Lynette Fay: Tracky bottoms? Check. Trainers? Check. OK, let's Christmas party, 2020 style

‘After a delicious meal, and a few drinks too many, nothing would do but go out for another few more drinks. And as for Christmas – I have so many parties to go to...' Sounds like another life, doesn't it?

Lynette Fay – tracksuit bottoms are a staple in everyone’s 2020 wardrobe. Picture by Press Eye/Darren Kidd
Lynette Fay

HOW was the weekend? Get up to anything interesting? I feel at this point of 2020 that I should just tell a white lie and make up a story of some sort.

Here’s my effort...

I met a few friends for lunch on Saturday. After a delicious meal, and a few drinks too many, nothing would do but go out for another few more drinks. I’m still not over it. I don’t know where I’m going to get the energy I need to see me through to Christmas – I have so many parties to go to.

It sounds like a previous life, doesn't it?

The Christmas party season should be in full swing by now. Belfast city centre should be heaving every minute of every day of the week with not a restaurant booking to be had. 'Tis the season – except this year, it isn’t.

The sparkly tops would be getting dusted down, outfits planned, hair appointments made. For some reason, Christmas is the only time of year when I will happily spend time getting my nails done.

Dressing up to Zoom just doesn’t seem right – well, most of us, women and men, have been presentable from the waist up only for eight months now. The tracksuit bottoms are a staple in everyone’s 2020 wardrobe.

I have never been as delighted that casual clothes are trendy. Trainers are everyday fashion. HOW will I go back to wearing real clothes? I never see anyone these days so it feels like it’s OK not to make an effort.

In the past 18 months I have been pregnant and my maternity leave overlapped with the first lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic. I can count on one hand how many times I have taken time to apply make-up, have worn dressy clothes and styled my hair properly. Most times, this was for work.

Pregnancy, maternity and then Covid sounded the death knell for one of my longest relationships. I have broken up with my high heels. I’m sure that we might have the occasional dalliance in the future – mainly with a block heel – but I’m now going steady with my flats.

I am convinced that I got my love of shoes from my granny. I literally followed in her footsteps. She rarely returned from a day’s shopping without a pair of shoes among her purchases. I have bought a ridiculous amount of shoes in my lifetime. Is it a right of passage for most women.

My love affair with shoes began with Cable & Co. I remember it being a beautiful shoe shop in Royal Avenue in Belfast. In the mid 90s I bought one pair of black kitten heels from that shop and I loved them. Then I started my collection. Some of my choices have stood the test of time; I wonder what I was thinking when I bought the others...

I have invested in a couple of pairs of expensive shoes and had others on my wish list. I have always admired Louboutins from afar, but know that I could never wear them. Six-inch heels are not for me.

However much I love shoes, I never understood why women choose to feel pain when they wear them. Why bother wearing footwear that you can only walk a few steps in – the so-called ‘car to bar shoes’? I have made the mistake of buying shoes that were aesthetically pleasing but I couldn’t stand in for any amount of time – madness!

Is it part of the collective ‘Covid coma’ we are all experiencing, where we are existing from day to day and the idea of dressing up seems like a day’s work? Or is it because I have a toddler on my hands and I count myself lucky if I can get my hair brushed in the morning. Perhaps it’s a mixture of both.

I have heard friends and family comment that they don't want to buy clothes or make-up at the minute because they have nowhere to go. It’s no wonder that the high street is suffering. Then I question this logic. Why do I want to wear fashionable clothes? Am getting dressed up for myself or so that others can see me well dressed? When I feel that others aren’t looking, tracksuit it is.

Whatever the reason, the heels have been parked up and I’m happy to hit 2021 in trainers – but might upgrade to a fancy pair.

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