Thursday, June 25, 2020

June 2020 Shopping Reflections

It may be a bit presumptuous to post my June 2020 monthly shopping post now, with so many days left in the month. But I'm also quite confident that no other purchases are forthcoming in the next few days! It's almost a pity too, because I've been learning about so many great Black-owned clothing and accessories companies that do such incredibly beautiful work, but I'm just not in the frame of mind to buy much for myself right now.

In the last week or two, I've suddenly started feeling much more well-adjusted about our continued period of fairly strict social distancing. Admittedly, K and I are probably... excessively paranoid about COVID-19, especially now that NYC has turned back the curve so well and the danger is significantly reduced compared to when the shutdowns started. For the foreseeable future, we expect to continue sticking to largely the same practices, avoiding public transit and staying home except for essential trips to the grocery store and pharmacy, which we currently do approximately once every three weeks. In between those trips, we typically order from Southeast Asian Food Group, a restaurant supplier that now does home deliveries within NYC (they sell fresh produce, but no fresh meat).

Now that NYC is in Phase Two of reopening, I may need to start returning to the office at least part-time starting in July, but that's probably the only big change I expect to our social distancing practices before fall. I'll plan to wear a face mask at basically all times during my walking commute and once I'm at work, except maybe when I'm alone in my office with the door shut. I think that will pretty much be a legal requirement, actually, under New York state's reopening rules. 

I understand that K and I may be outliers with our continued adherence to strict social distancing. (I follow a NYC-based emergency room physician on Instagram who was on the front lines of the pandemic, and who is fairly cautious. Even he's started socializing recently, though only after being tested for COVID antibodies.) Being this extreme about staying home is probably only possible because we don't have children, are privileged to have been able to work entirely from home until now, and already tended to be homebodies on weekends before this all started. Then again, pretty much all our close friends still in NYC are somewhat similar, none of them have any intention of socializing - even outdoors - in the near future. 

My worries in May about my job security ended up being a mostly false alarm, even though the non-COVID disruptions to our business were significant. I do think the other shoe has yet to drop for the biglaw industry as a whole when it comes to the impact of this recession, and that could affect my workplace too. Let's just say I'm definitely not holding out hope for a year-end bonus. And I wouldn't be shocked if there was a salary cut at some point, though it's not looking too likely in the near future. Overall, I would say I'm reasonably confident I won't see any disruptions to my job or salary through the end of July.

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All the uncertainty about the economy, and about possible future shutdowns or a "second wave" of COVID-19 in NYC, seems to now (finally!) be having a chilling effect on my willingness to browse for and buy clothing and accessories. Given my extremely robust shopping history, I can't say for sure that this current low-shopping period will last indefinitely, but it's not showing any signs of letting up for now. 

Fashion - (TOTAL: $57.42)
  • Jasmine Chong "Ella" Scrunchie, lavender - $57.42 (including shipping and tax) - This is totally another sort-of-impulsive purchase of a category of item I would likely never have contemplated before the shutdowns, much like the matching loungewear set and the sweater too chunky to be practical for me. I don't think I've worn a scrunchie since I was in elementary school! And I was, I'll admit, somewhat inspired to get this specifically because of how it would look on Zoom or other video calls. This scrunchie is designed to be large and dramatic, and I've been wearing it with a high, jaunty ponytail so that the scrunchie peeks out from behind the top of my head. (I have thick hair, so I use another hair tie to secure the ponytail first, before putting this fancy one on. I don't want to accidentally break the elastic!) This is definitely on the expensive side for a hair accessory, but I think the $50 retail price is fair because it's handmade from silk organza by Jasmine's team in NYC, and they've sewn in these lovely little pleats that must be labor-intensive and are also fairly unique, as far as details on designer scrunchies go. In fact, at $50 before shipping and tax, the Ella is actually even... sort of on the affordable end, compared to its direct competitors. Among other things, the Net-a-Porter sale has many fancy scrunchies discounted to a similar price point, including a vaguely similar dramatically large white silk organza one in white and an intensely ruffled, carnation-like scrunchie in pink or green silk, and Sophie Buhai silk scrunchies start at $120 retail. Some similar competitor products are also linked in the Shopstyle widget below. 

Have things reopened where you are? How have you been adjusting your household's approach to social distancing, if at all, as places start reopening? Have you bought any clothing or accessories almost solely because of how they'll look on Zoom? I'm also always looking for more recommendations for additional Black-owned businesses or Black creators and artists to support! 

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