This week Mary Lou of Second Lives Club is hosting Fashion FLash. Its hard to think of a more timely site than Second Lives Club. It is dedicated to showing how we can make the second fifty years of our lives as exciting and meaningful as the first fifty. In addition to hosting a must read site, Mary Lou has reached out to similarly minded groups to find new opportuities for the baby boomer genertion.
On the one hand there is Marie Kondo urging us to empty of most of what we own. and even store our few books in closets. On the other hand, magazines, catalogs, and sites like Refinery 29 or Who What Wear pressure us to buy the latest “it” sneakers of the coat of the year. Make Do and Mend, originally published in wartime London, is a small book with a big message. Make Do and Mend expains how to care for, repair and repurpose the clothing in your closet. While it obviously reflects wartime shortages, the simple, practical advice is a very welcome antidote to consumer excesses..
For example Make Do and Mend recommends sewing a litle tab to hang towels, folding rather than hanging knit clothing and brushing coats and jackets before putting them away. To lengthen the lifetime of boots, always clean them at the end of the day. Wash off the dirt, dry them throughly, and stuff with newspapers to maintain shape. My favorite tip is to unpick old sweaters and use the wool to knit blakets and scarves. If you are skilled like Barbra Hannah Grufferman of Best of Everything After 50, try your hand at kniting a poncho or even a sweater.
Some of the tips are a touching reminder of wartime austerity. Make Do and Mend has suggestions to make coupons go further and how to preserve precious rubber items like rain slickers and girdles. It is a wonderful guide to real time recycling.