Holiday Attire Brings Summer to The City, Even If It’s Too Cool for The Pool

Holiday Attire Brings Summer to The City, Even If It's Too Cool for The Pool

Terry towelling, the absorbent towel-like fabric associated with 1950s poolside splendour (due to Emilio Pucci) and 1970s Bognor Regis camaraderie (thanks to Butlin’s), is making a comeback. This summer, it’s everywhere, from renowned Spanish designer La Veste to Gap and Balenciaga, and it’s even in underwear – Rihanna recently posted a video on Twitter wearing lime-green terry underpants.

Holiday Attire Brings Summer to The City, Even If It’s Too Cool for The Pool

However, terry towelling is just one little, useful cog in the larger wheel of holiday design. Whereas gorpcore, a term coined by fashion website The Cut in 2017, described city slickers dressed in the utilitarian clothing of long-distance hikers, holidaycore sees beach kaftans reimagined for city streets and tangy sun-lounger stripes finding their way onto dresses and bucket hats worn in town. Crocheted tops and basket bags, à la Talented Mr Ripley or Jane Birkin, can be found in parks across the UK. This summer, compared to the same period in 2020, there has been a 192 percent rise in searches for beachwear, according to online portal Lyst. According to Morgane Le Caer of Lyst, the beach aesthetic has “recently been taking over social media sites such as TikTok” and is now “shaping up fashion searches.” During normal summers, it would not be worth mentioning that holidaywear sells well during the summer vacations. But, with travel outside the UK more difficult than a cryptic crossword puzzle this year, it tells something about how we choose to dress even at home. “I believe we’re all considering alternatives to our traditional summer vacations, which have been curtailed this year.

So trying to embrace and wear things we might normally save for a holiday at home or to a friend’s house seems like a good idea,” says Mona Ghafoori, founder of Tort, a London-based company that makes colorful eco-resin versions of the plastic “tortoiseshell” hair accessories commonly found in beachside souvenir shops. These kinds of accessories might have been proudly worn on a return to normal life two summers ago, when there was still sand between your toes. Not right now. “There’s something extremely Christmas about clipping your hair up in a hair claw,” Ghafoori explains. During the lockout, she says the firm received a lot of letters from consumers noting how much a new clip brightens their day: “They’ve almost become that holiday adornment you can wear all year.” It’s logical. Clothing has become another means to psychologically relocate oneself during a year in which people have decked their homes with palm patterns and planned vacations on Pinterest – building boards full of destinations they aspire to see on future journeys According to fashion psychologist Shakaila Forbes-Bell, “many people are yearning for their pre-pandemic lifestyles.” “As a result, they’ve started to use their closets as a way to not just escape but also to reclaim a feeling of normalcy. You may not be able to hop on a plane and relax on a beach, but you may [look] the part to make your staycation more enjoyable.” “Studies have shown that extravagant wearing or even dressing in a way that is outside of your day-to-day can carry a tension-release dimension,” she claims.

These beach-ready garments represent “childhood memories, and security in the mainstays of the childhood beach wardrobe,” according to design historian Tony Glenville. Perhaps it’s “things we recognize in bad times from old family photographs and which evoke up memories,” as with terry towelling. Another element contributing to the rapid increase in bikini tops on the streets is, of course, summer’s television behemoth: Love Island. Seeing people in trunks and bikinis lounge on beanbags in the Spanish heat is certain to instill a desire in people to show off their “underboob” or wear short shorts, even if it’s just to the grocery. “Just as Bridgerton led many to embrace ‘royalcore’ aesthetics, shows like Love Island will surely impact consumer behavior, with holiday-style attire increasing popularity despite limits on mass tourism,” Forbes-Bell argues. Glenville believes in dressing for fun, especially at home: “If the holidays are rough but the weather is nice, simply wear ’em wherever and whenever.” The consumer, not fashion, is in a position to dictate. So be it if they want to wear it today since they’re on vacation!”

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