Did you get a vaccine selfie? Man, I wanted one so bad. I wanted one almost as much as I wanted the jab itself. But what with the speed of the vaccine rollout being the only not-rubbish thing that had happened in the world in for ever, when it was my turn, I didn’t feel I could hold up proceedings by asking someone to take a photo. Which is a shame, because naturally I had planned an outfit. I mean, if there was ever a red-letter day to dress up for, this was it. I was never going to settle for rolling up a shirt sleeve when I had a great excuse to wear a Studio 54-esque one‑shoulder number on a weekday morning.
The vaccine top is the new Zoom collar, except with added feelgood factor. Like the Zoom collar, it is fashion that has been art-directed by the pandemic, rather than by the catwalk. It is practical (the naked shoulder offers easy access to prime arm real estate, saving you from the indignity of trying to squeeze your arm through a tight sleeve, which can be surprisingly difficult) but it is also a way of honouring the moment. You could just go in a short-sleeve T-shirt, but where’s the photo op in that?
Dolly Parton famously wore a sparkly sweater with cutouts at each shoulder – designed and made especially for the occasion by her creative director Steve Summers. I’m going with a one-shoulder silhouette, but a halter-neck sundress or racer-back vest would also work. Over the next month, as the temperature rises and the average age of those getting jabbed goes down, expect to see one-shoulder swimsuits worn with denim cutoffs, and sweatpants paired with bandeau tops.
At the time of writing, the immediate return of parties and holidays still doesn’t feel like a done deal. Vaccination day is one joyful moment you can feel confident will happen soon, if it hasn’t been your turn already. So this is a feelgood look that you can be sure will get an outing. And, from that day on, it will be an outfit with happy memories. This cold-shoulder top will make you feel warm inside.
Jess wears blouse, £29.99, zara.com. Trousers and heels, her own. Styling: Melanie Wilkinson, assisted by Peter Bevan. Hair and makeup: Sophie Higginson using Color Wow Haircare and Laura Mercier.
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