Monday, August 13, 2012

Dancing in the Rain...Really, and some thoughts on the hot topic of fast fashion


Peyton, my 7 year old son and I had another date in Crown Point, the town I was raised in.
I took him to see the old jail building (the one John Dillinger escaped from) which is now a banquet hall.
In front of the "Halls of Justice"....the old jail
I wore a new to me Ann Taylor wrap dress that I purchased for $18.00 at a lovely consignment shop I visit every time I have a dance lesson.  Its right across the street and they have beautiful, clean clothes at very reasonable prices.  I purchased two of these dresses.  The other one is a deep cranberry and cream print.  If you look closely, you can see I'm wearing the white teardrop necklace I purchased the other day.  I love the way it looks with the dress, but its actually going on a sabbatical until turtleneck season as it is very irritating and itchy against my skin.  I love the necklace and I'm going to keep it, but I'm disappointed that it will have more limited use now.

Since we had rain today, I decided to recreate my 'Singing in the Rain' post from the other day.  This time I have rain and an umbrella.


I've been thinking a lot about cheap/fast fashion  vs. (hard to find) higher quality fashion in the last two years that I've been following style blogs, reading more about Parisian style, remixing clothing, choosing high quality clothing and thrifting.  And I have read the book Overdressed, which has really illuminated the topic in a new way for me.  Its a great read and one that will have a lasting impact on me.


I've definitely rejected the lower end 'disposable' clothing retailers in the last year, but I still have some relatively cheap pieces in my wardrobe.  I've been very disappointed in the poor quality and lack of longevity of some of the clothing I've purchased in the past and I have tried to remedy that by carefully curating my closet, purging and donating to the Goodwill, thrifting and making better, more informed choices.  I've have decided that I WILL only buy higher quality pieces, but will keep the poorer quality ones I already own and wear them until they don't look nice any more. Then I will donate to the Salvation Army.  The SA turns over any unusable pieces to textile recyclers which is a small step in the right direction towards being more a sustainable planet and reducing waste.

I've been very fortunate to have found some high quality garments at thrift stores.  I will continue to use thrift and consignment shops as my primary clothing resource and give the highest consideration to garments made from higher quality fabrics and possessing enduring quality.  I'd also like to learn more about which companies and countries are more humane in their treatment of THEIR most precious resources; the workers on the front lines toiling to earn a living by filling our never-ending desire for new and trendy clothing.  
Much of what I have learned and read has tamed the constantly yearning fashion dragon inside me.  
I'm still buying quite a chunk of clothing, but I'm doing so with more thought and responsibility.
My eyes have been opened.

I forgot that I had these Franco Sarto shoes in my closet

A beautiful brick arch in the lower level of the old courthouse; some fun shops are located here

Do I dare enter?  This was Peyton's idea of a fun photo-op

"I'm innocent, I swear"

A poster outside of Valentino's cafe advertising the yearly 'Get Hitched' event.
I hope all of you have had a wonderful Monday and that your proceeding week will be blessed and safe!

Lisa

24 comments:

  1. re: fast fashion, I like that description, it really fits.....someone has decided that fashion has to change (quickly), and 'they' need to make us want it so we buy it....but it needs to be inexpensive AKA cheaply made. I NEED to realize that I have far too many clothes for my lifestyle and to stay out of stores.
    I didn't know about SA's policy, very interesting. We don't have a store here anymore. I know some of our thrift stores cut unusable clothing up for rags. The business I work for often buys them.
    Have a great week!!!

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    1. Thanks for commenting and reading, Linda. I don't think its bad too own lots of clothes. Clothes have such an impact on our feelings about ourselves, our self esteem. Clothes are a non verbal way of communicating with others...we express something to others by the way we dress. I love them and I don't see myself ever not sprucing up my wardrobe with more clothes, but I think I (and most others) can do better by rejecting cheap stuff. I agree with your assessment about fashion changing quickly and cheaply. Its an epidemic. If you like to read, you might consider reading the book I mention...its fascinating. I'm going to make the most of the clothing I have and retails stores will rarely get my money for cheap, junky clothing.
      Now, I'm actually on the lookout for a well made, high quality fabric pair of classic black trouser pants. It will be there first time ever, that I have gone on a diligent search for a quality piece that will be enduring. I'm trying to adopt a Parisian style attitude.

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  2. nothing better than a fabulous wrap dress
    looks like and your son are having a great time
    brett

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    1. Wrap dresses are the single best clothing invention ever in my opinion!!

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  3. Good for you! That book rocked my summer. I'm still thinking about buying a sewing machine and taking lessons but haven't actually taken any action on that front yet. I've been religiously avoiding fast fashion stores for a while now, though. However, if I see something cute from one of those shops in my favorite thrift store for $2 I see nothing wrong with taking home with the expectation that I'll have to repair something on it at some point!

