So we’re about halfway through the Wardrobe Refashion Challenge, two months of buying only recycled, renovated clothing. There may be some money burning a hole in your pocket. For those of us who shop therapeutically — just a small pick-me-up when the rest of the world is out of control — it can be damn hard not to hit the shops or the checkout button. Luckily, there’s a great loophole in the Challenge. You are welcomed, even encouraged, to buy brand-new fabulously handcrafted clothes.

Where do you find these handmade goods? Most handcrafters work in small, limited-edition spurts and offer their wares across a variety of outlets, including local shops and the online mecca that is It took me a while to learn to navigate Etsy, a site with literally 100,000 individual sellers internationally. My advice: Pick something specific. A recent search for “vintage slips” (what I like to wear when I write) turned up a sweet, almost tomboy-ish pewter bamboo jersey chemise from sandmaiden, a lingerie shop out of Bellingham, Washington and a treasure trove of actual ’50s lace and satin slips, dyed every color from dove grey to café au lait and under $50 apiece.                                      So, you have my permission. Blow off some steam, eagerly anticipate a package at your door, and buy yourself something new. But only if it’s been lovingly, craftily, handmade.

Speaking of Clothes-Minded



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