Scavenger Style

Scavenger StyleReese in shorts M article Jan 2013

I am a very low maintenance gal. I have always been drawn to the different and eccentric but in a frugal fashion (pun intended). I am not really interested in the mainstream notion of ‘acting and dressing my age’ whatever that means. I just like to be me not someone else’s version of who I should be.

I have read some fashion articles about how women in their 50s should dress. These articles recommend that women in this decade of life, like me buy good quality statement pieces that look classical and are well fitted. There is limited advice on how to look great in your 50s with garments that have been scavenged and RE-scued from amongst the garbage at point of landfill. Why? The minority who do it would be too embarrassed to admit it. Not me, it is all part of my game Beat The Man. The game strategy for me is to look and feel good at a price that beats the charity store prices. Why? In my opinion these stores are now part of mainstream consumerism which I am against.

Scavenger Style is a term coined my me to explain how I dress and showcase my scavenged finds. I must clarify that this is a different style to Charity Chic where items have been sorted. And where clean, good quality items are hand-picked for shop display and sale.

Scavenger Style is rude and raw. To get this style you have to scrounge through what the likes of the charity shops have dumped. Or what people have discarded believing items of clothing are not worth taking to the charity shop on the high street. Many of the items are reasonably clean but are thrown in with the smelly, torn, stained and dirty. Many garments are damaged in some way and may require mending. Mending and RE-fashioning skills are required to make the most of Scavenger Style. Also the creative vision to foresee the desired result from the undesirable.

After spotting the above photo of Ms Witherspoon (M Magazine January 12, 2014 pg 6 by Maggie Alderson), and liking the outfit she was wearing, I happened upon a Millers brand shirt at point of landfill. Millers is an inexpensive brand targeted at the mature woman. The garment had sequins over it which were damaged and falling off their threads. It has since been soaked, washed, line dried and the sequins have been removed. The turquoise and brown coloured pattern and floaty smock shirt has been RE-invented.

The khaki cotton shorts were scavenged a few years ago from landfill, are a CKM brand and a comfortable favourite. The shoes were also RE-scued from landfill, as was the gold coloured cuff. The prescription sunglasses were purchased new last year.

Beat The Man and play the Scavenge Trashed Threads game.

Stay Cool

Stay Cool

It has been a long very hot four days in Melbourne, Australia with temperatures over 40 degrees celsius. A question was asked of me on my Facebook group Bowerbirds Journal about electricity costs when operating a 1970s air conditioner.

As Danny and I are against consuming too much of anything, we are mindful of our electricity consumption. Firstly was have an old air conditioner because we rarely turn it on. Maybe two or three times a year for over a decade.

This year it has been used four days in a row. A day where the temperature is say 35 degrees we will not turn it on but to have a period of heat over 40 degrees we deemed it necessary for some relief. We shut the door to two adjoining rooms and stayed in this space for the hot spell except to go to bed at night. Then we turned off the unit as we sleep well in the heat.

Our electricity bill will be higher but not excessive because we are careful with usage and keep cooling temperature not too low. As with everything we do we treat it like a fun game of Monopoly but our game is titled Balance and Beat the Man. For us it is all about balance. This is how our Balance Beat the Man games works.

We had to consume more electricity over the last four days therefore we off set the additional energy/cost with not using the car and petrol/gas. We stayed at home, used energy for cooling but saved on energy elsewhere, including our own physical energy which is a good health investment in extremes of heat.

The only planned obsolescence for this unit was human related not appliance part malfunction. National would have planned that within 10 years of purchase the homeowner would have simply replaced this unit for a newer, more efficient, sleeker looking model.

Of course National had no idea that Danny and I would be grateful for the workmanship in this air conditioner and care for it for 40 years!

So what’s all this got to do with shorts and my legs. Nothing and everything but you be the judge. Seriously, I wore these light cotton shorts for four days because they are cool and comfortable. They were RE-scued from point of landfill a couple of years ago. Cost $0.00

And my legs like the air conditioner have had a long life. These foundations have not been replaced in over 50 years but there is certainly planned obsolescence factored in by the manufacturer.