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Unpopular opinions & a few honest thoughts

Last year, I spent substantial amount of money buying high quality clothes, shoes and other apparel items (secondhand and new) in an attempt to build my first serious, work wardrobe. I have spent enough time with my purchases to realize that about 30% of them were bad choices. Now that my taxes are filed away, my first quarter deadlines met and shopping ban in full swing, I am in spring cleaning mode. I am donating, giving away or selling most of the things that did not work out me. I am hanging on to a few bad choices that I can still alter and use. I will not be replacing or buying anything new for a while.

All of this got me thinking about quite a few topics and I decided to be brutally honest for my own sake – about Consignment Shopping, Cost Per Wear, Ethical Fashion and Ethical Choices. This post spent quite some time in the drafts section. I debated about actually publishing it. My only request to anyone who takes the time to read it is to be frank and put me in my place if I got this wrong.

#1 Thoughts on Shopping Consignment and Pre-owned:

At the end of last year, I ordered 3 dresses from The Real Real. I badly needed a few work dresses for 2017 and a ‘going out’ / party dress for a few events that I needed to attend. I decided to take advantage of the year-end reductions on TRR. All the 3 dresses I ordered were from well known brands and designers known for good clothes. None of them worked out. 2 out of 3 had the wrong measurements listed on the website. For instance, while the  bust of one dress was listed as 35″ on the website, it was actually 31″ in real life. Except for losing money for to-and-fro shipping, nothing came out of it. This is not the first time this has happened. There are a few purchases that I made on Ebay over the last two years that did not work out either. As we all know most Ebay sellers don’t offer returns.

TRRAlso, just take a look at the opinions on Purse Blog. Buyers received counterfeit items from The Real Real despite the ‘Authenticity Guaranteed’ tag. I feel buying pre-owned items online is too much of a gamble. Instead of losing money in shipping costs or ending up with clothes in the wrong size that I cannot return, I’d rather buy something new with a return policy that I can actually afford. But then, I find a gem of shoe like this on Ebay, at 1/3rd the retail price.

Final Ferragamo3

I bought these shoes for 1/3 their retail price in January this year. They were in near mint condition and the seller was letting them go as they were tight on her. I have a feeling that they will make the best purchase of 2017. It just makes me more conflicted about buying on ebay because I’ve had my hands burned so many times in the past.

This is the reality of shopping for pre-owned apparel online. Some hits, some misses. In my experience until now, the net “savings” more or less even out with the net losses incurred due to bad purchases. I feel like this reality is not acknowledged by most websites and bloggers who tout ‘breathing new life’ into pre-owned clothes or talk about consignment shopping.  Yes, buying secondhand is definitely better for the environment and thus better for me. I see that. But, at what cost? At the cost of ending up with clothes that are uncomfortable, ill-fitting and a waste of money because they will end up not getting worn more than 5 times.

#2 On the question of what is really worth one’s money:

Quality, Price, Satisfaction (of wearing something you love) are not simple Yes or No answers. There is a lot of gray area and varying degrees of happiness.

Consider these 3 possibilities:

  1. A fast fashion purchase that is surprisingly well made (Uniqlo, H&M, Zara – take your pick) bought for less than $50 and worn over 25 times. Let us say, I really loved wearing it, and never had to ‘baby it’, and could just toss it in the wash without much hassle. Then I dropped it in the donation bin or recycle bin (For all I know, they could end up in a landfill. I am aware of this). I am pretty sure this pair of trousers was made in a sweatshop in China or Bangladesh or Vietnam. Some of the fast retailers have signed the Bangladesh Factory Safety Accord, but I am still skeptical about how safe their factories really are.
  2. A mid-tier brand purchase (Theory, DVF, Rebecca Taylor, Zady, Cuyana, Everlane), bought for at least $180, worn 40 times and then discarded because it got worn out. Believe me, this happens more frequently than expected, despite of the sharp hike in cost when compared to fast fashion. Many times, the quality is just slightly better than Option #1. I have made enough purchases to substantiate this and I have a feeling that I might not be alone here. Some of these brands’ business practices are a little more transparent. But many of them cannot trace their entire supply chain for even one product type.
  3. A high-end brand purchase (Akris Punto, Stella McCartney) bought at at least $400 (consignment for sure) that makes me feel awesome. Most of the products produced by this brand are ethically made, eco-friendly and fair trade, though not completely. Let us say I wear it 50 times, then put on weight or changed jobs (different work environment) or simply got bored of it. For the sake of this discussion, let us assume I sold it and recovered a quarter of the cost.

