A Dirty Hippie's Guide to Fashion

It is hard sometimes to be a fashionista who cares about the world. And I get it, I get it. No one wants to be the worst dressed at the next Greenpeace meeting. I mean, I do, because I'm a dirty hippie, but clearly you don't. And that's okay. Because the truth is, you CAN be both eco-conscious and fabulous.

My tips will not only keep you beautifully clad, but they are good for the earth and your pocketbook all at once. So here we go. Without further ado, I give you, the top 10 clothing items to buy used:

Wait, what? Used clothes are gross!! You really are a dirty hippie!

No, they're really not gross. Just stick them in the washing machine.

But....

Listen, do you want an eco-conscious and cost-effective wardrobe?

Yes.

Then get over it. Okay, once again, the top 10 clothing items to buy used:

10) Accessories. Ever stared at a belt, and thought, that belt is great, but $30 for a belt is way too much. Or, maybe it was a scarf that you had your eye on. Well luckily, you don't have to spend $30 on a belt. Instead, head to the thrift store and pick up a cool belt or scarf for under $10! If you are looking to dip your toe into the used-clothing water, this is a good one because there's really no "ick" factor with used belts!

9) Jackets and coats. Again, there's not much of an ick factor with coats. Plus they're really, really expensive in the store.

8) Vintage Tees. Here's a crazy thought. Instead of buying a tee-shirt that "looks vintage" at American Eagle, why not head to the thrift store and buy the real thing. Plus, vintage tees give you way more street cred.

7) Dresses for special occasions. You know how you buy a dress for a wedding, and you think, "Oh, I'll wear it to these five events!" But then, after the wedding, you kind of don't feel like wearing it to something else, because everyone's already SEEN you in that dress. I get it. I mean we don't expect Nicole Kidman to buy one gown for the Golden Globes and then wear it to the Oscars, so why should you wear the same dress to two weddings? So instead of wearing the same dress everywhere, buy a dress used. Chances are it's only been worn once or twice. Then wear it to your special occasion, and turn around and sell the dress to someone else. Then go buy another used dress for your next special occasion. Voila! Now you too, can never be seen twice in the same fancy dress.

6) Designer dresses for non-special occasions. Did I mention that I used to have a huge weakness for pretty dresses? I did. Especially, Betsy Johnson. I had an enormous weakness for Betsy Johnson. I would rarely buy, but I always HAD to go into the store and try on the dresses. On occasion, I would find something I LOVED, and end up throwing down $250 on a sundress. I wouldn't do it that often, but still, that's a lot of money. So I got smart. I skipped the Betsy Johnson store, and instead, just hit the thrift stores. One of my favorite Betsy Johnson dresses was a thrift store score. It still had its $350 price tag on it, but I got it for $35.

5) Designer jeans. This is a tip I learned from my fabulous friend Annie. Go to Nordstrom. Try out every single pair of nice jeans- True Religion, Sevens, etc. Write down all the info of the jeans you like: size, brand, line, etc. Then stalk Ebay. Within a couple months, one of the jeans you like will eventually show up and instead of costing $180, they'll probably cost about $50. Or you can just cruise the thrift store every so often. Because frankly? I've been to thrift stores everywhere from San Francisco to Milwaukee, and every single one had a decent selection of jeans, many of them designer label.

4) Hats. You know how you're always saying, "Maybe I'm a hat person?" and then you buy a hat, and then you realize that you have no opportunity to wear a hat? Yeah. I mean you should really stop trying with the hats, but if you can't, at least buy a used hat. Then when you realize you don't have a reason to wear the hat, at least you can sell it back for about what you paid.

3) Suits. ESPECIALLY if you're just buying a suit for an interview, and you don't plan to wear the suit every day to work. Don't waste a ton of money on something that will last an hour.

2) Maternity wear. I know, I know, all the stars are wearing Prada Maternity. But seriously? In a few months, these clothes won't fit you anymore. Buy 'em used, and then you can sell 'em back!

1) Wedding dress. She only wore it once. You're only wearing it once. NO ONE WILL KNOW.

And that is it! Now you can save the earth without looking like a fashion victim. Notice that used underwear is not on the list. That is because I may be a dirty hippie, but even I know that used La Perla is a fashion faux pas.

Oh, one last piece of advice. Alter, alter, alter. You think all those Hollywood stars just naturally look good in off-the-rack clothing? No, they don't. So if you love a piece of clothing, but it doesn't fit you quite right, take it to a tailor, and have them alter it to fit your body. Trust me. You will thank the dirty hippie later. (If you are planning to re-sell the item, you want to be a little more careful about this.)

And that's it. Good luck, fashion mavens! Good luck, and good (used) shopping!

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