The Circle of Life

What I’ve been thinking about:

In the time of the pandemic where a lot of people struggle with food insecurity I have a well-stocked refrigerator bursting with food.

When you have plenty what else could you need or want?

My goal when I’m able to get a FreshDirect time slot for food delivery is to use the link on that website to donate money to the Common Pantry in New York City.

I’ve become grateful today for the only thing that counts to me in this time: the grocery deliveries coming every week.

It’s not the Caudalie face scrub I bought that I really care about.

My thoughts go out to people who are  unable to get food.

The New York City government has been delivering food boxes to anyone who needs food in the time of the pandemic.

Like Lyn Slater the Accidental Icon I’ve come to question the things I took for granted on an ordinary pandemic-free day.

As I’ve always thought those of us who are fortunate should be doing everything we can to help others who aren’t fortunate.

Now more than ever being grateful for your fortune in life should be the rule not the exception in how people think.

This is the circle of life: giving back what you have been given.

I will always talk about clothes and makeup in here. To cheer up readers. To make readers feel good. To spread joy.

Perhaps a spoon full of this sugar can make the medicine go down like Mary Poppins sang in the 1970s movie.

The fact is in America people are going hungry.

Actress Viola Davis revealed that she battled childhood hunger.

She has championed the Hunger Is campaign for No Kid Hungry.

In my view even donating canned goods like soup and vegetables to your local food pantry is a valid form of charity when you can’t do anything else.

My goal when I retire from my library job is to volunteer my time and money to social causes more so than I do today.

Hunger. It’s a real issue. No one should go hungry.

In America The Fruited Plain food should be plentiful. The fact that it’s not is a shame.

Living and Shopping with Intention

To live with intention has taken on new meaning during the pandemic.

To shop with intention is my new mantra along with living with intention.

I’ve come to realize that retail therapy isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

Choosing and using what you buy with care and judgment makes what you bring home more special.

An edited collection of items is better managed and improves your mental health.

Having too much stuff can weigh you down.

My intention is to do only one thing: upgrade my lounge wear.

To throw out the old worn-out items.

I want to buy a few new outfits that will cheer me up.

It’s so easy to feel down in the dumps when you’re wearing pajamas at noon.

There might be a rebound of the coronavirus in the fall and early winter.

This is why I want to plan ahead and buy a few new at-home outfits.

The Dressing Well website is having a $99 virtual styling special through May 31, 2020.

The original cost was $250. You’re able to use the service within the year of first buying it.

I recommend this service as I’ve been using them for over 10 years.

It’s hard for me to find clothes that fit.

So I have the stylist e-mail me links to items she has referred me to buy.

In the spirit of Conscious Chic acting as an empowered consumer makes all the difference.

In coming blog entries I’ll talk more about things I’ve learned living through the pandemic.

My adventure with online food ordering has gotten me to think long and hard before going on a shopping spree.

 

Fashion Revolution Week

Fashion Revolution Week has come on as a response to the breakdown in worldwide commerce due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quite awhile ago I said I would write about the book Wear No Evil. Yes–I forgot to do this. It’s a guide to sustainable fashion that offers a system for choosing and using wardrobe items.

The author lists 16 criteria you can choose from and a diamond-design method for prioritizing each choice.

My prime choice is to buy clothes that require low water use to manufacture. And whose vendors don’t pollute the water with chemicals in the process of creating garments.

From the people to the products a fashion revolution is an idea whose time has come.

I recommend reading Wear No Evil. It’s the most concise, helpful, and cheerful guide to sustainable fashion. It refrains from judging the reader or belaboring the point with a academic treatise. Actionable steps are given for right now.

Alas, I regret that as a tiny person who is only 5 feet tall and a size 2 Petite I have yet to find clothes of any sustainable origin that would fit me. If anyone knows of a suitable vendor, I’d love to hear about these options.

My solution is to “shop in my own closet” for the foreseeable future. To mix-and-match items I already own to style new outfits.

Accidental Icon Lyn Slater in her Ripping Seams blog post talks about taking apart your consciousness as well as the seams in the clothes you wear.

Fashion and social justice seem like odd partners. Yet taking apart the fabric of society and getting under its seams is the first step in deconstructing the tattered clothing we’re in. That is the raiment we cloak ourselves in mentally as well as physically.

Living through the COVID-19 outbreak seems like the perfect time to do what Slater suggests: start ripping seams.

I estimate I have another two or three years before I have to buy a whole slew of clothes again. By that time perhaps more sustainable lower-cost options will arrive for a person like me who doesn’t fit into Regular sized clothing.

