Sartorial Sustainability Sunday: A Decade Later

last week…

I recently realized that we were approaching the decade anniversary of former President Barrack Obama’s first inauguration. What a time. I have the distinct memory of everything that happened that day.

The night before the inauguration, I fell asleep to Frasier on Lifetime on my little television, a loaner from a graduate school roommate, Gail, which I don’t think I ever returned. (Texts Gail to verify…standby…okay can confirm that she does not remember.) The next day I woke up to the most bitterly cold day in Washington DC. It was so cold that I could not bring myself to move out of the house. My then-boyfriend brought me a Chipotle burrito after I woke up, went back to sleep, and woke back up. Spring classes had not commenced at that point and I vividly remember wanting to catch up on as much sleep as possible prior to classes starting.

Even though I voted for John McCain, I cannot say that I felt the everlasting dread, the pit in my stomach, that I have felt since the inauguration of 2017. Not even on that frigid day in 2009 did I feel like we were on the edge of a cliff. I felt at ease watching the inauguration on the little loaner television. Looking back on Facebook albums of friends who did make it down to the mall, I am certain nobody regrets spending the day out and about in the District. Do I regret not trying to make it to the mall? I never before considered that. Moot point though, because I did not have a ticket and even those with purple passes were stuck underground.

I never felt as though the Obamas or their administration were out of touch. Michelle Obama appeared on various late night talk shows wearing the same outfits that I wore that semester. Accessible and good taste to boot. And when Michelle and the girls showed up in J.Crew, I immediately logged on and tried to order my very own lady coat.

Malia and Sasha Obama in J. Crew
Credit: Chuck Kennedy / AP
jcrewobamaispirationboard
Credit: J.Crew

How does this relate to Sartorial Sustainability Sunday? A decade later and I still own that lady coat. I also still own that great polka dot metallic pencil skirt that Michelle and I (and many, many others) wore throughout 2008 and beyond. While none of the Obamas owned them, or at least were never photographed in them, I own many of the acid bright corduroys in both the matchstick and bootcut styles that the retailer offered that season. There is something to wearing an item so many times that the price per wear is merely pennies.

It is quite sustainable when one is able to wear one thing over and over, rather than the item falling apart and thus having to consume more, more, and more.

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