LAST OCTOBER, we asked what you were wearing during the pandemic? Were you sticking with sweats or were you upping your game, buying nicer pants, new eye makeup and treating yourself to a bauble or two?
At that time, we didn’t ask how much you bought, but when we read a recent Wall Street Journal article reporting that Americans bought 54 items of apparel in 2019, up from an annual 48 items, MyLittleBird’s jaw dropped. So, we had to inquire: What have you bought lately—in 2019 or since? Did it come close to the number in the WSJ??
Here’s what you told us:
Maureen Young: The answer to your question is YES! I can’t seem to help myself when I walk to Shadyside these days! Thinking back almost a year and a half since I left my Barcelona rental because of Covid— lots of shoes and summer dresses and shorts and tops to replace what I left behind. But also several dresses, blouses, skirts and purses— yikes! I’m not usually into buying clothes because I grew up wearing uniforms! But nothing else to spend my money on!!! Six jackets, five dresses, one raincoat, two skirts, five dressy blouses, six T-shirts, and jeans, shorts, dressy pants, several purses, 12 pairs of shoes, etc.,etc., etc.!!!
Jacqui Michel: I shopped like a fiend and after gaining COVID weight, I had to go into bigger sizes so I got to that number at least.
Kathy Legg: White v-neck Gap T-shirts. That’s about it for clothing. But I also bought a new roof, patio furniture and I’m about to buy a new knee. Do those things count?
Mary Favello: I bought about 25 items of clothing, including jeans, summer tops, a purse, coats, shoes and lingerie. I also bought moisturizers. In addition to clothes, I contributed to the economy big time. I put in a new kitchen and upgraded a bathroom and a closet. And then there was Christmas. Put a dent there for my family.
I think what it was is we had so much extra time because we were confined, we looked at ourselves differently. I gave away bags of clothes that I probably shouldn’t have bought in the first place.
Stephanie Cavanaugh: Bought nothing until last month when I unexpectedly landed in Florida for a family emergency and needed shorts. Thank you, Amazon. And a couple of tank tops. Thanks again, Amazon. Total expenditure south of 40 bucks. Filled in with three swell shirts at the Juno Beach hospice thrift shop, not sure who to thank for those. Total expenditure there, thirty bucks. That makes eight items.
I do need a new bathing suit, but that’s not a bought, it’s a gonna buy.
Jura Koncius: That’s a crazy number. Does it include shoes?
I recently stocked up on basics at Eileen Fisher. I got two black high-neck tanks, one white tank, a white crocheted sweater, a white flat knit cotton cardigan sweater, a gray flat knit cotton sweater, white washable crepe slim ankle pants and black washable crepe slim ankle pants.
Those eight items should be all I need for now. I just ordered a black and a white viscose tee shirt from Eileen Fisher as many of the system basics are being discontinued—and there will only be a core group left—I love these and am annoyed they won’t be part of the regular line. Also I ordered like five black and gray cotton turtlenecks from Lands End in December for wintering at home—putting them away just now decided I didn’t really need that many.
I think the WSJ number must be fast fashion bought by millennials. I am constantly weeding my wardrobe to be less and less.
Linda Kastan: I did buy a few apparel items online in 2020 (who remembers 2019?), including about seven pairs of sneakers (maybe more) and six pairs of socks, but all together, they probably did not amount to 54.
Judith Robinson: What I have bought most recently is a pair of New Balance sneakers, black, which I am still in the process of “breaking in.” I have a bad toe joint on my right foot (too many years in pointy-toed high heels) and now have trouble finding shoes that don’t hurt! Sorry to not have a more glam purchase to report!
Carol Lichty: Not sure what I bought in 2019… but don’t think it was much different from 2018. But in 2020 I bought (at least) three pair of spring shoes with closed toes because I couldn’t get a pedicure yet plus a couple pair of casual capris. And I always add a few new white tops for summer. Pretty sure not much else last year. I would look and decided to wait since there was nowhere to go except the grocery store. This year will be another story!! Already bought two spring jackets from your recommendations and actually just ordered a linen maxi dress for a good friend’s 80th birthday (yay, a party!) in June from Talbots. (They had a $50- off-dresses weekend.) The other thing on my list to buy soon is new underwear, seems all of a sudden bras and panties looking worn. I remember reading an article years ago that when intimate wear sales went up it was a sign of a good economy?!
Darrylyn Kaun: I bought special pants, booties, socks and gloves for a trip to the Bahamas in early May to go bone fishing. I know people who bought lots and lots of clothes—think they were just bored.
Caren Sniderman: I bought almost nothing during the pandemic. One pair of comfy sweats. This year, I have bought a couple of golf and tennis tops to coordinate with skirts and shorts I already have to get a fresh look. And one fancy top for a couple of weddings this year. Nowhere near the WSJ numbers— even in a good year.
Abigail Cook: Retail, nothing, thrift maybe 10 items. Shirts mostly or sweaters but maybe some lightweight jackets.