It's all about the little things…

Tag Archives: clothes

Week 38-Back to school, Day 4-New outfit

Everybody needs that one special outfit for the all important first day back to school.  In elementary school your mom was more concerned about your outfit than you were.  In middle school you had to be sure and have the right name brand sneakers and t-shirt with the best jeans.  In high school it was all about whatever would get the most attention from the upper class boys.  In college you realized that people only paid attention to what you wore to the parties, so you would rock your sweats to class.  Now that I’m teaching class my requirements for my first day outfit a little different, but I’m always thankful for new clothes.

Somebody's styling and profiling

Having a new outfit isn’t just cool, it helps kids sense of belonging if their clothes are in good shape and fit well.  Care to Learn is a non-profit in the Ozarks that takes immediate action against the hunger, healthy, and hygiene issues that children face.  If any of you have seen Winter’s Bone, you’ll have a good idea what these young people are put through.  It’s hard to learn when all you can think about it how embarrassed or hungry you are.  CTL provides a toothbrush, a coat, breakfast, or whatever unmet needs the kids are burdened with that day.  School isn’t just a place to learn for them.  It has become a refuge from the suffering they face at home.  Founded by Doug Pitt (yes that is Brad’s brother) in 200, over 69,000 emergent requests from students have been fulfilled over the past three years.  Dignity U Wear has been around since 2000, and they too work to positively impact the lives of children and their families by providing them with brand new clothes.  They work with other social service organizations to make sure these new clothes arrive at just the right time like the first day of school or before a big interview.  DUW also focuses on one very important piece of clothing that everyone needs and no one wants to discuss.  Underwear.  Sometimes the most biggest boost in dignity can come from the smallest articles of clothing.

Care to Learn Donation

Dignity U Wear Donation

So here’s to a new outfit!  You’re one of my favorite parts of starting each new school year.  Going to school in clean, comfortable, and well-fitting clothes makes it a lot easier to find the square root of 99, or discuss Beowulf.  Wanting you doesn’t make us shallow, it makes us want to present ourselves in a professional manner no matter what our age.  Thanks for putting a little pep in our step and helping us kick of the new school year right.

Week 35-Shop till ya drop, Day 7-Thrift stores

When I was in high school I lived in thrift store t-shirts and sweatshirts.  Well actually the first couple of years I tried to dress all cute and impress the upperclassmen, but after my sophomore year that went straight out the window.  I went for the I’m-too-lazy-to-find-anything-else and I’m-so-hot-without-even-trying look.  I dunno if it worked, but it sure did cut down on clothing costs.  Needless to say I became very acquainted with my local Salvation Army, Goodwill, a little place downtown called Bargain Box, and Carolina Thrift.  Thank goodness for the simple days of t-shirts and good ‘ole jeans.

One of the first places I started to shop a little thriftier, pun intended, was the Bargain Box which is run by the Junior League of Greensboro NC.  It was a great place to start honing my skills because they had lots of great products.  Turns out it’s not just me who thinks that either.  The BB was awarded Honorable Mention by Go Triad Readers in the Best Thrift Store category for 2010.  They have been open since 1947 and helped the Junior League fund over $3 million worth of community project.  The JLG is an organization compromised solely of women who are motivated to better their communities.  They have over 1,000 members who are committed to promoting volunteerism, developing women’s potential, and overall improving their community by their actions.  Founded way back in 1928 with 34 dedicated women who wanted to make sure Greensboro was a healthy and vital place for its inhabitants.  I’d say, so far so good!  Another place I loved to get my shop on was The Salvation Army.  Even though you had to dig a little more to find the gems, I always knew shopping at TSA was a great way to give back to the community.  My brother used to tell me I was taking affordable clothes away from people who really needed them, and I had to explain that I was actually helping those people and not stealing their clothing supply.  TSA is so great because they have so, so many opportunities and different ways that we can give back.  You can donate your clothes, your car, your time, and even your airline miles!  Seriously if you thought giving back was something you could never fit into your schedule, check out TSA and I’ll bet you will change your mind.

Junior League of Greensboro Donation

The Salvation Army Donation

So here’s to you thrift stores!  You come in all shapes and contain all kinds of collections from across the globe.  You help us connect with our past and bring really special pieces back to life.  You know what they say, one man’s trash is another man’s charity.

Trash or charity? You decide.

