Friday, October 30, 2020

October 2020 Shopping Reflections

K and I are both feeling pretty well now after our recent brush with unusually severe cold symptoms. By the time my post went live, we were already starting to get better, and thank goodness, that trend has continued. My COVID-19 testing experience didn't go too smoothly - there was a problem with my first sample and I needed to go back a second time - but I ultimately tested negative, so all's well that ends well! 

In accordance with my doctor's COVID precautions, however, my routine appointment will still be postponed a few weeks. I've also confirmed with my work supervisors that I'll be staying home until my symptoms are gone. (So I don't feel like I need to get a second negative COVID test to be safe to others, since I won't be going anywhere for a while regardless.) Oh, and K and I will both be getting our flu shots as soon as we can, after we've fully recovered. 

I wrote recently about my shopping plans for the rest of the year, with a list of three items I have my eye on. And as you can see, neither of my purchases this month - two colorful Aerie sweatshirts - were on that planned-for list. They're velour sweatshirts, no less, which... definitely isn't a fabric I'd ever have thought I'd reach for. 

I'm old enough to remember when those Juicy Couture velour tracksuits - a definite example of why people say the early 2000s had questionable fashion - were all the rage. I never even considered owning a Juicy tracksuit because it was too far out of the acceptable price range - I had a Victoria's Secret Pink-brand sweatshirt and sweatpants, both from the sale section, instead - but I was aware enough of the Juicy tracksuit trend that the idea of a velour sweatshirt still has a strong association with the 2000s in my mind. 

I found these colors - a bright teal and a deep purple - charming when I first came across these Aerie sweatshirts maybe two weeks ago. But I had been good about resisting the impulse because I now have plenty of stay-at-home loungewear. 

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I ultimately blame both my lingering cold symptoms and Mitch McConnell for this month's purchases. I placed the order a few days ago on Monday evening, when I was still feeling ill and after it became clear the Senate Republicans would ram through their replacement for Justice Ginsburg's seat. I know, I know, retail therapy is a terrible vice and isn't actually helpful. Since starting this blog - where I reflect on my years of closet decluttering, KonMari method, and new additions to my wardrobe, all in excruciating detail - I've gotten much better about not shopping just to soothe my feelings. But 2020 has proven to be... a special year, in the worst possible way. 

Fashion - (Total: $69.92) 

  • Aerie Velour Sweatshirt, jade - $34.46 - (sold out, other colors here) Between this month and the last, I guess it's clear I have a hard time resisting teal sweatshirts! Velour is definitely outside my sartorial comfort zone, but I'm only ever going to wear these sweatshirts at home. While I have plenty of other recently-acquired stay-at-home loungewear, I think it's clear now that I'm going to be stuck in my apartment and rarely able to go anywhere else for several months more. So new loungewear will certainly still be put to use! According to customer reviews, these sweatshirts are dramatically oversized, so I got this in a size XS because it was the only one left by the time I ordered. (I'm no longer strictly opposed to doing mail-in returns, like I was at the start of the COVID-19 shutdowns, but I'm still endeavoring to avoid returning things whenever possible. If the XS turns out too small for me, I may pass it on to my sister instead.)
  • Aerie Velour Sweatshirt, fresh bright - $34.46 - I don't know why they call this deep purple color "fresh bright." I ordered this in a size S, and we'll see whether both sizes work for me. While Aerie made matching velour joggers in some colors, neither of these shades are available as matched sets. It's a bit hard to get a good read on exactly how oversized these sweatshirts are, as I feel like Aerie intentionally didn't size down for the models in the store photos, while the average customer would probably size down, maybe even by two sizes. Here are a few photos of customers or Aerie store employees wearing the sweatshirts or the full sets on Instagram, which may give a better idea of the fit: here, here, here, and here. (Aerie may have done a social media campaign encouraging people to incorporate these sweatsuits into stay-at-home Halloween costume ideas, as you'll see from some of these examples...) 

Does anyone else remember when Juicy Couture tracksuits were cool? (Particularly when worn with Uggs?) I only learned about the trend in college, towards the late 2000s, which I think was a few years after it hit its peak. In college, colorful sweatpants with Uggs were a super-popular look, but only a few people on campus wore - or could afford - the matching Juicy tracksuits. Victoria's Secret Pink sweatpants and sweatshirts were far more common.

And is anyone else also finding that 2020 is eroding their typical resolve against retail therapy? I confess I also engaged in other retail therapy this month, not just for my closet. I ordered a few more bottles of fountain pen ink. I also bought more Cocofloss, after spending some time using normal drugstore floss when my previous pack ran out. I know it sounds kooky and extravagant to buy fancy dental floss, but every time I switch to a drugstore one again, it doesn't take long before I switch right back. I just feel I get a better clean from the thicker, more "grippy" texture of the Cocofloss. 

I'm filled with so much trepidation about the outcome of the American presidential election. I've long been of the view that our current President demeans our Constitution and the values and ideals embedded in it. I'm not sure the rule of law, which his Department of Justice actively undermines, and our legal norms can take much more. I'm genuinely afraid of what happens if he wins a second term, particularly to immigration law. This doesn't quite fit in a post that's otherwise about this month's shopping, but I just needed to get that off my chest. 

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