New! Ruby Shoos and life for old underwear


Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design Ruby ShooBy Elle

I generally don’t pay much for my clothing, opting to thrift most everything I buy, for several reasons (in no particular order):

  • I like a closet full of choices
  • Recycling and reusing clothing is crucial for the environment
  • There’s no shortage of magnificent fashion finds when thrifting
  • I can buy expensive shoes without guilt

According to Elizabeth Cline, who wrote Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, “most of our donated clothing doesn’t end up in vintage shops, as car-seat stuffing, or as an industrial wiping rag. It is sold overseas….And by one estimate, used clothing is now the United States’ number one export by volume, with the overwhelming majority sent to ports in sub-Saharan Africa.”

While that seems like a charitable deed, turns out the world has changed, and many people in developing countries are able to now afford fast fashion and super-cheap clothing from China. We can (and should) no longer use Africa as our dumping ground for unwanted textiles. In fact, there is at least talk in Eastern Africa to ban all imported used clothing by 2019.

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Mix & Match Success Story


By Elle

It’s not often I get THIS lucky. About a year ago, I spotted these tiny earrings at Elite Repeats consignment shop in Willoughby. Their subtlety and color (mix of white, tan and grey) caught my eye, and seeing as how half my wardrobe is grey, I knew they wouldn’t end up at the bottom of my jewelry box. And they do match nicely (enough) with several of my outfits.

White, tan and grey earrings

White, tan and grey earrings found at Elite Repeats consignment shop in Willoughby

Recently, I found this cute stretch top from Banana Republic at a Salvation Army for a few bucks. Here’s why I love it: 1) the way it hugs the body, 2) its block pattern in white, tan and grey, 3) the interesting style combo: sleeveless with a cowl neck.

Stretch top from Banana Republic

Stretch top from Banana Republic in tan, white and grey

It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I noticed the pattern and colors were a perfect match with the earrings. A pair of crisp white jeans with grey stitching on the pockets (also from Salvation Army) completes the look!

White jeans, Banana Republic stretch top and matching earrings

White jeans, Banana Republic stretch top and matching earrings

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