Lifestyle Opinion

My Authentic Journey: I May Be Wearing Your Shirt

Courtesy of Jeannette Dardenne

Experiential stories that revolve around the importance of being authentic to not only yourself but to those around you. After years of never finding the time to ‘stop and smell the roses,’ Jeannette is unearthing many of her passions including writing, fashion, and thrifting through her online blog ‘My Authentic Journal’ (formerly called ‘The Vineyard Life’) – a creative outlet that allows her to share, learn, and grow with others. You can explore more of her stories at @jeannettepdardenne on Instagram or www.myauthenticjournal.com.

By Jeannette Dardenne

Gently worn … nearly new … vintage … recycled … hand me down … second hand …

Yes, we’re talking, used clothing – your cousin’s worn out ski boots, the sparkly gown in the high end boutique, the rediscovered handbag from Gucci.

What’s with the stigma about buying used clothing?


“I don’t need to buy used clothing” <I’m rich>

“Only people who can’t afford new, buy used”

“This comes from where?”

Let me stop you right there. Our very own Sarah Jessica Parker <SJP> among many other celebrities has been quoted as fans of second hand shopping. >>On her latest show, HBO’s “Divorce,” Sarah Jessica Parker has shared that many of her character’s outfits are FOUND AT THRIFT STORES in New York and then tailored to fit.

I became a fan of thrift shopping when I lived in Boston – and came across multiple shops that allowed me to buy high-brands at a reduced price. This realization that I could buy gently worn clothing without an exorbitant price fueled my continued interest in fashion – insert my new fashion focused Instagram feed, <gentle plug to follow me @jeannettepdardenne>

SO I ask:

How many times have you purchased an expensive item only to hate it soon after?

Spent way too much money on a dress for a night out, gala, work thing, and then realized that you didn’t want to wear it again?

Discovered that your kids grew an inch in a week or changed their preferences overnight?

My own love bunnies have begged for shirts, dresses, and more only to exclaim days later “I wouldn’t be caught <dead> wearing THAT!!!”

AND so, I got smart. I just take those items over to my local second hand store and trade them in for other pieces or ask for a payout. <hard cash baby!> And so the cycle begins again. Then I  often take this money to buy more recycled clothes for the kiddos, or ME!

What’s your favorite consignment spot?

Jeannette Punsoni Dardenne is an entrepreneur who started the popular Facebook group @eatinconnecticut – a community forum that connects foodies and the food and beverage industry for delicious conversations. She and her business partner now together run @eatinconnecticut and INGroup Creative – a public relations and marketing company that helps small businesses thrive. Jeannette is also a business advisor at the University of Hartford Entrepreneur Center & Women’s Business Center. When she isn’t helping others, she enjoys exploring the state and beyond with her husband and two children.

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