Fashion Designers Debut 'Waist-Up' Apparel for Our Video Call World
Donald Duck, rejoice: They’re finally making clothing for people who are only concerned with what they look like from the waist up!
OK, this has more to do with the fact that everyone is “dressing up” (more like dressing waist-up) for Zoom calls and video meetings while they work from home, but fashion designers have been showcasing designs that allow for fancy tops and more relaxed bottoms.
Prada, which incorporated some of these designs at London and Milan Fashion Weeks, said that it actually isn’t about Zoom per se, but the “contemporary human relationship with technology,” according to the BBC.
“Fashion is about reacting to reality,” Miuccia Prada, head designer for Prada, said at the show. “During lockdown, I realized how important technology is and how it is impactful for us, and in some ways, an extension of ourselves.”
It’s a much more elegant solution than the ongoing joke of newscasters wearing basketball shorts below their suit jackets, or the “Zoom shirt” that people can reuse for every meeting. Even if it wasn’t designed specifically for Zoom sales meetings, that application is there. And like any runway trend, other brands are going to take influence and run with the idea.
“This year has been all about ‘waist-up dressing,’ Jane McFarland, fashion director at The Sunday Times, told the BBC. “Having spent a lot of time on video conference calls, the top half of our outfit has become significantly more important than our bottom half.”
One way they’ve dressed up the top for video streaming is adding a logo to the neck on tops, and providing something that looks professional and dressy, but still comfortable. You want to hit that sweet spot where the wearer feels like they’ve put on something nicer than the same T-shirt and joggers they’ve worn every day, and even feel like they “dressed up” thanks to a well-placed designer logo, but not feel encumbered by the clothing.
And, keeping on trend with the current pajama lifestyle so many people are living right now, designers flooded Milan Fashion Week with products that “also seemed influenced by remote working.”
“I’ve never seen so many elastic and drawstring waists in my life,” Lauren Inuvik, fashion editor at the Financial Times, told the BBC. “All the stylists are talking about ‘waist-up’ dressing, because that’s al everyone sees these days. They have to inspire people to buy clothes, and there aren’t social occasions to dress up for, so maybe luxury at home is the new focus.”
For the promotional space, this means that pajama bottoms, leggings and other athleisure products are going to continue to be huge. (Major brands are already getting in on this trend for promotional apparel.) But, for people who want to feel like they’re not just wearing pajamas all day, a good fashion-forward design, or something hybrid that works out of the house as well as on the couch, would be smart. If you can add a well-placed logo to a professional-looking top where the wearer feels like they’ve at least gotten “dressed up” for the day, then you’ll really hit the mark.