Masks make choosing and wearing the right accessories difficult. Large earrings, for example, are a nuisance when putting on and taking off the face covering. Wearing a hat means even more of the face is hidden.
But there is one fashion winner: shoes.
They don't bother you but they still catch the eye. We often find our gaze wandering away from the masked face of the person we're talking to or sitting near – to their shoes. “This will intensify, especially when people can be outdoors more often again,” believes Karolina Landowski, a trend expert at the Gallery Shoes trade fair.
Footwear has also adapted to the situation we find ourselves in. If you look at the current crop of designers, you notice a pattern: it's all about comfort. "This is partly due to coronavirus," says shoe expert Landowski. "There has been a switch to casual footwear styles, not least because more people are working from home."
This means flat heels and a comfortable shoe shape. Ballet pumps and loafers are particularly popular. "The current shoe shapes often look like a pair of comfortable slippers – and you can slip into them just as easily," explains Landowski. But flat sandals with trekking elements are also in trend, says Claudia Schulz from the German Shoe Institute.
In non-pandemic times we'd probably be asking: Isn't that boring? A little too conservative? No, is the answer in this unusual fashion year.
Flat shoes, for example, come in a range of bright colors. "Lilac and sage will be big trends, but also neon elements to draw attention to the shoe," reports trend expert Schulz.
The trendy shades of the season also include white and icy pastels, including a cool pink and a radiant light blue, adds Simone Reiner, editor at the trade magazine "Textilwirtschaft." "Vinyl sandals with a transparent look and metallics are also harbingers of this trend."
Other popular colors include white and icy pastels, including cool pink and radiant light blue, adds fashion editor Simone Reiner. "Vinyl sandals with a transparent look and metallic elements are also part of this trend."
Kitschy plush sandals and slippers also catch the eye – the exact kind we used to see on grandma's feet before bedtime. They've now made a comeback, thanks to hip shoe labels.
Flat shoes don't have to be slouchy says Claudia Schulz, pointing to pumps with kitten heels and flip-flops. "It's also hard to imagine fashion without a pair of ankle boots." Sneakers are also a must this year – they remain an all-time favorite, especially with their comfortable soles.
Real high heels, however, are not really a trend this year. "Heels are also having to adapt to calls for comfort," Claudia Schulz explains. "That's why there are now more models with block heels or short kitten heels."
Loafers are also designed with different types of heel, from very flat to a small block heel. This means they can be combined in a number of different ways, such as with trousers or with a dress.
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