A Week Of Secondhand Fashion
The Good Trade's Week of Outfit Series highlights women that have personally inspired us to shop and live with intention. Each woman takes her own unique approach slow fashion and demonstrates how beautifully sustainable fashion can come to life. Today we're excited to share a week of outfits from Leah, the blogger behind Style Wise!
// A B O U T L E A H //
Age | 29
Location | Charlottesville, Virginia
Job | Thrift Shop Manager
Blog | Style Wise
Favourite Brand | Everlane & Birkenstock for staples, but I thrift a lot of my clothes, so my closet features lots of different brands
I have been into fashion since elementary school. I used to be a perfectionist about what I wore: there was even a time in middle school when I would only wear clothes with the same fiber content. I think then it was a way to control anxiety—I felt like I could be in charge of something. As a rail-thin, “undeveloped” high schooler, I felt like I was left out of the dating and flirtation game, so I was really pleased to open my first Teen Vogue and see young women like me who found their identity in personal style and pleasing themselves. That’s when I cognitively recognized that fashion could be empowering.
In my 20s, it became important to me to try to make sure that fashion was just as empowering for the makers as it was for me, so I prioritize fair trade and sustainable brands when buying new. The health and wellbeing of people and our planet are interrelated, so, in my view, it doesn’t make sense to hyperfocus on one ethical perspective without considering the others. I strive to consume in a way that helps others see that there are many options to buying better, and that what we buy is just one part of living thoughtful lives. Fashion does not equal consumption. Fashion is about using what we have to express who we are.
I manage a thrift shop and one of my favorite parts of the job is people watching—seeing what women like, what gives them pause, how they put outfits together. Personal style is just that—personal—and I love seeing people wear what they like regardless of current trends or what’s considered flattering. It’s very freeing to experiment and be open to other people’s experimentation. And it’s such a wonderful form of non-verbal communication.
Until recently, I had Mondays off work, so my husband I would take weekend trips or mini day trips. We also frequent Virginia wineries, nestled as we are in wine country. These boots were a steal at $4.00, and the leather is supple and substantial, so they’ve held up through a couple winters and are still going strong
Everlane tees are the workhorses of my wardrobe. I own something like 5 or 6 and they have held up for years. Seriously, I’ve never had a t-shirt still look new after that length of time. They’re a great buy.
I’ve never been able to find ethical jeans that fit me well, so I try to buy good quality ones without too much stretch so they’ll last for several years. I’ve gained some weight recently, but these mid-rise ones still fit well.
I’ve had this thrifted top for over 4 years. The flower applique isn’t usually my style, but the back is low cut, which is flattering and still appropriate to wear to work, so I always feel confident in it.
My base wardrobe is fairly plain, so I love exuberant details like patterned and block printed kimono jackets. This one was made by a company based in North Carolina.