Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Top 5 Reasons to Wear Vintage and Secondhand

1. Save the Earth: It has been said that Americans dispose of clothing that still has at least 80% of its life left. Wearing gently-used clothing is an easy and cheap way to re-cycle. It is a simple and super fun way to reduce waste. You don't have to limit yourself to clothing - you can buy most things at every price point secondhand.

2. You CAN Afford the Best: Check out one of my favorite outfits. I get great compliments and feedback when I wear it! And most importantly it's fun, comfortable and makes me feel great. This entire ensemble (including shoes) cost me $38.00! I scored this navy blue pinstripe Tahari Pantsuit for $19.00! NEW! A similiar Tahari Suit retails for about $300.00. You can look the way you want on the cheap, it just takes some time and a little skill.

3. Be a Fashion Maverick: How many of you have walked down a busy street and seen 3 or 4 women wearing your coat, your pashima, or even worse - your entire outfit! When you wear vintage you simply don't look like everyone else. In this fashion age designers refer back to every single fashion era. In 2010 anything goes - so why not forge your own fashion path. One outstanding vintage piece can set you apart from the masses.

4. Build a Quality Wardrobe: Shopping vintage and secondhand are GREAT ways to build a quality wardrobe that will withstand trends and fads. Even if the "vintage" look is not for you, buying pre-owned high-end duds can get your wardrobe off to a great start. Simply fill in the gaps with new items and accessories.

5. Shopping that Keeps on Giving: Most thrift stores across the nation are established to raise money for specific charities. When you shop at these stores, all of the proceeds go right back into the business and towards the charity. These thrift stores employ tens of thousands of people nationwide, provide education and rehabilitation services, and support food banks and shelters right in your own community. In this economy shopping secondhand can be a win-win situation. You get a great deal and help others in the process.

Try shopping Vintage and Secondhand! You May Love It! Check out cjsredcloset.com. My affordable online vintage and secondhand shop. Let me do the shopping for you!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Vintage Coat Made Me Blog

I have been trying to blog for an entire year now. I didn't publish a blog in 2009, because I was so busy trying to make my posts rival War and Peace. I would spend hours writing, re-writing and finally erasing because the tone or pace was just not right. It was as if I convinced myself there was a Pulitzer for blogging.

Several months after I started writing my secret blogs, I opened an online vintage/secondhand clothing store. After about 6 months I realized that the only people who had visited my store were my mom and the people from my church, so I went about solving my marketing issue. (Let me just backtrack a little - the writer in me got a little caught up in the momentum. My mom has never visited my website...moving on...)

So naturally I sought help and They, the millions of Internet marketing experts kept commanding me to blog. So here I am, combining my writing with my love of style and self-expression. This blog journey, isn't so much about how to wear vintage as it is sharing how I woke up one day and realized I was living someone else' life in someone else's clothes, sitting on someone else's furniture. I was barely represented in a world I created. It took a trip to the hospital, lying on a gurney in a critical situation, for my life to became as clear as glass. I bet you are thinking that I had some near death experience that led me to a zen-like awareness and now my life is peaceful and simple. Uhhhh, no.

The revelation I received was this. I am going to do what I want! Period. I cut my long hair, started getting rid of every single piece of clothing that didn't say, "CJ", and, most importantly, discovered eBay. My first purchase during this transformation was a beautiful green silk 50's coat with a slight swing, three large tortoise shell buttons, and honey colored mink collar. Makes me smile just thinking of it. It's very reminiscent of Doris Day or Audrey Hepburn. For you youngsters - think Mad Men. I put that coat on, tilted my beret just so on my new 'do and checked myself out in the mirror. It felt just like coming home after being gone for a very long time.

Clothes themselves aren't really that important. The labels they carry and the dollar value placed upon them is as far away from important as you can get, really who cares? Clothes get torn, and stained. They can become too tight, too loose and ill fitting whether they are from Valentino or Costco. And the favorites simply wear out. I wear my green coat so much that its perfect satin lining tore when I was wrestling with my son's carseat. I still love it. I don't feel like I'm wearing somebody else's stuff. I'm not trying to impress anyone or get a date. I just want to be me - inside and out. Clothes by themselves may not be important - but why you wear what you wear is important.

I'm not talking about curing cancer important. I am talking about being who you love, and allowing everything in your life to reflect that person. When everything else sucks, being able to walk past the mirror and smile at yourself is a pretty good thing. It's empowering. So, although lumberjack plaid is the latest must-have, I throw on my green coat and skinny jeans, tilt my beret and just feel good.