Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Goodwill Vintage Trunk Show - Be There or Be Stupid.

Okay. Seriously.

Last time I attended this event, hosted by the very fashionable Em Hall, writer extraordinaire of the DC Goodwill Fashion Blog, I came away with a big, silly bag o'stuff. Actually, I had not planned on buying anything (was still unemployed, y'all), and had not brought any of my Chico bags or Envirosax (and refused to take a plastic bag from Em - although the Goodwill bags are biodegradable plastic I later found out). So. There I was, taking the metro home, with all my goodies stuffed into my (fairly small) shoulder bag, literally falling out all over the metro train's floor.

Ha! I will never make that mistake again.

But, fear not. You can get plenty of your own Envirosax at the store that is hosting this month's event, Greater Goods, 1626 U Street, NW.

Back to the goodies. Ms. Em has an impeccable eye for vintage pieces that translate easily into a modern girl's (and guy's . . . Mark scored a vintage YSL velvet blazer at the last show), wardrobe. And the best part? Everything is incredibly affordable - like, as affordable as shopping at one of your local Goodwill stores. Of course, Em saves you the effort of combing through racks and racks of clothes. (Sure, that can be fun. But, you are a busy bee. So sometimes its nice to have someone else hook you up. Think of it as having your own Goodwill personal shopper). And the second best part (actually, I think this one may be the BEST part, after all) is that the money you spend at Goodwill (and the trunk show!) goes to help provide job training and assistance to people with disadvantages and disabilities!!

That's not all folks! Ms. Em kindly shared a few images of what you will see on January 17th from noon until 3PM.

Perhaps you need a dress for an inauguration event?

And a clutch to go with it?

And a cute cardi to wear on top - since you KNOW it will be chilly?

Right. Like I said.

There is you at the trunk show. Or there is stupid. I think the choice is clear.

(Honestly, I am not even sure why I am telling you this. Do you really deserve this priceless information? What have you done for me lately?)
More info HERE.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Problem with Drycleaning (Or, What Am I Going to Do with My Cashmere?)

My pile of clothing that needs dry cleaning is getting larger and larger each day, cascading over the upstairs banister like overgrown vines of yellow cashmere, gray wool blend and cream silk. I need to get it all cleaned, but just can't bring myself to take it anywhere, knowing how ghastly dry-cleaning is for the environment.

Although there are more and more "green" or "organic" dry cleaners in the DC area, the truth is that you never know how "green" they really are. There are no standards for the use of the words "green" or "organic". There is just no way to know how eco-friendly these methods are without getting specific details from the owners on the solvent/method used. And I say "owners" because after calls to 3 local establishments claiming "organic" dry cleaning, I was not able to get any sort of specific info from any of the employees. Sigh.

There was a good article in the Washington Post back in August about various options for dry cleaning. Find it here. It said that the most eco-friendly drycleaning methods are "wet cleaning" and processes that use liquid carbon dioxide.

I tried to find one place that had more detailed info on "green" dry cleaners in DC, but I was not able to find such a place. (Whatever happened to "Paint the District Green"? Or to Live Green DC? Are these websites/groups actually doing anything??)

At some point, I will bike around and find all the green dry cleaners for you, dear reader. Just not today. But here are some things to ask your cleaners:

  1. Do they use "perc" - or perchloroethylene? If so, just leave. But not before telling them that they should switch to a less harmful cleaning method.
  2. Do they use a hydrocarbon-based cleaning method? For instance, U Street Cleaners, although calling themselves "organic", still use a hydrocarbon-based cleaning process (which I am assuming is the DF-2000, which the EPA lists as a neurotoxin and skin and eye irritant for workers). This new solvent is made from petroleum that releases smog-forming volatile organic compounds. According to Co-Op America, "Hydrocarbon cleaning methods are not green at all." (Although I give kudos to U Street Cleaners for - according to their site - using biodegradable detergent for their laundry service and actively reducing energy use through efficient machines.)
  3. Do they use the GreenEarth method? According to an NPR story from 2005, "Green Earth dry cleaning is a process billed as a nontoxic and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional cleaning methods. But preliminary studies suggest D-5, the silicone-based solvent used in the process, causes cancer in rats and may also be toxic to the liver." OXXO Care Cleaners (with locations on Capitol Hill and Mt. Pleasant) employs this method.
Basically, if the business is using either wet cleaning (for its drycleaning items) or liquid carbon dioxide, you are good to go. If I find one (because, honestly, I am going to bike around today and look for a a real "green" dry cleaner - I have nightmares of the the pile of clothing on my banister falling on top of me as I walk down the stairs, burying me in an avalance of luxurious fabrics I can't free myself from), I will let you know.

