There are a few reasons I would never, ever do a "haul" style post. I mean, I'm a minimalist - I really don't celebrate getting stuff in bulk. I also don't think it's super sustainable to mass-acquire our clothes, because it's not in line with that slow-burn, one-at-a-time way of building a considerate wardrobe.
So why am I writing this post??
Because! The only way I would ever want to do this is if I somehow magically got loads of clothes dropped in my lap for free which would have gone to in the trash or to the thrift store if they hadn't come to me.
And that's exactly what happened.
During my visit to Texas, we spent one evening getting "under the stairs" in my aunt's house - meaning, we cleared out her closet and switched it over from fall/winter to spring/summer. I grabbed up several things from her closet that I thought would work in mine, and I'm sharing a few of those with you today! (Don't worry, Aunt Sharon - the rest of those things went into my fall-winter box for this autumn).
(P.S. - Can you spot the cat?)
I can't tell you how grateful I am to get hand-me-downs. I think it's pretty weird that we don't talk about this concept more except for in the context of children's clothes, because trading, sharing, and giving/accepting clothes with folks you know is an amazing way to live more sustainably and save money at the same time.
Plus, I'm more willing to try different types of clothes that way. I probably wouldn't have thought to try that navy linen tunic if someone hadn't literally put it into my hands. And that "kimono" style piece? It was actually a dress/tunic that I split up the middle. The pattern is outside my generally simple radar, but it works against my colors in a complimentary way, so I'll definitely try it (because f*** rules, right?).
The two neutral sandals, black tee (with a keyhole detail at the back to elevate it a bit), and broken-in denim button-up work to revitalize my basics, giving me more options on a dime-sized budget. WIN.
Weirdly, we don't glorify our second-hand stuff as much as our new pieces. It's a practice that's relegated to mommies and kiddos exclusively, which is crazy! Rarely do you find some hand-me-down sandals styled and photographed in good light, leaned against a trendy plant. Which, I think, contributes to the idea that hand-me-downs aren't as valuable - because they aren't represented as such.
FYI: I got that plant for free, too. And it's fake... sorry, it's "silk." The lady at the yard sale said she didn't want to go to the trouble of throwing it away. The basket was bartered with Trang of the fair trade company Xinh & Co. in exchange for promotional photos (any more takers? would love to do that kind of work again!).
Here's the kicker: I'm still really selective when it comes to a box of free clothes. I made mistakes early on of taking everything and sorting/donating everything once I tried it all out, but this hurt the feelings of those who gave them to me when they discovered I had passed them on to others. This is never my goal and it killed me! So I learned how to set expectations by 1) confirming that, if I didn't use it, I was free to donate it and 2) say no thank you to things I knew wouldn't work for me. It's a little sticky to navigate at times, but it works for everyone now. :)
Do you get excited about hand-me-downs? What successes have you had in second-hand pieces?
P.S. - If you want to trade with someone in your area, the Vinted* app has a feature where you can search for sellers nearby. How awesome?!
P.P.S. - Expect more from this blog on style, creativity, and lifestyle philosophy. This is where I'm finding my inspiration lately, so this is where I'm settling in for the moment. Between adventures, that is. ;)