Written by Sara Fender Capano
Of all the ways life has changed this year, I’d say my online shopping habit has been one of the biggest. All this uncertainty and boredom has made me want to online shop more than ever – to look at all the pretty things and imagine how and where I’d wear them once life begins to resume some sense of normalcy.
I imagine myself wearing a brightly coloured tie-front Zimmerman dress and white vegan Adidas, strolling along the streets downtown on my way to meet my friends for Happy Hour. Or in a pair of black AllSaints biker leggings, a white t-shirt from The Attico, and black mid-top Dr.Martens working on a photo set. But, for now, I wear these looks around the house. The cat is not impressed. *Sigh* Looks like I’ll be returning this dress (I’m keeping the other clothes, if you were curious).
As a professional wardrobe stylist who hasn’t been on a photo set since March, there is no real need for me to be buying anything. Where am I going anyway? For the last six months, the highlight of my week has been my trip to the grocery store. However, saying I’ll do less online shopping is easier said than done. Scrolling through pages and pages of clothes is my happy place, so I keep visiting my favourite websites, and I keep hitting ‘Add to Cart’.
I used to just aimlessly put items in my cart and buy everything, immediately forgetting half of what I just purchased until the package arrives, and even then, would sometimes think, “I bought this?”, before tossing it in my closet where it may or may not ever again see the light of day. This kind of useless spending is no longer an option since Covid-19 came onto the scene and life has done a 180. I’ve had to make several financial adjustments, one of them being to be more purposeful with my online shopping.
What comes next is where my new “quality over quantity” theory comes in – after I add items to the cart, I don’t actually buy anything. At least not immediately. After filling up my shopping cart, I abandon it at checkout and go about my day. Out of sight, out of mind.
Sometimes, an image will pop into my head of the perfect way to style that new Wolford bodysuit with my old Rag & Bone boyfriend jeans. I make a mental note of the bodysuit. Or, I think about how many time I would legitimately wear a new pair of white Air Force 1s – they stylistically work with almost everything, from dresses to pantsuits. I make a mental note of the sneakers.
The true test then comes at night. If I dream about a particular item, or I make outfits with it in my mind as I am falling asleep (some count sheep, I put together looks), then, when I wake up, I will go straight to that cart and only purchase that particular item. The rest of the clothes get deleted.
This method has drastically reduced my spending habit, and has kept my closet relatively clean and organized. It’s been amazing to me how much random nonsense I was actually buying, just to buy something – to have that anticipation of a package arriving and planning where to wear said item, just to post about it on Instagram and never wear it again. It all seems so wasteful now.
So, if you find yourself aimlessly shopping, as I know I so often do, sleep on it. I promise your closet and your bank account will thank you.