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Image / Style / Off The Cuff

The 2021 Oscars red carpet proved that comfort is still king (even though producers banned casual attire)


by Sarah Finnan
27th Apr 2021
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Gold crocs, white runners and floaty dresses that proved comfort will still reign supreme in a post-pandemic world.

Comfort has always been key in our eyes, but it’s a concept that the fashion world has only recently seemed to come to terms with. Beauty is pain they tell you and discomfort the price you pay to look good.

Trends come and go, and while what’s “cool” is liable to be turned on its head at a moment’s notice, the pandemic has made some pretty fundamental changes in terms of what goes style-wise. The old world was characterised by rigid silhouettes, tight waistbands, and pointy-toed shoes we could hardly walk in. But, somewhere along the line we all collectively decided to stop grinning and bearing it. 

Months passed and without much to dress up for, we started prioritising our comfort above all else. Loungewear became our investment pieces of choice and there was a universal shift towards more casual fits. 

We’ve gotten used to more relaxed styles, fabrics, and footwear and so it’s only natural that we might feel anxious about post-pandemic dressing. Our style has changed as have our bodies and what suited us this time last year, may no longer do so. 

The good news is that even our favourite celebrities have fallen into the same routines, so the pandemic mantra that “we’re all in this together”, rings true in this case. Normality still seems a ways off in this part of the country, but across the water, life has slowly been resuming… the surest sign of that being the rolling out of the Academy Awards red carpet over the weekend. 

Kitted out in their fashion glad rags, the event was characterised by all the usual glamour we’ve come to expect of it, but it was not without noticeable changes. Producers has sent around a letter prior to the event outlining a very strict no-tracksuit dress code, saying, “Formal is totally cool if you want to go there, but casual is really not.” However, some stars still had their own rebellion. Just look at Questlove in his gold lamé crocs. They’re the shoes your mother wears pottering around the garden, but they’re also gold, thus sneaking around the “no casual” ban.

Chloé Zhao followed suit with a pair of classic white runners paired with a Hermés dress, proving an age-old lesson we all learned in our college days (and maybe one of the few examples where women have an upper hand): runners only count as casual on men. 


Meanwhile, Emerald Fennell described herself in her Gucci dress as “Susan, your pottery teacher who has a business opportunity for you, which is absolutely not a pyramid scheme.”

So when you’re finally invited to the first post-pandemic wedding, don’t get into a sweat worrying about getting into a pre-pandemic dress: channel you’re best Susan and merge style and comfort.