My goal is to at least buy fewer clothes and shop less often. To read up on the social standing of clothes vendors.

If you ask me doing whatever you can is all that matters in the moment.

Do Just One Thing. And do One More Thing after that.

This is the way to start a revolution from your closet.

Conscious Chic in a Crisis

Yes–I’ve been thinking about what I termed Conscious Chic in a blog category.

The Accidental Icon Lyn Slater talks about this in her latest blog post [see below].

Who needs 10 pairs of the exact same pants?

Who needs a bursting closet and overstuffed dresser drawers?

The manufacturing process of garments has long been a destroyer of our natural world.

It’s time to act in a considered fashion like Lyn Slater believes.

Though I’ve bought an eye shadow compact I intend for this to be the only beauty buy for the foreseeable future.

As well I have the intention to dress in the clothes hanging out in my wardrobe today.

I’m not a Green saint as far as this goes.  Like Lyn Slater I’ve been thinking about this.

She talked of being creative.

Acting creative can do a world of good in transforming a simple wardrobe of clothes and collection of makeup into a stunning reflection of individuality.

You don’t have to be rich or thin to express yourself through beauty and fashion.

You can trust that you’ll look good without needing a trust fund.

Read the Lyn Slater Accidental Icon blog entry here.

 

Conscious Chic

Merriam-Webster online defines the noun Chic as:

Smart elegance and sophistication especially of dress or manner.

As I roll into my mid-fifties the goal is to be conscious not live life on auto-pilot.

Reading We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now has been a wake-up call.

This has awakened in me the urge to speak out as a Rebel/Feminist.

At this point in my life living on the cusp of getting older I think each person should decide for themselves how they want to be, live, act, dress, and think.

To be a Feminist in today’s world was beautifully expressed by Gaia Repossi, an Italian Creative Director living in Paris:

“Since I am a creative person, my style is my language, a way in which I speak.

I would encourage you to “speak” freely as yourself, to be guided by your instinct, to be faithful to your heart and mind, to say something…Contemporary elegance, to me, is rooted in an enlightened feminism, in equality of genders and sexualities, and in freedom from gender.”

To embrace and honor your individuality–of gender yet also of personality–and that of others is the goal.

My agenda in advancing the ethic of Conscious Chic is precisely to liberate ourselves from the old-school patriarchy that has caused the hazardous working conditions in garment factories around the globe.

Being chained to a treadmill of buying and spending isn’t the way to live the rest of your life after you turn 50.

I say: be Chic by being You.

Acting as a conscious consumer can be a great way to manage your mental and physical health at mid-life.

In coming blog entries I’ll talk about this in more detail via the concept of having a capsule wardrobe of 30 or so items.

My Mid-Life Clothing Revelation

As I get older, like any woman in her fifties, I’m examining my life: what to discard, what to keep as I move towards another birthday.

On the cusp of 54 your priorities could change. The things you value could change.

I’ve been reading a book that is a revelation.

The book We Are All Fast Food Workers Now: The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages is an eye-opener.

Around the globe people labor at McJobs. The definition of a McJob is one that is soul-crushing and leads nowhere for those individuals trapped working there.

Thus my reference in the title of the last blog entry to McFashion. This is what I call the shoddy fast fashion that garment workers sew in unsafe working conditions in countries where the government is in cahoots with U.S. transnational corporations.

Echoes of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire here were repeated in the Rana Plaza collapse where over 1,000 garment workers were killed a few years ago.

I don’t know what’s worse: that the governments in other countries allow these deplorable conditions at the hands of American business. Or whether U.S. companies should shoulder the blame totally.

A pair of Zara pants I bought were poorly constructed and didn’t ever fit right. As a rule, I don’t shop in fast fashion stores or go shopping every week as a hobby.

In two books the authors stated that the average person buys 63 items of clothing every year. How can that be?

I’m no fan of the nationalist fervor in the U.S. We must think of people living in other countries. How U.S. companies are ravaging their lands, harming people’s health, and polluting the earth.

I will always be a purveyor of fashion as therapy. Yet it’s a privilege that so few women living in other countries have: the right to parade down their streets in finery, free of violence and sexual abuse, able to exert their power in the face of oppression.

Garment workers paid barely $77 per month make a pair of Nike shoes that cost $150 here.

I’d like to offer alternatives to help redress the perils of runaway fashion.

Is it possible to “have your cape, and wear it too?”

There’s a better way. I’ll talk in coming blog entries about books that offer solutions. Plus I’ll give my own strategies.

I call this ethic Conscious Chic.

I have ideas for how to manage your wardrobe to help improve your health.

I’m all for making your life easier when you’re a woman going through “the change.”