Fashion

6 Fashion Items Our Deputy Fashion Editor Wants This May

Fair Trade

It's a strange time to be a shopping fanatic. With the coronavirus outbreak upending daily routines as most people are stuck home in quarantine, the world's relationship to fashion is fundamentally changing. Mine included.

Instead of keeping up with the latest trends in dresses or footwear, let's say, I find myself shifting to purchasing more loungewear and lingerie. My beloved coats, high-heeled shoes, and handbags are now at home collecting dust — and since I used to wear heels quite a bit, I'm sure my shoes are left wondering if I'm OK or if I've abandoned them forever.

In just a few months since the COVID-19 pandemic hit U.S. soil, my shopping habits have completely transformed. I still love to wear dresses all the time, but they're no longer of the structured, fussy variety; I'm all about easy knit dresses or top & skirt sets these days, because Zoom. I haven't worn a bra since winter. Honestly, what are bras? I can't remember.

Denim is also a stranger to me. My jeans have been happily replaced with leggings and bike shorts that are so comfy I can live in them. See below: my new quarantine uniform.

And where I used to spend quite a lot on accessories like hair clips and jewelry, most of my money goes to cloth face masks now. I find that purchasing them in fun prints makes it a bit easier to cope with having to wear a protective mask just to go outside your house.

To be fair, a major shift in my shopping habits isn't all bad. In fact, it reminds me that fashion can still be a source of joy and comfort, even in the most uncertain times. And a source of livelihood. From furloughed retail sales associates to garment workers grappling with unfulfilled orders, the fashion industry is suffering in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and small businesses are hurting in particular.

So, to spread a little comfort and joy, and in some small way, help sustain the fashion industry I love so much, I'm sharing a few editor's picks each week. From small businesses to emerging designers to mass retailers, find out what pieces I'm cozying up to right now, and hopefully, you'll find a few that you love in the mix.

We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Puff sleeves are having a moment, and it couldn't be better timing with all the video calls right now. Whether I'm doing my weekly happy hour with my girlfriends or calling into my goddaughter's birthday party, it's the perfect throw-on-and-zoom top that makes me feel instantly pulled together.

It really lifts my spirits to get an at-home workout in during quarantine, but let's be honest, it's not easy to pull yourself up off the couch sometimes! I find dressing in my workout clothes in the morning helps, especially when it's a cute, super-comfortable set like this bike shorts look from Aerie.

Professional manis were the one luxury I allowed myself before quarantine, especially because I spend so much time typing away on the computer all day. Needless to say, I miss them dearly. One of my favorite nail artists Gracie J. released this gorgeous custom set of press-ons (and more!) to keep our digits in check until stay-at-home orders are lifted. But here's a secret: I may stick with press-on nails even after outside opens back up.

Victor Glemaud is now offering curve sizing! Following his popular collaboration with 11 Honoré, he wanted to extend the size offering available on his e-commerce site. And now for the first time, his designs are available for pre-order in sizes up to 3X. I immediately gravitated toward this nude set, modeled by one of my favorite models Precious Lee. The neckline is perfect for all my Zoom calls right now.

One thing quarantine has taught the world is that you can get by shopping less. It's a by-product of stay-at-home orders, but it should continue after they're lifted as we strive to be more sustainable in our everyday lives. I used to shop excessively but more and more, I'm learning to invest in wardrobe staples and look to resale or rental sites for trendy wares.

I love the knit dress I wore in the We Wear Fair Trade lookbook shoot, because it's comfortable, but also it will stand the test of time. And more importantly, the garment workers that produce items for this brand earn fair wages. As workers risk not being paid because retailers aren't honoring orders they made prior to the coronavirus outbreak, knowing who makes your clothes and how they are being treated is more important than ever.

Does anyone else feel like they're embracing their inner child more than usual these days? Old songs, movies, the like? For me that looks like, throwing on an adorable Disney mask (and matching with my nephew) to play outside which adds a much-needed burst of joy to our new day-to-day routine.