Thursday, October 30, 2008

Un-Shopping

woman shoppingMy sister Lindsey and I went through my wardrobe and yanked out everything that doesn't fit me any more, everything too ratty to wear any more, and other things that needed de-cluttering. We also discovered some things I haven't worn for ages, and things I had forgotten I owned, and Lindsey suggested different ways of combining items into outfits I hadn't thought of before. Then she took some things from the "give to charity" pile that she wanted for herself. It was a lot of fun.

The next day she brought me some things from her own wardrobe that she didn't wear any more and thought would suit me, or would go with outfits I already had. And we hit the local charity shops and found some great bargains. We bought a few items new, too, from a shopping list we devised of "must-haves" (e.g. that brown skirt you have is fabulous but you really need a couple of matching tops and a brown belt to go with it).

So now I have a totally new wardrobe of outfits to wear, but with a minimal budget. And Lindsey and I had a great time together doing sisterly girly stuff, dressing up and trying different looks out. I get the point of retail therapy. I understand why people like to go to the shopping mall for a day as a leisure activity to cheer themselves up. I understand the pleasure of coming home with an armful of trophies from your day of 21st century hunting-and-gathering. But my green instincts rebel at the wastefulness of shopping for the sake of shopping, and treating clothes as if they were disposable. So it's nice to find ways of getting the same retail rush with a clean eco-conscience.

14 comments:

esp said...

This is such a fun way to update your wardrobe! In college, I used to host "clothes swapping parties." I'd supply a place and some food & drink and any of my friends who wanted would bring their unwanted clothes to swap. It was usually a blast and everyone went home with some new things.

Tracey Smith said...

Hi Melanie,

A great post and one after my own heart! I constantly fly the flag for clothes (toys and books) swapping and you can easily turn this into a great girlie event too.

Love your blog too chick,
TS
x

Slice of life said...

Embelishing is also a really good way to update clothes.

Marge Simpson finds a chanel suit in one of the simpsons cartoons and to stay in with the incrowd, she takes it apart and re-tailors it for the seasons!

Robj98168 said...

Great job on updating your wardrobe while buying used,
Recycled- Reused- Reduced- great for the waste stream

Tina said...

Grand job Melanie!
But, I must say - I'm one of those people that just doesn't 'get' it.
I hate shopping. With a passion. lol. I never get that shopping high. Happy to find a good deal or great sale, but if I had to spend a day at the mall...I honestly think it would kill me!
Maybe that's why I learned so fast and became such a freak about making my own?
Hmmm...maybe something to seriously ponder!

kathyann said...

Sounds like you both had a lot of fun, what a great way to spend time together and getting some new outfits.You could always cut up some of your old clothes and make them into patchwork throws or rag rugs,my nan used to make these and draught excluders for the backs of her doors for winter. She used to go to lots of jumble sales,she couldn't afford to buy new material so she'd look for things she could get most use out of.
I had a patchwork throw on my bed that she made from old coats, we had no heating in our bedrooms and were grateful for the extra layers.
Maybe some of the old ways will come back,but they'll probably call it the designer look and charge people a fortune!
Love from Kathy and the girls

Andy Guo said...

A great post and one after my own heart!
http://gwb-chinese.blogspot.com/

Alice said...

I live in a house with four flats, and we all put our "charity shop" stuff in the basement. We leave it there for a while so we all have a chance to go through each other's stuff, and then eventually I take what none of us want to the donation bins up the road.

I always find it more fun to get things for free!

Killi said...

I get cast offs from my mother & sister, but never skirts nor trousers ~ I don't wear trousers & my skirts are very long & fairly full.

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