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Thoughtful Style | Back to (Zoom) School

back to grad school outfits

Back to Grad School Outfits

Before I get too far into this post, let me just warn you that many of the items pictured here do not adhere to my usual ethical standards. While some items are thrifted, many are either part of my Everlane collection (I have lots of stuff from the before-times and I’m also trying to use up store credit) or are from a recent Loft purchase I made when I needed summer clothing and didn’t have the funding or the time to make more thoughtful per-piece purchases.

I’m telling you this so you know that I know, not because I feel guilty. You see, I’ve realized over the course of the pandemic that I can’t fall back on the usual ways to procure things. I don’t have the money to buy higher-end sustainable goods and I don’t want to take the risk of going to local thrift shops while the virus still rages in our country. So, instead, I purchased new, budget goods with a focus on natural fibers, classic fits, and longterm usefulness. This is one way to shop more sustainably, it’s just one I don’t often use.

Going forward, I want to continue exploring this question of broadening ethics. Or, rather, the impossibility of making a perfectly ethical choice in a complicated world. But for now, I’m just going to share some outfits (links go to Ebay secondhand options).

Without further ado, here are some back to grad school outfits:

back to grad school outfits Loft FILA

Wearing: old J. Crew T-shirt; Loft Dress; Secondhand FILA sneakers

It’s hard to explain why I decided I needed these FILA sneakers. They’re so delightfully chunky and remind me of the late 90s (their original launch date). I got mine for less than $30 on Ebay.

back to grad school outfits Loft Everlane

Wearing: old J. Crew T-shirt; Loft linen pants; Everlane Flats

This color palette is against the norm for me, but I like how airy it is. The linen pants feel like pajamas and the shoes like slippers, so I’m all set for Zoom life.

back to grad school outfits Loft Goodfair

Wearing: Secondhand T-shirt from Goodfair (cropped by me); Everlane Jeans; Target Sandals

I bough a 3-pack of random tie-dye shirts from secondhand reseller, GoodFair, and proceeded to cut off necklines and hems. It was a fun project, and now I have some funky, custom t-shirts.

back to grad school outfits Ebay Everlane

Wearing: Secondhand Shirt; Everlane Jeans; Secondhand TEVA Sandals

I think square necklines are super flattering, but I wish they weren’t all so low-cut! I like this shirt I bought secondhand on Ebay several months ago, but I feel like it’s just a bit too low-cut for my comfort level.

Life Lately

My chaplaincy internship ended a couple weeks ago. It was a difficult adjustment; I enjoyed the work itself, but also the rigor of the schedule. Since then, I visited Ithaca, NY to see a (quarantined, Covid-negative!) friend who just moved up North for a new job. We’ve been good friends since high school, so it was lovely to see her.

Last weekend, we did a socially distanced retreat in a rural part of Connecticut and I did my first hike since spraining my ankle in January. It didn’t even hurt! Plus, the hills of Connecticut look a little bit like the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so that made me happy. There’s nothing better than driving down a country road with the windows down in the summertime just to breathe in all the herbal, woodsy, floral goodness. Still, even with lots of sanitation measures in place, it was nerve-wracking to be around other people in an unfamiliar place, so we won’t be doing that again anytime soon.

Zoom school starts up on Monday and I’m finally feeling excited about it, because I got confirmation that I was able to get a “seat” in all of my preferred classes. This semester, in addition to doing an internship at a local church, I will be taking the following courses: Pastoral Approaches to Death & Dying, Introduction to Preaching, Revelation (a historical and theological analysis), and Community Policing & Ministry (I signed up for this one last minute because it occurred to me that taking a course from a local police officer in order to better understand the intricacies of policing culture would serve me well in my activism).

P.S. In case you’re wondering, I am still cutting my own hair (I’m getting better at it!) and dyeing it with henna. Finally, my childhood dreams of becoming a hairdresser have been realized!

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Wednesday 26th of August 2020

I'm honestly really excited to hear your thoughts on broadening ethics. It's a topic I've heard more about lately in the ethical fashion space, and I am still mulling it over... it seems obviously very good to explore this topic with nuance and acknowledge the privilege inherent in consuming "ethically" (insofar as we can under capitalism), but then it also seems to me that some people in the space are using this conversation as a way to, well, rationalize going back to fast fashion purchasing habits. Maybe that's uncharitable, but it's my gut reaction. Also, to be clear, I'm not saying that is what you are doing here! I guess I'm "thinking out loud", but I'm wondering where the line is between broadening ethics/acknowledging privilege and up?

Leah Wise

Thursday 27th of August 2020

I get that, and I've seen that version of this conversation play out. For me, I think there has to be some way to change our habits of consumption and still be thoughtful about it while acknowledging that there are very few options for true ethical clothing, and that the endless quest for the ideal thing could be distracting us from other ethics work that we are uniquely capable of doing in our own lives. I just wrote a longer post on this topic - you can access it from the home page, and will be writing a follow up with more actionable ideas in the next couple of week.s

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