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All Dressed Up With Nowhere To Go

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

Why can we not stop shopping, even in quarantine?

Last night, I spontaneously decided to spend $300 on new clothes online, and I can say with complete certainty that I am NOT the only one. Online shopping is at an all-time high during quarantine, and while our economy continues to dissolve right in front of us, it seems that we simply cannot stop consuming, whether it’s home goods, entertainment, or fashion. Obviously, this online shopping kick can’t last forever, even though it seems after six months that quarantine just might, but why is it that, even when we have nowhere to wear our new purchases, we are so obsessed with collecting new clothes?

"We simply cannot stop consuming, whether it’s home goods, entertainment, or fashion."

Fashion has seemingly become a massive pastime during quarantine, with influencers managing to infiltrate our feeds every day with new quirky, “relatable” ways to show off their looks, and fashion TikToks growing in numbers. However, this coronavirus fashion content has a seemingly different flavour which leaves a bad taste in many viewers mouths. Influencers these days prance across our screens in a never-ending wardrobe of tie dye sweat suits and hand knit cashmere lounge sets, selling us premium-priced looks to sit at home in as unemployment rates rise and fewer and fewer of us have disposable income. While all this seems just a little bit dystopian, we, quite literally, buy into it. Girls just like you and I spend their days posting mirror selfies in their newest athleisure looks to wear from bed to the dinner table, because, what else is there to do right now but dress up?

"However, this coronavirus fashion content has a seemingly different flavour which leaves a bad taste in many viewers mouths."

For the first time in our very online lives, we are at a point where we are not expected to be viewed and perceived by those around us 24/7. Everyone knows we’re all at home, there is no need to post, no need to share, we’re all living a near identical experience, well, glaring wealth inequality aside. If anything, this new way of life would be detrimental to fashion media. No more events, fashion weeks on hold (at least, as long as you don't ask PFW...), nowhere to dress up, nowhere to go. However, it seems influencers, as well as those of us regular folks who are interested in fashion, are pumping out style-related content at rates never before seen. We are shopping online to our hearts content, receiving package after package, and dressing up in our living rooms for our followers, whether they be massive in numbers or not.

"No more events, fashion weeks on hold, nowhere to dress up, nowhere to go."

If anything, it seems that now we have all the time in the world at home, it is easier than ever before to get dressed with the sole intention of doing so for fun and for yourself, à la Repeller Thoughtline Outfit Prompts. With a growing interested in creating fashion content for our followers as a sort of hobby, there is a sudden need to buy as many new garments as we can afford during these economically trying times. Not a day goes by where I don’t see a friend sharing an unboxing video of her latest purchase on her Instagram story, mimicking influencers who are quite literally paid to shop. But it’s consumption without need, without warrant. At least in the bygone days before Coronavirus we could try to justify a single-use outfit by selectively purchasing it for an event. But guess what girlies! There are no events anymore. A single use outfit for a mirror selfie is not a good look. And while I can chastise hyper-consumption during the apocalypse until the forthcoming end of time, I did open this article by outing myself as a quarantine shopper. We all see it, we all do it… it’s too hard to resist.

Maybe in times like these there isn’t a right or wrong, but rather choices we make to mentally get through the day. Maybe we should take advantage of this new way of life to dress exactly how we want in the comfort of our own homes. Yet, even as our way of life has completely changed, and is never really expected to go back to normal even six months into the pandemic, as a second wave looms over us, why do our shopping habits stay more or less the same? In a world that seems to revolve around fashion images and non-stop shopping, I have but one question: if an order to stay home and see nobody can’t stop our fashion consumption, what can?

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