It's not really a secret where I get my clothes. Clothing Swaps (I talked about one a couple of months ago). Thrift Stores. Etsy. Ebay. What's more of a secret is how I consistently find gently worn clothes that look like new and have years (yes, years) of life left.
I'm not cheap. I do, however, like to know I'm going to get more than one wearing out of something I've bought. I hate disposable fashion. I think it's a waste of people's time to make the goods and a waste of natural resources. Bespoke fashion is another story, as are Made in the USA boutiques, such as Nooworks.
Realize that my dislike of disposable fashion does not mean I avoid places like H&M, it just means I'm choosy about what I buy from there. I have half a dozen tops purchased from H&M that are over five years old -- and that don't look like they're over five years old. (My secret to getting my clothes to last? It's actually my mom's secret: nothing goes in the dryer, all clothes are hung dry.)
As part of last November's Mindful Consumption Challenge, I realized I was spending a lot of money on clothes that after one careful wash looked horrible. Even worse, I was constantly faced with the dilemma of a stuffed closet, but nothing to wear. So, I thought about how I was spending my clothing budget, and made some changes.
One of the first things, I did to stretch my dollars further was to stop buying seasonally (higher likelihood that the items you want will be on sale). The next two things? Selecting classic timeless separates that can be worn a variety of ways and choosing well made items of high quality materials (wools, linen, etc.). This served me well for Alt Summit. Especially when I discovered less than 24 hours before leaving that most of my planned outfits didn't fit. I actually had the problem of narrowing down what outfits I'd bring once I'd finished tearing my closet apart. Isn't that a cool problem to have?
Where do you shop?
As promised, here are the sources for my Alt Summit outfits, according to day. With the exception of the outfit I wore for the Clue Party, my tights, my BF Goodrich Boots, and my Jason Wu Cat Tote, everything else has been in my wardrobe, and worn regularly, for at least two years.
Wednesday Travel, Lunch at Finca, and The Hello Social: Sleeveless Mock Turtleneck with Pearls by Mercer Street Studio, NWT $34 from Mom's Vintage Treasures (Etsy); Zelda Barely Boot Jean, $79.90 from Express; Vintage BF Goodrich Boots, $70.95 from The Black Cat Closet (Etsy); Best Striped Over the Knee Sock, $16 from Sock Dreams; Striped Scarf by Club Monaco, on permanent loan from my husband's closet, $0; Red Vinyl Tote by Style & Co., gift, $0; Black Coach Station Bag, $45 from Vintage Love Retro now closed (Etsy).
Dinner at Flemming's sponsored by La Crema: Necklace from either The Limited or Express; Fur Sweater by City Fur Co., $36 from Tootie's Closet (Etsy); Black Shell Top from GAP; Navy Pleated Wool Skirt by DKNY, $15 from Fashion Exchange Market Store location; Navy Tights by Tabbisocks, $14 from Sock Dreams; Black Coach Station Bag, $45 from Vintage Love Retro now closed (Etsy); Black Ballet Flats by Puma.
Thursday Sessions: Five Strand Black and Green Beaded Necklace, $15 from Patsy's Vintage Treasures (Etsy); Cream with Black Polka Dot Dress by DJ & Co., $36 from Sixty Five Roses (Etsy); Black Modal Top from H&M; Red Leather Skinny Belt by Liz Claiborne, $7.50 from Frequency Vintage (Etsy); Black and Cream Oxford T-Strap Pumps by Amalfi, $43 from Vintage Turtle (Etsy); Black Tights by Tabbisocks, $14 from Sock Dreams; Eyelet Lace Petticoat, $12.99 from Millesime Belle (Etsy) now closed; Cat Tote by Jason Wu, $39.99 from Target; Lucite Bangle Bracelet with Recessed Design, $10.50 from Better in Time; and Lucite Black Onyx and Opal Swirl Bangles, $4.98 x 2 from Ann Primrose now closed (Etsy).
Clue Party: Green Velvet Dress by Anne Fogarty, $59 from Friendly Fox Vintage (Etsy); Petticoat by Anne Fogarty, $65 from Sweet Bee Finds (Etsy); Black Four Strap Woven Polyurethane Cincher, from The Limited, $34.50; Green Suede Handbag, $40 from Northline Designs (Etsy); Iridescent Black Purple Green Metallic Necklace, $18.94 from Vintage Starr Beads (Etsy); Bakelite Shoe Buckles by Musi, $39.50 from Mathilda's Attic (Etsy); Black Mary Janes by Via Spiga purchased in the late 1990s at Nordstrom.
Friday Sessions: Necklace and Drop Earrings from GemKitty now closed; Pink Sweater from The Limited, $0 at a clothing swap; Black Faux Wrap Pleated Skirt from Banana Republic, $0 at a clothing swap; Dark Grey Tights by Tabbisocks, $14 from Sock Dreams; Vintage BF Goodrich Boots, $70.95 from The Black Cat Closet (Etsy); Cat Tote by Jason Wu, $39.99 from Target.
Friday Mini-Parties: Red Linen Shift Dress by Lawrence Gross, $119 from Couture Allure Vintage Fashion; Corral Flower Earrings, gift, $0; Red Vinyl Mary Janes by Naturalizer, $29.99 from Secret Lake; Iridescent Opaque Tights by Hue, $13.50 from Her Room; Red Vinyl Tote by Style & Co., gift, $0.
Saturday Design Camp Sessions: Blue Geometric Print Dress by Modern Motherhood, $10 from Junkee Clothing Exchange; Red Vinyl Mary Janes by Naturalizer, $29.99 from Secret Lake; Iridescent Opaque Tights by Hue, $13.50 from Her Room; Red Vinyl Tote by Style & Co., gift, $0.
Saturday Night and Travel: Grey Cashmere Turtleneck by Pringle, $5 from Junkee Clothing Exchange; Modern Petite Boot Jean, $88 from Ann Taylor; Vintage BF Goodrich Boots, $70.95 from The Black Cat Closet (Etsy); Striped Knee Socks, unknown brand and source; Striped Scarf by French Connection, on permanent loan from my husband's closet, $0; Red Vinyl Tote by Style & Co., gift, $0; Black Coach Station Bag, $45 from Vintage Love Retro now closed (Etsy).