This Is What Lockdown Was Supposed to Look Like

Murray Clark
·3-min read
Photo credit: Dior
Photo credit: Dior

From Esquire

You're about as tired of lockdown as we are writing about it. Because it's hard. It's hard to plan your day when the concept of a day is broken (it's hard to write about that too, trust). You could meet a friend outside for exercise, but it'll be too cold, or too wet, and the anxiety of a spluttering passer-by too much. Indoors, then! Back to an evening of Netflix thrillers, and, yes, a pair of sweatpants. Been a while since you watched Groundhog Day.

Wait, no. That's not how this was supposed to go. We were supposed to maintain an element of structure to our day, something a bit like real life. Eat good. Stay hydrated. Get dressed. Have we not learnt anything from lockdown 1.0? Apparently not. At the time of publication, this writer is trapped in a well of schlumpy grey marl and Below Deck: a fly-on-the-wall series chronicling the life and times of dull young things tending to international tax dodgers aboard a yacht. Christ, it's miserable even typing it out.

But we're not all hiding under the brushback cotton blanket of Bravo TV. There are some exceptions, and some hints as to how differently this could've all played out. Paul Bettany knows. The Marvel star (he played the walking varicose vein that was Vision in Age of Ultron, which you could watch tonight, actually) is dressing how 2020 feels. Dark and moody, but not lazy necessarily. Rather than open the Walkers share bag and retreat into pure scruffatura, the 49-year-old has kept up appearances, in neat, sharp Dior: the really classic, but still cool stuff that creative director Kim Jones has doubled-down on since his appointment in 2018.

It's far above the current bracket of at-home dressing, but it's not quite walking around your two-bed in a three-piece suit. It's... close to what you'd wear on a normal day? And just because you're not popping to the pub for a quick seven pints, or going to the shops, or seeing anyone but your immediate household (STAY ALERT), treat it like any other day. Because we did get dressed, once upon a time. This isn't Bettany's first instance of Making An Effort either: he's also been snapped in Saint Laurent on Instagram.

Yes, it's easy to gloss over the amenities that being part of the top 1 per cent can afford. It's easy to say celebrities have it much, much easier. Because they do, largely. Coronavirus is not the great leveller we once thought. But despite a lovely balcony overlooking some of the most expensive real estate on the planet, Bettany has openly admitted to sharing the same struggles everyone else has, writing: "I tried to say goodbye to the clothes that [Saint Laurent's creative director Anthony Vaccarello] so kindly lent me for press for the movie Uncle Frank, but they wouldn’t leave! Stockholm syndrome is in full effect after a week or so in captivity they began to bond emotionally with me, and I’m now not sure that they’ll ever be able to return to Paris! More later."

You're well entitled to ultimate comfort when going stir crazy. It's absolutely OK. But know that putting on some of your more reliable, flattering menswear might do wonders. It might even make things seem slightly normal. Celebrities: not just like us, but perhaps an inch closer than we'd think.

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