Editorial By Susan O'Connor, Illustration by Brittney Guest
Oh, shopping. I wish I didn’t enjoy you so much. Until this year, I felt like Sarah Jessica Parker when she passed a pair of Jimmy Choos in a storefront. “Hello, lover,” she told the stilettos in an episode of Sex in the City. I can relate. There is little that perks me up as much as a new pair of high heels.
Now, I am in the process of a reformation. I made a personal resolution to only shop for essentials this year, i.e. makeup/skincare, T-shirts and undergarments. Period. A close friend told me to call her when I fall off the wagon because she is sure it will be a hard fall. But I plan to stay strong. All those alluring e-mails from Bloomies, Neiman Marcus and J. Crew, delete, delete, delete. Lunch hour retail therapy at the mall, just say no.
As we were brainstorming for our “green” issue, ideas of re-gifting, vintage clothing and shopping the closets of friends came to mind — basically using the abundance that is already around us.
Most of us tend to think of recycling, cutting back on water, green cleaning products, etc., when we try to lessen our carbon footprint. But there are myriad other small things each of us can do. It is really fun to try to get creative with it, and lots of options actually save money.
For example, instead of going online to order books with a convenient click of the mouse, go the library. Books are nice to collect, but most of what we read isn’t really worthy of saving. Plus, a trip to the library is a fun outing. Credit card companies, banks — any entity that sends a paper statement — call and ask for an online statement only. Pay bills online, eat locally grown food when available, walk and bike instead of driving, the list can go on and on.
And, a friends’ shopping party is definitely in my future. It sounds like so much fun! Best girlfriends bring undesirables from their own closets, open a bottle of vino and trade with each other!
Then there’s vintage shopping — very cool. Anytime I’m in a major city and time allows, I search for vintage stores. There are treasures to be found. I’m forever searching for classic Chanel, discarded by a socialite of a certain age who slips into the store in huge dark sunglasses, hoping for anonymity.
I actually own several vintage pieces that belonged to a dear friend who is 90, Edith Kelley of Walnut Ridge. My favorite is a brocade sheath, circa 1969, that she wore only once to the opera in San Francisco. It has a matching knee length coat with fabulous jeweled buttons. I wore it on New Year’s Eve a couple of years ago and had at least six women stop and ask me about it.
Does vintage shopping fit into my personal reformation? It is, after all, a form of reuse. I think I’ve already rationalized it.