Tag Archives: fashion

Bright & Thrifty

Despite the fact that this Maggy London dress I bought to wear to my friend’s wedding last weekend cost only $30 at Crossroads, had a bad stitch that caused it to bunch all funny and not hang right, the fact that the zipper broke between the ceremony and reception, and several other corset-related mishaps that I don’t really need to go into on this blog, I have never gotten so many compliments on a dress, ever. People actually stopped me on the street to compliment me. So, if you’re looking for a fun dress to wear to an upcoming event, I say keep it simple and cheap with a fun, brightly-colored, previously-been-owned (that sounds a lot cuter than used, no?) dress. I guarantee you’ll get lots of compliments on your bold frock! By the way, the bride’s cousin introduced me to my new favorite phrase at the wedding – we’re frocked up! Love it.

If you don’t have a great thrift shop near you, eBay is the place to shop! True, it’s not quite like trying something on in the store, but if you generally know what size you wear, shopping online is a great way to find gorgeous, cheap pre-owned clothes. Plus, you might save so much that a little tailoring wouldn’t be out of the question if your item isn’t quite a perfect fit when it shows up. Or you could just hope that no one notices a few imperfections – hey, it worked for me!

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When searching on eBay for fun party dresses, I enter terms like “BGBG dress,” “Anthropologie dress,” or “Maggy London dress” and then refine my search with the sizes I’m looking for. You can also enter just the brand name, like “FCUK” or “Tracy Reese” and then click on women’s clothing, then dresses. Next, I specify (on the menus on the left-hand side of the screen) that I’m looking for something “pre-owned” or “used.” “New” and “new w/o tags” may also bring up what you’re looking for, but there are a lot of resellers on eBay, which I feel kind of defeats the purpose of buying used. I always check seller’s other items to see if they are clearly a reseller before deciding on a purchase. You can refine your search by color, if you’re looking for something specific, like a fun bright yellow dress or a pretty blue one, like I’m seeking for my roommate’s upcoming wedding, length and more. I prefer to search by brand name as opposed to just “blue dresses,” because I find a lot of strange things come up with more general searches, like “club wear” and floral denim dresses. Not quite the look I’m going for!

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I bet this cost a lot more than $30 at Nordstrom!

Happy shopping!

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Nothing Over $30 Sale

Eco-friendly fashion site The Green Loop is having an awesome sale! Stewart+Brown, Edun, Sublet… some of this stuff usually goes for up to $300 (!). Fair trade, organic fabrics, upcycled materials – they’ve got of cute green fashion you can feel good about buying (and can actually afford, for once). Check it out now before everything sells out!

Some faves:
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Sublet Belinda dress, orig. $275.00, now $29.99

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Stewart+Brown Organic Cotton Racerback Jumper, orig. $199, now $24.99

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EcoSkin ‘Ranier’ Dress, orig $193, now $29.99

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Grace & Cello ‘Empress’ Cardi, orig. $110, now $29.99

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Kelly B. ‘Taylor’ Trench Coat, orig. $275, now $29.99

So, what looks cute to you?

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Weekend Highlights: Refillable containers, recycled napkins and a diry little secret!

I had a great weekend – the sun was out every day, which was awesome for reducing my carbon footprint. I walked everywhere!

Some highlights:

*Indian food with my girls, and free champagne at a friend’s favorite bar – the bartenders love her there! I had to get a shot of the recycled napkins used as coasters. I kind of think coasters are pointless and wasteful, but this one’s better than others!

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Clearly, I need a refill!

*Walked 2.5 miles to have dinner with my friend, then we walked a mile to another bar, a mile to another bar after that, and another 1/3 a mile home! Had 1.5 beers, and approximately 10 glasses of water, hold the straw. The bartender accidentally gave me a straw anyway, out of habit. When we teased him about it, he made sure to point out that they compost. Sweet!

*Scored three really cute new shirts at a thrift store, and one adorable pair of lightly worn metallic wedges (used to kind of weird me out, but honestly I think it’s no different than borrowing shoes from a friend). But they broke like a half an hour into wearing them! Taking them to the shoe repair store this week so I can get them fixed. Keeping & fixing what you have – way more eco-friendly than buying something new to replace it!

*As promised, I brought my hummus container back to the store to have it refilled. I ran it through the dishwasher and it was as good as new! If you have to get plastic, don’t throw it out: Reuse! Here’s the really nice guy who works there handing me over my hummus. He told me not to put the picture up, but I told him it was too late. 😀 He mentioned they use Styrofoam and was wondering if there was any way to reuse it. I told him I try not to get it, but he said it’s the only option they use right now. I am going to see if I can talk him into compostable cartons in the future, and he said it was totally ok if I brought my own tupperware for hummus and take-out. Yay, Apollo Market! Remember – you can always ask if you can bring your own containers – it saves packaging and saves the store money, too!

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* Breakfast at my favorite spot in the City, Zazie. I walked there, too! Since it’s Passover, I couldn’t get my favorite thing ever – gingerbread pancakes with roasted pear and lemon curd – so I bought the lemon curd to bring home. It unfortunately came in a little plastic container (the same kind the hummus came in), but I will definitely reuse it! I had the lemon curd later with some vanilla bean Wallaby yogurt. So good! And my omelette with white cheddar, avocado and chicken-apple sausage was pretty darn good, too.

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No, that’s not a giant egg! Yogurt + lemon curd = amazing!

