Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Battle Gear {Eco-friendly All Black Everything}

10 alexander wang jacket botega venetta skirt

There is something very satisfying about wearing all black. Everything just feels more put together and I'll be honest-- it makes me feel like a badass ninja.

9 alexander wang jacket botega venetta skirt

This outfit is also my ninja-style way of sharing with you the power of aggressive second-hand shopping. The jacket is Alexander Wang, the wool skirt (super heavy and super soft) is Bottega Veneta, and the shoes are Stella McCartney.

6 alexander wang jacket botega venetta skirt

Let me be clear: I work at a non-profit organization. I am not someone who can just drop a thousand bucks on an "it" bag, even if I want it really, really badly. But I can still wear well-cut, well-made clothing because I am willing to wear things that someone else might have worn, too. I am willing to provide a loving home for those beautiful garments that someone has cast off. I am a safe haven, and you can be, too!

Check out the detail of the shoulder of the jacket above, for example. It shows there's something special about it, and it's those little details that you want to watch out for when you shop second-hand.

5 alexander wang jacket botega venetta skirt

You also want to go with your sense of touch-- if it feels cheaply made or the fabric seems scratchy, it's probably not worth even pulling the item off the rack to look at. Keep sifting.

When I feel cashmere, silk, or wool, I stop to see what I've got my hands on, and often it turns out to be something worth trying on. I should also add that more than half of my latest finds have been due to the eagle, editorial, and exacting eye of my friend and photographer, Ms. Victoria Corkhill. That girl can sense designer treasure from several feet away, I swear to god.

2 alexander wang jacket botega venetta skirt

Sidenote: I also want to highlight that I'm wearing another handmade ring from Alitas Jewelry. I last wore my favorite Alitas rings in this post, but this time I'm rocking the key ring. Get it? Key ring. Genius.

But let's get back to your battle plan. The next time you find yourself in a consignment store, remember these three keys to success (see how I did that there?):
  1. Fabric - High quality? Scratchy? Look for wools, silks, and cashmere.
  2. Details - does anything jump out at you? In a good way or  bad way? Are the seams neat and even? If they aren't noticeable at all, that's a good sign. 
  3. Label - you don't want to buy something because it's made by a certain label, but many high-end lines simply make better quality, longer-lasting clothing than the more affordable mass market brands, so brand is still something to consider. But that is only a generalization: I've seen plenty of badly made, cheap crap with a designer label stuck on, so #1 and #2 are much more important.
Last but not least, it wouldn't be fair if I didn't share a few of my favorite consignment resources, would it? If you're ever in DC, be sure to stop into Ella Rue, Secondi, and Reddz Trading (a new fave of mine). If you have no plans to visit our nation's capitol, then in no particular order, I would recommend checking out:

Poshmark (I've never tried it, but people seem to love it)

Shop the look (eco-friendly style, of course). Each item is either made in the USA, vegan, sustainably made, or all three:

P.S. The bag giveaway ends this Sunday-- if you haven't entered yet, how will you win?

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