Fast fashion is apparel that is made quickly and cheaply, causing a global epidemic of pollution and waste. The multi-trillion dollar apparel industry is the second dirtiest/environmentally harmful after oil and gas. Consumers are buying more clothes than ever before and wearing those pieces about half the amount of time we did just a decade ago. I have spent many years prescribing to this vicious cycle and I am serious about putting an end to my dirty habit.
On my recent trip to Paris, I was oh so envious of the average French woman’s style. No matter the age, body type or personal genre, they all manage to pull off a timeless feminine look that we seem to have scrapped for yoga pants here in the US. Somewhere between the grocery store, work, and kids soccer games, my “pulled together outfits” of my twenties have come to look a lot more like something you would wear to the gym. So how do you spruce up your wardrobe and be kind to the environment? Of course you can buy sustainably manufactured clothing but better yet, second hand and vintage! When you buy used clothing, it actually takes clothes out of the landfill – yay!!!! You may be skeptical of what you will find, but I have a few tips for searching through those long racks of clothes.
- Always go prepared with a list of items/colors you are looking for. This will keep you focused and on target.
- Do your research and be a copy “artist”. When you are flipping through Vogue magazine, think in terms of what would look good on you from a style and color perspective.
- Take your time – think of it as an investment in yourself and the planet.
To prove my point about secondhand shopping, I thought it would be fun to see how close I could come to achieving that Parisian look at my local Goodwill store.
Here’s the list and examples of what I was looking for:
Here is what I found:
Statement Jacket – whether your style is leather / pleather bomber, jean or funky suit jacket, look for one that accentuates your waist. I had the jean jacket below and found the checked top for $3 and the pleather skirt for $1 – add a scarf and the look is complete. I found this black suit jacket for $6.99 and I love the really unusual detail on the back. It will look great with jeans, skirts or short pants.
Monochrome – this is an easy one to copy and you probably have a million options in your closet already…White is great for summer.
Skirts – I’m sure many of you already have tons of skirt options, but I saw many different versions of black skirts paired with black leggings, tennis shoes, jean jackets or even comfy sweaters. This is a look to replace those yoga pants – comfortable yet very cool!
White top $2.99, white jeans $6.99, black pencil skirt $1.00, check top $3.00. black pleather mini $1.00
Stripes – I think we forget how flattering stripes can be.. even horizontal stripes on the right area of the body. Striped shirt $2.99
Cropped Pant – Cropped pants are very in, with the option of straight or wide leg. This is a great alternative to wearing shorts…which appear to be a big no no for French girls. Pants $6.99
Draped Sweater – I really can’t wait for next fall/winter to wear this sweater with leggings and boots. Sweater $5
Accessorize – I have always loved a cross body purse but most of mine are casual, so when I ran across this gem for $3, I couldn’t pass it up…
I hope you will get out there and check out your local thrift or vintage store the next time the shopping bug hits!