And now… my dirty little secret. Yes, this goes against pretty much everything I believe in: it’s packaged, it’s artificial, it’s a color not found in nature. Yup, I’m talking about Peeps. It brings to mind one of my favorite quotes – Everything in moderation, including moderation. Here you see them peeking out from my junk drawer. They’re sitting there getting stale as we speak – the best way to eat them!

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Oh Peeps, you delicious, artificial sugar bomb!

All in all, a pretty great weekend! What did you do?

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A Green Prom

I love this idea Whole Foods and Teens Turning Green are sponsoring – Project Green Prom. It encourages students to “green” their proms by making more eco-friendly choices for their hair, makeup, transportation, flowers and more. Love it! They have some great tips on what beauty products to look for, and it’s awesome that they suggest buying used dresses and accessories, or those made of sustainable materials, as well as shopping locally. There are actually some great links in the Fashion section and beyond that I hadn’t seen before, so I encourage you to check out this site even if, like me, you are well beyond your prom-going days!

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It cracks me up that they suggest transport via Rickshaw. I would LOVE to see high school students all dressed up in their eco-friendly prom gear ridin’ a rickshaw. Please, if anyone out there is doing this, send me pictures! I’ll send you some kind of prize, promise!

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On the Prom note, if you have any bridesmaids or prom dresses lying around, check out this site, Donate My Dress. It lists organizations that will collect your gently-used, fashionable dresses and accessories and give them to high school girls who can’t afford them. I just gave a bunch of my old dresses to the Princess Project in February. If you missed the deadline (like I did two years ago), put a note on your online calendar and hold on to them for next year!

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Musings on Green Fashion, Part 1: Buy Used!

As much as I care about being green, focusing specifically on green fashion is relatively new to me. In recent months, I’ve started trying to reduce my purchases – buying less, and repurposing what I already have. However, I’m definitely a girl who loves clothes, and I often get sick of what I already own. Don’t we all? In fact, I’m planning on organizing a clothing exchange party for my girlfriends soon, because I know we all have cute stuff in our closets we’ll just never wear again and might as well pass along to a better home!

Anyway, I’ve started looking for clothing that is made from sustainable materials and/or made in America – extra points if it’s made locally. This is quite a daunting task, as you might expect. It is so, so difficult to find clothes that aren’t made in China. Now I haven’t done tons of research on this subject, but I’m willing to bet the working conditions in many of the places where this clothing is made are not the best, nor are the wages. Caring about the environment also means caring about the people on it, and I don’t want to support sweatshops. Again, I haven’t done extensive research on this, but in general, I am steering away from clothing and other products made in China, whenever possible.

In addition to being hard to find, eco-fashion tends to come in two different options: affordable and hideous (think hemp, hippie-style), or cute and trendy, but expensive. Now, I don’t mind paying a bit more for well-made clothing that’s in line with my values, but ya know, the economy is not doing so well right now. We’re all broke, and it’s simply not an option for many of us to buy fancy green fashion, even if we want to.

One solution I’ve come up with, that I’m liking a lot, is to buy used. Sometimes when I think about how much “stuff” is already in the world, I freak out. It’s pretty disgusting, actually. Buying used is a great solution, leaving a very small carbon footprint. I’ve been shopping at Crossroads lately (locations in CA, Seattle, Portland and Chicago), which tends to have current, cute, trendy fashion. I’ve also recently discovered Plato’s Closet, which I’m loving! I’ve picked up some great stuff in the past few weeks – a few dresses (for under $10), cute sunglasses (LOVE that I don’t have to buy “new plastic”), a zip-up hoodie that I’ve got tons of compliments on, a Weston Wear shirt (made in the USA, a local company AND used – triple score), and Joe’s Jeans that were $40! It looks like they have locations all across the country. I highly encourage you to check them out – you might have to do a little digging through a lot of teeny-bopper stuff, but there are some great deals to be found! Today, I’m wearing this cute dress I got there for $10. I haven’t checked out Buffalo Exchange yet, but they’ve got a ton of locations as well.

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I feel really stupid modeling this, but cute dress, right?

Some stuff I’ve picked up thrift!
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Velvet shirt (the brand Velvet, not the texture, which I hate, ha), C&C Organic hoodie shirt, Weston Wear shirt, Zip-up hoodie, “I Need a Hug” shirt, Joe’s jeans, the dress from the picture above, Little Black Dress ($8!)

I’ve also been doing a lot of eBay window (heh. Windows?) shopping. One problem with eBay is it seems to have been taken over by the resellers, which defeats the purpose of trying to buy used! But you can look under the Conditions filter and choose “used” or “pre-owned.” Sometimes “New w/o Tags” is also an option, but make sure they are not resellers. You’ll be able to tell if they have multiples of the same item. I bought the C&C California Organic striped-shirt in the picture above for $8, including shipping. It retailed for $98 – ridiculous! There are also some great eBay consignment shops that sell lots of cute, gently used clothing. If I find an item I like, I’ll check out the seller’s other items, again making sure they’re not a big reseller. One thing I like to do, when I’m not sure what I’m looking for, is search for a term like “Anthropologie,” which will serve up lots of clothes in the style I like.

I definitely encourage you to try thrift if you’re looking to be green while saving some cash. You – and the planet – deserve it!

Coming in Part 2: Shopping online for ecodeals, and buying American-made!

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