From a purely financial standpoint, which one of these options is the better choice? In other words, which one is easier on my wallet?

Which  option is ‘low risk’? (Let us say I am out of luck and all 3 choices turn out to be bad in terms of quality, which one hurts my pocket the least?)

Which option makes me feel my best?

Which option has less hassles?  (Example: With which one, I don’t need to wear it a 100 times to justify its price? Which purchase doesn’t need me to dry wash and be precious with it?)

Let’s not forget  that my own answers for these questions could be wildly different from my sister’s.

A sales associate at a retail store making less than $50K, a nurse in training, a stay at home mom, a single parent making $80K, a partner at a law firm making upwards of 250K, a senior Hospitality professional making $100K could all answer these questions very differently.  One person’s ‘reasonable’ cost per wear could be unimaginable for another. For some, dry cleaning / professional laundry is a way of life. For some, having no-nonsense clothes that they don’t need to ‘baby’ could be the most important requirement. For a few ‘Power Dressing’ is a ‘default’ in traditional offices. A few others might be losing or gaining weight this year and may have to ‘adjust’ their purchases and budgets accordingly.

shirtdresses.jpg

The dress on the left is wildly expensive and 100% silk. It must be the most expensive work dress in my closet. Its humble friend to the right is 1/3rd the price, made of polyester and manufactured by a fast fashion retailer.  The silk one wrinkles within 1 hour of wearing it. I tried steaming, professional dry clean and ironing with not much luck! I hand wash and air dry it. I must have worn it 20 times now. It is starting to look worn out already. I have been wearing the polyester one at least 5 times a month for the past 4 months without any signs of wear. It is always wrinkle-free and I have not ironed it once. It is lined and I can machine wash it. I definitely see myself wearing it for the rest of the year, if not longer.

#3 Thoughts on ‘the ethical choice’ or ‘the obviously, right choice’ 

ethical-is-the-new-black

Really?

The ethical fashion brigade will tell me that the one with ‘most transparent practices’ among the three choices is the painfully obvious choice. They tell me that it will last me a lifetime. But when you look closely, that ‘Made in Tunisia’ tag on Option #2 could mean anything. To believe that the labor conditions are somehow better because it was Made in Africa, or Mid-Europe is fooling ourselves. The textile manufacturing factory in China has never been audited by anyone from the radically transparent brand. I feel it is uphill battle. I still cannot figure out the entire supply chain journey. So, the sub-contractor who manufactured the fabric used child labor? How do I really feel about illegal immigrants who are paid less than a dollar an hour being used in the factories despite the ‘Hand Made in Made in Italy’ tag? Conflicted. Ultimately, I choose the lesser of all the evils and move on.

I am sure ethical fashionistas will most definitely find another brand or another dress that is more transparent through out its Supply Chain journey than the three options we considered. Never mind the fact that dress looks like a burlap on me and wrinkles so much that it looks like I rolled out of bed. Then I wash it and it shrinks!! The chase never ends.

Let us just forget about the obvious ethical choice for a minute and re-examine Option #1 and #2 mentioned above. They have $130 difference between them. Wanting to buy ethically manufactured clothes vs being able to afford them is completely different. What if I cannot afford to have 4 work outfits each at $180-$200 price limit?

What if I really need those $130 for my pet insurance or medical bills or even better I actually donate the $130 to Doctors Without Borders or LA LGBT Center because I believe in their causes. Actually scratch that! Let us not even bring altruistic motives into the discussion. Let us just say I want to save more money to afford to travel more because traveling would make me infinitely happier than any silk dress or vegan leather bag. Another possibility – What if I am trying to save more to buy a home with a garden or a small piece of land that I plan to grow my own vegetables on? Last one while we are at it – I just want to save more and would love to see more money in my bank account. Simple as that, no better reason.

