Dressing in lockdown

South Australia is set to end its first real lockdown since the beginning of everything.

We’d been markedly lucky up until now, with only one lockdown declared – and it turned out to be on the basis of a hoax.
As such, it was repealed rapidly.
The situation was different this time around, with the threat being very real and it certainly felt like a new – and grave – experience to me.
I got to enjoy life as somewhat normal before, and even in the first waves of restrictions and the original mini-lockdown, I didn’t feel any dire need to stay in the house.

This time, the door was barred. I stayed in.

Working a job that doesn’t jive with work-from-home circumstances, I found myself quite at odds with the coming days.
Little on the horizon.
The first thing I did was buy a desk (for which delivery was promptly delayed until after the lockdown was set to end), and began to rack my brain for ways to stay sane while doing relatively nothing.
Dire weather meant I was confined indoors, with South Australia registering its coldest day in thirty two years during the week.
Throughout the last few years, regardless of circumstances, the act of getting dressed has been my way of kicking the brain into gear to face the day ahead.
I found myself very keen to preserve that act, even if there’s nothing to dress for.

Given that my wardrobe is probably 90% tailoring, and that we’re experiencing one of the coldest winters in recent memory here, I won’t be hanging out in t-shirts and trackies (translation: sweatpants, for international readers…).
My warm clothes are all tailoring.

As such, I’ve been sticking to somewhat tailored looks.

Worsteds certainly don’t cut the mustard for warmth, nor are they particularly fun to cavort about the house in, so those stayed in the wardrobe.
Flannels, tweeds, camelhairs and cords were mainstays, as they usually are for me. I prefer the comfort of them.
These actually make up a decent percentage of my cool season wardrobe, so I have plenty to choose from.

Dressing is a creative exercise for me, one that is welcome in my life given that I’m beginning to lose use of my left hand from medical complications stemming from a motorcycle accident last year.
That took away one of my favourite creative exercises, regular playing of guitar, so I’ve had somewhat of a hole in my life.
Clothing doesn’t fill it, but it does mask a bit of the void.

My tie rack(s) contain an inordinate number of ties that don’t see wear very often.
Prior to lockdown, I began challenging myself to create an outfit featuring each tie on the racks, and refusing to let myself wear ties that have already been worn in that cycle.
It makes for a creative cycle that forces me to actually get use out of some of those impulse purchases from times gone by.
Also, if I find myself really struggling to make a particular tie work, I can then consider moving it on.

It’s something I continued during the lockdown, regardless of the fact I wasn’t going to keep the tie on for very long.
A minuscule bit of normalcy, but it helped keep somewhat of a routine going.

Keeping myself in the act of dressing gives me a little extra kick to try and get something done on a given day, lockdown or not.
It’s a much needed boost, in an environment more conducive to doing nothing.
It seems this lockdown only has to last the seven days they say it will.
Fingers crossed.
Better safe than sorry… however long it takes.

I’ll leave you with a gallery of what I’ve worn so far:

Dressing in lockdown - lockdown style and tailoring
Took this new (to me) Polo Ralph Lauren nautical tie for a spin with Polo flannels, Beg Your Pardon OCBD (own design) and Polo University camelhair jacket.
Dressing in lockdown - lockdown style and tailoring
Brooks Brothers tweed jacket & Maker’s tie, Proper Cloth OCBD, Polo tweed pants, Ariat cowboy boots.
Dressing in lockdown - lockdown style and tailoring
40s Soo Mills jacket via Midwest Trader, Bronson MFG henley tee, Polo cords & hat.
Dressing in lockdown - lockdown style and tailoring
1960s Harris Tweed jacket, Polo flannels & tie, Proper Cloth OCBD, no name vintage shoes.
Dressing in lockdown - lockdown style and tailoring
Polo blackwatch tweed jacket via VintagePRL, black western shirt of my own design & make, Polo cords, vintage western belt.
Dressing in lockdown - lockdown style and tailoring
Vintage Brooks Brothers camelhair jacket, Giorgio Armani tie, Proper Cloth OCBD, Polo tweed pants.

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With content features ranging from appearances on popular menswear hubs (The Rake, StyleForum, Put This On) to French perfume newsletters and university course readings, Sam is a writer, designer and enthusiast in the fields of menswear and fragrance.

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