The pandemic purge: A new trend in clothing ownership and habits


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Nationwide, a new clothing trend has popped up as people adjust to life after the pandemic. And this craze is no stranger to Kansas and Kansans. 

Many people have had enough of all the clothes in their closets and are selling them to consignment stores. This phenomenon is commonly known as the pandemic clothing purge. 

Tara Castillo owns The Violet Closet, a consignment store in Wichita. 

“Some people are cleaning out their entire closet,” said Castillo. 

Kara Matteson works at a different second-hand store named Uptown Cheapskate. She has experienced the same thing.

“People are just getting rid of their clothes and not wanting to see them anymore,” said Matteson. 

Matteson said people purged to a point where the clothes became too much for the store to handle. 

“We had to put a limit to it.”

As reluctant as she was, shopper Jamie Doonan decided to cycle out of her closet.

“I have like, connection issues and things as I like to keep a lot of my stuff, but I do definitely think like, after the pandemic, I was ready to kind of refresh my wardrobe,” said Doonan. 

Matteson said people’s shopping habits have changed since pre-pandemic times. 

“Not as many people want to shop in stores. I think a lot of it has to do with online shopping,” added Matteson. 

Castillo has noticed something else. 

“They’re buying more athleisure, or they’re just not worrying about pants because it doesn’t matter what’s on the bottom, with all the mobile work,” said Castillo.

One thing is certain, said Doonan, “I definitely did a lot of selling.”

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