2020 Was Chaotic, but Some Things Need to Stay

If lockdown has taught us anything, it’s that comfort is key, self-expression is fun, mass-consumption needs to go, and caring is cool.

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In a year like no other, many of us have been made to look inwards at ourselves and the world around us. It’s been a year of reflection which has seen our habits, lifestyles, and thinking change — and that doesn’t have to be all bad. 

One of the biggest changes this year has been the way we consume. With the limitations of lockdowns and being forced to stay indoors, it soon became apparent what we really need in life. Once the essentials had been sorted, and we became acclimatized to this new way of living, being house-bound soon paved the way for creativity and, as a result, a number of new trends emerged. 

The word “trend” is divisive, to say the least, as it assumes the lockdown created quick-passing fads and “jump on this” ideas that will soon fade out. However, as we enter 2021, these “trends” have gone beyond that – they seem set to become mainstays in our new world. 

When the world slowed down, so did fast-fashion, giving space to smaller and more sustainable brands. As we waited for these deliveries of our new-found favorites, we lounged around in cozy clothes everywhere we went, supported by our trusty mules along the way. 

And once we’d made ourselves comfortable in a work-from-home environment surrounded by new furniture, new house plants, and a new dent in the sofa from watching too many viral Netflix shows — we started to step outside of our comfort zone. This was the year that (some) men got into pearls, we started taking notice of cosmetics, and tried new hobbies — even birdwatching became cool

In short, 2020 caught us all off guard. It challenged us, made us change, and here we are, entering 2021 slightly more clued-up than when we started. While there are many things we’d like to forget in 2021 (like Tiger King, the birth of X Æ A-Xii and that moment when everything was cake), there are also many things we’d love to see continued into the New Year. These were our highlights.

The Three S’: Small, Sustainable, Shopping

Emerging brands, small businesses, and sustainability have been pillars in the way we shop for a few years now, but never more than in 2020. It’s been a year of supporting each other, as for many of us it was our local shops keeping our worlds afloat. 

As we enter 2021, supporting these pillars shouldn’t change. Small brands and emerging designers have brought us many moments of joy this year, from notwoways’ sell-out sneakers and these viral inflatable trousers to the thought-provoking psychology behind scents, and while they may seem like objects, they’re much more — by supporting small businesses, we get more of these moments to enjoy, and the designers (that are often vanguards in the way of sustainability as they enter heavily-saturated markets) can continue to be creative. 

If you’re going to shop, think about where your money is going. After all, many brands started off small and they only became what they did today with the support of their fans (and perhaps a few award wins or accolades along the way). 

Below is a list of small or sustainable stores and brands spanning the realms of fashion, lifestyle goods, and design that you can support to continue having these joyous moments in life, coming together to create sustainably-responsible looks. 

Don’t Mull on the Mule

In 2020, the little things really mattered. So, when we found comfort in the humble mule, well, nobody expected it to blow up the way it did. Backless styles and slippers have become a staple piece of footwear that took us from our bed to our coffee cup, but soon found its way onto the streets with help from Reebok’s Beatnik, as well as styles from Martine Rose, JW Anderson and more. 

The footwear newcomer has transcended trends and has become a mainstay for the seasons to come, and we can only look forward to the silhouettes that are yet to release. Here are some of the best.

Loungewear, Anywhere

You don’t have to get ready if you stay ready and the best way to make sure of this is with fashion’s new megalith: loungewear. What was once a lazy Sunday pair of gray tracksuit bottoms stained with last night’s dinner has now become a real show of confidence and comfort. 

The likes of TOGA VIRILIS, Tekla, and even some pieces from the Stüssy x Our Legacy collection all brought transformative clothing — pieces that can be worn to bed, worn in the streets (or, like some of us nowadays, 24/7). 

It’s a look that seems scary at first. “You’re wearing pajamas… outside?” they’ll accuse. But no: you’ve moved on from gray sweatpants and now you’re rocking a dressing gown and mules like you’re swanning around the South of France — only, you’ve just popped to the shops. 

To ease you (very comfortably) into this new way of living, here are a few pajama styles to try out — perhaps for New Year’s Eve.

A New Fleece on Life

Although fleece jackets are nothing new, they found a new life this year, one which is sure to propel it strongly into 2021. Celebrated for its adaptability to many weather conditions, its often lightweight yet warm properties, and for the fact they quite simply look great, we’d love to see fleece stick around — perhaps even on more than just jackets, too. 

Our favoring for fleeces seems to have spawned from when the outdoors was initially taken away from us. As soon as we could get back out there, we dove straight into becoming fleece-wearing, boot-stomping walkers, runners, and birdwatchers. Getting back into the great outdoors was a sense of escapism for most of us, but we couldn’t have hacked the fall period without our trusty fleece on our backs. 

As the winter is in full swing, here are some HYPEBEAST-approved favorites for you to choose from to carry into 2021 and the years to come. 

Boys, It’s Time for Some Self-Care

Time has moved on from the pseudomasculine cliche that men aren’t interested in taking care of themselves. Because let’s face it: no one else is going to do it for you. 

2020 has brought down hypermasculinity and has exchanged if for freedom of expression, introducing Lil Yachty’s nail varnish line Crete, Pharrell’s skincare line, and even a Supreme x Pat McGrath lipstick that have all, somehow, challenged the more fragile among us. The results have been controversial, to say the least, but also welcomed. And with some of the leading cultural figures and influencers painting their nails, we have come to a new understanding of self-care.

By no means is nail painting or extensive skincare regimes for everyone, but there’s no harm in just trying it. Here are a few ways to start experimenting with yourself. 

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