How COVID-19 Positively Affected My Shopping Habits

With borders closed and international shipping halted, I wasn’t able to do a lot of my usual shopping.

I’ve often lamented the lack of availability of decent new RTW clothing in Adelaide. As a result, my shopping habits have largely tended towards thrifting or importing garments I want from overseas to avoid paying the Australia tax (increased price due to location).
With thrift stores closed and buying international a risky option for a number of weeks, not only has my bank account been happier but I’ve been forced to take a break.
This break has given me pause, providing time to properly sit down and map out what needs to be in my wardrobe (and what doesn’t).

Take A Good, Hard Look

My buying habits were admittedly haphazard. I used to just pick up what I could when I found a bargain. As a result, my wardrobe is skewed in the direction of some things while clearly lacking others.
For example, I have two woollen overcoats, but I might as well have one.
Both are identical; navy blue, double breasted, peak lapel and full length. I don’t wear suits a lot, and the configurations of these coats are too dressy for a lot of my day to day wear. I really have no use for two of them, and I’ve been desperately needing something else. One is a vintage Dior, which I’ll keep, and the other one is a wool/cashmere blend with smaller lapels, which I’ll sell.

This isn’t the only issue my wardrobe faces. With the wet weather we’ve had in Adelaide thus far heralding much more of the same for winter, I need something rainproof to wear. I’m leaning towards a Barbour waxed jacket of some kind, which will set me back a decent amount as they simply don’t appear in charity stores around here, but with a curbing of useless buying I’ll be able to save up and acquire one.

I also noted an overwhelming presence of striped and patterned shirts in my wardrobe, most of which are too boldly patterned to accompany a tie. As a result, I’ve culled the herd and sold off some of the ones that didn’t fit so well, had undesirable characteristics – such as collar being too small – or were less versatile.
And I acquired some versatile oxford shirts for the winter in their stead.
I got my hands on some corduroy pants as well.

I finally made peace with the fact that my leather jackets aren’t going to fit again. They take up a lot of space in the wardrobe, so it’s pretty important for me to get rid of them and replace them with something that actually fits when I get the chance.
One of them has already made its way to a good friend of mine, who will get plenty of use out of it. I think it looks better on him than it ever did on myself.
It was something I wore when I was considerably underweight, and holding onto it at the thought of fitting it again was nothing more than a pipe dream.

I’ve always wanted a Schott Perfecto. Maybe now I’ll free up the kind of funds that might let me acquire the real deal (likely a vintage one).
One of my jackets is a similar style, a double rider. It’s a good looking jacket. But the chest is always going to be too tight, and it’s time to let it go.
I can only wear it open.

I also realised, upon acquiring a pair of old R.M. Williams jeans with a high rise, that my ideal fit for jeans was likely to be near impossible to find in RTW. I couldn’t find another pair of the RMs online, so I decided to bite the bullet and get them replicated in made to measure selvedge.
I’ll post about those when I receive them.
But it’s safe to say I’m a little bit excited.

Concluding Thoughts: The Shape Of Things To Come?

Virus restrictions are easing now, at least in my state. Whether we’ll see a similar happening is a subject rife with debate, and not the kind of thing I’m going to dive into on here. It’s been a rough experience for most people, some more than others.
But there’s a silver lining, at least for me.
I’ve got a roadmap to my ideal wardrobe now.

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With content features ranging from appearances on popular menswear hubs (The Rake, StyleForum, Put This On) to French perfume newsletters and university course readings, Sam is a writer, designer and enthusiast in the fields of menswear and fragrance.

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