Week 24-Do I have to?, Day 7-Wash clothes

My kinda place

I would say that I hate washing clothes, but that’s not entirely true.  The washing part isn’t that bad.  It’s the drying, folding, and putting away that I’m not a big fan of.  I really hated washing clothes when we lived in New Jersey because I had to pay to wash and dry our clothes in the laundry in our building.  That’s adding insult to injury if you ask me.  Even though we are lucky enough to have our own coin-free laundry set up in our townhouse in WV I’m still not chomping at the bit to break out the Tide and fabric softener.  I may not like it, but I am thankful that we can just wash our clothes instead of throwing them away and buying new ones every time.

One really great campaign that you might have heard of is Tide Loads of Hope.  LOH makes sure that the victims of natural disasters, like Hurricane Katrina in 2005, still have their basic necessity of clean clothes met.  One truck and a multitude of vans are able to carry 32 energy-efficient washers and dryers.  This awesome mobile set-up is capable of washing and drying over 300 loads of laundry a day.  Tide and it’s volunteers wash, dry, and fold the clothes for the families, because like me, they believe that giving back is all about the little things.  Since they began LOH has washed more than 34,000 loads of laundry and made the day of a countless number of families.

Holy laundry Batman!

You have also probably seen those Electrolux commercials with the beautiful and chipper Kelly Ripa selling washing machines, dryers, and multiple other household appliances.  When she’s not slinging laundry or keep Regis in line, she is joining Electrolux in raising money and awareness about the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.  Kelly is even throwing a virtual tea party where you get to pick your outfit, your tea set, and raise a buck for OCRF.  OCRF’s mission is to fund research in order to develop early detection methods and ultimately a cure for ovarian cancer.  Ovarian cancer is the 5th leading cause of cancer deaths of women in the U.S.  I don’t know about you, but that number astounds and scares me.  Those who research ovarian cancer and fund this admirable cause are heroes in my book for sure.

Buy a Tide Loads of Hope T-shirt of the Tide with the yellow caps!

Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Donation

So here’s to you washing clothes!  I like you a little more than taking out the trash, but not by a lot.  You are the reason I’m not the smelly kid at work, and why I can always get the spill stains off of my shirts.  You are time-consuming and really no fun at all but you have proved that you can give people in need a real sense of hope.  We can use liquid, powder, or even these cool new sheets that also get used in the dryer to get you done.  Thanks for helping me remember that I could be washing these clothes with a bar of soap, bucket of water, and a washboard.  Yea, that usually shuts me right up.

Week 21-Go Green Week, Day 3-Earth Day Fashion

Happy Earth Day!  Today is all about giving back to our planet, but you don’t have to do it in your beat up old jeans and scrubby t-shirt.  There are lots of really fashionable brands out there who are stepping up and making their clothing lines green.  Everything you wear from top to bottom can be recycled, renewed, or reused in some way, shape, or form.  Clothes are essential for all of us, unless you live in a nudist colony, so we might as well make sure we’re responsible about what we put on everyday.  Just be thankful I didn’t ask you to wear fig leaves.

Urban Outfitters has a great line of clothes called Urban Renewal that is made from vintage, deadstock, and surplus materials.  They have taken the taken the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”, and ran with it.  Theses pieces are  handcrafted and all unique.  Making up a story about how your cute frilly dress came from a set of vintage bedsheets is also an added bonus of this fun line.  It’s also fun to turn your old flip flops into new playgrounds, which is exactly what you can do when you take them into your local Old Navy store.  ON has partnered with TerraCycle to celebrate the 41st World Earth Day and do their part in reducing waste, cause let’s face it, who can resist their great deals on flip flops!  TC has been working to outsmart waste since 2001 by collecting your non-recyclable or hard to recycle waste products, usually for free, and turning it into affordable green products.  Over 19 million people in 11 different countries are helping TC eliminate the idea of waste by creating new products and solutions for things we normally throw away.  Smart and green, what more could you ask for on this beautiful Earth Day?

Flip your flop into a new playground!

Buy some cute Urban Renewal clothes and accessories, or take your flip flops to your local Old Navy

Sign up for TerraCycle…sometimes the time you give is much more valuable than any money you could every give.

