As our will to get dressed weakened and the soft pull of loungewear grew stronger, 2020 caused many a wardrobe casualty. High heels were stowed away but, then again, we'd already abandoned them pre-pandemic for commuter-friendly kicks. Jeans, suddenly so restrictive, became an alien concept. Handbags, however... We mourned our handbags more than anything else in our now-redundant wardrobe. With all invitations on ice and nowhere to go but big Sainsbury's or our local corner shop for essential food runs, our plus-ones languished, haunting us with all the dance floors, dinners and day trips they wouldn't see in 2020.
By lockdown 2.0, though, rather than letting our favourite accessories gather dust in some dark corner, we got creative. Ladylike, top-handled handbags became art atop stacks of coffee table books. Kitsch and playful pieces sat alongside candles and bouquets of flowers, decorating the four walls between which we spent 24 hours a day. Fuzzy faux fur numbers doubled up as blankets and pillows while our most prized bags joined us on our government-sanctioned daily walks. Over the course of 2020, our handbags evolved from pre-pandemic relics to a sweet reminder of a life ready to be lived: towels and suncream primed to be packed in beach totes next summer, lipstick and chewing gum anticipating micro bags brought on future dates.
Would-be party season is just around the corner and although we won't be hitting the sticky floors of basement clubs or pub function rooms to celebrate the end of a truly terrible year with those we love the most, we're looking ahead to 2021 and all the fun it will bring. Gather up your purse, phone, keys, tampons, lip balm, old receipts and any other detritus your favourite tote might hold: it's time to pack your bags. Your plus-one awaits.
Mango bag, as before.
Lulu Guinness bag, as before.