Monday, April 6, 2020

March 2020 Shopping Reflections

It feels a little strange to be doing a "business as usual"-type post when the world has changed so much since the last time I drafted one of these monthly shopping posts. But I still want to keep up this series, which I've been writing for five years and counting. 

K and I are now in our fourth week of fairly strict social distancing, where we work entirely from home and only leave our apartment building roughly once every two weeks for groceries (and, if needed, we'll add a trip to the pharmacy during the same outing). And it's an incredible privilege to have been able to stay indoors like this. Our household plans to continue social distancing  this way for as long as we are able, and that will almost certainly be for at least as long as New York's "On PAUSE" executive order remains in place. At this point, I'm not optimistic that this state of affairs can end before May, and I think it's most likely to last until close to June, or later. 

My desire and appetite for online window-shopping has fluctuated dramatically during this time. In the first two weeks, I was browsing up a storm, driven in part by boredom and discomfort from the new obligation to stay almost completely indoors, and also by a wave of unusually broad discounts and promotions. The discounts themselves have generally been modest - somewhere between 10% to 25% off, generally closer to 10% to 15% off - but applied to a wider range of products than is typical.

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This past week, I felt more "back to normal" when it came to my online shopping habits. Additionally, the realization gradually sank in that I'd need essentially nothing in the way of new clothes and accessories if I'd be working entirely from home for the foreseeable future. Some among us may regularly change into "daytime" lounging or indoor clothes when working from home, but I confess I'm not one of them. I pretty much just wear the same lounge clothes around the clock these days!

Fashion - (TOTAL: $347.50)
  • Elizabeth Suzann Harlow dress, silk crepe, black - $265.00 - It'll sound a bit like post hoc rationalization, since I never got the chance to write about my ideas for this year's shopping list until now, but I was coming up with a fairly pared-down list that didn't have much more on it than some new tights; that sleek and more office-appropriate backpack I was thinking about since January (maybe a Knomo Beauchamp?); and this dress. Given that I'm a bit self-conscious about my bust measurement, one would think I'd generally avoid this type of voluminous silhouette that billows down and out from the widest point of the chest. (For lack of more graceful wording, I call it the "boob tent" effect.) Yet I find that I keep coming back to the idea of this dress after seeing it on a few other bloggers, including Elaine. And hey, I tried out a similar shape last year in the form of the LinenFox "Summer" dress, and found that I quite enjoyed wearing it, even if the design was very much outside my style comfort zone. Originally, I wasn't planning on ordering this dress until June or so, since it's definitely summer wear. But when the owner of Elizabeth Suzann wrote about the challenges their small business was facing, it felt right to me to move up my schedule for this purchase I was already planning to make. Because Nashville has since - rightfully - imposed a broad shutdown order for public health and safety, my order will likely be delayed significantly longer than Elizabeth Suzann's typical four-week production timeline for made-to-order items. But that's totally okay by me!  
  • Wolford Velvet De Luxe 50 denier tights, black - $36.75 - In hindsight, it now feels a little silly to have stocked up on tights in March, even if they're one of my wardrobe staples for most of each year. I can guarantee that I'm definitely not wearing tights again until we're back in the office, and who knows when that will be? Tights were on my shopping list for the year, in any case. Though strictly speaking, I only really needed one new pair. 
  • Wolford Pure 50 tights, black - $45.75 - For a time in mid-March, Nordstrom was running a broad 25% off almost everything promotion, including many items that typically don't go on sale. So I took the opportunity to snag two new pairs of Wolford tights, not just one. Over the years, I've found Wolford tights extremely durable - when I don't repeatedly snag them against sharp edges of furniture by accident, that is - and comfortable, they stay put throughout the day and the waistband doesn't roll down. My previous pairs of Wolford tights have held up well to extremely frequent washing and wear. 

Admittedly, now that I've pretty much gone through my entire planned shopping list for the remainder of the year, any subsequent shopping - and there almost certainly will be some - will likely be more impulsive. At this point, that more formal and sleek backpack I was thinking about is the only thing really left on the list, but I'm not sure I can bring myself to make a decision on that genre of item until I'm able to freely leave my apartment building without endangering others in my community. Backpacks are definitely not the kind of thing one shops for when staying at home for the foreseeable future! 

I hope that you, and your families and friends, are holding up alright, and that everyone is well. 

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