wardrobe changes

Don’t Overhaul Your Wardrobe: What the Pandemic Means for Your Clothing Needs

The change of seasons is a reminder for homeowners to take care of various scheduled maintenance activities. Duct cleaning, decluttering, and pruning those tree branches that grow too close to your roof are among the things to mark off your to-do list.

But with the changes in the air usually comes the need for a wardrobe rotation or makeover. As the global situation with Covid-19 continues to unfold over a longer period of time than many expected, is that still a good idea?

Changing priorities

Many people are spending less time outdoors than usual. We work from home, our kids attend virtual classes, and we can order online for most of our needs.

Even though spending more time at home would make anyone want to go out, the options for recreation have been limited. And should you choose to attend an event, socializing while wearing face masks can often ruin the impact of an otherwise perfectly curated outfit.

As if that weren’t enough, the pandemic has sent economies around the world into recession. Many have shown signs of recovery, but it’s taking place slowly. And during such times, consumers tend to change their behavior. They will inevitably spend more on essentials, such as food and shelter. Fashion spending often sees a drastic cut.

An industry in crisis

The coronavirus has affected us all, often in tragic form. But as people begin to adapt and governments find ways to manage the situation, it’s becoming clear that the fashion industry, in particular, has suffered.

Hardly anyone prefers to shop at retail stores versus online these days. And when it comes to apparel, that’s a loss of up to 80% of transactions. Naturally, fashion brands and retailers alike have pivoted to make greater use of e-commerce channels, but it’s not the same experience.

Store managers know the power of impulse all too well. The effect of passing by an outfit on display, getting hooked into trying it on, then making an unplanned purchase decision, simply can’t be replicated online.

There are also sourcing woes to consider. Many fashion companies rely on cheap labor and materials from countries like China, Vietnam, or Bangladesh. The initial outbreak of Covid-19 disrupted those supply chains, and further waves threaten to do the same. Meanwhile, the cost of providing a safe working environment at warehouses and distribution centers creates friction and drives costs.

Continuing needs

Thus, consumer demand for fashion is low. The industry itself is facing a lot of pressure to change or downscale operations. And with several companies declaring that they will allow some or all employees to continue working from home indefinitely, many feel like it’s time to get rid of workwear.

In fact, disposing of unused items in your closet can help raise some additional funds in a pinch while also freeing up storage space. But the fashion industry isn’t dead, because people continue to have needs for new clothing.

Parents raising babies, for instance, will need swaddles and comfortable outfits for their little ones. Children of all ages will outgrow their current clothing. Not everyone is contented with hand-me-downs. Adults themselves can gain or lose weight, leading to issues with comfort and fit.

The seasons change, and people will still need to change into appropriate clothing. Not everyone has perfect maintenance practices. Old staples might be thrown out due to deterioration, but new ones need to take their place.

Holding steady

woman carrying folded laundry

As it has in so many other aspects, the pandemic hasn’t been the herald of doom so much as it has represented accelerated change. Brands are coming up with new looks that will resonate across video conferencing platforms, for instance. Retail stores might allow online shoppers to contact them through a live chat with an in-store representative, rather than a bot.

The home is playing an increasingly more important part of our daily lives. Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that the athleisure trend is among the few to have gained from the impact of the pandemic. People are now able to focus on buying apparel that makes them feel comfortable and can be worn to different activities and locations.

Fashion is always evolving and often loops back on itself in a cyclical manner. While people rush to sell their preloved items and stores pull out all the stops on clearance sales to shift merchandise, you could actually score some great bargains.

Not all jobs will be compatible with remote work, and establishments will eventually reopen. People will go out again, even if the new normal will end up being somewhat different. Don’t take drastic measures in terms of your wardrobe. Clear out a few pieces, buy some new versatile ones, and wait out this period of ongoing change.

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