2017 FASHION SWAP BETH OLSON CREATIVE

It’s a brand spanking new year, and with it comes the necessity to shed all the negative stuff from 2017 and try and be optimistic about 2018. I’m usually not one to buy into New Year’s resolutions, but this particular journey around the sun has me desperately reaching for the reset button to get rid of old bad habits and introduce new and beneficial ones to my routine. Maybe you feel the same way too. “What the hell does this have to do with a fashion column?” you might ask. Well, my resolutions happen to revolve around local fashion, wellness, and apothecary, so here they are:


1. Do A Major Closet Overhaul

My goal is to get rid of everything that I haven’t worn in the last year, doesn’t fit anymore, or is too worn out to repair. From there I’d like to make a list of all the wardrobe staples I need and then buy those things from local designers, boutiques, and vintage shops. Yes, this will cost more than going to a big-box store—but paying more for quality items means they will fit properly and last a long time. The end result is a closet of well-made basics and a few statement pieces, and doing the legwork to hunt these items down from local businesses will keep me connected to our vibrant retail scene.


2. Mandatory Self-Care Sunday

I first heard this term last year even though I’ve been doing this for a long time. It basically involves taking a couple of hours out of your day once a week to just pamper the shit out of yourself. While it sounds like something only rich, privileged people get to do, it doesn’t have to be that way. The whole point of this ritual is to recharge yourself to be better able to deal with stressful jobs, busy schedules, and the barrage of evil old men constantly passing legislation that is ruining everyone’s lives. This ritual could involve myriad things, though my personal go-tos are hot baths and at-home facials, but there is one hard and fast rule: NO SCREENS!


3. Buy More Local Apothecary

While it may not be as front and center as the local designer and boutique scenes, there is a growing market for local small-batch apothecary items in Portland and Oregon. From moisturizers and face scrubs to makeup and nail polish, you could stock your whole medicine cabinet just with items made by local companies. I’m kind of a Sephora whore, but I would like to start phasing out some of those things in favor of locally made items. A few of my favorite companies include Kore Herbal Alchemy, Kobrah Fragrance, Wild Carrot Herbals, and Claws Out Nail Polish.



2017 FASHION SWAP BETH OLSON CREATIVE

And now, an event!

Going back to my first resolution for a major closet overhaul, the perfect place to unload perfectly good clothing you no longer wear and acquire new pieces to freshen up your wardrobe is the Biggest Clothing Swap in the Northwest. Going on its eighth year, this event is now taking over the entirety of the Crystal Ballroom. The ballroom on the third floor is the main swap area, with tons of clothing sorted into non-binary categories as well as a plethora of shoes and accessories. Lola’s Room on the second floor is dedicated to plus-size shoppers and has a comfy lounge to relax between swapping, while the third-floor balcony will hold awesome liquidated items from Portland Vintage Collective. Over the years thousands of people have attended and left with thousands of pounds of new (to them) clothing, and the more people that attend and bring quality goods, the better the selection will be. The two bars will be stocked with mimosas and bloody marys, DJ Gregarious will be on hand to fuel the shopping fun with an upbeat soundtrack, and all leftover clothing will be donated to the Arc of Multnomah-Clackamas. (Full disclosure: I co-produce this event with fellow Mercury contributor Cassie Morgan.)

Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, Sun Jan 7, noon-4 pm, $8 adv, $10 door, all ages, but leave small kiddos at home


This is just one of the events happening in the coming weeks, and tons more will pop up, so visit portlandmercury.com for weekly style event updates. Got a fashion event? Drop us a line at fashion@portlandmercury.com.