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Buying Clothes In The Time Of A Pandemic

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The approach of how fashion is produced has always been a luxury. High design brands release as much as four collections in a year.

With the increase of fast fashion, international fashion labels like Zara and ASOS bypass release by season and release new collections every other month.

And while this might seem like good news, fast fashion kills the sustainability of fashion. It influences consumerism and drives it to the point of frivolousness—a point where people buy things not because they’re needed but because they’re available.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put an abrupt stop to the fast way clothes are produced. African local brands have halted the production of designs from their studios. And international brands like Forever 21 are cancelling their production orders from Bangladesh. Workers have had to suffer because of this, and most manufacturing companies that have already manufactured the clothes are stuck with these merchandises and unpaid workers.

For some of us, our jobs were not affected. We’ve had to work from home; handling all businesses via emails and video calls. For most of us, the clothes we own are no longer practical. And we’re being forced by the pandemic to look at how we buy fashion more critically. Below are some tips for buying fashion in the age of a pandemic. And this is for the person who has a video call to the person who has to grocery shop.

Invest in a solid black blazer
A black blazer is the quintessential wardrobe staple. A black blazer is a must-have that can be used as frequent and varied as possible. With the inner shirt being changed, a black blazer could be used every day of the week without being obvious or out of place. Keep your blazer black, unless you already own a different coloured blazer, this isn’t a time to be investing in anything other than black. For reasons including saving money during this time, this is a smart move, and a time to invest in a quality black blazer if you don’t already have one.

Invest in a black long-sleeved light turtleneck sweater
Like the blazer, the black long-sleeved light turtleneck sweater is multipurpose and protective. Turtleneck sweaters can be used for all your online meetings without seeming weird. Because of its range, it saves you money. If you’d be going outside for whatever reason, this black long-sleeved light turtleneck sweater serves as added protection for your skin.

Don’t impulse buy
Shopping, especially when done online, could be a spiral line which one goes into. Ask yourself: do I really need that right now? If the answer is no, you probably shouldn’t get it. For one, most products have seen, at least, a 5% increase in price since the pandemic started. With the end of the pandemic still, largely, unknown, saving as much of your money as possible will be the smartest move to make during this period.

Always choose quality
We all know that friend who chooses things that are inferior just because they’re cheaper. And two weeks later, they’re getting something else that is cheaper to replace the old cheap, damaged product. Don’t be that friend. Investing in quality clothing makes sense for two reasons: the first is, you’d be saving money because the amount of money it would take to keep replacing one product would be put into getting a quality product that would last for as long as possible. Secondly, nothing beats owning quality. With the increase in chemicals to produce cheap clothing materials, and the cost of cheap labour, you’d be putting your skin in harm’s way and supporting cheap labour indirectly.

Consider being a minimalist
A fashion minimalist is someone who keeps things simple. They stick to essential clothing like white/black shirts; denim jackets, trousers; black plain trousers; useful shoes only; little or no accessories. The point of being a minimalist is to go for things one only needs. This supersedes fashion and falls within the walls of function. If you aren’t a minimalist, do not rush into it. One might feel sad having to give up a consumer lifestyle that involves buying frivolously. Focus on being conscious of how you buy and ask yourself if you really need that product.

The key thing to always remember this period is to go for what you need not what you want. What you want could be expensive and not useful to you immediately or, even in some cases, in the future. Stick to things you need, things that fill a purpose. Go for durability rather than flashy. Be conscious of your consumer habits. During this time of the pandemic, function comes before fashion.

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