Almost every year for Rosh Hashanah — the New Year according to the Hebrew calendar — my family buys new clothes. With a few new tags, we make symbolic and fashion statements. And the same message is delivered during the fall back-to-school shopping season: Our new clothes represent a fresh start for a new year.
But this year was different, and not just for me. For example, at a gathering of family and friends, old clothes provided the newest fashion statement. Here are the trends I spotted at recent parties, family dinners and other celebrations:
- Closet vintage clothing: My friend Ellen recently stepped out in a navy Alfred Nipon suit — a classic — purchased for a family celebration in 2004. Four years later, the suit is still stunning.
- Borrowed clothing: Monica — a neighbor — showed up at a dressy dinner party wearing an outfit borrowed from her adult daughter's closet. I was tempted to ask if I could borrow the same outfit for another event.
- Favorite classics: At a recent gathering, my friend Ahava wore a 20-year-old black and white skirt. She dressed it up with newer accessories, but the old skirt was the centerpiece of her outfit.
- Thrift-store specials: One friend proudly sported a designer shirt (Givenchy) purchased from $2.50 at an area thrift store.
As for me, I've been shopping in my own closets and cupboards. Shopping at home has several advantages. For example, I've re-discovered at least three skirts and several jackets that were forgotten.
When confronted with the large volume of skirts, shirts and jackets in my closet, I actually feel ashamed about wanting new items. (I really, really don't need new stuff!). Modeling my own wardrobe provides a sense of gratitude and pride.
As an added bonus, while rummaging through my closet, I find purses, jackets and suits that would look great on a friend or would work well in the window of an area thrift store.
For more on this subject, please read:
- Recycled Cinderella: Same outfits, different holiday balls
- Angelina Jolie's $26 dress, and my best cheap fashion tricks
- Five reasons I have no new fall clothes
Recycling old clothes renews my creative spark and prompts me to examine my closet and my life with fresh eyes.
Sharon Harvey Rosenberg, the Frugal Duchess of South Beach, is a write-at-home mom with three kids, one husband, one dog, and five blogs. She has fine tastes and a small budget, which she explores in her Miami Herald column about saving money. Here fashionably frugal attitude is “Live well, find meaning and stay on a budget.”