Yorkshire ‘Outfit of the Day’ influencers on emerging from lockdown in style

Dressing up is what they do brilliantly and home is where the #OOTD style has been for weeks. Seven super-stylish Yorkshire women show and tell Stephanie Smith how lockdown has influenced their attitude to life and fashion.

By Stephanie Smith
Friday, 26th June 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Sunday, 28th June 2020, 11:08 am
Lisa Ross, near her home in Leeds, putting the sparkle into lockdown.
Lisa Ross, near her home in Leeds, putting the sparkle into lockdown.

The lockdown might be easing, but its legacy of relaxed, comfortable, easy dressing looks set to remain for a long time to come, and could perhaps represent the future of fashion.

But not everyone has been donning the at-home uniform of joggers and tee, far from it. Some have refused to let lockdown compromise their day-to-day wardrobe, dressing up and dressing smart, while others have adapted their working and occasion looks to create a new form of go-anywhere luxe fashion.

Social media influencers across Yorkshire have been doing what they do best and documenting their life and style throughout the time we have been, for the most part, confined to our homes. Here they give a snapshot of what they have been wearing and reflect on how lockdown has influenced their look and their outlook.

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Parnian Beni, Harrogate-based influencer and pathology scientist, dressed up at home.

Lisa Ross / Leeds, influencer and What’s On editor for Families Leeds & West Yorkshire Magazine / 

“As we’ve been busy with home school most days, I’ve found getting up and dressed everyday invaluable,” said Lisa, who lives in Leeds with husband Phil and their two girls, Millie, 11, and Izzy, six. “It puts me in the right frame of mind for the day ahead and helps with my mental health too. I just don’t feel like myself when I’m not in a feel-good outfit, and a sequin skirt always has this effect for me. The lovely weather has definitely helped. All my lockdown outfits have to be comfortable and work with flats as, like lots of people, family walks have become a favourite pastime.”

Parnian Beni /Harrogate, influencer and pathology scientist /

“Trying to cope with the outbreak of coronavirus has had huge impacts on everyone worldwide,” said Parnian. “Here is my tip to stay happy and productive. Make sure you still get up and dressed, even though you aren’t going anywhere. More than just keeping up appearances, it helps to put your brain in work mode and not have your mind on lockdown.”

Melissa Abbott, influencer and primary school teacher, says colour and print have been her mood enhancers.

Melissa Abbott / 
Ripon, influencer and school teacher/ 

“My lockdown style is comfortable and loose but without a compromise on style,” said Melissa, who works part-time in a village primary school and lives with her husband and four daughters. She started her Instagram account two years ago and has more than 25,000 followers. Melissa’s picture was taken at her home to celebrate the recent John Lewis and London Fashion Week Catwalk Challenge, which encouraged people to create their own at-home runway and send in a video of their strut. The video of entrants can be found at www.londonfashionweek.co.uk. Melissa said: “Colour and print are great mood enhancers for me so a bright bold dress is getting me through this time.”

Siobhan Thomas / Leeds, founder and designer of fashion brand What’s Your Skirt? /

“My lockdown style has still been dressed up. I didn’t want to lose who I was just because we were confined to our homes,” said Siobhan. A graduate of the University of Huddersfield with a degree in Fashion with Marketing, Manufacturing and Promotion, she set up What’s Your Skirt? in 2018 to celebrate and make great skirts for women of all shapes and curves.

Siobhan Thomas of fashion brand What’s Your Skirt? has been wearing her own easy but dressy skirts during lockdown.

“My dress sense has still been rocking skirts, jumpsuits and a few dresses,” she added. “We have just started designing lounge skirts, set to be released for autumn.”

Emily Gray / personal stylist at John Lewis & Partners Leeds / Instagram @jl_emilyg

“Like most people, at the start of lockdown I was living in joggers,” said Emily. “I reached ‘peak jogger’ early on and I’m still working from home, so my go-to has become the breezable dress. I’m dressed up enough for my virtual styling appointments, while still being comfortable enough to lounge on the sofa in my down time.”

Emily is part of a team of John Lewis stylists across the UK offering free virtual one-to-one personal styling appointments to give advice on decluttering and lockdown dressing. “As we are allowed out to meet more people, women inevitably want to look and feel their best. So a lot of customers have been looking to fill that casual weekend wardrobe gap for summer.”

Emily Gray, personal stylist at the John Lewis & Partners Leeds store, has been wearing breezy dresses - this one is by Mother of Pearl, £179 at John Lewis.

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Emma Worthington / Rishworth, personal stylist and wardrobe consultant / @swoon_love

“Lockdown looks have fallen into three categories for me,” said Emma, who lives with husband, Rob, and children, Eric, six, and Eloise, two. “Firstly, loungewear that is bright and fun. Secondly, floaty, comfortable day dresses that are great at home but will equally be great on holiday (if we ever get there). Thirdly, and unexpectedly, it has been beachwear. We’ve spent so much time in the garden enjoying the sunshine and playing water games.” Emma has been investing in dress jewellery too. “It won’t go to waste if we don’t go on holiday and it’s made me feel good at home.”

Ruth Preston, Leeds, influencer and full-time mum / 

“My style during lockdown has been varied,” said Ruth, who lives with her husband, Andy, son Jude, nine, and identical twin girls Emmy and Lena, six.

“Some days you’ll find me in joggers and an oversized tee,” added Ruth, in between home schooling – “I need a medal and a holiday,” she says. “The days when I feel better about myself are the days when I actually get dressed, albeit still super-comfy, always adding some colour to lift the mood, even if it’s a bit of lippy.”

Emma Worthington has been looking ahead to holidays in floaty dresses and statement jewellery.

Stephanie Smith Instagram @yorkshirestyleQ

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Ruth Preston has been spending lockdown homeschooling her children. She likes to dress "super-comfy" with a pop of colour.