WTF Do I Wear in a Pandemic?

We’re 7 months into the global pandemic, and to be quite frank, I’m not quite sure what the fuck I’m supposed to be wearing.

My heels are collecting dust, I’m washing the same OV Sets multiple times a week, and yet I can’t seem to stop myself from ordering new clothes. However… after watching The New York Times’ ‘On The Runway’ Live Event on September 9th with Gwyneth Paltrow, Virgil Abloh, Tory Burch and Antoine Arnault (& moderated by Vanessa Friedman), my gears started turning.

Some of the questions that were asked included (loosely quoted**):

  • Are trends still alive? “I have a 16 year old in my house, so I can tell you trends are definitely still a thing”- Gwyneth
  • How do you go about excess inventory? “What is the minimal impact we can make? OF course it’s a process but Tory is right when she says it is critical right now”- Gwyneth; “For me its important to make sustainability fashionable, trend-focused… if you buy a piece, you’re more aligned or drawn to one that aligns with your personal views on sustainable” – Virgil
  • What happens if you take out seasons? “Women are thinking differently about the way they shop. They’re buying less and they want the things to have more longevity and be more meaningful. It’s about buying things and wearing them when you want to wear them.” -Tory Burch
  • What are the economic implications of sustainability? “Economically, if temperatures increase by 1,2,3 degrees, we will not be able to make champagne anymore… Not only because it’s the right thing to do, but our economical future depends on it.” -Antoine Arnault
  • Did you think about the issue of diversity [when bringing new white designers on] “We decide these things way in advance, so no. The quick answer is no. This topic of diversity has been at the forefront of our priorities not only during the BLM movement, but way before. We have a lot of work to do on this topic, we acknowledge it.” -Antoine Arnault

That’s a lot. So what was the takeaway?

In this new messy yet metamorphic 2020 landscape, we need to support brands who are *actually* sustainably focused, diverse, and create pieces for the long haul (and just because I’m writing this, I’ll add comfort to the mix: you will NOT find me wearing jeans during WFH.)

Style is completely personal (especially when you’re not leaving the house as much), but if you’re lost, let this post be a starting point.

Upcycle

Let’s be real for a second: there really isn’t a good reason to be spending money or precious closet space on clothes during a pandemic. Instead, use your free time and Tik Tok as insipration to upcycle the clothes you already have and give them a new life:

Online Thrift

I’m a sucker for in-person thrifting, but depending where you are, it might be a) limited selection and/or b) straight up unsafe due to Miss Rona. Here are my two online thrift go-to’s (great for different reasons):

  1. Depop is a C2C (AKA Consumer to Consumer) business, meaning that your purchases are going directly towards the seller. Although Depop takes a cut (just as any other platform i.e. Poshmark, Mercari etc. does), the sellers have complete control over how they price their items, how much they charge for shipping, and how they list the products. I like buying from Depop because the sellers do a great job of using trend-focused key words (Penny Lane coat, sock top, psychedelic, retro…) so you can find an aesthetic quickly, and you can choose exactly who you are giving your money to. This is a good time to note there are thousands of incredibly talented Black sellers and artisans on the app, so this is a great way to support the Black community while buying exactly what you are looking for, and doing it sustainably!
  2. Thredup is more of a B2C (Business to Consumer, as you may have guessed, you smarty-pants) business, where they acquire gently used or new second hand clothes from other users and ship the pieces from Thredup warehouses. Full disclousre, when it comes to paying their suppliers, I’m not quite sure how it works since I’ve never sold anything to the company. I love browsing through Thredup and I’ve found AMAZING pieces. I have worked with them in sponsored deals but also spent my own money on the site after doing some browsing! You will need to do some digging, and I’ve found the best way to shop is using brand names, since this is how they organize products. Clogs

Stay tuned for a full guide to online thrift coming to the website soon!

Shopping– Shop Sustainable & Black Owned (& ideally, a combo of both)

READERS NOTE: Companies often greenwash their branding, a PR and marketing marketing tool used to persuade the public that the company is sustainable, even if they are not. Rather than ‘sustainable’, look for the term ‘climate neutral’, meaning that they are somehow giving back to the environment so their carbon use is at net zero. BE WARNED- this too, unfortunately, may sometimes be greenwashing, but as of right now, still might be the best indicator. Learn more here.

  1. For sustainable brands, reference these websites:
    1. Climate Neutral Certified Brands
    2. Forbes 11 Fashion Companies Leading The Way in Sustainability
    3. The Good Trade “35 Ethical & Sustainable Clothing Brands Betting Against Fast Fashion”
  2. For Black owned brands, reference these websites:
    1. Vogue “89 Black-Owned Fashion and Beauty Brands to Support Now and Always”
    2. Complex “50 Best Black-Owned Fashion and Streetwear Brands”
    3. NY Magazine “180 Black-Owned Businesses to Support”
  3. Here’s a list of sustainable AND Black owned brands (!!!!) and here’s why this intersection is so important.
    1. Ecocult “28 Black Owned American Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Businesses”
    2. Ecotrade “8 Sustainable Brands Owned by Women of Color”

SO… to answer “WTF DO I WEAR IN A PANDEMIC”, I would visit the sites linked above, and check out these pieces I’ve had my eye on.

For outfit ideas and inspiration, check out my Instagram and stay tuned for a styling video (featuring a thrift haul!) coming soon to my YouTube channel.

11 thoughts on “WTF Do I Wear in a Pandemic?

