Friday, November 20, 2009

Regretful Consumer

I just got back in contact with a college friend I haven’t seen since 1998. We were 90’s hippies. We wore Birkenstocks, shopped at the food co-op, and spent all of our meager funds on backpacking gear. He was mildly surprised by the (decidedly non-hippie) turn my life has taken and I was ashamed of my consumerism.

What’s done is done. All I can do to atone for my sins is wear the heck out of the things I already own and thrift and swap the rest. I left the hair back in college, but not my principles

Shrug, INC. Tank, Mossimo. Skirt, Express (thrifted). Belt, swap. Tights, who knows? Booties, Sigerson Morrison for Target. Necklace, Forever 21. Cuff, Hot Topic.


I must make allowances for special things – like incredible designer collaborations with Target.


I’ve had the tank and shrug since the early days of my blog, Fall 2006, and I’ve remixed them often.

INC shrug (pictured 17 times):


Mossimo sheer tank (pictured 8 times plus one photo I don't care to repost) :


Together (pictured twice, before today):

23 comments:

La Historiadora de Moda said...

I am also sometimes ashamed of my consumerism. I try to mitigate this by shopping at thrift stores as much as possible, and buying from indy designers and responsible manufacturers. However, I admit that I also buy a fair amount of clothing from Target or elsewhere that is made in China, and sometimes that makes me cringe. I try to rewear and remix as much as possible.

You look great here and you are one of my remixing heroes.

Aimee C said...

I was a teenager during the Grunge phase, and honestly, I don't think any of us knew any better. I probably I owned two pairs of jeans and three pairs of shoes, and "remixed" those with t-shirts and flannels. I sometimes long for the simplicity of that time, but I also like all the very nice things I now have in my closet.

Life's an evolution, right?

Kim said...

I was a 90's hippie too but sadly I still dress the same way when I can get away with it. You, on the other hand, make shopping your own closet, thrifting and remixing look ridiculously good.

~Tessa~Scoffs said...

I was the same way back in the mid-eighties. I have since passed all my camping and rock-climbing gear on to my sons. Soon they'll be able to wear all my flannel shirts.

The Fabulous Gloria Blackwell said...

I also feel guilty for my consumerism! But, as long as we can set some limits for ourselves, I think that we can allow ourselves to enjoy some purchases that make us feel good and allow us to do something we enjoy. Personally, I have a set clothes budget that I try really hard to adhere to each month and this keeps me from going overboard. There has to be balance, you know? We have to be mindful of the compulsion to spend, spend, spend (and control it)...but we also need to recognize that money is just a tool to help us get through life and we CAN spend some of it to bring satisfaction to our lives. It is always a difficult balance to find and I am constantly working on it!

Sheila said...

Gloria is so right - you thrift, swap and try not to go crazy.

How fun, to blow someone's expectations of how you're going to look after so long, though. I love doing that. I bet he was shocked to see you!

Julia said...

I have to say, your hair is actually really lovely in the first picture, all long and natural. Very simple and surprisingly chic.

In regard to your being embarrassed by your consumerism, I do relate (I can't afford to buy new clothes and usually don't want to, anyway) but on the other hand, I don't think there's anything wrong with supporting the artistic endeavors of indie labels. Those designers need to eat too, of course. And making money by your creative wits is always difficult. But I also don't think you should feel bad (intentionally or otherwise) about your recent choices--you inspire a lot of people, and that's a wonderful way to live, no?

xx
Julia

Heather said...

I adore the purple booties!

Come check out my $100 giveaway for some lovely statement jewelry:

http://underfundedheiress.blogspot.com/

Rosie Unknown said...

I feel badly about my shopping too, but like you, I shop mostly second hand, and wear stuff till it falls apart/no longer fits, then I reuse the material or give it to my little sister.

I love the outfit, the skirt is awesome!

Marz said...

Gorgeous boots! I'm loving the colour!

Marie McGrath (The Joy of Fashion) said...

I have always loved your sense of style!! I just wanted you to know I made you my outfit of the week at my blog. I posted a link back to your blog, I hope this is ok. Good job on your great sense of style!

www.thejoyoffashion.blogspot.com

Lady Cardigan said...

The grunge look was perfect for me, but the problem is I never left it behind. I still have the long hair, even (in my early 40s). I'm embarrassed that I haven't been MORE of a consumer, that I've been so completely outside societal trends that it's hard now for me to catch up and dress acceptably. Still, I still feel guilty about every penny I spend on clothes. Sometimes the easiest person to judge is yourself.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Aimee C, we evolve. I'd never admit it back then, but in my college years of the early 90's I was a "pseudo-hippie". I was all about the Grateful Dead and Phish and followed them whenever I could with my "true-hippie" roommates and friends. I felt very comfortable in my ripped cords, ridiculous over patched 8 year old jeans, corduroy hat that you couldn't pry from my head, and birks. But I know now that wasn't who I truly was and absolutely adore the fact that I have found my own style. It took a while, and some strange looks along the way as I slowly chopped and styled my hair, incorporated more stylish and trendy pieces into my wardrobe, bought more than one pair of shoes and -GASP- started carrying handbags. I am very different than the girl I was in high school and college, and I wouldn't trade either experience for the world.

workhard said...

I like your jacket and the Gingham skirt..

Lingerie Blog

The Sequin Cat said...

How did you keep track of your outfits? Do you have some kind of mad fashion spreadsheet? I'm intrigues! xx

Adventures of a Sequin Cat

WendyB said...

Why are women always shamed for "consumerism"? A lot of women who say that aren't the hugest buyers. And if you can afford everything you buy, use it and appreciate it, why not? You keep a lot of people in business that way. I would only find it disturbing if someone were accumulating tons of clothes/houses/cars that were basically unused or tossed after one use. Men seem to be able to accumulate a lot of electronics without being accused of consumerism the way that women are.

I think it's great if people like thrifting and vintage. I do. But I don't think anyone who works within her budget should feel like she only deserves second-hand clothes.

Lemondrop Marie said...

Plus all of that great work you do reworking vintage clothes and wearing them! That's pretty anti consumerism and gives the rest of us shopaholics something to strive for.No?

Kass said...

Loving this outfit!
those boots are awesome.

sabina said...

I was a teenager in the Grunge Period and decidedly a 90s hippie too. :-)

To balance my roots against consumerism, I make a list at the start of each season and assess what I *need* then. My closet is also overhauled and anything I decide not to wear anymore is given away or donated. I believe this helps to balance things out.

I love today's outfit. The booties add such a punch of colour against a dark palette; beautiful.

Reedie said...

I think that as much as you reuse, swap and thrift, you're off the hook for being an evil consumer! One bad habit I have is buying things that are a bit off-either just a tad too small or too big because they are on sale. Then I never wear them. I do give all of my discards to charity though. Since I tend to buy clothes all at once, I try to give away two items for every one I buy. Keeps my closet clean and goes to a good cause.

Kasmira said...

The Sequin Cat - mostly, I just remember all the outfits. But, since I also upload everything to flickr, with descriptions, I can search by brand name to locate every outfit featuring an item.

Londyn said...

Ok - so I FINALLY found a pair of fabulous and comfortable purple suede booties that I adore. . . however, the store didn't have them in my size. Online I went and I found them on sale from $180 to $120.......ugh. Even my consumerism has its limits. The search continues.

Kevin said...

Hey there, I just wanted to say that I like the photo of you as a teen. You were a cute girl and have turned in to a very beautiful woman!