Singapore- As 2020 draws to a close, the world can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief. With less than a month to go in December, the promise of a new age hangs in the air, and while it has been a maelstrom of a year, 2020 has brought us more than just the Covid-19 pandemic. In terms of trends, there has never been a more interesting time to be alive. So before we say sayonara to 2020, let’s revisit the year’s top fads and crazes.
“Sloppy-chic” pandemic fashion
The industry of dressing and decorating ourselves (so that we can feel and look like our best selves!) took a turn for the casual this year, with the rise of “sloppy-chic” pandemic fashion. With a good portion of humanity stuck in their houses for most of 2020, comfort has taken precedence above all else. We’re talking sweatpants, joggers, house robes, cardigans, house dresses, fluffy slippers and of course, pyjamas. We’ve all been guilty of it—business-appropriate on top (for those work-from-home Zoom calls) and ultra-comfy on the bottom, because no one’s going to see it anyway.
Let’s not forget that face masks are now a part of our daily fashion choices. While we must cover faces to keep ourselves and others safe, we can still express ourselves fashionably. The world’s creatives responded to the must-wear-masks mandates in droves, coming up with masks in colours, designs and patterns to suit every taste on the planet. Style experts at Vogue recommend these pretty cloth masks.
Non-pandemic-related fashion – polka dots and mini bags
In non-pandemic-related fashion news, top stylists agree that in 2020, corsets and waistcoats are a thing of the past, while polka dots and low, 1990s-inspired kitten heels are given a second chance at life.
Experts agree that leather jackets (especially colourful ones!) are here to stay, while the mini bag trend (think a doll- or child-sized version of a proper handbag) still has people confused—to hate it or love it, no one can seem to decide, but it’s definitely popular!
Home deliveries, take-aways and pick-ups
With the pandemic keeping most of us in our homes, groceries, restaurants and other food establishments switched their business strategies to include home deliveries, pick-ups and take-aways. While we definitely miss dining out, home delivery and takeout options have given us endless gastronomic choices, allowing us to savour our favourite dishes from the safety of our homes. As for the groceries, we’ve been getting them delivered, preferring to do our perusing online instead of in-store.
Home-based cooking and food businesses
If there’s one thing that the pandemic did not get in the way of this year, it was eating. If anything, we ate with more gusto this year. While stuck at home, people rolled up their sleeves and got culinarily inspired, churning out homemade dishes galore, from banana cake to sourdough loaves and more. Many got so good at it that they decided to turn it into a business, making 2020 the year of the home chefs and home bakers who have wowed us with their delectable desserts and mouth-watering meals.
In 2020, food has followed fashion’s foray into comfort. It’s all about feeling good as a result of what we put in our mouths, and while fast food is still a fan favourite, home-made goodies—which are more comforting and therefore currently more appealing—are moving up the ladder. Bread-baking and food-pickling at home are here to stay, food experts say, as we become more aware and saving-savvy, even post-COVID-19.
Another food trend that has been strong this year is the no-waste cooking approach, born from a heightened awareness of the environment and how we affect it. Supermarkets are stocking more long-life products and frozen goods—meat, vegetables and fruit—which people can keep for months at a time, therefore eliminating food wastage.
Health and wellness
Mindfulness and meditation apps
Besides the obvious physical health implications brought about by COVID-19 this year, the pandemic has taken a toll on our mental health as well. People all over the world have struggled with what psychologists are calling “COVID-19 anxiety”, and we can relate. This year saw a rise in the use of apps that promote a healthy state of mind and teach mindfulness techniques, such as meditation.
With all the feasting going on, some say fasting is necessary. Enter the popular wellness trend of intermittent fasting, a schedule of eating which allows the eater to heavily restrict their calorie intake by not eating for a certain number of hours in a day. Intermittent fasting doesn’t tell you what to eat but rather when to eat—common methods call for daily 16-hour fasts or 24-hour fasts, twice a week—and it is said to be beneficial for cellular repair, weight management and inflammation reduction.
Virtual fitness classes
Aside from all the feasting that’s been going on in 2020, people have gotten serious about their fitness, too. With gyms, sports arenas and other fitness centres closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, fitness became much more personal as people strived to workout and be healthy while stuck in apartments and houses. Virtual fitness classes held by gyms, fitness experts and trainers became extremely popular, providing people with the motivation and direction they needed to keep on top of their exercise. YouTube is a fantastic resource for fitness, with workouts that will suit everyone—from HIIT exercises to yoga and weightlifting to dance.
2020 has been the year of the fitness challenge. From 30-day yoga challenges to the viral take-off-your-shirt-while-in-a-handstand challenge popularised by actor Tom Holland on Instagram, fitness has also become more of a community thing. Participating in fitness challenges “together” has helped people stay in touch with others during the most isolating year of our lives.
If anything has taken the world by storm, it’s TikTok. The video sharing app has gone completely viral, with nearly 115 million downloads in March 2020 alone. Besides reportedly being a whole boatload of rather bamboozling fun, TikTok has gone global, infiltrating pop culture an an incredible rate. Some of the biggest TikTok trends of 2020 include crazy viral dances, ghost bedsheet photos, the “what I eat in a day” posts, and sharing cringe-worthy childhood moments (when you thought you were cool but looking back at it, you weren’t).
Still everyone’s favoured social media platform, Instagram has only gotten bigger and better in 2020, with new and exciting features. This year, some of the platform’s biggest trends were the rise of Instagram Shopping—Instagram Checkout allows shoppers to purchase products without exiting the app, and Facebook Shops allows businesses to build online stores on Facebook and Instagram.
Instagram users love it, as evidenced by internal data—around 130 million people tap on shopping posts per month. Instagram is expanding what it can do for social media users with the introduction of carousel posts (you can share up to 10 images in one post) and Instagram Live (the app’s answer to live streaming).
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Walks in nature
Ah, travel, we miss you dearly. 2020 has not been the greatest year for travel; if anything it’s been one of the worst, with the pandemic disrupting most of global travel. With people cooped up indoors, the most traveling some of us get to do on a regular basis is from the desk to the fridge or to the bathroom.
Looks like our major travel plans will have to be postponed until when the world opens up and travel becomes safe again. In the meantime, to combat cabin fever, many have taken to going on short nature trips and walks, which scientists say offer many benefits for our health and wellbeing.
Another travel trend that took off in 2020 is the road trip. Road trips have earned their stripes back; for years folks preferred to travel as far away from home as possible for the most exotic and different experience.
However, with travel restrictions in place, road trips have become more appealing, allowing travellers the freedom to stretch their legs and learn more about their locale in one fell swoop. Governments have also jumped on the local travel bandwagon, encouraging their citizens to explore their own countries, which boosts local tourism.
Microcations, solo travel and eco trips
At the beginning of 2020, microcations (short, three- to five-day vacations) were becoming quite the travel trend. Instead of saving up time and money for a long vacation, people wanted to get away more often, even if it meant going for a shorter time. Travel experts say that the Microcations trend is sure to continue, along with solo travel and eco trips, which focus on sustainability and having a low carbon footprint.
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