  1. Margot-
    I was a fan of you and your channel back in 2016-17 and since then you have completely changed. Now, change isn’t always a bad thing, but in this case it is. Over the years I have noticed an increasingly concerning focus on “aesthetics” and “brands” and just general self obsession and vanity. I continued to stay tuned because I always liked you and your content; I watched videos hoping to get a glimpse of something that would fuel my interest in your content and keep me engaged. I never commented anything negative or disliked anything you posted (if anything, when I do engage, I do so positively), so this comment here under this post is new for me. My main grievance is this- you speak to your followers and subscribers in an extraordinarily condescending tone. When on Youtube, it presents in a slow, soft, and enunciated tone as if you think we’ll understand certain concepts better. You constantly explain things to us as if we are small children or people who lack basic knowledge. I understand that explaining and showcasing things is a part of what you do and it helps you put out your content but I have never seen another influencer do it quite like you. Recently it has been especially hard to ignore with the pandemic and lots of clothes-centered posts. Telling us what the app Depop does, telling us what greenwashing is, calling us “you smarty-pants”, introducing “new” things to us that aren’t actually new or novel and then going on to explain what they are, are just a few examples from this post alone. Your recent instagram story about reminding us to get a flu shot was laughable. In a recent video, you thought it would be necessary to explain to us what PR is and why influencers receive PR packages. It seems to me that over time, you have let being an SU student and a social media influencer get to your head. It also appears that you think you have knowledge to share with us (presumably things you learned in class) that we don’t already know, and this knowledge is usually basic common sense or something that can easily be Googled. If I can share a tip with you from someone who genuinely liked your content and wanted to stay engaged- be relatable. Acting like this perfect untouchable glowing rich “girl boss” seems like a façade & in my opinion, is not appealing to a large demographic of people who would normally be interested in your content and could be the reason why your channel is so slow-growing. Realness and relatability goes a long way. I’m not trying to tear you down but I thought it was time to share my constructive criticism after reading this article and taking nothing away from it other than the feeling that you think I am someone who lacks basic knowledge of today’s society. Please take these words as a helpful critique and hopefully an alternative perspective to what you’re used to hearing.

    Like

    1. hang on, hang on… this is a misinterpretation! you’re viewing her tone and attention to detail as being condescending and patronizing. maybe this is because you already know the information she’s presenting and you feel like you’re being talked down to. maybe this is because you feel like delivering a undeserving dose of criticism to a hard-working content creator.

      or maybe, it’s both and you’ve forgotten a whole lot of people aren’t as educated as you on these topics. you should really trying looking at this from a positive angle- margot, a recent college grad in the youtube space, is fusing her academic background in marketing and information science with fashion, sustainability, and social causes. that’s pretty impressive, and she’s doing it with all of the attention-to-detail and care that someone half as genuine could never show.

      who are you to judge?

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Hi! I appreciate you taking the time to share your constructive criticism. Although I have never meant any explanation in a condescending way, I will consider this moving forward. Best, Margot

      Like

      1. Margot- thank you for reading and responding- again, I never meant my comments in an unnecessarily mean way as other comments have implied. To address the other replies to my comment, I never suggested Margot was not hard-working, or that she was problematic. As I said, I have never interacted with her content in a negative way, so suggesting that I enjoy delivering doses of criticism to those undeserving of it is inaccurate. I am simply sharing an alternative opinion meant for Margot to read and take into consideration going forward. I would consider myself to be a very honest & genuine person which is why I wanted to share an alternative perspective in hopes that she can improve or re-evaluate certain things, and I will continue to engage with her content.

        Like

      2. I’m not sure what the average demographic for your audience is, but as someone who is just starting college this year and greatly values education and learning, I fully appreciate the fusion of your knowledge from school and elsewhere with your content. I have so much to learn in life and as someone who is also interested in going into the advertising industry, you and your content feel almost like a mentor or big sister. Whenever I consume your content, whether it be a blog post, youtube video, or instagram story, I always feel like I’m learning a lot while being entertained at the same time. Your explanations have never come across as condescending, and even if I was already aware of the term or concept, it is likely that not everyone who viewed it was (I didn’t know what greenwashing was). It is evident that you put so much time and effort into your work so keep doing you, because there are people who value and appreciate it!

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Honestly the above comment is mean and unnecessary. Not everyone knows everything and it’s sweet of margot to take time to patiently explain things. Margot please don’t let that criticism get you down! I love your channel and find you very informative and calming and I actually think of you as one of the very few influencers who has never been problematic and is only good-hearted.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree with the above comment! Especially the fact that you are really one of the few unproblematic influencers out there, now. This post was awesome, much like all your prior posts! Love your content and all your growth. X

    Like

  3. I was literally just about to comment how much I love your writing and your videos because they feel so personal! I love how you explain things, and have never felt like I was being talked down to. Part of the reason why I have watched you and followed you for so long is because you’re so authentic and you put so much work into your videos and posts to help your followers. I followed your abroad videos and packing tips to plan my own abroad trip last summer and they were sooo helpful. Your gift guides have been a lifesaver for holidays and birthdays, and I’ve bought so many amazing skincare and beauty products that you have recommended. You are such an amazing person Margot, don’t let any negativity get you down!

    Like

  4. Margot,

    Thank you for this post. As a Global Studies major and someone who is also very interested in fashion, the intersection of sustainability and the fashion industry is something I LOVE to learn about. The way you explain things always comes off as genuine to me, and I just learned new things from this post that I find valuable and will use in the future! Making content that is explanatory is actually very helpful, and if anything I think it shows that you truly care about what you are talking about and your followers. Personally, following someone who uses their very successful platform to spread awareness and try and educate their followers is inspiring and a reflection of your character. Your content is very thoughtful and shows that you are always trying to grow and constantly improve, which is admirable. Loved this post, just like all your others!! As mentioned above, “realness and relatability goes a long way,” which is exactly why so many people love you and will continue to support you 🙂

    Like

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