Everyone’s life story is different. Everyone’s needs are different. In real life, choices ought to be examined through the lens of the person’s current lifestyle, financial responsibilities and priorities. So, don’t tell me that the so called ‘ethical fashion choice’,  ‘fair trade alternative’, ‘high quality, long lasting option’ is some how the only morally allowable or obvious choice available for ALL of us

#4 More thoughts on Choices

Consider this possibility – What if I DON’T have the privilege of a choice. I can only afford the cheapest option out of the three mentioned above. We have become a culture that some how makes it seem like if you ‘invest’ the money up front, you will definitely end up reaping the benefits. Two problems with this:

#1 The above statement may be true about your retirement plan, your education and a few other things. It is not ALWAYS true about Clothes.

#2 It also operates on the premise that everyone has ample, discretionary income to blow on high quality, high expense purchases, upfront. For most people, it is a work in progress. For some, these things are just clothes to cover the body. Just that!

I recently came to know what one my my friends makes as salary (No, I did not ask. She shared). She is a single mom of 2 children.  It put a lot of things in perceptive. I felt very thankful for the reality check. I also felt relieved that even when I was not aware of some of her financial details, I did not lecture her on her unethical fashion choices or retail purchase choices.  Her wardrobe could be completely from Zara or some other fast fashion giant. But does it really matter? I know she is not buying anymore than she needs. She buys the best food she can, every single time. She prioritizes the kids educations and family vacations and savings before anything else.

Turning up my nose, lecturing friends about how their fashion choices are really bad for the environment, and yapping about sustainable fashion from my moral high ground is not going to get me anywhere. Having strong opinions, doing what I can for the planet, having a honest, balanced and calm conversation about slow fashion and ethics with a person that is actually interested is completely different from becoming a sad snob that insists that we should all be investigating and researching everything we buy. Wouldn’t that be a full time job?

I think there are quite a few wonderful style bloggers who buy way less than the ‘glam squad’ we cannot escape on the internet. They have tightly edited wardrobes without compromising their personal style. What I find common among them is that they aim to have boundaries and a clear vision. They try to choose the ethical option whenever they can. But, they don’t make it a unbreakable rule.

Yes, I understand that we have become a culture that buys and discards stuff at a very fast rate. But, after much thought, I think the only rule in the book is buy less and wear more  – not “buy better”, not “buy the more expensive option”, not “choose the ethically produced option”, not “buy secondhand”. All of these rules come later. So let people take what works for them and leave out whatever doesn’t. Surprise, Surprise! It is okay to think about our own financial priorities before making a purchase. Mother of all Surprises? We don’t need to make ethical shopping a contest and start judging everyone’s life, choices, clothes and styles.

Despite all the world screaming about minimalism, eco-friendly, sustainable fashion, fair trade, ethical fashion and transparent manufacturing methods in quite flowery language, all of those choices only exist for only a few us. Many of us seem to forget how lucky we are.

If we really want to help save the planet:

Let us be kind to the person sitting next to us, despite of how they look, talk and dress. People’s external appearances are not a reflection of their intelligence, depth and kindness.

Cook at home when possible. Eat fresh and grow something. This will most definitely help the planet – Just look up food & produce transportation costs.

Let us just buy one less pair of shoes and dresses – whether it is fast fashion or ethical fashion, whether it is new or pre-owned is secondary. Make those choices if and when you can. I am allowed to wear that Ann Taylor dress that I already own as long as I can and use those ‘extra’ $100 for a child’s back to school needs.

Use what we already have. One of my 2017 goals to make my wardrobe as ethical and eco-friendly as possible, within my financial limits. But before even buying, I am going to continue to wear what I’ve already have. No shame in that.

Give and gift when we can. That beautiful dress that no longer fits me is going to my sister. 

Question: Am I alone in feeling this way? Is buying secondhand online as marvelous as it is made to be? Is ethical fashion a choice that one can make every single time. Is it okay to NOT make Ethical Fashion the flavor of my life? Is it okay to NOT feel the need to ‘educate’ everyone around us?

I look forward to reading your thoughts on these topics – popular or otherwise, politically correct or wildly radical. 

 

31 Comments Post a comment
  1. Many of your thoughts have also run through my head as I’ve started thinking more and more about this topic.

