1940s ways to refashion 02

I vaguely mentioned about a month back my resolve to be more conscious about my fashion purchases. I’m rather fed-up with an industry that not only relies heavily on sweatshop labor, planned obsolescence, but also encouraging a very narrow view of beauty and trend (a word I have come to rather dislike). I’ve found that my wardrobe has been much richer when I rely less on what mass-marketers are promoting and selling, and my conscience is a little less perturbed by the thought of encouraging sweatshop labor.

But this is not all that is behind my decision to snub the fashion industry in my own (very small) way! The idealized beauty that is shoved daily in our faces has played a very personal role in my life. One that–unfortunately–has been destructive and is causing many mental and physical problems for me. I’m tired of buying into the lie that one needs to be thin, blond and (society’s ideal) sexy to be considered attractive. I have had enough of the unrealistic and unhealthy expectations. Some women may be able to ignore these messages to a certain extent, but I am not one of those strong souls. I have been battling anorexia for the past two years. In no small way did immersing myself in the fashion world play a role in this. I am thankfully starting to get out of the nightmare that an eating disorder and low self-image creates (my wonderful family, boyfriend, and pastor are to thank!). But I do not want to continue to support an industry that causes this type of low self-esteem.

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I am much happier when I put together outfits that please me–not what the magazines tell me to wear! (And anyway, its usually like trying to fit a round peg in a square hole… I just don’t have the “fashionable shape” that is required by wearing uber-body-conscious clothes!) I love putting outfits together–ones that really showcase my view of what is beautiful, attractive and usually a little bit artistically whimsical! So why should I any longer bow to the whims of mass marketers who say what shade of blue is in, how wide or skinny my jeans should be, or whether I should be wearing kitten or platform heels?!

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So in this year I will be doing a little investigation. An exploration of whether I can abstain from frequenting mass-retailers and relying on them for my clothing purchases. Doing my own part in being conscious both socially and environmentally by harnessing sources for vintage and second-hand garments. Encouraging and supporting smaller, independent designers (like those on Etsy) for my clothes and accessories. It’ll be a definite challenge because I love to shop, and am constantly drawn in by sales and window displays that catch my eye! But I think it’ll be a good exercise, not only in the reasons I mentioned before, but also in self-control (saving money!) and doing more with less!

first refashion of 2008!!

[ the first refashion of 2008!! click on the picture for a details… ]

I’ll be relying very heavily on my existing wardrobe, thrifting skills, and the occasional vintage store find–as well as the internet (Etsy and Ebay being the two main sources). I want to challenge myself to sew more as well–create my own garments from my collection of vintage patterns. Even become more adept at refashioning things in my closet to give them a new lease on life! This means no Target, H&M, Ross, or Nordstrom’s Rack. Skirts, coats, pants, shirts–even jeans–should preferably be bought through alternative sources (those that are sustainable or non-mass produced). The only garment purchases that will be bought brand-new will be for things I am not comfortable buying second hand (such as undergarments and swim suits), or that I may genuinely need (like shoes for a specific event).

green cardigan refashion detail

Eeep! I’m scaring myself a little with all this talk!! hehe! But I think it’ll be fun and character-building! I’ll be keeping you all updated with little snippets throughout the year; successes and failures. Wish me luck… the Mall Queen is about ready to forsake her favorite shopping venues! lol.

Cheers & Creativity,
Casey [ email me ]