December 22, 2020 3 mins, 25 secs read
End of the Year FGF
This will be the last Feel Good File of the year that I write so it seemed fitting for it to take on a new format, because, well… so did 2020. The Feel Good File was born during the pandemic as a resource for soundbites that helped us to parent better, buy better, love better and do better. Seen through that lens, we just might keep this going into post-quar days.
It’s impossible to meaningfully summarize the last year with the respect it deserves in all of its gravity. So I will stick to the subjects that I know best, starting with my black hoodie that I am writing to you in and the wide-leg jeans and grey joggers that I’ve steadily alternated between since March. I will never look at these three pieces of clothing—symbols of work-from-home—in the same way again. Unlike my son’s blue racing-stripe sweats that I’ve literally watched him outgrow over 10 months, slowly creeping their way up his ankles, my WFH trio will still fit when this is over—but will I want to wear them? Or will they come to stand for a moment worth forgetting? That’s the power of clothing; it symbolizes our experiences, standing in for a moment of time.
It makes me wonder about the longevity of the items and movements that “won” 2020. Will we forever raise the flag of “Sweatpants Nation” or will we transition our wardrobes into more structure and formality? Will we keep our kitchen Crocs, scrunchies, Zoom lipsticks and mask eye-makeup? Or will they end up in the L-word (not that one, the garbagey one), left to rot in our forthcoming morgue of masks?
March 2020 started out with a BANg. NYC and many other municipalities banned plastic bags for good. It was awesome. Then came Covid, and the ban was immediately repealed. How symbolic this was for our sustainability efforts! Our New Year’s resolutions to live zero-wasteish, eat from the ground, and shop super sustainably were quickly usurped by single-use wipes, crap from our kids’ plates, and the “Buy Now” button from The Big A. Or maybe that’s just me.
But let’s go back to the wins and celebrate our dear (Earth) Mother (us regular mothers were not so winning). She was cleaner and happier than ever before! The smog in LA cleared up, animals roamed free-range in the streets, and shelters “sold out” of adoptable dogs.
And as we saw in these last 10 months, necessity truly is the mother of invention… and boy did that mother get creative. Arty videos replaced Gucci fashion shows, Broadway got personal in John Krasinski’s (and just about everyone else’s) Zoom room and gut-busting comedians we discovered while doomscrolling got mega famous from IG.
We were all “New York Tough” this year, too. Whether cheering on our front-line workers at 7pm from our windows (in our $1875 diamond “first responder gratitude tiaras,” of course) or shedding a tear during heart-bursting commercials, we were grateful and hopeful.
Now back to our clothes, of course. The real question for 2021, my reader, is this: Will we ever wear real bras again? If our recent predilection for wearing middle school style training bras are any indicator, we are heading in that direction. I don’t mean outright bra-burning, but I do revel in the connection between banishing the push-up and a new wave of women’s equality surfacing on the pages of fashion mags and in board rooms, and on Capital Hill. As Cori Bush shares in this epic Twitter thrift-thread with fellow congresswomen, her new position requires a new-to-you-only wardrobe. And Converse? Optional. Unless, of course, you are Mamala Kamala, who will walk in hers like Ruth wore her collars. As a symbol of justice, of choice, and of radical change.
Because clothes are never just clothes. They represent us in a moment in time.
So what will you wear in 2021?
CEO + Founder of Shop Tomorrows