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How to Incorporate Impulse Quarantine Purchases Into Your Full-Time Closet

After several long months, it seems like stay-at-home rules may finally be easing up. Most of 2020 may be a distant memory at this point (did July even happen?) but the consequences are a little harder to escape. 

Let me guess, you splurged. It happens to the best of us. Quarantine has us all making some interesting choices! But instead of buying some starter for your sourdough, you were buying silk pajamas for self-care. Don’t worry — with a little effort, you can incorporate your impulse buys into your full-time closet without any extra cost. All you need is time and creativity, but if you need some inspiration too, then I’m here with the best ways to refresh your purchases.

Oversized T-Shirts

Almost everyone I know has bought some form of comfy loungewear during quarantine — there’s no shame in that. High-waisted denim isn’t made for all those extra hours at home anyway. To integrate these pieces into your daily wardrobe, take your oversized t-shirts and tuck them into some pants, folding up the sleeves a couple of times for a more fitted look.

Loungewear

For cropped or full-length hoodies, pair them with some plain black leggings and running shoes to go with the athleisure look. For textured pieces, pair these with pieces of a different material, such as satin with denim or corduroy. A denim jacket on top of your comfiest grey hoodie or pairing a cropped fuzzy pullover with a satin maxi dress makes a winning combination. And loungewear comes in so many styles, so mixing and matching with regular pieces is the way to go!

Related: How to Wear Your Sweats as Street Style, as Told by Princess Diana

Accessories

If you bought cute tops and blouses because video calls require at least the illusion of normality, I applaud you. Incorporating these into your regular wardrobe shouldn’t be too difficult, but also think about dressing them down with an oversized blazer or denim jacket for more casual wear. To dress it up, pair the top with some matching or statement accessories.  

Silk Pajamas

Back to those silk pajamas: this is a fantastic purchase. Not only does the silk feel luxurious but this is an investment. Self-care was important during the last few months and will continue to be important every day of your life. Slip into your silk pajamas whenever! If you want to wear this during the day, that’s also a great and trendy option.

Take the silk button-up top and unbutton all but the top two buttons. Gather the unbuttoned fabric and tie the pieces in a knot. Pair with plain high waisted trousers or an a-line skirt, and you’ve got another great daytime look that is also incredibly comfortable. 

Formal/Fancy Dress

​If you bought a fancy outfit, put it to use! If quarantine taught us anything, it’s to value what we have and not to take things for granted. So plan a virtual dinner party for yourself and some friends and get dressed up for the occasion. Or just get ready for an evening by yourself, watch a movie and try out a new recipe. Anything can be an occasion, so don’t limit yourself.

Regardless of what you splurged on during quarantine, try to move forward sustainably. If you bought ill-fitting items, try to alter them or donate them rather than throwing them away. If you bought something that turned out to be completely different than you imagined, try finding a way to repurpose it. A scarf can double as a top, and some handy sewing could turn your unflattering dress into an incredible skirt. If you’re not sure it fits into your current wardrobe, think of whether it will work for a different season or reason. Reselling your clothing is also an option: check out apps like Depop and Poshmark! In case you still need some inspiration, there are many fantastic content creators that are making quarantine looks classy.

I hope this helps you take another look at your quarantine splurges, without the overhanging guilt this time. Now go forth into the world (with a mask!) and be comfortable.

Samhita Sen

UC Berkeley '21

Samhita (she/her pronouns) graduated in December 2021 from UC Berkeley with a double major in Communication/Media Studies and Sociology. At any given moment, she may be frantically writing an essay, carelessly procrastinating by watching Claire Saffitz on YouTube or spending time with people she loves.
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