Have clothing styles changed during the pandemic?

When no one was wearing or buying clothes?

Unfortunately, I do not know the answer to this penetrating question which, it now occurs to me, is as pretentious in its attitude of profundity as is the question about a tree falling in the forest.

I’m wondering about all this because I’m doing the bi-annual shifting of winter clothes and summer clothes in and out of my cedar closet, whilst dithering about whether it is too soon. Will there be snow next week, with me having only cotton pullovers at hand?

I have never been a style hawk. When I did dress for work, I believe I was pretty much “in style” but that was not because I sought out new styles. On the occasions when I bought clothes, I bought them from shops. Which had in-style clothing lines, although I specialized in scouting out the on-sale racks.

I learned to do this from my mom, who bought my sixth grade graduation dress by rummaging through the dregs on a last-ditch sale table at Klein’s, finding a shop-worn white organza, dying it pink and adding a satin ribbon as a belt. $2.99. I will never forget that price. Today, my ceiling is $10; if something is $10 or under, it’s free. That’s the rule.

But when I did buy from shops, never did I say, “Oh no! I don’t like these newfangled styles. Give me the oldies, please.” I accepted advances in styles — except for the clothes at H&M, where I’d pick up a garment and wonder what part of the body it was supposed to cover. Style is not the question at H&M. “What the fuck is this?” is the question at H&M.

On the other hand, I have always prided myself on buying good clothes and wearing them basically forever, given a hem or two, and a button or two moved outward.

Seems probable I will never claw my way to fame as a Style Influencer. Je ne regrette rien. Well, except for a couple of dresses I had decades ago which disappeared into the thin air of I-gave-them-away, and have yearned for them ever since. A hem up, a hem down, a button or two moved…



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