I love to shop as much as the next bird, but I take special pride in my ability to reuse and recycle pieces in my closet to create a whole new look. I’m a strategic shopper, and believe in getting the most out of the pieces I purchase. All it takes is a bit of an imagination! reuse-recycle-0351img_3894reuse-recycle-0355img_3892

I grew up in a lower middle class family, my parents are both Cuban immigrants that defected in their formative years. As a result, I had a pretty Americanized upbringing. However, I grew up in an immigrant community, and was reminded on a daily basis to not be wasteful. We reused and recycled everything we could. I grew up wearing my cousin’s clothes, not because it was necessarily needed, but because why not! Forget Pyrex containers, our leftovers were kept in recycled Country Crock tubs and Chinese soup containers. In our pantry, were several green tins of saltine crackers, but one of those was always filled with rice. I was raised to use what I had available to me, no matter what. We never went shopping for a new outfit for a party or ‘just because’. We went shopping when we grew out of our clothes. To clarify, I grew up with a lot more than most, and my parents worked incredibly hard to get us both what we needed and wanted. However, we had boundaries, even when my family grew more successful, because I was also taught to never take anything for granted.img_3893I’m incredibly grateful for everything my parents could give me, but more grateful for what I learned from them. I’ve said in previous posts, I don’t buy ANYTHING I can’t wear more than twice, and I stand firmly by that. So when I wanted to try something different for a transitional look, I just went shopping… right in my own closet. For this look, I paired trousers (that I actually live in at least twice a week) with a bralette that I have rarely taken off since May. But the ultimate reuse was the golden olive dress I styled as a vest. It was gifted to me by my sweet husband last year, but has never fit right around the curves in my bottom half. I love it, and couldn’t bare to give it away, so I just threw it on top of the aforementioned basics and kept it moving with my surprisingly durable black patent oxfords and a cognac vegan leather handbag.reuse-recycle-0354

The result was doubly gratifying because I created something different by repurposing existing pieces in my closet and not spending a dime. Certain values, however we acquire them, don’t ever really leave us. I may throw away my butter containers, but when it comes to styling new looks, I recycle first.

Stylishly conscious and always yours,


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