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    1. I agree...I don't have a problem purchasing a FF item at a thrift store if the price is right..its just rehoming a rejected piece!

      I have a sewing machine but its been so many years since I've used it, I have forgotten how! I've made a promise to myself that I will take a class and re-learn!

      Have you seen a blog called the 'Slapdash Sewist'? Its pretty awesome encouragement!

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  4. Lovely dress, and very interesting blog topic. I always say I am going to thrift- but I hate the "hunt", you know? I love sitting at my laptop and buying cheap crap. However, as I mature and my style evolves I recognize the importance of well-made pieces!

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    1. I think the evolution takes some time. It took me a LOONNGGG time to shirt my mode of thinking. Once you get your first BIG thrift haul..you may become hooked!

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  5. Wrap dresses are just lovely - I own a few and have worn and worn them! Your blog is such fun - have enjoyed having a first look - Xx

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    1. Thanks for the compliment and for following! I really love wrap dresses. I think they are flattering to every figure.

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  6. I love Payton's ideas for intriguing fashion photos...and I can see that I've missed an important "singing in the rain" post! Can almost hear the tap shoes.

    Bravo on trying to go upscale with the thrifted clothing. I'm often impressed with how well Anne Taylor items hold up. And, always, I'm a fan of wrap dresses.

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    1. Hi Terri,

      Sometimes he grumbles about taking photos...but once he sees something and gets an idea his interest is renewed.

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  7. i'm not sure where i stand on the matter of fast fashion. I do know that i don't want clothes i'm going to wear forever. Its just my nature (or human nature) to eventually grow tired of the same things. I might have a great pair of jeans, wear them for five years and then, even though they fit, even though they are still passable as being in style, just want to replace them with a newer, similar pair. for no other reason than wanting something that feels fresh.

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    1. Lyddie, I can understand that. I have undergone a fashion/style evolution over the past year and have redefined my philosophy. Before this evolution, I had the same thoughts as you. I totally understand wanting new and fresh things. I understand opening the closet and one day just not loving the dress or top that I have always loved and felt great in. I do get that. I applaud your honesty. Its been very challenging for me too, because I've always wanted to wear something new and different every day. Personally, I have never been very good at remixing...but its something that I have been working at. I think you do a great job of remixing and keeping things fresh!
      One thing that spurred this change was being disgusted that some new items of clothing just didn't last. I purchased a beautiful and fairly pricey sweater last fall, wore it once and it started pilling. It wasn't a style that was easy to replace and I was so unhappy that after one wearing it didn't look fresh and pretty. I've had several items like that and it really prompted me to rethink my purchases.

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  8. I like those Franco Sarto sandals you have, very chic and you still have time this summer to wear them a lot! I'm so glad to meet you, and I love your blog banner. My 9-year-old son took a required ballroom class with his fellow 4th graders this past year and liked it so much he asked me to sign up for ballroom lessons this fall. I am excited for him to start, I think he will learn so much and you can tell he really enjoys it! Looking forward to making your blog a regular read! XO, Jill

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    1. Hi Jill...thanks for following and for the comment.

      How exciting for your son! I love it when anyone begins ballroom dancing; its added so much joy and excitement to my life.
      There's a boy (he's 16 now) who started at a studio I formerly attended and he began when he was 9. He really had a talent for it and now he's a junior champion. Its a very exciting activity to become involved with. I think it teaches young kids, especially boys, about social etiquitte. They learn the proper way to ask a lady to dance and to escort her back to her table and so much more.
      I hope he loves it and sticks with it.
      Maybe someday you will want to try it out too????
      Feel free to ask me any ballroom related questions you may have.

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  9. It's always lovely to spend time with your kids. I have enjoyed playing cards and table tennis with the kids on holiday.

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    1. I hadn't thought of playing cards...this is something I need to do asap...I've got one last free weekend before the big school/work grind starts!

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  10. Fun post! I think we own the same umbrella! Isn't it beautiful? I wanted to pass along a book title you might enjoy, "Shut Up and Dance". Check it out on Amazon (or where ever).

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    1. Thank you for telling me about this book...I'm going to look it up.

      I do love my umbrella! The company that makes it has the most beautiful umbrellas!

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  11. Lisa - passing the Liebster Blog award onto you for your gorgeous blog - pop on over to mine to grab it!! Xx http://takingachanceinlife.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you for thinking of me! I will try to catch up and grab it after I get my syllabus for the class I'm teaching and some final things taken care of!

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  12. I love the Singing In the Rain shot! I love my cheapy styles, but have found myself gravitating towards high quality pieces lately.

    Adrienne
    What Lola Wants

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    1. Thank you..it was so fun to do this shot...especially since my cameraman is my 7 year old son!

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"When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect"--Mark Twain