Cocktail frocks and heels have been replaced by fancy pyjamas and velvet slippers this year.

The festive season is the most formal time of year. What happens to party dresses in a season without parties?

This year’s new-year celebrations will be smaller and more home-based due to coronavirus restrictions limiting festivities and families not wanting to risk gathering. The LBD has been replaced by a new dress code, kitchen disco dressing. Cocktail frocks are out, as are tailoring and heels. Fancy pyjamas and velvet slippers are in, as is sparkly knitwear.

Even though clubbing is not allowed anymore, you still can dance, even if you have Christmas tree fairy lights and kitchen spotlights. The 2020 kitchen disco scene is represented by Nigella Lawson perched on her steps, eating creme caramels on her BBC cooking show. Stanley Tucci was also seen fixing a negroni to his wife via Instagram lockdown. Bianca Jagger riding on a white horse into Studio 54 does not fit the disco label. However, Truman Capote was known for his extravagant dressings and monogrammed slippers.

The bestselling John Lewis 12 Days of Christmas Dressing look this year is the Hush kitchen disco two-piece, featuring a gunmetal sequin sweater with matching tracksuit-style pants and matching silky tracksuit style trousers. Jo Bennett, head of womenswear said that she was excited to “dance around the house with my boys in it”, for “a little bit joy and a moment of escapism”.

River Island’s PS83 silky pajamas with removable feather trims for the cuffs and hem have been the social media hit of the winter collection. They sold out in days and have surpassed every other party dress. Primark’s PS35 cocktail trolley, which features brass rails, mirror shelves, and a champagne flute rack, is selling fast.

Even if they could go to parties, shoppers who have worn loungewear for the majority of a year would be resistant to Spanx and uncomfortable high heels. Kitchen disco fashion is all about staying put, so it’s worth embracing the comforts of tracksuit or pyjama-based looks.

As 2021 looms are being made, shoppers will be able to feel comfortable in elasticated waists and stretch fabric. This has been one of lockdown’s few luxury items. Joseph Altuzarra, one of many designers who are focusing on soft fabrics, and non-constrictive silhouettes, is one of many to focus on collections in 2021. He believes that after spending months wearing sweatpants, people will want to feel comfortable.

Retailers are using clever marketing strategies to make the kitchen disco dress code a reflection of consumer psychology. Brands like Kitri were able to shift from putting “event” clothes on the market in December to dress up in dresses that could be worn in a home setting during summer. The holiday-wear edit features a PS49 “Elisa Rose”, embroidered knit camisole. It is styled in an at-home setting with a cardigan, knit joggers and a sweater.

two woman standing beside woman sitting in front of table

Formalwear is usually purchased with an event in mind. With parts of the UK shifting unpredictably between different Covid restrictions going through 2022, the versatility and adaptability of separates outweighs the appeal of formal gowns. Outfits that can be disassembled when polish is not necessary from the waist are more popular than dresses.

The kitchen disco could become vaccine-resistant and thrive in 2022, according to signs. Social media star Sophie Ellis-Bextor is planning to take her Kitchen Disco concept on the road. A Kitchen Disco album and live show are planned for next year.

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