    In terms of shopping pre-owned, in the last year I’ve been looking in op shops or on Ebay/Carousell before buying anything new. But thrift/consignment culture isn’t really strong in Australia, and there’s definitely not such a variety in the stores as in the US (as I discovered on my trip to NYC). So I’ve never actually been successful thrifting, because I usually have something very specific in mind.

    As for your second point, I agree that I like the freedom of not wearing anything overly expensive so that I don’t have to baby it (as at work I’m very likely to get gross stuff, like bodily fluids, on me). Also, a lot of my fast fashion/not-very-high-end stuff has lasted me years and years. 99% of my clothes (and my wardrobe currently is mostly fast fashion) I get sick/bored of before it actually falls apart. Most things that I do get sick of I either sell for a little money, or end up wearing around the house/as pyjamas until they do break down, and then our family uses them as rags.

    In terms of pure ethical purchasing, you bring up valid points. Sometimes it’s easier said than done. Being based in Australia, I again feel like I don’t have as large a range to choose from, especially when it comes to online businesses and returns (if I want to return something to a US based store, it would cost $40+). That being said, I guess a purist could argue that this is a case of me valuing $40 over the lives and wellbeing of factory workers? So my conscious does bite me a little. My baby step in this direction is that I’ve done a little light research into the brands I usually shop at, and stopped shopping at those with really terrible ratings (Baptist World Aid Australia does yearly ratings of large brands in Australia of their supply chains, and assigns grades, so I try to shop at those rated B or higher – though that includes lots of fast fashion stores). At the same time I’ve found a lot of conflicting information – an ethical shopping app I use (Good On You) rates H&M higher than Everlane, for example. So I totally agree that for people who are time poor, just trying to find out what’s ethical and what’s not is difficult in itself.

    So I guess to conclude this essay (haha sorry), my steps for trying to make my wardrobe ethical are similar to yours: to be happy with and take care of what I already own, really think carefully about adding to my wardrobe, shop second-hand or from ethical brands where possible and if not, avoid the brands known to be particularly terrible. (In defense of my Uniqlo where most of my clothes are from, they have apparently since signed the Bangladesh safety accord, according to the Good on You app.)

    Liked by 1 person

    April 1, 2017
    • SA. #

      Jane, thank you very much for writing a comprehensive comment! Come to think of it, I am sure it is harder for folks in Australia and even in some countries in Europe. The return policies are not very accommodating. Yes! I use my old t shirts around the house and some of them end up as kitchen rags. I think we all try to make the right purchase whenever we can, within our means and extend the life of a garment. I feel sad about how a person’s fashion purchases / choices could be examined in isolation and it could be callously decided that he/she simply doesn’t care for the Planet. There are many other aspects and priorities in one’s life.

      Btw, Uniqlo is one of my favorite brands. I lived in China for two years and most of my clothes were from Uniqlo and they lasted really long. I recently took a vacation to Singapore. My sister and I were more excited about Uniqlo Singapore than any other shopping. Haha! It is the 4th largest retail fast fashion giant. But, despite of their size, their quality with most of their product offering is infinitely better than many other brands.

      Like

      April 1, 2017
      • SA. #

        Also, Thank you very much for correcting me about Uniqlo signing the accord. I updated my link. My point was that signing an accord has nothing to do with actual ethical practices or quality product offerings. Uniqlo offers better product compared to many of its peers, accord or no accord. Many companies sign accords as an eyewash.

        Like

        April 1, 2017
      • I see what you mean and agree! Uniqlo items do seem to last a long time, especially if you choose carefully.

        Like

        April 1, 2017
  2. This is such a great post! Best thing I read on the internet for a long time. Broadly, I agree with everything you say, I loathe on line shopping and eBay in particular. I do like your silk dress though and of course you are right the polyester one will last much longer and is easy care for busy lifestyles. The silk dress though will probably still look chic when it’s worn and wrinkly, I find that with quality clothes – they still look elegant after their sell by date… ❤️️Thank you so much for this very insightful info.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 1, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you for the kind words Lady Sarah! As I get older, I am starting to realize that I prefer brick and mortar shoes, at least to know how the garment or shoe feels before taking the plunge to buy it. Yes, you are right. I think the silk one will continue to look chic for a long time even though it frustrates the hell out of me.