So here’s to you Earth Day fashion!  You have inspired me to take those dingy old flip flops collecting dust in my closet down to Old Navy and help build a new playground.  And not that I needed any inspiration to shop, but the Urban Renewal collection is too good to pass up, especially those cute vintage earrings.  Thank you for reminding us that love means never having to buy anything that hasn’t been recycled.

Week 13-The Oscars, Day 4-Actress in a leading role

Let’s’ face it, behind every really good movie there is usually an awesome actress.  The women who are nominated this year are beautiful, talented, and extremely giving.  Natalie, Nicole, Michelle, Jennifer, and Annette are all in the running for a tiny little gold man and a lifetime of bragging rights.  Sometimes they are mothers, sometimes daughters, and other times ballet dancers, but I’m always thankful for them.  No matter who they end up playing in the movies, these women play an even bigger role off screen.  Giving back.

FINCA Ambassador Natalie Portman

There are two women who seem to be heading up the pack in this race for best actress.  Natalie Portman may be raking in dollars hand over fist but she’s the first to realize how lucky she is.  Natalie helped launch the Village Banking Campaign for the non-profit Foundation for International Community Assistance, FINCA.  FINCA works to provide financial assistance to low-income entrepreneurs so they can create jobs, build assets and improve their standard of living.  Since their inception in 1984 they have helped hundreds of thousands of people in over 21 different countries.  FINCA has been lending a helping hand in Haiti for over 20 years, long before the earthquake in 2010.  FINCA is in the business of helping other help themselves.

You can bid on this shirt!

Annette Bening is right there with Natalie at the top of the favorites list for this category.  She is also willing to give the shirt off her back to help out.  No really, she is a big supporter of Clothes Off Our Back, which is a non-profit who auctions off the clothes of the hottest celebrities around.  Annette is even giving one of her outfits from the Oscar nominated, The Kids Are Alright.  The auction is on until tomorrow so you still have time to get a little piece of Hollywood and help charities at the same time.  COOB uses the funds raised to give back to a couple of charities that we’ve talked about here like Feeding America and Malaria No More.  Over $7 million has been raised by COOB since 2002 with the help of over 700 celebrities and 300 designers.  Get a new outfit and give back?  Sign me up!

Foundation for International Community Assistance Donation

Clothes Off Our Back Donation

So here’s to you actress in a leading role!  Whoever ends up taking home this very prestigious title is more than deserving on and off screen.  Budding actresses everywhere watch these women perform and aspire to be just like them one day.  If they do grow up to be just like them then they’ll be really successful actresses, as well as incredibly giving human beings.

Week 3-Stuff, Day 5-My comfy t-shirt

I don’t know about you guys but I looovveee wearing my worn-in comfy t-shirt and sweatpants as much as possible during the weekends.  I’m actually wearing my blue Old Crow Medicine Show t-shirt and Old Navy sweatpants right now to type this blog.  To me there is almost no better feeling that coming home after a long hard day of work and changing into your lounge wear of choice.  I know you’re nodding your head right now agreeing with me.


Luckily for all of us living in the good ‘ole USA there are thousands upon thousands of different t-shirt brands to chose from.  So there were a couple of smart folks out there who said, “Hey,  people have to wear clothes, and most people like t-shirts, so let’s make some t-shirts that benefit charities.”  Common Threadz is one of those organizations full of smart people.  They take the artwork of orphans in South Africa and turn it into incredible t-shirts, sweatshirts, and long sleeve shirts.  And that’s not even the most amazing part.  Every time someone purchases a t-shirt it helps feed an orphan for an entire MONTH.  I guess both parts are pretty amazing actually.  If wearing kid art isn’t your thing you can order a t-shirt from the either the Signature Collection or the collection designed by some of your favorite celebrities.

Who doesn't love to color?

Yellow Bird Project is very “in tune” non-profit that gives indie rock artist creative freedom to design t-shirts to benefit the charity of their choice.  The likes of Bon Iver, Bloc Party, Rilo Kiley, and The Shins have created some really cool shirts for some very worth causes.  Time magazine named The Indie Rock Coloring Book, for adults of course, one of the top four gifts that give back in the $5-$20 category in 2009.

So here’s to you comfy t-shirt!  You make coming home to you at the end of the day a joy!  You are always there to keep me warm, cover my bits so I don’t get arrested in public, and remind me of all the great memories we’ve shared together.  It may not be giving someone the shirt off your back, but it’s pretty darn close.