One impact of the pandemic is that we are dressing more casually than before. Some are wearing athleisure and loungewear almost exclusively, while others are sporting a slightly more casual version of their pre-pandemic style with sneakers. Some keep it dressy up top with whatever at the bottom because digital meetings are from the waist up. Even those who haven’t had much of a workplace change in all of this have probably relaxed their dress codes.

The shift in the way we’ve been dressing the last six months is a lifestyle change that also affects our wardrobes. Usually, items that no longer fit into our lifestyles are put into a holding zone, passed on to new homes, upcycled, or recycled. But now is not the best time to pass on items that have been gathering dust all year just because we aren’t wearing them. Our new normals have called for adapted dressing styles, but that doesn’t mean we won’t go back to how we used to dress before the pandemic. Even if we end up creating an evolved look that combines components of our pre- and post-pandemic styles, it’s all the more reason to hang on to unworn items for longer than we would in normal times.

By all means pass on items responsibly if they are worn, ill-fitting, damaged, uncomfortable, or no longer a match with your sartorial preferences. Create a holding zone for the items you are unsure about, which might include items that don’t fit as well as they used to because of pandemic weight fluctuations. Revisit these items when life has normalized, or at least, when our new normal has stabilized.

My own style over the last six months hasn’t changed much. I continue to wear my dressy and smart casual clothes with toppers, handbags, and pearls, despite a socially restrictive lifestyle, no travel, and no in-person client meetings. But I haven’t worn my wedding rings, bracelets, or any shoes but sneakers since the beginning of March. My boots, shooties, loafers, pumps, and ballet flats are completely unworn, and I’ve only sported my sandals once. But I am absolutely keeping these items. I firmly believe I will wear them again, and it will feel like “new” stash when I do.