Birth of a project

I was getting dressed for a friend's birthday party and I didn't know what I was going to put on my body. I looked in my closet and it seemed empty, unpromising. I've had these moments before; everything was old, ill-fitting, or blah. I thought to myself, "Ugh! I have NOTHING to wear!" Then I began rifling through my closet and saw a forgotten shirt I loved and many more, and I realized I was crazy. I had plenty to wear, and plenty to choose from. My closet was FULL of treasures! At that moment I decided I would take a year to explore my closet and to add NOTHING new to my wardrobe.

I would create a NEW outfit for each day in order to maximize my wardrobe and shake up my style.

Basically, I would try to "snap out" of my fashion rut, and appreciate what I have.

It was my New Years' project:
One Closet, One Year.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In Defense of Thrift!

Last night at the theater a friend asked, "What are you wearing?" I replied, "a dress". He then asked: "Is it from Goodwill, or Forever 21?" Ouch! Very snarky! After I got over being offended, I thought about it and I realized that he had a point. In the past few years I have bought more things at Goodwill than any other place. Forever 21 is probably second. In addition to those, I've shopped at Gap, Old Navy, and Anthropologie. Very sparingly, of course!

This weekend, a friend I went to high school with, and I were talking about our glory days. He commented that when we were in high school, a private school, it was much hipper to wear clothes from thrift stores, than to wear labels and expensive things. Of course, there were some kids who were into that stuff, and I did go through an ESPRIT phase in 7th grade, but for the most part, labels were out. We were artists. We were anti-establishment (at least we thought we were). We were individuals. Why would we go to a retail store and buy something everybody else had? Much cooler to crawl the aisles of some second hand store and find a vintage polyester jump suit, bell bottoms, or an old T-shirt.

As I got older, the habit stuck. Scouring the aisles was akin to a treasure hunt. It was meditative, and it was satisfying. Much more so for me than retail therapy. It also quelled the guilt I felt about consumption. Thrift store items had already been bought and purchased. They were recycled. They were not adding dyes and bleach into the ecosystem. They were not using new resources. Little children were not being forced to make them in factories. This gave me comfort. 

Now, in direct contrast, is Forever 21. I'm sure this seems like a contradiction. You have to wonder how they make the stuff so cheaply? I met someone who said they had "sweat shops" in L.A., that her mom worked there, and that it was awful. I have since avoided the store, even though it is a delightful cornucopia of trendy fashion!


One of the "trends" for spring is tribal prints and accessories. I thought that I ought to challenge myself and my closet by keeping up with the fashion Joneses. I actually think this shirt is pretty ugly, and I think I bought it because of the detail on the back (and it was 4 bucks!) I was shopping with a group of gals for a birthday celebration last November. After my year is up, I can see this in the give away pile!

Shirt: Forever 21. In honor of my friend!

Jeans: Cousin. Gap.

Shoes: Miz Mooz by Gazith.

Jacket: Old Navy Maternity. I still wear it, when I get the urge.

I've included a picture of how I dressed up my dress last night for the play! This was taken at 12:30 a.m. and I really just wanted to be done!


  1. Interesting...when I think of your style, i think of original, artistic, whimsical and unusual. I think if you look back at your photos so far, all of that is evident. One of the most refreshing things about your look is that it doesn't conform to a "retail" look, even if every piece was bought at a traditional store. It is in the combinations you choose, I think.

    I love your look (obviously) and one of the coolest aspects is the recycled green approach you take. I wish we all shopped at least 50% at used clothing shops. It's a super fun way to be responsible.

  2. Awwwww! Thank you, Jamie! That is very kind of you to say! I am a fan of reduce, reuse, recycle! xoxo-S!

  3. I'm gonna kick said friend's ass when said friend arrives home. Said friend had to right to offend best friend. Bad, bad friend. All I can say in said friend's defense is at least you got a good blagh out of it.

  4. Oh, and I think I was with you when you bought that shirt and I stand by my like of it, especially the back.

  5. Yes! I owe him a thank you for the inspiration! And, yes, I do like the back... but the front!

  6. Hey, on you it all looks good. And actually, I like the front too. Maybe when you give it away I'll take you up on it...that said, I think I may have tried it on that day and it looked bad on me.