      I was really worried about publishing this post as I did not want to ruffle anyone’s feathers. But, I am starting to realize it is important to voice ones thoughts as rationally as possible. Otherwise, I risk the possibility of becoming that person who agrees with everyone and everything.

      Liked by 1 person

      April 1, 2017
  3. I enjoyed this post a lot too!

    The ethical fashion business is the obvious choice because not many people want to go into deep analysis of the pros and cons. But issues are often very complicated and not all of us, quite rightly, are inclined to spend too much time thinking about all the choices (I bet you’re exhausted after this exercise), so we often end up making those decisions based on a couple of variables that are high on our list of priorities. For me it is natural fibers (I know we disagree a bit here), buying used, and then supporting small businesses.

    Clothes are just clothes, in the end. There is not much ethical about Ethical Fashion, like there is not much inherent value to the exclusive, highly priced brands, if we keep buying clothes for their sake of buying and if we try to keep up with trends. It’s not worth paying too much money on clothes, I believe. It’s worth paying fair, for the labor and materials, but that’s it. Otherwise, we just spend the money for the symbolism the clothes carry, for the identifier that they represent. There is no much intrinsic value in clothes. No matter what people say, they are not an investment and none last forever. Sure they are fun and can be artistic, but that can be achieved with any quality, at any price point. I don’t know. There is no one answer for everyone. Each of us must make the choices that make us happy. And allow ourselves the joy of fashion also, without feeling so much guilt and trying to justify everything. I so want to get to that point, where I make my peace with my decision process and then I can just be playful and have fun with my clothes, instead of making myself crazy about every single purchase, you know? Although, yeah, to be honest, there is a lot of pleasure in just thinking about clothes too. Ah, the contradictions!

    Like

    April 1, 2017
    • SA. #

      “..so we often end up making those decisions based on a couple of variables that are high on our list of priorities.” That sums it up Lori!!
      I am actually happy that we all don’t have to pick the same variables and we can have our differences. I know natural fibers feel much better on the body for a lot of people. Just that I’m not averse to Polyester 🙂

      Yes, Clothes don’t have any inherent value by themselves. Of course, they could bring pleasure and happiness. At the end of the day, they are just another form material possessions. I just think we all need to relax about them and decide what is best for us while not hurting the planet too much. For me, it is very much like making a donation or volunteering for a cause. Do as much as you can without feeling the pressure to give or do more because the person beside you set a higher bar. Do what feels right and continue learning.

      “I so want to get to that point, where I make my peace with my decision process and then I can just be playful and have fun with my clothes, instead of making myself crazy about every single purchase, you know? “ – Amen to that!

      Like

      April 1, 2017
  4. Agree completely

    Like

    April 2, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you! I appreciate you stopping by and reading such a long blog post

      Like

      April 2, 2017
  5. LL #

    I read to the end and I agree with you. I’ve read enough blogs and blog posts about the virtues of ethical fashion. Some bloggers are very, very quick to take the moral high ground and come off as elitist. The concept of ethical consumption is more complex than most blogs dare to examine.

    Like

    April 2, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you for reading LL! Yes, choices are not as black and white as most articles make them seem. I did not mean to complain about other bloggers. More so, that life choices cannot be summed up in just a blog post or a 1000 word article or post.

      Like

      April 3, 2017
  6. Antonia #

    I loved reading this post….it was linked from Lady Sarah’s blog. So many things to think about! I’ve done the fast fashion thing 10-15 years ago….it was all about H&M back then. Now I’m older and find H&M to be too ‘young’ for me and also the quality isn’t that great IMO. I now mostly shop at Ann Taylor for new clothes and consignment for designer pre-owned clothing. I find Ann Taylor to be one of those in-between brands…not fast fashion, well made but not so expensive and I work in an office and it’s mostly office appropriate. Most of the things can be machine washed which is another plus.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 3, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you for reading Antonia! Yes, as I am older now (turned 30) my H&M days are long gone. Ann Taylor is my go to for work appropriate clothes. I prefer it over J. Crew or Banana Republic. The hemlines of their dresses feel much appropriate for me and the styles are sober. I too love the freedom of popping them in the washing machine!!

