This is me in spring of 2007, sitting on the back of the bus on the way to a track and field meet. I was a freshman in high school. My style those days included hoodies, sweatpants, jeans, sneakers, sporty sandals. You get the idea. Casual. It made sense for my lifestyle, I played sports all year so with practice after school it just made sense to dress in a way that would easily transition into practice gear.
Okay, maybe I didn’t dress like that EVERY day. Occasionally I’d wear a blouse rather than t-shirt, or a skirt or dress instead of the usual jeans. But, overall my appearance wasn’t something I put a lot of time into, and truthfully that still rings true today. I dress mostly for comfort, convenience (breastfeeding mommas out there, can you relate?), and a hint of style. Athleisure is a huge thing now-a-days, so that’s helpful!
There is a hilarious song parody, “Activewear,” that pretty much sums up my life, go check it out here.
Making an Effort
But anyway, getting dressed up is still fun for me. On rare occasions I put in more effort with my style, do something to my hair other than put it in a pony tail or leave it down. Those rare times are usually for events like funerals, and the ever elusive date night with my husband. We have three young kids, so getting out without them is a rarity: So, yes, I cherish the moment to wear something nice without the fear of getting it stained! If you have kids you probably can relate 100%, once you’ve ruined a favorite shirt or two you realize the mistake of expecting otherwise with children.
If you’ve got a stain on a favorite item, don’t throw it away! Check out this resource for tons of various stains and try to get the stain out. You might just salvage an item or two and keep this bookmarked to find again if you find you get a lot of stains often (if you have kids, this is you). I’ll do a follow up post with ideas for recycling those clothing items that you just cannot get the stains out from.
Lacking Style…Still Loving it
Despite my lack of it, I like fashion. I like looking at fun styles. It is fun to dream about what I’d wear if I knew I could keep it clean (ahem, white clothing). I often see styles I like, but they are totally beyond what I think I could pull off (that’s a long list!). I may not dress super fashionably, but I do appreciate style and quality clothing. Who doesn’t?
Clothing is a necessity, but it is also fun. As long as I can remember I have loved going shopping. It’s a thrill to try on a few things to see how they fit; It’s the only way to see if the style is something I like or not. Growing up, my mom always took us to shop at thrift stores, so I learned early on to be a thrifty shopper. We did it because our budget didn’t allow for retail prices. But even if I could buy all the full-priced items, I still would hit up thrift stores to score killer deals on items and find unique things that nobody else is wearing. There is something about finding a crazy nice item for a ridiculously inexpensive price, and that’s one reason I keep going back.
The Crux of my Fashion Interest
Another reason to thrift or buy secondhand is for the huge benefit it brings to the environment. Maybe it doesn’t seem like a purchase here and there makes any difference, but it DOES. Small sustainable fashion choices add up. I’ve heard that only 10% of thrift stores donations get sold, the rest end up in a landfill. That is staggering. I read in this article on Planet Aid’s website that it takes about 40 years for clothing to decompose. Think about all the clothing wasted (the article states the average American wastes about 82 pounds per year!). Now think of how it will take 40 years for that to disappear. Go read the whole article, it will really put things into perspective for you.
Whether you currently shop used clothing, only shop used clothing, or are just thinking about shopping for used clothing starting because you read the article by Planet Aid: know that every. little. bit. helps. The worst thing that you can do is get overwhelmed by the number and just decide it is too big for you and so you do nothing.
So, know that if you decided to purchase a prom dress from Poshmark or a date night outfit from ThredUp you’ve made a choice that will impact our world. Small sustainable fashion choices add up to something great. Looking for more sustainable ideas or places to shop? Check out my Resources page!