self-conscious worry here].” In fact, Chelsea plans to put this self-affirming experiment to the test in a few weeks, when her birthday rolls around. “I have a two-piece set that I never thought I would wear, but I’m now feeling pretty pumped about it. I just tried it on, and I felt super confident in it. I’m also looking at thigh-high boots…maybe even a pair of heels (!).”
Look, we know the 1920s wasn’t all gilded, sequined goodness—we’re looking at you, prohibition drama—but the images that have come to define the Art Deco era are ones of jubilant excess. Overall, it’s a decade that’s been remembered as a time of prosperity and happiness. Women in particular started to gain more autonomy, seizing more control over their finances, breaking with the strict rules of their elders, owning their sexuality, and even winning the right to vote. Our collective desire to wear bright colors, heels and statement jewelry all reflect the hope that, 100 years later, we’re entering into yet another boundary-pushing, history-defining period. There are many, many things we can learn from our year in isolation, one of which is the importance of not getting lost in the daily hustle and remembering to appreciate and embrace the time we spend with our loved ones. Experiences that we took for granted before 2019—chilling at a coffee shop, hopping on a plane to visit friends across the country or the globe, going to the theater to catch a movie, a play or a concert—now bring us the same level of excitement as a coveted party invitation. And, so, we plan to dress like 2021 is a party.
If you want to sport sequins for a picnic, do it. If you’re all about the statement jewelry, we say more is more. Pile on the bright pink, or mix cherry red with violet purple. Wear a bikini. Rock that backless dress (no matter your cup size) or try an outfit of head-to-toe daisies. In the spirit of the Roaring Twenties Round Two, we encourage you to embrace the fact that fashion is about to get a whole lot louder. And, damn, it is going to be fun.