Last Sunday afternoon we enjoyed playing some badminton in Verulamium park. It felt wonderful to get out into the open space under the vast blue sky and enjoy the smell of freshly cut grass. People were having picnics or jogging into the distance and dogs were bolting about excitedly after being cooped up.

Our daughter was playing around with her phone and decided to take some photos of us and a video in slow motion. I wish she hadn’t! As the sun beat down, we leapt for the shuttlecock looking quite happy, although decidedly middle-aged and somewhat scruffy. I was wearing a pretty summer top, but my jeans were baggy and my trainers worn. Having spent the last two months in lockdown we no longer had that alert look in our eyes that a busy city life gives you.

Watching myself leaping about in slow motion was a wake-up call. It dawned on me that I’ll be needing a new personal image once the lock down is over. Ideally, we’d all like our personal images to be in perfect sync with who we are. I immediately realised that I needed a new pair of jeans. So, when I got home, I bought my first ever jeans online, which I found pretty challenging as I’d normally try on at least five pairs in a shop!

This could go one of two ways, I thought to myself. I could turn into a sustainability-minded eco-warrior wearing upcycled fashion like an organic cotton maxi dress splashed with bold colourful prints, a small handbag made with pineapple leaf-leather, leave my hair to grow even longer and wear some 1970s-style aquamarine eyeshadow!

On the other hand, I could emerge with a fresh white shirt and dark jeans, wearing minimal makeup, à la Bobbi Brown. A stylish and simple image wearing a chic vintage jacket in one of my favourite colours like navy or fuchsia. The hairstyle would be smooth, shiny and shoulder length and the jewellery silver.

As over 40 per cent of us are now working from home, we can shop online for more casual yet smart clothing for our Zoom meetings, peruse the loungewear in M&S, order some new workout gear from Sweaty Betty and comfortable Nike trainers for our long walks.

Our shopping habits are undoubtedly changing and even in China, where the pandemic is subsiding, people are mainly buying online and companies are now using more local manufacturers. With less disposable income, consumers will be more conscious of what they buy, and it is likely that people will be wearing more vintage clothing, especially millennials.

After the pandemic, fashion global trends will not continue in the same way and designers will focus more on classic items that can be worn all year. Imagine how much more wear you’d get out of a nicely tailored white or pink blouse rather than a bold floral top that may look a bit dated by next summer.

I saw a photo of a young model in a ‘trikini’ - a bikini plus a mask in the Sunday paper last week. ‘How strange and how sad’ were my immediate thoughts, but then the fashionable mask is a sign of the times and already commonplace, especially in Asia where it was already being worn. Apparently, masks will become as commonplace as gloves and scarves in our wardrobes as designers are creatively integrating them into our repertoire. Young fashion brands like Helmstedt are selling pretty patterned masks that match with their dress and jacket fabrics.

Even Anna Wintour has suggested that the fashion industry will never be the same again. “The challenges we face are profound,” she reminds us. In an interview on YouTube, Wintour enthuses about Common Threads: Vogue X Amazon Fashion, an initiative spearheaded by Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America CFDA (a not-for-profit trade association) to raise money for the American fashion industry and in the hope of preserving thousands of jobs of technical teams, artisans, sales, marketing and seamstresses.

Amazon will provide a platform which will highlight small businesses and small designers and provide a future generation with micro grants. In this way small fashion brands will have exposure and a digital storefront, able to showcase their own edit of apparel and accessories.

As the future dawns, people may find all sorts of creative styles, from post-apocalyptic to upcycling vintage trends. This pandemic has flung open the doors so that these shifts in our personal image and the way we want to express ourselves can really happen. With more time on our hands recently, it’s the perfect moment to revamp our wardrobes, realign and purge our clothes.

Despite the exponential rise in online shopping, fashion retailers are putting certain measures in place and toying with new ideas. For instance, ‘appointment shopping sessions’ in smaller boutiques which may become a thing, hopefully here in St Albans too. Although maybe the department store Neiman Marcus in the US has found the perfect solution in MemoryMirror, changing rooms fitted with smart mirrors. Once your image has been recorded (within eight seconds), you can ‘virtually’ see how you look in a variety of diverse outfits and accessories. It’ll be great fun and I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t program it to become a feel-good mirror and reassure you that you are indeed the fairest of them all!

  • Marisa Laycock moved to St Albans in 2000. She enjoys sharing her experiences of living in the city. These columns are also available as podcasts from 92.6FM Radio Verulam at .