I’m way overdue for an update on my Thoughtful Shopping Series! The truth is I’ve been heavy on the “thoughtful” part and light on the shopping which I’m perfectly fine with. One of the shifts I’m noticing in my buying habits is that I’m slow as molasses in buying things now because I ponder my purchases for quite awhile. If I do buy something, it’s usually because I really love the item, know it’ll fill a void in my closet and know I’ll wear it a ton. I can’t remember the last time I bought something impulsively. Since I haven’t been shopping much, I’m enjoying wearing the pieces already in my closet and am happy that I can feel content with what I already have rather than feeling the urge to buy something new every week.
Another reason my shopping has ground to a bit of a halt is because, quite frankly, I’m a little overwhelmed with researching places that sell ethically made pieces. If you follow me on Pinterest, you’ll see that I have pinned a bajillion fabulous pieces from various non-tall lines, some tall lines like MARGE, Diane Margaret, CAS Clothing or brands that offer custom-made items like Dress Mavens, Smart Glamour or CAS Clothing. It is encouraging that there is no lack of options (at least in the non-tall sector), but the thought of ordering something online from a company I’ve never tried before and the hassle of possibly having to return the item is making me hesitant to click “buy”. I think I’ve been spoiled with all of the in-person shopping I’ve done in Europe over the last year! The good news is I plan on making “thoughtful shopping” a way of life for the rest of my life, so I can take my time getting to know different brands…no rush or pressure!
What have I bought/worn recently? Read on to find out!
Second-Hand Shopping and Local Shopping
A local friend took me around to a bunch of antique and second-hand clothing shops the other day. She didn’t even know about my new shopping focus but the places she took me were so perfect and I will be back. I don’t have a ton of experience with thrifting and it usually conjures up images of cluttered, disorderly racks with a hodgepodge of items. On the contrary, these shops had a boutique feel and were very clean and organized. One of them carried mostly high-end or designer pieces and some were even brand new with tags. I’ve been on the hunt for more skirts to add to my summer wardrobe and a grey mixed print midi from Italian designer Elisa Cavaletti caught my eye. I find that skirts are one of the few items that I can get away with buying in a “non-tall” size. I went back to my Project Remix color scheme and paired the grey shirt with an orange sweater. The skirt has great movement, is super lightweight making it perfect for summer and looks just as great dressed up as it does dressed down with a white tee and casual sandals.
I also found a local shop that caries eco-conscious and ethically made clothing. I’ve stopped by a couple of times to browse and one of these days hope to buy something!
30 Wears Movement
What about all of the items I bought before I started thinking so much about my shopping habits? Obviously, I’m still going to wear these clothes and I realized I’ve actually worn the heck out of many of these pieces. When Alison from The Tall Mama wrote about the 30 Wears Movement, it really resonated with me. I was then thrilled to see Lauren from Six Foot Style write about this topic as well as Caroline from Pretty Long. Going forward, I am asking myself if I think I’ll wear an item at least 30 times and if I think it will hold up to 30 wears. If so, then I know it’s a good buy for me. Here are some items I’ve already worn well over 30 times (and hope to wear at least 30 more). If you have some items you’ve worn more than 30 times, post them on social media with the hashtag #30wears so we can all see!
Tory Burch lace dress
Year bought: 2012
Worn to: Weddings, work (with a blazer), dinners; holiday events
I adore this teal lace dress and it looks great after 4 years of consistent wear. Fingers crossed for several more years of wearing this beauty.
J.Crew Black Jeans
Year Bought: 2014
Worn to: Work, dinner, everyday activities
I never realized how versatile black jeans could be until I bought this pair. These jeans are my go-to when I’m putting a dressy-casual look together for dinner or other events.
Black/white mixed print button-up maxi dress from Long Tall Sally
Year bought: 2015
Worn to: Weekend escapades; Weekday escapades: Countless trips; Work; Dinners
I call this dress my summer uniform because I wear it SO much in the warmer months. I’ve paired it with heels and pearls for a nice summer dinner and have also paired it with a short-sleeve cardi for the office since our dress code is so laid back. Clearly, I love it a bunch if I’ve already worn it 30+ times in a little over a year.
Cole Haan Flats
Year Bought: 2013
I am trying to figure out how to convey how much I’ve worn these shoes. I’ve literally worn them so much, they’re knocking on death’s door. The insoles are completely trashed from countless miles of tromping around and have needed replacing for awhile but I just can’t seem to stop wearing them. They’re so danged comfortable thanks to the Nike Air technology! Since they still look rather good on the exterior, I’m planning to take them to my shoe repair place to see if they can fix me up with a decent pair of replacement insoles. Let’s hope that gives them a second life!
Aquatalia waterproof suede boots
Year Bought: 2010
These Aquatalia boots (made in Italy) are still my most expensive clothing purchase to date. I can’t remember the exact amount but they were between $400-$500 and I saved up my pennies to buy them. I originally bought them for my December honeymoon to Europe. The boots needed to be able to hold up in winter weather, look good and be comfy for a ton of walking. Truth be told, they were torturously uncomfortable when I first started wearing them due to the very narrow footbeds and I thought I’d made a grave mistake. After a little time (and getting them stretched by a cobbler), I broke them in and have worn them almost every day for the past 6 winters. I recently had to replace the zipper pulls but other than that, they’re still looking pretty good. I love that I can get away with wearing them over tights with dresses or skirts, under bootcut jeans or over skinny jeans. And even though they were pricey, I don’t baby them. I’ve tromped through heavy rain, mud, snow, sludge etc. in them. The waterproof suede is surprisingly forgiving and easy to clean. I’m really happy that my investment in these boots has paid off with a comfortable item that I have worn for years.
My Thoughtful Shopping Pieces So Far
In addition to my thrifted grey skirt, here’s a little recap of my Thoughtful Shopping pieces.
I adore these pieces separately and together. To see a full review of the ANNI top as well as how I styled it with jeans, click here. All MARGE pieces are made in the San Francisco area with ethically sourced fabrics from Europe and the U.S.
I haven’t had a chance to wear this top quite as much as I’d like but I know I’ll definitely be wearing it more in the fall.
Pretty Ballerinas flats
I’ve wanted a pair of Pretty Ballerinas flats for a year or so now and was pleasantly surprised to find that they’re produced by the family owned company Mascaró that has been making shoes in the same village on the Spanish island of Menorca for 95 years. On the Mascaro website, there is an invite for people to visit and tour the facilities. Maybe I can make that happen while I live in Europe! I bought these shoes in a size EU43 at a German store called Horsch which specializes in small and large sizes with a few locations throughout Germany. Even though I’ve had these shoes for only around a month, I’ve already worn them on my trips to the Mosel, Copenhagen, to work and around town. I hope they last me at least as long as my Cole Haan shoes!
At the moment, I’m drawing inspiration from a few blogs and a new book. Lauren’s Six Foot Style blog has several posts reviewing ethically-made pieces most of which are from non-tall lines. I also love Karen’s recent review of her Tubino skirt which is designed and made in The Netherlands from ethically sourced fabrics. And it’s no secret that I love hearing what Alison from The Tall Mama has to say about sustainable and ethical fashion. Lastly, I just started reading the book Wardrobe Crisis: How We Went from Sunday Best to Fast Fashion by Clare Press, currently Marie Clair’s fashion editor-at-large and formerly of Vogue. I’ll be sure to share more about this witty and interesting book after I finish reading it.
What do you think about the 30 Wears movement? Do you think you could get by only buying a few items per year and mostly wearing what is already in your closet? Do you have any items in your closet that you’ve worn for years?