I just got a great big bag of lovely hand-me-downs from a very fashionable friend. It feels like Christmas! I love hand-me-downs! Truth is, I've been wearing then most of my life. Thanks to Jennifer across the street in my growing-up years. She was the only girl in her family and had great clothes. I always loved when Jennifer hit a growth spurt. :) I remember one outfit that I adored. Red pants with a matching snap up vest layered over a red turtle neck and a plaid shirt. The more layers the better, right? I even wore it for school pictures! You know you got some great hand-me-downs when you wear them for pictures! There was also a dreamy Hang-Ten green and white stripe key-hole-tie tank top. I had arrived with my little white embroidered Hang-ten toes.
I am fickle when it comes to fashion. Occasionally, I surf the web looking for trends. Sometimes I balk at the trends and make self-righteous vows not to get sucked in. Most of the time I just want to find a really good deal that fits well. I think that is why the hand-me-downs are such a gift. I mean there is no better deal than free! I keep the things that fit and pass on the things that don't with great freedom. There is no searching racks for a different size. How great is that? Isn't it annoying when you find something cute at the store but just need a different size and they don't have it so you call the other stores in town and search all over for this elusive item knowing deep inside that it would have been fabulous on you, only to come up empty. Bummer.
Hand-me-downs also fit well with my recent education in Fair Trade. I struggle at the mall with consumer guilt especially when I find a super great deal. It is creating such conflict! I know that a fun hand-knit sweater cape should cost more than 3 bucks. There is no way the person who made it is earning a living wage from my purchase. How responsible am I for people (often children) in other countries who sew this stuff? It's messing with me. Not enough though, because I just bought a sassy blue dress on clearance at Macy's for $12.83 with tax! I was thrilled with my find, but still wanting at some level to become a globally minded consumer. That didn't happen this week.
My fashion mindedness seems to ebb and flow with the seasons. A few years ago I was suffering closet-angst and so I printed a little reminder and taped it up right there inside the closet. It read "I have everything I need" And that could not be more true. I don't NEED a single thing in there. I have enough stuff to clothe more than one me. Still I do long for NEW. I think most of us do. There is something hidden in that longing. A new outfit feels like a new me. I want to be made new. I think at its depths that desire is a God-seed. I sell myself short when I allow new stuff to quench that desire. Something to think about when I get that fashion itch. At least for me"new" doesn't have to mean hanging on the store hanger with tags attached. I'm grateful for hand-me-downs. So is my checkbook. And so is my heart.