I Thought I Was Done With These Old Clothes, Then I Wore Them to Fashion Week
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I had just gone through the process of cleaning out my closet and I had a huge pile of clothes to get rid of. Fashion Week was fast approaching, and while I had more space in my wardrobe to fill, I had zero time to shop. As I rummaged through the aforementioned pile, deciding which things to donate and which things had enough value to sell, I got an idea. The wheels were spinning, and oh baby, when Sarah gets an idea, you know she follows through.
Why not challenge myself to wear four different articles of clothing I had already chosen to part with? Maybe I could reinvigorate these clothes with new life if I styled them differently. I felt like the "thinking" emoji with one eyebrow raised, a perplexed frown on his face. Because could I? Would I actually be able to successfully carry out this plan?
So many of my fashion editor friends call in samples from the collections they love ahead of NYFW — that great Tibi jacket they spotted on last season's runway, those asymmetrical jeans that attract the cameras of street style photographers. For them, Fashion Week is an opportunity to borrow statement pieces they wouldn't normally splurge on for a number of reasons. Perhaps it's a look — sorry a LEWK — they feel like they need to try out before buying into it. Maybe it's just a trendy designer shoe they feel they'd only wear once, and with one specific outfit.
After I felt confident enough with the outfits I created — all of which mixed the old with the new — I headed to the shows, proud of my little accomplishment. I had a secret: I was wearing all my outdated sh*t and I liked it.
But the stuff I was looking at strewn about on my bed? Man, this pile had everything from crappy t-shirts with sweat stains that really must be thrown away to dresses with tags I thought I loved at the time of purchase, but never found a way to wear. But hell, I'd feel guilty if I didn't try! So this Fashion Week, I dug back into my own hand-me-downs and came up with a fresh mood board.
I wore an old Summer minidress as a top with a maxi skirt (it's somehow too short on me now) and I looked at the supersoft, worn-in graphic tee I had begun to wear as pajamas and told it, "Darling, I'm going to reinvent you!" I wore Grandma Phyllis's vintage silk Oscar de la Renta scarf as a bandana in my hair!
After I felt confident enough with the outfits I created — all of which mixed the old with the new — I headed to the shows, proud of my little accomplishment. I had a secret: I was wearing all my outdated sh*t and I liked it. Now I felt like the "winky" face emoji, which is way better. I learned some very useful styling tips too, all of which I'll share with you below, so you can try refreshing the articles of clothing you've long retired that are now stashed away.
But first, I want to address the idea of recycling here. While we all understandably have busy lives and make excuses to avoid closet clean outs, getting wear out of the pieces you buy is respectable and cost efficient. But if you're just not crazy about that blouse that's still in mint condition and you can't find a way to coordinate it with something new, pass it onto someone who can use it. Then you'll feel like the "happy" emoji, with the big, toothy grin, and I don't blame you. Now, if you need a little encouragement before you get down to business, allow me to inspire you.