Eff Fashion Week

Any time a well-publicized fashion event occurs, I’m often asked by friends, acquaintances and strangers alike if I’m attending. The theory behind these questions is, I suppose, that because I write a shopping blog, it follows that I’m interested in and/or completely obsessed with fashion. This is an error in judgment, an assumption that lumps me in with the kajillions of girls who live and die by the approval of the sartorial world.

I’ve been trying to reconcile my relationship with fashion for quite some time now. By reconcile, I mean trying to give a shit.

I’ve been trying to see the point in trends, in must-haves, in Spring collections, in fashion weeks across the globe. I’ve been trying to care about designers and corporations who – when the economic going gets tough, and the sustainability movement rears its ugly, righteous head – choose to retreat into the self-glorifying bubble of their industry and go about business as usual. I’ve been trying to ignore the fact that money that might be spent developing ways to reduce the enormous carbon footprint attached to the luxury goods industry is reserved instead for PR, advertising, runway shows and general fabulosity.

I’m done trying.

The truth is, I don’t really give a rat’s ass about fashion. Oh sure, I like to look at pretty things; I like to copy certain looks; I occasionally appreciate the art of the industry as seen through the lens of Grace Coddington. But at heart, I’m just a girl who likes to buy stuff, and who likes to not feel guilty about doing so.

I’ve been trying to play the game these past few months, to show that the latest trends can be re-created via clothes, shoes and accessories shopped resale, thrift, vintage and consignment. The truth is, I’m not a stylist. I’m not a fashion editor. I’m not in the business of telling you what to buy and what to wear, because my goal isn’t for you to be In or to look like a style Do or whatevs.

I just want you to look like YOU, to buy what YOU want, and to experience the joy of finding whatever it is you want for a fraction of its retail cost. I want you to be able to pat yourself on the back after you’ve made your purchase. Because even if the green factor of second hand shopping isn’t your motivation (it certainly wasn’t always mine), the fact that you’re recycling every time you shop obliterates whatever guilt you might feel about buying extraneous things.

Lately, I’ve been letting the fact that the world isn’t ready to endorse resale as the greatest form of shopping there is trip me up. That ends here. Because I don’t want you to shop resale because it’s cool, or because it’s acceptable, or Martha Stewart’s on board with consignment.

I want you to shop resale because it’s good for your wallet, your planet and your soul. I want you to shop resale because it isn’t attached to trends or advertising or any form of media that cons you into buying something that ends up sitting in your closet unworn. And yes, I want you to shop resale because it’s a big fat Fuck You to an industry that makes us feel like crap about ourselves so we’ll use our dollars to keep it in business.

On that note, here’s some motivation for your next thrift, vintage, resale or consignment shopping excursion:

Rag & Bone pants usually retail for upwards of $250.00. This pair is a particularly brilliant endeavor by the line: With the simple addition of a button, a zip-fly and some equestrian styling, leggings become snappy casual bottoms.
Buffalo Exchange initially priced these pants at $25.00 – an uber reasonable number in comparison with their heinously marked-up retail cost, as per usual.

The problem? I realized the aforementioned zip-fly had suffered some damage in the dressing room upon trying them on.

It’s rare that I’ll buy a damaged second hand item and spend the extra dough to get it fixed, but brandtastic leggings that masquerade as pants are obvs an exception to my rule.

I pointed out the busted zipper to the manager at the register, she took ten bucks off their resale price, and the excursion ended with me snagging $250 pants for $15.

Can fashion inspire joy of this ilk? Fuck no. It happens only in the gently worn world, dollfaces. Only in the gently worn world.

Go forth, and get yours.


  1. says

    I really appreciate your blog and especially this post. I have always been a second hand shopper and I love that about myself, because I feel like I’m not giving in to this industry that, like you say, makes us feel like crap about ourselves. I hate the idea that if you want to dress well and look nice you should be obsessing over the newest trends, designers, and even now the most popular bloggers.

  2. Arie Rich says

    I love this post. I thought I was the only one that didn’t give much bout Fasion week and Fashion. It seems every where you look all that people do is shop shop shop and always new stuff. Have a closet full of clothes or shoes that never see the daylight. I can’t. I won’t. I’m very practical I buy what I think I need. I might once in a blue moon treat myself to one designer item that I really love, but if I can’t afford it I don’t get it. Btw great job on snagging those $250 pants for $15 bucks.

    Arie Rich

  3. Ilana says

    Great post! I love your blog specifically for these reasons. High fashion specifically manufacture trends to create the “need” to buy so much each season. Truly good style is about timeless quality pieces, and it’s hard to find advice on how to do that. Major props to you for combining sustainability/less consumerism with looking good.

  4. says

    Yeah, I share the feeling sometimes. I love fashion for the inspiration and pretty things, but the consumerism drives me up the wall sometimes. Especially since I work in retail and I hear so often “well, it’s only $40, I don’t particularly like it but I’ll just wear it once” or something of the sort. WASTE!
    Anyway, I checked out those thrift stores you recommended in the forum, and I scored an awesome Cynthia Steffe jacket for $10! Thanks for sharing, and good shopping karma to you!

  5. Tess says

    Great post. You have a great mission and you stick to it. You are a shopping blog, but I often get great style tips from you (like the tool bucket purse idea).

  6. PJ says

    I’m a fashion editor and I buy thrift all the time. I also love your blog and have the RSS feed on my personal homepage.
    The problem with the idea of fashion is that it’s basic premise- to express oneself seems to have gotten misplaced.
    You have to realize that fashion operates on many levels: sociological, psychological and geography.
    People use fashion as a social indicator. They use it as an inspirational/aspirational tool. It can be used as identification. Well, I’m not going to get pedantic, but I think you get the idea of what I’m talking about here.
    Fashion should be a joyous experience of self-expression.
    When I wake up in the morning and stumble over to my closet (I haven’t had coffee yet, hence the stumbling) my first thought is “what do I feel like today?” and that, in the end gets translated into what I wear.
    I mix vintage with fast fashion with a “luxury” item. In the end I create a style that reflects me and not an advert.
    And yes, I go to Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week. When I’m watching a show, I parse it out. My thoughts range from what is the designer feeling to how it reflects our (the country, the world) current emotional climate to will this translate to the street.
    A shirt is never just a shirt.
    It reflects how you feel inside.

  7. JZ says

    I came into AuH20 today and freaked out about the prices and finds. Then, i went home, looked up your blog, and stumbled upon this post. You are bloody brilliant!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>