      Liked by 1 person

      April 3, 2017
      • I think I’d be happy to buy some things second hand/consignment without having tried them on. For example a cashmere sweater is probably a good bet because the fit is general. Or a perhaps a scarf or a handbag. I don’t do H&M the quality is just not there, it’s all about reducing costs. Clothes may look ok on the model, but they don’t wear well and the finish/fabric is poor.

        Like

        April 3, 2017
      • SA. #

        A few brands are very consistent in their sizing. Equipment Brett silk blouses, Comme Des Garcon Play & Saint James t shirts etc – I feel comfortable making those purchases second hand/ online consignment because I know my size for sure. I would love to add a few cashmere sweaters this year. But, living in one of hottest places in USA, I don’t have need for more than 2 or 3 sweaters in general 🙂 Having said that, I bought a cashmere one last year and I am hooked!
        About H&M, I completely agree. During my younger years, I used to hem and haw about finding pieces from the brand that were at least slightly better. Now, I just don’t even want to try anymore. I would rather wear clothes I already have on repeat and wait until I can afford something more durable.

        Liked by 1 person

        April 3, 2017
  7. Xin #

    I feel the same way as you do about so many of the things you mentioned: Silk really is very fussy to wear (though that hasn’t stopped me from continuing to collect it) and TheRealReal has the wonkiest product measurements. I’ve been lucky enough to have wanted to keep two out of three items I’ve ever bought there, but I paid around $13 in extra fees for the item I returned, with shipping to me and return shipping combined. I don’t feel that bad about what I spent that way, but TheRealReal is clearly not something I can rely on for buying the bulk of my wardrobe.

    I’m also one of the people who can’t realistically rely on secondhand shopping to fill my entire closet. I also find it impossible to fully trust retailers, even the ones that market themselves as being more transparent.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 4, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you for reading Xin. I think it is the bane of our generation to complain about silk 😀. I can’t recall my mother ever complaining about having to iron silk or take extra care of it. Haha! I think deep down I am skeptic and cannot get excited about what is marketed. There is too much noise that it makes it very hard to listen.

      Like

      April 4, 2017
  8. SA., I didn’t find time to comment until now but I have read your post several times meanwhile. It just resonates so much with what I think and I believe in. I can’t push the “like” button enough!

    I was feeling somehow guilty in the past because of shopping in fast-fashion chains and shopping too much; I regretted not being able to save money for some good brand I could flaunt on my blog, some that was generally approved as “ethical” and “high quality”. Now – not that I wouldn’t care at all, I just don’t sweat it. It’s just that if I’d wanted to do so, I’d have to give up on summer vacation or going out for entire month because of a single item… which is absurd. My budget doesn’t allow me to spend so much money on just a few items in my wardrobe and I’m not that kind of person who’d be content with two t-shirts, two pants, two sweaters, etc. – I like the freedom of choice.

    In my country, the online shopping from abroad is quite an expensive and/or high-risk business, so for many people, a certain no-go. I don’t have any experience with that, also because the return policies (if there are any) can be pretty long and annoying.

    I haven’t met any bloggers who place themselves somewhere morally higher or who judge other people based on what they buy but I did notice the ethical is now a very trendy and glamorous issue. Some people enthusiastically recommend and link to supposedly ethical brands without saying a word about the quality of the garment… and some buy equally frequently like the “unethical” bloggers they are criticising, which, in my eyes, is a kind of a hypocrisy. That’s why I agree with you about the first rule of buying less, using more what we already have. This year, I’d really like to test myself in this regard, too. Investing more in travel and books rather than clothes…

    Like

    April 7, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you Zia. Yes, I too feel that ethical has become a little too trendy and pointless at times. Demographically, many countries already follow slow fashion. For instance, one of my good friends lives in Finland and she has such a beautiful, well edited closet. Perhaps the weather plays a role too. I feel that my American closet reflects the surpluses of my society. We either over do it to the point of being absurdly ‘bloated’ and then go on ‘cleanses’. Only now, I am starting to finding a balance.

