Originally published as Girls' Night In Newsletter Issue #179 Editor's Note. Subscribe here.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve made some weird purchases during quarantine. All this time inside left alone and to my own devices, extremely bored in the house, has got me snapping up some out-of-character stuff, like a tie dye bucket hat, for instance. Am I suddenly 30 going on 13? This isn’t even my “style.” What is happening?
Instead of fighting it, I’m embracing all the well-targeted Instagram ads and sometimes succumbing to their siren call. This week, I’ve been pondering "baggies." Did I know what these were before 2020? No. Do I need them now? I think so?
When the world is falling apart, buying stuff — especially small, inconsequential, utilitarian stuff — feels good. Though there's privilege in retail therapy, some of my quarantine purchases have been pretty useful for navigating this strange time. Below are some favorites I’ve bought in the past few months:
1) A new mini electric whisk for homemade lattes. I’ve mentioned this several times in GNI and it’s still one of the “bestsellers” of things we’ve mentioned, which means...I’m not alone in wanting tiny, useful, functional things in my kitchen. It’s small but very powerful and comes with a stand, too.
2) A collection of bike shorts in every color of the rainbow. My favorites so far are a delightful lemon-colored pair from Girlfriend Collective.
3) Tevas. Never have I ever owned Tevas in my life, but these are so lightweight and I feel like I’m prepared for anything, including wading into a creek. Utilitarian outdoorsy is the look of summer 2020. Bike shorts + Tevas + a loose top = my everyday outfit.
4) Aesthetic resistance bands for at-home workouts. My “workouts” when I feel too tired to do a HIIT class or go for a run consist of going for long walks and coming home to do some bicep curls and rows.
I asked the GNI team for their favorite quarantine purchases and here’s what was mentioned: "a pretty laptop case that helps separate work time from personal time" (Katrina), “my first grownup bluetooth speakers because they make my apartment calm and joy-filled even when that feels impossible” (Tyler), a 25-pound bag of rice that keeps on giving (Mary Anne), a Nintendo Switch “as a fun alternative to Netflix every night" (Olivia), and “a digital copy of Spirited Away — one of my favorite childhood movies” (Jenna).
Some Loungers (have you joined the waitlist?) had a thing or two to say about their favorite quarantine purchases, too. When I asked, answers included an exercise trampoline for indoor workouts (bianca), a badminton set for distanced exercise (Pooja), a few new dining tables (Dominique) and coffee tables (Shira) that now double as home offices, and a coffee subscription (Caitlin). Anyone else drinking more coffee in quarantine?
What are your "never did I expect to buy this in 2020" quarantine purchases?