The Walpole Daily Practice | The new rules of lockdown style with Anna Mason London and Trunk Clothiers
Helen Brocklebank writes: I’m so bored of wearing my weekend clothes. Getting dressed up to go out is one of the great pleasures in life, and I am lucky enough to have beautiful clothes for all occasions, except this extremely unforeseen occasion of prolonged staying put chez nous, with no one to admire my outfit other than the cat, and for which the dress code seems to be gym kit, pyjamas or, for a zoom meeting, jeans and an ironed shirt. I can’t be alone in finding this dispiriting – even my husband has been seen stroking his dinner jacket rather yearningly, so it’s not just a girl thing.
I’m glad to be safe, of course, but unhappy to find myself with no idea what to wear, so I asked Anna Mason, of Anna Mason London, and Mats Klingberg of Trunk Clothiers, both supremely stylish individuals – and former Walpole Brands of Tomorrow – for their expert view on a chicer lockdown.
What are the new rules of lockdown dressing?
Mats: The start of your day is very much about laying the foundation for the day, so it’s in the morning that you set the bar for what you want to achieve. Having a good healthy breakfast, doing some exercise but then dressing for success is the only way to go, I think.
Anna: At first, the working from home situation was all about the blouse for Zoom meetings – I could keep my tracksuit bottoms on. But now lockdown seems endless and normal, psychologically, it feels good to make a bit of an effort: it’s still about ease, but a dress or a jumpsuit is a really good one-stop option. Wearing high heels doesn’t seem quite appropriate at home, but who knows, that might change in a couple of weeks.
If I want to exude authority on a video call, without looking like I’ve gone mad by wearing a suit to my home office, what do you recommend?
Anna: I think that the clothes you choose can be less formal /‘Worky‘ and more romantic in spirit than what you may have chosen for the actual boardroom. A pretty neckline and good shoulders will look pulled together. A great blouse or not too formal dress…..
Mats: It’s about thinking of the complete package: not just about what you’re wearing, but also how groomed you are and the angle of the camera, lighting, etc. You can’t look like you’ve tried too hard with your outfit though, so whatever you put on it needs to look effortless, or effortlessly elegant which is my general approach to dressing.
Rather than opting for a sharp three-piece suit, dress shirt and tie I’d go with a softer unconstructed jacket with a softer shirt, polo shirt or even a nice stripey t-shirt underneath. Most of us haven’t been able to visit a hairdresser in a while, so make sure to put something in your hair to make sure it looks nice and tidy yet natural at the same time. Lighting and camera position are super important. Put the computer on a pile of books to get a good angle and make sure the background is nice. Do a test call in advance.
What’s your go-to outfit for comfort with a dash of flair?
Mats: I’m very much a chino, shirt and jacket kind of guy and on my feet I like to wear a pair of good old loafers. And to top it off I add a nicely folded pocket square in the jacket.
Anna: One of my jumpsuits. They’ve got defined shoulders and interesting necklines so they’d look good on the video call. Add some cool earrings and lippy and you’re good to go. Put any shoe on and you can dash out to stand in the queue at the supermarket!
What is the one thing in your wardrobe you’re dying to wear when we get back to normal?
Anna: A party dress and high heels!
Mats: I’m pretty happy to wear my go-to outfit of chinos, shirt and jacket. But I just can’t wait to go to a nice restaurant and to be around some more people again! And to open up my shops and meet my customers. And to travel, etc, etc.
Now the weather’s looking more promising, what should we buy from Anna Mason London and from Trunk Clothiers? Something lockdown-friendly, but that will also lift our spirits and get us ready for the return to the outside world?
Anna: An easy dress dress in a pretty print or beautiful colours. I always love the Bardot which is a style we do every year. We can make one to order in any of our cheery cotton Provençal prints from my French collection. Completely washable so no need to go to the dry cleaner!
Mats: I think we need to add some colour and while Trunk is not big on bright colours in general I’ve always thought that yellow is a great way of adding a bit of energy, so how about this nice canvas tote from Ichizawa Hanpu in Kyoto exclusively made for Trunk? Equally great for your laptop and notebook, a bunch of magazines and books or for your grocery shop.