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I’ve never liked the term “fashionista.” It’s a bit pretentious and cloying, and while I love clothes, I’ve never been the kind who has the time — or the budget — to stay on top of the “it” bag of the moment. So imagine my smirk when I read’s giddy coining of the term “recessionista”— the “younger, hipper sister” ready to take on these trying economic times. Namely by doing what we’ve all been doing for ages, shopping the sales and taking advantage of diffusion designer lines at stores like Target and Kohl’s.

But with rising gas prices leading to the rising cost of all other goods, and, in turn, a growing environmental awareness of how shopping impacts our planet, where are the creative alternatives? This summer, I’m signing up for the Wardrobe Refashion challenge. Brainchild of blogger nikkishell, it’s an online pledge to not buy any new clothing for a set time period. Aside from lingerie and shoes, everything new to you fashion-wise must be recycled, renovated, thrifted, or otherwise handmade. I’ll be spending the next eight weeks updating you on my progress with the pledge (I’m already stocking up on $10 Gap tanks in apprehension), covering San Antonio’s best vintage and consignment shops, and giving quick, easy tutorials on how to take your own tired pieces and make them fresh again. Happily, one-of-a-kind pieces handmade by OTHER PEOPLE are still allowed, so I’ll share a few tips on shopping independent designers and clothing sellers, and how to score something like my very unique summer jacket from designer Miss Bohl.

To sign up for the Wardrobe Refashion challenge:

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