Wear Nothing New: How Jessi Arrington Survived TED on a Week of Undies

by , 06/20/11   filed under: Features, Sustainable Fashion

Most of us probably have far too many clothes in our closets, but secondhand clothing can dramatically reduce the impact of our wardrobe. Arrington embodied her “wear nothing new” philosophy when she brought a mini-suitcase large enough for only her laptop and underwear. In her six-minute speech at TED, Arrington shared the outfits she put together after a thrifting spree in Palm Springs, as well as a few of the “life lessons” she picked up during her adventure of wearing nothing new.

Arrington embodied her “wear nothing new” philosophy when she packed only a week’s worth of undies for TED.

1. MONEY IS IMMATERIAL

You do not have to spend a lot to look great. “You can almost always look phenomenal for under $50,” she says, adding that the most expensive outfit she wore all week cost a total of $55.

2. COLOR IS POWERFUL

It’s almost physiologically impossible to be in a bad mood when you’re wearing bright red pants. “If you are happy, you are going to attract other happy people to you,” Arrington says.

3. FITTING IN IS OVERRATED

Your Mom had it right: just be yourself. “I’ve spent a whole lot of my life trying to be myself and at the same time fit in,” she says. If you are surrounding yourself with the right people, they will not only get it, they will appreciate it.”

4. EMBRACE YOUR INNER CHILD

“Sometimes people tell me that I look like I’m playing dress-up, or that I remind them of their seven year-old,” Arrington says.”I like to smile and say, “thank you.'”

5. CONFIDENCE IS KEY

If you think you look good in something, you probably do. If you don’t think you look good, you’re also probably right. “If you believe you’re a beautiful person inside and out, there is no look that you can’t pull off,” she says. “So there is no excuse for any of us. We should be able to rock anything we want to rock.”

6. GOLD SEQUINS GO WITH EVERYTHING

A universal truth in five words, according to Arrington.

7. DEVELOP YOUR PERSONAL STYLE

How you look tells the world something about you without a single word. “It’s been proven to me time and time again as people have walked up to me this week simply because of what I’m wearing,” she says. “And we’ve had great conversations.”

8. DON’T GET EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED

It’s okay to let go, Arrington says, adding that she donated all her outfits before she flew home to Brooklyn. “I don’t need to get emotionally attached to these things, because around the corner, there is always going to be another crazy, colorful, shiny outfit just waiting for me, if I put a little love in my heart and look,” she says.

+ Lucky So and So

+ TED

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