Monday, April 20, 2009

Shop Your Closet, Wardrobe Refashion, Spending Hiatus, Post-Consumer Clothing

0316closet.jpg shop your closet image by lint_clouds

photo credit here

By now we’ve all heard about the “shop your closet” trend.  We’ve heard about other things people are doing in the recession that are generally based on making the most of what you already have in your closet, or what you can find second-hand. 

Since I already do a lot of this, I’m going to formalize it.  I’m going to try something new, and more disciplined.  I’m taking the pledge to be a “Wardrobe Refashionista” for the next two months. 

2 month pledge

What does this mean?  From the website:  “Wardrobe Refashion is a community which has had an online presence since early 2006. Based in Melbourne, Australia, owner Nichola Prested started up the site after deciding to quit buying new manufactured clothing in a bid to do her part for the planet, save money and improve her sewing skills.”

what will I have to do? 

Again from the website:  “Participants of the blog pledge to abstain from the purchase of new manufactured clothing for the period of 2, 4, 6 months or LIFE. They pledge to refashion, renovate, and recycle preloved items with their own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium or make their own from scratch.” 


Here I go: 

I, Sallymandy, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2  months. I pledge that i shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract.

I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoted, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thriftiness brings!

Signed, Sallymandy.


I’m also going on a spending hiatus for two months, during which I will not even buy clothes at second hand stores. 

but why, Santy Claus?  Why are you taking our shopping away?  Why? 

Because I have too many choices in my closet, and not enough discipline!! 

Because I often don’t like what I find exactly as it is anyway. 

Because it’s a great creative outlet that doesn’t cost much money.

Because I like having clothes that are different from everyone else’s. 

So instead of adding to my piles, I’ll be sorting, purging, retrofitting, tailoring, or otherwise altering what I already have,  using the elements of design I understand, and what I know about body shape and fit, and color, and things like Rit dye and seam rippers. 

I’ll use this, my twenty-eight year old Viking Husqvarna Classica 100: 

Husqvarna Viking Classica 100 for 1980's...those were good years! by FeatherTree Needles.

and these: 

and these: 


It’s going to be fun!  I can’t wait!  I’ll keep you posted!  And in the meantime,

would anyone like to join the community of refashionistas, too? 




Kat Mortensen said...

Quite honestly, my wardrobe is about 98% recycled. I spend a good deal of time at thrift stores and have done so for the past 10 years. I have a system of seasonal recycling. I wear stuff until I get tired of it and then it goes back into the cycle. Way more fun that department stores!


Pyzahn said...

I've been in this club for a while now. It's also known as unemployment.

But I totally support the principal. I think we are a society that buys way more than we need. By being forced into a situation where I couldn't spend willy-nilly I really learned first hand the difference between want and need.

I hope many people decide to participate in this re-fashion activism.

Unknown said...

I don't know if I could completely abstain. I am making two skirts right now. But I bought the fabric and zippers to do it. Maybe that doesn't count. :)

Can't wait to see what you post!

Jennifer said...

You sound like you are making a "sacrifice" into a fun and creative adventure! Between the economy and two kids in college, and husband's work "transition," I haven't bought any clothes since ... now that I think about it... hmmmm...6 months. But, I don't have any creative talent - how did you learn how to sew/make alterations?

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Only two months? Piece of cake!

Jane said...

I made the pledge not to spend any cash on clothes for 12 months. I just have 90 days to go and I have to say I have had more compliments about the way I look since I took the pledge that I wouldn't want to revert to my old ways.
Good Luck!

Zuzana said...

Ah, I admire you! I am looking forward to all the post about all your refurbished and re-altered and re-freshed clothes!
I wish I had more discipline like that. 2 months is a long time.;) I might try half the time.;) One month is more realistic.;)
I will give it a serious thought - thanks for the inspiration.;))

Duchesse said...

I'm not buying much at all- have many clothes and enjoying wearing what I have. I concerns about this approach- not the moratorium on buying but the styles achieved by "creative alteration". I hope I am pleasantly surprised and proven wrong by what you show!

Duchesse said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Working Mum said...

I didn't buy any clothes for year when I was saving up the deposit for our first house - it wasn't that bad, but then I was a student and not going through suits at the rate of one per term! Good luck with your pledge, I look forward to seeing the results.

Joanna Goddard said...

i LOVE that top photo--so pretty!

Seeker said...

Hi darling, what a great enterprise you're getting on.
Well I try to be organized and do the most with my pieces, that's why I keep them in boxes and use them after some time. So I try to recycle, and mix and remix.
But I need a few new itens, to the sake of my mental health. Not much, just a few is enough, not to spend much.
So.... I try my best in my way.

Wish you all the luck and hope everything is ok with you, darling


Jennifer said...

I wanted you to know that I was thinking about this blog as I was choosing my clothes this morning. I was wondering if you have been/may be successful at removing shoulder pads and the extra space they leave behind!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

You are so brave and so right, SM, but I literally cannot sew for toffee...

I did not buy any clothes for the past 5 months - And then I had a little splurge prior to a wedding - Is that okay?!