      It’s been about an year or two since I really started my slow fashion and style journey. I am trying to buy ethically manufactured things as much as I can without completely giving up my style and aesthetic. Also, the clothes that I already own still have a lot of life left in them. So, It will take at least 5 to 6 years if not more to bring my closet to 90% high quality, long lasting, ethically made basics.

      I absolutely agree about focusing on other things – books, travel, a sport, a pastime (other than style), yoga. No bag in the world is better than an intelligent mind and a peaceful soul. Also, there is a whole lifetime to fine-tune one’s style. No harm in slowing down.The more delayed the gratification, the more we savor what we buy and own.

      Below link is best post I found on how to build an ethical closet. I love that pyramid. I am still on the bottom two steps 🙂

      https://anuschkarees.com/blog/2016/5/26/5-ways-to-build-a-more-ethical-closet-no-matter-your-budget

      Another post that I particularly like. I have always admired Sarah’s style:

      https://ladysarahinlondon.wordpress.com/2016/05/08/real-fashion-vs-fast-fashion-4-and-how-to-save-money-save-the-planet-and-look-good-to-boot/

      Like

      April 9, 2017
  9. Loved this blog post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts in such an honest and candid way.

    Like

    April 26, 2017
  10. Lakshmi #

    You write really well. 🙂 A pleasure to read this one. I thought I’d share my story here, then it occurred to me that I’d already done it on Archana’s blog, so here goes – https://touniversewithlove.com/2017/04/07/guest-post-lakshmis-style-essay/.

    Like

    April 26, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you so much for reading Lakshmi. I went on to Archana’s blog and read your guest post and loved it so much!! This is my favorite part – ‘..I think that my low-drama, no-fuss attitude to life has percolated into my sense of style and dressing in a natural way. I have very little desire to buy clothes. My closet looks full to me, and I genuinely enjoy wearing the clothes I have. What does the future look like? Perhaps a continuation of the current state? As long as I remain true to who I am, all is perfect.’

      I hope to master my own version of low-drama in my wardrobe some time in the near future. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

      Like

      April 27, 2017
      • Thanks. I read your blog yesterday, end to end… I have bookmarked it, so I will keep visiting. 🙂 Keep writing.

        Like

        April 27, 2017
  11. Really good post! Just a possible solution for secondhand woes: I always screenshot the professional images on the real real before buying. I usually get a good sale and if the item doesn’t fit, I relist it on eBay using their professional photos. This way, I save return shipping. I bought 3 pairs of repettos before finding the right size and actually made about $20 from reselling on eBay. Each pair took less than a day to be sold on eBay. I grew up shopping secondhand so the stuff you mentioned doesn’t really phase me…it’s all part of the fun!

    But I agree, best thing to do is buy less stuff.

    Like

    April 29, 2017
    • SA. #

      I am just learning to sell my preowned clothes or shoes. Thank you for inspiring me not to give up. I think it is just going to take some knack and practice to get the hang of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      April 29, 2017
      • It is really easy if you can use the photos provided! Once you have to take your own high quality photos, it can be annoying and time consuming.

        Like

        April 29, 2017
      • SA. #

        Yes! You are right. The process of taking photos is time consuming. Thank you for the tip!

        Liked by 1 person

        April 29, 2017
  12. Interesting post, hun! Yeah, that is why I prefer brands from DVF and upwards, for bettef quality and more wear. I can’t be bothered with fast fashion because of how easily it gets ruined.

    When it comes to secondhand purchases, 1stdibs, Yoogi’s Closet, Rebelle and Mighty Chic are the best. They are all accredited as BB companies and I have never heard any complaints of counterfeit products.

    Vestiaire Collective, The Real Real, Ebay, Tradesy and others of this ilk are better to be avoided, in my opinion. Way too many fakes!

    Like

    May 14, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you Jessie! Yes, I am just starting to understand consignment and pre-owned online stores better now. I have had better luck on Poshmark than The Real Real and Ebay. I will have to explore Yoogi’s Closet more. In terms of quality, you are right. I am going to aim for DVF and above. The biggest issue with premium brands and consignment shopping is the inconsistent sizing. But, I am learning to read sizes better now.

      Liked by 1 person

      May 14, 2017

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