Shopping for clothing is already a bit of logistical gymnastics given your location, the season and the availability of stock in a store. And when November hits, we find ourselves continuing in our seasonal wardrobing but adding looks for holiday gatherings, gift giving and confronting the plummeting temperatures in the face of new resort deliveries. And let’s not forget sale season, the time when the proverbial screws often come loose and we end up with earrings we never knew we needed, a one-size-too-big blouse that we bought because it was 75% off, and the furry sandals we eyed on Instagram all season and finally got but still have no idea how and with what to wear them. Try as it may, fashion for the vast majority is less an artistic expression that can live in the metaphorical ether; it is rather an elevating of a practical utility in life, one that sometimes requires some elbow grease.
Staying focused is difficult amid all the shiny new things, the smoke and mirrors and the generally busy and sentimental season. But to keep the candle burning one end at a time, it is important to prepare and stay organized.
Try to maintain your personal standards and aesthetic even as your purchasing volume increases and, as you run short of time and/or money you are still making great decisions. Maintaining quality over quantity is not just a luxury but a philosophy that will increase the longevity and enjoyment of your year-end purchases. We live in a time and place where people have everything they need and most of what they want. That said, the higher currency in gift giving can be found in good meaning and thoughtful intentions.
This year has been an exceptionally strong year for accessories. When shopping for the fashion-minded, whether for yourself or for another style hound you are related to, accessories are an easy way to participate with a certain designer, brand or trend in a light-hearted, attainable kind of way. While the jewelry category is always strong around this time of year, 2019 brought us all kinds of specialty hair accessories, handbag straps and fobs, keychains and other small quirky personal items which are both easy and special. During this time of year, many limited-edition runs will come out, whether a certain fabric for a headband or a certain charm on a keychain. Get them for yourself and for others, they will always capture the moment in time.
The appetite for consumers high to low is increasingly geared toward novelty. Bespoke menswear used to be reserved for the ultrarich who traveled to Europe and sought the services of a third-generation tailor with a miles-long waiting list written with pen on speckled notebook paper. Now, bespoke menswear is advertised in store, online and as an in-home service, all while sales in the suiting sections in department stores nosedive in double digits. Likewise, unique and novelty items are everywhere, as if the words “mainstream” and “basic” only exist in a derisive, out-of-date sense.
In a very primal way, desiring the unique or unattainable is a way of cutting through the obfuscating white noise of modern times and creating a physical and emotional pedestal for a moment. It fulfills our need to be understood, known and to feel as if we are propelled forward and upward. So while it is not the reason for the season, it is still a good one to keep close to the heart. Happy shopping, everyone, and keep your elbows to yourself.