Best of luck, dahlink! Would love to see photos of your refashioned fashion - I'll bet it's 'to die for', with all your taste and talent!

drollgirl said...

oh dear. i am not sure that i can commit to this. i have cut WAY back on shopping and am doing my best to utilize more in my overstuffed closet(s). not sure i am ready for a complete moratorium. and i have been altering some things that have never been quite right. so i am trying!

Frugal Scholar said...

I wish I knew how to sew! But I can't do it--I have too much fun at thrift stores. Pitiful, I know.

Profoundly Superficial said...

I love the word "preloved". It sounds so comforting...

Rosaria Williams said...

Hi, I dropped in from A Woman... I love these refashioning ideas coming up from our young people. I'd add another part: shop at your grandmother's closets for vintage items she'll love to hand you. You wear something not available in stores; your grandmother gets to tell you stories of when she purchased that item.

Your action will make you both happy.

sallymandy said...

Poetikat: I have tons of recycled clothing also. The new choices around here are quite slim.

Pyzahn: I agree with everything you said.

Sher: I think sewing with new notions counts on the Wardrobe Refashion page, though I'm not certain.

Jennifer: you're right. This is going to be fun. I disagree about not having any creative talent. You have a blog, and I've been there, and it requires creative talent to put one together. I learned to sew when I was a kid, but I'll be posting in the future so you can see I'm not all that skilled. I'm using really basic skills.

Pamela: You're right.

Jane: I know, you're the original Wardrobe Refashioner on my blog list. You've been a big inspiration. That's very encouraging about all the compliments you're getting.

Protege: I know, if people have any inclination to do this, I think we just have to in a way that works well for us. Some people take the pledge for life!

Duchesse: You're right, some approaches in this broad trend are not for everyone, including me. I meant my post to be about a wide swath of definitions of Wardrobe Refashioning. I'm not going to be taking a t-shirt and adding a bedsheet to the bottom and wearing it as a dress. Much simpler and more practical changes. Stay tuned!

Working mum: Thanks!

Joanna: Yes, I love it too.

Seeker: Thanks, so glad you're back home. If you're organized with your clothes, you're already ahead of me. A purge and re-organization will be one step for me.

Jennifer: If you have too much space where your shoulder pads were, maybe you should leave them in...? Or, one of my favorite authors, Kendall Farr, recommends using small shoulder pads that you can get at a fabric store. The huge 1980s versions of course are pretty out there. I've never altered a shoulder pad other than removing it. Good luck!

Woman of No Importance: No new clothes for five months seems like a big deal to me. Good for you. Dear, I'm not a great sewer either. Thanks for your kind words. I may or may not post photos of moi. :)

Droll: Sure, I hope I didn't make it sound like a moral thing everyone ought to do! This is something I already halfway do, so it's not going to kill me. If you've already cut way back, that's a big change for you. I think it's like exercise: if we hate doing something we're not going to keep it up.

Frugal: It's not pitiful to have fun at thrift stores, in my opinion. I do, too! But the clothes don't always fit, or I don't like the color, or something. That's when I use my rudimentary sewing skills to improve things.

ProSup: That's a generous way to look at it. I was thinking, "if these items are preloved, why did the original owners give them away?"

lakeviewer: Thanks for stopping by. How I wish I had taken my grandmother up on her offers of more clothes when she was cleaning out her closets. She once offered me a vintage vicuna coat that I didn't take because I was living in the desert. Now I'd love to have it. My grandmother's no longer living, but she was a very stylish woman and an inspiration to me. Someday I'll post about her. And she did have wonderful stories about her clothes.

Ingrid Mida said...

Good luck with your hiatus from shopping. I did this for 6 months in the fall. The first month was the hardest!
I'd love to join you but I'm going to Paris in May and there is no way I'm not going to pledge not to shop in Paris. Maybe afterwards ;)

Stephanie N. said...

I have recently been considering doing something right along these lines. I have been re-fashioning my wardrobe over much of the past year. I turned all my hangers backwards in September, and turned each one around when I wore what was on it. In addition to helping me weed out items I should get rid of, it has also encouraged me to wear items I don't wear very often, and to find new ways of styling everything.

I have a beach vacation in the works and have been planning on buying a few wardrobe essentials for it: a pair of flip-flops (I think I'm the only woman I know who doesn't own any), and at least one swimsuit (my newest one is six years old), and maybe a couple of other items. Which would make a wardrobe spending hiaitus tricky.

So I've been waffling since reading this post Monday night. But I'd REALLY like to participate because I have been thinking very seriously about doing something like this. And I love a challenge. I'm still working out the "rules" for myself, but just wanted you to know for now that I'll be tagging along in some fashion (no pun intended... okay, maybe slightly) for the adventure in self-control. I'll probably post my personal guidelines and some kind of pledge on my blog before the end of the month.

Stay strong, sallymandy! You can do it!

Maria Killam said...

Hmmmm. . . I'm thinking about joining you on the hiatus. It's a great idea, I've already pretty much been doing it the last few months but now it's Spring and I just bought a few new things at the outlet mall in Seattle on my way home from the colour convention. My yellow and cream coach purse was the best bargain there! I'll have to think about it and check out that blog! Thanks for the great post though! I'm inspired.