If you ARE a real "green" dry cleaner in DC, let me know, please!!

Closing Note: What I have decided to do with a few of my items is hand wash them and then let them hang dry (or flat dry for the sweaters) and have them pressed at the local dry cleaner. They usually frown when you say that you don't want anything cleaned, but oh well. The customer is always right. Sometimes at least.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Oh. My. Lord.

I just LOOOOVE these Balmain shoes. Crystals and studs? I don't think I could be more turned on. (without a hot, shirtless man around, I mean.)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'm Baaaaaaack!! And I've Been Shopping, yo!

Oh, Happy New Year, my sweet eco-fashionistas and everyone else!

I have been gone ohsolong and I have missed you terribly! I really have!

Where have I been? Well, you can skip down to the end here, to find out. But FIRST . . .

Some of my recent obsessions/purchases:

Studded Belts

I am not sure why I have been so attracted to this trend. I do admit being in a bit of a rocker/goth-y sort of phase right now (read: dark eyeliner, chunky boots, lots of black, leather), so maybe that is it. I haven't brought myself to wearing the studded belt with a dress a la Carrie, yet (PS: although I am not a big fan of the movie, I LOVE her outfits!!):

I've mostly used it for pants (skinny-legged jeans, that is) and rocker t-shirts. I've also been making great leather bracelets from reclaimed vintage leather and various vintage jewelry components. (You may or may not know that I am actually a jewelry designer in one of my other lives . . . I have so many . . . maybe too many . . . other lives) These are three of my faves:
I wear the fringe one and the one with rhinestones ALL THE FREAKIN' time!!

Oh, and below is the belt that I got on Ebay ($26!!) to assuage my little studded belt obsession. I had been looking at some that were being sold in the stores and found them . . . um, how do I say this delicately? . . . cheaply made. And then I saw this hot picture of Brad Pitt wearing a beautiful studded belt and I thought (bing!) gotta go vintage. And no better place to find vintage anything than on Ebay! So a vintage belt I bought. (PS - here is a totally gratuitous pic of Mr. Pitt - oy, he is beautiful!! Seriously. Holy. Wow.)

Oh. Here's my belt. I almost forgot (blush).

Over-the-Knee Boots

This is officially the second fall/winter that I have been hoping to get my hands on a pair of black suede, over-the-knee, flat boots. Literally, almost a year ago to the day, I shared my general lust for such boots on this here blog. I have searched high and low for a pair that was affordable and cute. And, well, secondhand or vintage. I FINALLY (after many unsuccessful Ebay bidding attempts), scored a great pair from some girl in Canada. Sure the shipping was $26, but the total was less than $70, which is better than the cost of new ones on sale. Plus, vintage stuff is SO MUCH better made than the things you would buy new in the same price range (you can definitely buy many well-made new things for a lot of money. But you and I don't have a lot of money, do we, darlings?)

Here are my boots:


Hmm . . . what else?

Motorcycle Jackets

Oh, of course. I will be completely predictable and bland and say that I really want a cropped leather motorcycle or bomber jacket. Again, this is something that I have been thinking about purchasing for almost a year (see my post from January 2008). Anyway, I've wanted one for a while. I've tried to bid on a few on Ebay, but have had no luck - my budget (albeit in a better place 'cuz of the job!!! ) is still mighty tight.

Here are a few I might try my luck with this week (hoping to pay not more than $70):

I always get a kick out of some of the "models" on Ebay! Also, have you noticed how many vintage stores have sprung up on Ebay?? Something tells me its mostly a bunch of teenagers with nothing to do except scour used clothing stores in the suburbs of the midwest . . . in any case, this is only a good thing for us, eco-fashionistas!!

Well, the hour is late and I am tired. I was going to write about MY NEW JOB (woohoo!!!), but I am too tired. I will try to write more about it tomorrow. I am truly excited by what I am doing professionally, y'all!

Happy New Year, kids. (It is nice to be back.)

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