If you’ve lost count of the number of times you wished you were sitting in the pub over the last three months, you are most likely not alone.
But the time has finally come where we can catch-up with friends over a pint, as lockdown measures are lifting in England.
On 23 June, prime minister Boris Johnson announced the latest easing of lockdown restrictions. From 4 July, many pubs across England reopened their doors to some very eager punters.
In Northern Ireland, they opened a day earlier on Friday 3 July, while Scotland’s pubs and beer gardens opened at a slightly later date – 6 July and 15 July, retrospectively. Pub gardens in Wales have been welcoming customers from 13 July, but indoor services will remain closed, with no date set for when these can reopen.
The set up will be slightly different from what we're used to, and social distancing measures must be adhered to, such as keeping a safe distance by following the new "one-metre plus" rule. For more insight on everything you need to socialise safely, read our guide here.
The government has also launched an Eat Out To Help Out scheme, giving diners a discount of up to £10 per person at 70,000 outlets across the UK throughout August, to encourage the public to resume indoor dining.
You can find out which local restaurants are taking part by entering your postcode on the government’s website.
It’s been a while since we’ve had the chance to get properly dressed up for something other than the odd Zoom date or virtual pub quiz, so we might as well make the most of it.
With loungewear and athleisure having been the order of play for many, including Anna Wintour who got involved in the tracksuit trend despite vowing to never wear them, lockdown wardrobe fatigue is real.
It's time to get the glad rags on and give our pre-pandemic wardrobes a spruce up.
While we’re not suggesting you get dressed up to the nines, you might just want to mark the occasion by getting a new outfit, because after all it has been three months.
Here are the looks that couldn't be any further away from loungewear that will give you the inspo you need – from the classic "jeans and a nice top" combo to a sexy slip dress, these are the sartorial equivalents to a cold pint at the pub. It's time to go out out.
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Jeans and a nice top
Not that we needed much persuasion to get involved in this classic look, but denim was all over the spring/summer 2020 runway.
French label Jacquemus proved white denim should be reconsidered, while Chanel was all-over the trend with cropped and pleat-fronted jeans.
Choosing the right pair of jeans for you is essential – shape, shade, fit, and fabric are all key considerations when finding your dream pair. Not much can go wrong in a pair of straight leg jeans though.
Topshop is known for its cult jean styles, and the mid blue editor straight jeans (Topshop, £39) were heralded by many as the perfect pair. As for the top half, it has to be a puff-sleeved statement top; a style that's been trending this summer.
For something understated, yet cool, we love this subtle AllSaints kimi silk blend top (AllSaints, £74). Alternatively, tap into the shirred trend with this 3/4 sleeve top (Topshop, £25). It's 100 per cent cotton for a cool summer fit.
To accessorise, it has to be a classic cool-girl layered necklace look with pendants of different shapes, sizes, and lengths.
The coin necklace trend has been on the rise for a while due to its perennial appeal of going with just about all your other accessories. With so many on offer, there's a necklace out there for every price point, and we love this affordable & Other Stories coin pendant chain necklace (& Other Stories, £29).
This look works particularly well for the pub as it's the perfect way to nail smart casual. If you want to elevate your outfit a little more, and who wouldn't after being locked in the house, block heeled sandals are the way to go. Zara's leather high heel sandals (Zara, £49.99) pack a punch, and lilac is big this summer.
The resurgence of Nineties fashion has caused a stir, but with it has come the trusty slip dress, an item loved by Kate Moss in its heyday. This will be one of the hardest working items in your wardrobe as it's easy to dress up and down.
If you have a fuller bust, we'd suggest opting for a slip that features larger straps so you can comfortably wear a bra underneath.
Try this UO Kay slip midi dress (Urban Outfitters, £26) for a little pub glam. Featuring a V-neck cut and slight cinch at the waist, this will be flattering yet comfortable. This piece is totally versatile too – dress it down with a pair of trainers for a street style edge. You can't go wrong with a plain white pair (H&M, £19.99).
Or go full out and add a pop of colour with a pair of barely-there sandal heels (H&M, £12), the perfect summer shoes.
If your drinking vibe is a little more low key, tap into the grunge trend with black chunky ankle boots (John Lewis & Partners, £150) and throw on a leather biker jacket (AllSaints, £318) over the top – perfect for when the sun goes down and you're boozing al fresco.
For something a bit more bold – because after all we have been in lockdown and there's no better time to make a statement – this spaghetti strap number (Realisation Par, £230) is bound to turn some heads at your local.
Featuring a firm fitted bodice, this figure flattering slip is an investment piece that will see you through all the seasons. Less is more with this one though, so wear with a black oversized cardigan (Monki, £30) to nail the Parisian aesthetic, and a pair of rope sandals (& Other Stories, £59).
This style of shoe is big this season – it's the type of sandal that will make you wish you were spending an entire year holidaying in Ibiza. With Valentino and JW Anderson both leading the way on the catwalk, the Nomadic State of Mind sandals (& Other Stories, £59) are an affordable way to tap into the trend. They'll go with just about everything in your wardrobe, too.
We have J Lo to thank for the tropical prints trend we’ve seen flowering during spring/summer after she donned a plunging Versace dress down the catwalk.
Think palm trees, vivid colours, and fruity patterns on dresses, skirts, and jackets. While bold prints such as these can be daunting, when worn right, they can be surprisingly easy to wear. Just choose the right pieces for you, and embrace the flower power.
If you want to incorporate the runway's new found jungle love into your wardrobe, we'd recommend doing so with this tropical floral top (Whistles, £65) and paring it back with black slouchy denim trousers (Zara, £25.99).
Alternatively, pack a real punch for your first pub outing and wear it as a co-ord with the matching tropical flora Samira skirt (Whistles, £59). Whatever you choose on your bottom half, style with a pair of Arizona Eva sandals (Birkenstock, £35) for an off-duty look. This couldn't be further away from loungewear.
A wrap skirt is a great way to update your pub dressing wardrobe, and Ganni's printed long skirt (£69) is elegant and figure flattering. It will even help you look sophisticated even when you're three G&Ts down.
Wear it with a freshly ironed plain white T-shirt (Uniqlo, £9.90), and throw on an oversized white sweatshirt (Miss Selfridge, £18) should the weather dictate it. Although any shoes would go, let the skirt do the talking and opt for a pair of Veja V10 trainers (Coggles, £115).
Bring the sunshine
If it’s been dowdy sweatshirts and drab leggings for the past few months, then allow us to introduce you to the new summer shade you need in your wardrobe: yellow.
Spotted on Balmain's catwalks, floaty yellow dresses are ideal for pub gardens. Or, if the weather’s looking a bit grey, it’ll bring the sunshine in.
Whether you opt for a buttery pastel colour or a pack a punch in lemon, the choices are endless. But, this tiered midi dress (Free People, £178) will make you feel like you’re on holiday, even if you’re just drinking alfresco in the UK.
Accessorise with a Staud bucket bag (Matches Fashion, £155) – an investment worth making – and a large pair of tort sunglasses (Zalando, £59.99). These Le Specs sunglasses were a firm favourite in our review of the best, so are well worth snapping up. Plus, they'll hide any tired eyes the morning after that first pub visit. Result.