It’s human nature to reflect on the past and think about the future. Hence why every New Year’s Eve we take a look at what we didn’t do so well over the last year and what we’d like to change going forward. And so, as we begin to slowly emerge from the other side of the pandemic (note: we are still very much in it), it’s only natural that we think about the habits and behaviors that were not so great in the before times and how we can do better tomorrow. From home and fashion to wellness and parenting, here are nine trends that we are so ready to leave in pre-pandemic times.
1. Form over function fashion
Sweatpants and leggings were our pandemic uniform, and while we’re not suggesting that you wear your favorite fleece joggers to the office, we do think it’s time to bid adieu to uncomfortable and impractical fashion. That means sayonara to silk suits and suede bags. No thank you, too-tight jeans and low-rise jeans. Instead, we’re coveting comfortable but chic styles like dad pants and lightweight denim. We’re saying yes to the maxi dress and embracing cotton underwear. And while we can’t wear our favorite fuzzy slippers to dinner, we can toss stilettos aside for something similarly polished but far more ergonomic—like one of these flatform shoes. More than a year spent inside reaffirmed our belief that fashion should be enjoyed—not endured.
2. Dark interiors and concrete materials
Pre-pandemic, our homes were a snug safe haven. A place to get cozy after a long day. We wanted warm lighting, moody textiles and shades of grey. Our friend installed concrete floors and we thought it was the epitome of chic. But after just a few weeks of being holed up in our abodes, the darkness began to cave in. And after months of social distancing, our once homey decor felt downright depressing. Now we want pops of color! High ceilings! Plants everywhere! Warm textiles and wooden interiors that make our homes feel light and airy! Matte black kitchens are out and green is in. The idea of furnishing your home like a minimal monastery (looking at you, Kimye) has been replaced with the far more inviting organic modernism. Why invest in a boring oak dresser when you can fill your home with fun and colorful pieces instead? We now want our homes to feel nice and breezy, not dark and drab. Which brings us to our next point…
Forget nestling up with a cup of cocoa and a pile of blankets (i.e., peak hygge). We want to go OUT! Backyards are now extensions of the home and we’re planning on filling them with flora and fauna, stock tank pools and string lights. It doesn’t matter how small the patio or balcony, we’re finding ways to put that outdoor space to good use. Even stoops became community hotspots in the pandemic and now that we finally know our neighbors’ names, we want to keep those relationships going. Sorry, Danes, you can keep your wooly socks and cozying up by the fire—we’ll be outside.
4. Gender reveal parties
PSA: Gender is fluid. So really, it shouldn’t even be called a gender reveal party but instead a “sex” reveal party. (After all, the thing being “revealed” at these shindigs is actually anatomy.) Plus, in a year of difficult conversations with our children about the virus, about race and police brutality and about violence at the Capitol, many parents are grappling with how they can do better for future generations. One place to start? Scrap gender reveal parties that only serve to reinforce the gender binary and gender stereotypes. Another reason why we’re over these events? They have gotten way out of hand. Remember the family that started a forest fire and caused $8 million worth of damage? Or what about the party in Louisiana that involved wrestling a live alligator? It’s time to put these weird parties to rest, stat.
5. Getting health advice from TikTok
Don’t get us wrong—we love TikTok. During months of social distancing, it was a beacon of (blue) light that kept us entertained even after we’d streamed every single show on Netflix, HBO and Hulu. And yet, not everything on the social media platform makes for good viewing. Your gynecologist, for example, is definitely not cool with these weird TikTok trends. And neither is your dermatologist. And let’s not even get started on these super toxic relationship trends. Instead, let’s see our doctor for any health and wellbeing concerns. And speaking of health…
6. Not taking sick days
For the love of God, if you’re sick—stay home! Too long have Americans been afraid to ask for a day off (or grappled with inadequate paid leave) and instead soldiered on with work and other commitments—fever and sore throat be damned. And while in the before times we may have rolled our eyes at Susan from accounting as she hacked up a lung in her office or Debbie from the PTA as she discussed spring goals while looking decidedly queasy, we now plan on personally escorting anyone out of the building and into bed if they so much as sniffle.
7. Parenting quietly
Remember in pre-pandemic times, when you snuck out of work early so that you could catch your kid’s holiday show at school? Working parents have long been expected to disguise the fact that they are raising tiny humans—something that became near impossible to hide during the pandemic when remote learning and Zoom took over our homes. But while your toddler shouting for more snacks and Paw Patrol during a meeting with your boss wasn’t ideal, experts say that we should actually all be embracing the idea of parenting loudly (i.e., not hiding the fact that you’re a parent from colleagues, employees or supervisors). Gone are the days of being ashamed of having children to take care of—instead we are proud of the ways in which being a parent makes us better at our job.
8. Woman Crush Wednesday
Look, we are all about lifting up other women. But if you’re a mom, daughter, sister, aunt, colleague or friend who survived the last 15 months in one sane piece, then you’re already a hero in our eyes—every damn day of the week. (Also, the hashtag was a little cheesy, right?)
9. Things > Experiences
As it turns out, owning the latest must-have bag or lash-lengthening mascara doesn’t mean much when the only place you have to wear it is to the fridge and back. While we’re still interested in staying on top of trends and getting a glow up, it’s time for products and material goods to take a step back as we prioritize spending time with loved ones and experiencing new things… you know, the important stuff.