If last year taught me anything about fashion, it would be the uniqueness of second-hand clothes. Depop became quite the obsession in the second lockdown. I haggled, bought out of my comfort zone pieces, and, of course, purchased many pairs of jogging bottoms – the staple of 2020. I want to carry this through 2021 and shop second hand as much as possible, continuing to try styles that I would usually be too scared of buying.
Despite widening my horizons on the style front, I cannot help but think 2020 was the year of comfort. I have never worn jogging bottoms and hoodies so much in my life. They were incredibly comfortable and with university classes being online for the foreseeable, this style is likely to continue.
These moments were the ideal excuse to dress up and feel like me again
Although, I must admit wearing shapeless clothing has not made me feel the best about myself. There is no denying that back when going to the pub and getting dressed up to go out on dates were a thing of summer 2020, I felt much more confident. These moments were the ideal excuse to dress up and feel like me again. Depop became the perfect last-minute resort to a cute new outfit for these outings.
It was my 21st birthday in November, just two days after the second lockdown was announced. My housemates and I decided to dress up and have a mini party. After sadly packing all of my typical going out clothes away, I needed something other than a legging and jumper combo.
Since I had spent just a little too much on pub and café trips, I wanted a cheaper alternative. I didn’t mind if my outfit wasn’t the best quality as it was just to wear in my kitchen so I managed to find a Topshop dress for under £10 on Depop that fitted me perfectly and was surprisingly in good condition.
I am a sucker for admiring other people’s outfits on social media
Feeling very impressed, I searched for brands that have been slightly out of my budget or are often out of stock. Tala, founded by fitness guru Grace Beverley, was the perfect example. I found a jumpsuit in my size, and it felt like two strokes of luck – the brand was already sustainable, and I was buying it second hand.
The fit was out of my comfort zone as it was ribbed, and I tend to avoid clingy clothes. However, I thought I had nothing to lose because if I didn’t like it, I could always resell it. It turned out quite the opposite and I have already worn it so many times. Without Depop’s appeal of reselling, and the cheaper price tag, I never would have bought this item and I don’t think I would have discovered that a tighter fit could suit me.
Like most of us, I am a sucker for admiring other people’s outfits on social media, and I usually assume that these clothes won’t look right on me. I am now more likely to try any trends that I am unsure of, such as the recent craze of sweater vests. Shopping second hand has made me realise that I might as well give something new a go.
I aim to wear an outfit that makes me feel good at least once a week
In times like these, it is also so important to support small businesses. Some of my favourite vintage shops from home have their stores on the app, and many accounts sell handmade jewellery as a side business. The accessories available are unbelievably quirky. I have seen earrings ranging from shrunken gummy bears and cocktails to intricate sterling silver hoops.
If we continue to work from home, I aim to wear an outfit that makes me feel good at least once a week. Even my makeup is getting dusty because it has been so long since I have felt like I have needed to wear it.
Unlike most new year resolutions, shopping more sustainably is a relatively realistic one
This has also made me realise I have been guilty of making an ‘effort’ with my appearance purely for other people before lockdown. I wasn’t doing it to make myself feel more confident. Instead, I was doing it because I wanted people to see me looking presentable. In 2021, I hope this mindset changes.
So, unlike most new year resolutions, shopping more sustainably is a relatively realistic one. It saves us a few pennies, and whether we continue to dress comfortably or not, it is the perfect way to find a new style. I even branched out to a green velvet pair of jogging bottoms to spice up the working from home attire.