Less Is More

June 10, 2015

“For the price of one indie-rock dress, I can buy ten sweatshop-rock dresses, but part of maturing is realizing I don’t want to be a glutton for rayon,” muses Sarah Lazarovic in her charmingly illustrated new book. “‘Quality not quantity,’ ‘MileEnd not Made in Bangladesh,’ yada, yada –– stab me with a high minded sewing needle.” A Bunch Of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy is a memoir told though Lazarovic’s shopping history, from the coveted scrunchie socks of her childhood in Boca Raton to the year she decides to boycott buying clothes all together. Instead, she paints the clothes she covets. In 2012, she repeats the exercise. In the spirit of Micheal Pollan, Lazarovic goes on to coin the phrase, “Buy clothes. Not too many. Mostly quality.” It’s a sweet, funny, thought-provoking book that brought to mind two people: My grandmother, who in her air hostess years, spent her earnings cultivating a tiny, but highly curated wardrobe of Chanel and Givenchy instead of wasting her money on tonnes of tat, and my friend Stephanie, who in our teens saved up her allowance to buy silk ruffled blouses from Joseph while we all snapped up Topshop by the shed load. These days, I don’t often shop, but when I do, it’s the pieces that are unusual, magic, whimsical –– and yes, the ones that are made to last –– that excite me most.

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