Saturday, February 27, 2010

Goodbye, Hello: A Thrift Story

Goodbye Viktor & Rolf dress from H&M, never worn, $100 with the tags still affixed. I'm sorry I kept you for so long (a few years). I liked the idea of you (vintage-inspired), but didn't like your fabric and felt uncomfortable when I put you on. Too clingy. I saw you advertised in a glossy fashion magazine (Marie Claire to be exact) before I knew better and was wrongly seduced.

I hope someone else loves you can't wait to wear you. I donated you to the C.A.T.S. Resale Shop, and hope your proceeds can buy some cat food or pay for part of a vet bill. Actually, I should thank you. You were one of many valuable lessons to not "treat myself" to any more high priced fashions.

Hello, $5 GAP jeans! Online or in the store, you sell for $70. These are from the C.A.T.S. shop. With the seasons soon to change, you can find even greater bargains at thrift shops who are turning over winter items to spring. Many items at C.A.T.S. were just $1 last week.

This is my kind off "green fashion." More green in the wallet, more green for the charitable shop, more green for the planet (keeping things out of landfills and not producing new items).

One of the residents of C.A.T.S. up for adoption.

Do you have a fashion mistake lingering in your closet? Say goodbye. It's liberating. Give it away to a friend or relative, a charity shop or sell it on eBay, through a garage sale, or your local resale shop.

Find a charitable shop near you through TheThriftShopper.

I love that Oprah Winfrey is cleaning out her closet to shed unused items, and provided a list of where to donate everything from bridesmaids dress to eyeglasses and more.

I didn't love that her creative director on her show followed it up by telling women what they "must have." Among them: "spicy colors" (saffron and paprika: those are usually much more expensive than yellow and orange); a glitzy top; a fitted jacket; a printed jersey dress and a utility jacket. Even Oprah and her audience seemed skeptical about the printed jersey dress. Is there some secret meeting in Paris or Milan every year where fashion czars decide what the "must have's" are?

The fashion industry lives and breathes on getting women to no longer desire what they have and covet something they're told to like. I loathe the words "must have" and "on trend." I encourage all women and men to develop and embrace their own sense of style.


Amanda said...

A thrift shop that benefits cats (and has cats there)- I love it! I'm doing a big closet clean-out myself and donating a lot of misguided purchases to the Animal Acres (in Acton, CA) thrift store. Once you get beyond that "What if I need this item someday?!" panic, it really is a liberating feeling.

Catherine @ The Vegan Good Life said...

Hi Amanda. Thanks for the comment. Animal Acres sounds like such a great cause to donate to. I think charity shops should exist in every town.

I definitely get my cat socializing in there! I developed allergies late in life so I can only be there for a short while, but am glad to support them.

I know about that feeling! The great thing when I do clothing swaps is the instant reaction of seeing something someone doesn't like adored by someone else. So hopefully our items will find happy new owners!

Angela said...

A great trade! I can't wait to get a photo from you for Thrifty Threads.

I agree about the clothing swap- I've been doing them for 3 years and it is so much fun to see my friends loving and wearing items I had sitting in my closet. And super fun to have new things I love for free!

Catherine @ The Vegan Good Life said...

Thanks Angela. I'm so used to being behind the camera, I need to take more photos of myself, and ones that I actually like! I will take courage from all the amazing models on your site, who are more inspiring than much of what I see in glossy magazines.

I have no shortage of thrifty threads. I think once one's caught the swap/thrift 'bug', it's hard to go back. Just thinking about spending a leisurely Saturday at a large chain store gives me anxiety!