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I have a confession: I survived the last few months of this pandemic on ten percent of my closet. Yes, you read that right. The illustrious, “lady with lots of luggage,” who four years ago brought four pieces of luggage to her London study abroad program, spent a total of five months on one suitcase.
I’m about to begin the cautionary tale of an estranged love—cue Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On:”
When the lockdown commenced back in March, I flocked to my family home in Northern California with the notion that this lockdown would last a week—two weeks tops. My British plaid suitcase contents reflected that: a few sweaters, T-shirts, pairs of well-tailored jeans, toiletries, the week-long getaway works (I hinted at the lack of clothing in my earliest pandemic posts).
Perhaps I was in denial of the longevity of this pandemic. The possibility hadn’t dawned on me that I would even need summer or fancy clothes! One week, as luck would have it, turned into five months (I hadn’t even stepped into my LA apartment to retrieve my belongings until earlier this month for my move. A blog post about this later, I promise!) and winter turned to spring, then a scorching summer with temperatures in the triple digits. My sartorial choices stayed sparse, especially when I decided that I’d launch the second season of my talk show and began a season of Zoom job interviews. Both situations called for Krischic-approved business casual wear.
If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation where your outfit options were limited, I can sympathize. Surviving a year-long pandemic with only a tenth of my ensembles wasn’t easy, but I managed to keep it ‘Krischic’ nonetheless. Here are some ways I coped:
I Took a Trip to Mama’s Closet
I was convinced that I’d combed through most of my mother’s vintage vestments before moving into my LA apartment last year (and that they were still holding up residence there while I was not), but I had merely scratched the surface. My mother had a slew suits from the ‘90s and avant garde dresses that became unexpected togs for my talk show! Sifting through her retro racks was like a treasure hunt at a thrift store: I discovered diamonds in the rough of my wardrobe estrangement. Each piece told a story, further bonding my family together (yes, clothes can do that!). Case in point: a periwinkle pinafore with a bejeweled belt my mother wore when my father officially asked my grandparents’ for their blessing to marry her. Another jewel of a garment was a turquoise suit my mother wore to my baptism.
I Cut Down on Coffee Costs:
All that money I saved ditching my daily coffee shop runs sure added up! After all, skipping a six-dollar latte a day if you’re buying coffee out five days a week, is $30 kept in your pocket. After a month, that’s $120. I spent most days caffeinating at home with my Nespresso machine: Columbia pods for warm lattes and Altissio pods for iced lattes. I even consulted TikTok, Pinterest, Instagram and Lifestyle blogs for creative coffee recipes. You bet your biscuits and tea that my family attempted whipped coffee and matcha lattes. The money saved went toward my savings, essentials, and yes: new clothes. I cultivated a capsule wardrobe over those five months that are some of my most beloved pieces, even after reuniting with the rest of my closet!
I Became a Repeat Outfit Offender:
Quite honestly, there were days on end where I’d wear the same outfit twice because no one would see. There were times I’d even chill in my pajamas all day (that habit I forced myself to break after the first month of the pandemic). Raise your hand if when you were a kid, you owned a couple outfits you loved so much that you would wear them two to three times in the same week (everybody, aviate your hands!)! Such a childlike practice was revived during this pandemic, because I didn’t have much of a choice!
In ways, the lack of looks was liberating. In others, it was a fashion frustration I didn’t expect to deal with. I’m elated to report that my closet and I have reunited this month since my move like long-lost loves. And you know what they say: absence makes the heart grow fonder! I learned to appreciate the clothes I own and get crafty when without them. When at the beginning of 2020 my incumbent clothes felt complacent, they are now a boutique-bounty of fresh pieces. You don’t know you have something good until it’s gone. I’m blessed they came back to me so that I could truly show my appreciation.
Keeping it Krischic,
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