The Bay Area has completely changed my clothing philosophy. Thanks to the beauty of friend-me-downs, my wardrobe is constantly changing and costs me nothing. Some of my favorite pieces were obtained from clothing swaps and friends, and I love passing on items that no longer fit or thrill me. I love to thrift, but swapping and friend-me-downs are special because you get to learn the story behind your clothes. I met the former owner of every single piece of clothing featured in this article. One dress used to be a favorite, but it was given to her by an ex and she couldn’t stand to wear it anymore. Another dress was once very loved, but it no longer fit, and its former owner was excited that someone else got to love the dress now. For today’s Minimum Wage Life article, I present to you a selfie essay of my favorite clothes I got for free.
Let’s start with this, one of the cutest dresses I’ve ever owned. I got it at an Oakland clothing swap in December of 2013. I feel like a cross between a Dutch cowgirl and a figure skater when I wear it.
I got this delicate purple silk button-up at the same swap. It’s lightweight and comfortable and girly. I couldn’t figure out a use for it until I decided to wear it with clashing patterns and fabrics and now it goes perfectly with everything.
Another clothing swap find, this stretchy flowery sweater goes great with anything red, lace, tight and/or snazzy.
This is one of at least dozens of items my dear femme friend July has friended down to me. This strapless dress is so comfortable and it has pockets! POCKETS IN DRESSES ARE THE BEST! Great for hot days, car & air travel, and the beach.
This dress has pockets and a hood! It’s basically a minidress version of a sweatshirt. I like to pair it with maroon lace tights and a thin belt. This dress is somehow both sexy and slouchy, and was another swap find.
My friend Christine gave this to me. She was donating clothes and when she came across this dress, she turned to her partner Paul and said, “You know who would love this?” And then they apparently both exclaimed, “Ash!” Paul brought it to me at a comedy gig and I am thrilled. It fits perfectly, provides endless opportunities for accessorizing and only one snarky person in my life calls it my “Little House on the Prairie dress.”