Today’s guest post comes from our friend Jordan Ring, Ethical Style Director at one of our fav ethical businesses here in Austin, Purse & Clutch. We were so glad when she told us she was willing to share some of her ethical fashion journey with us here at DWDG! We love this concept of living ordinary well as we truly think that the big decisions of our lives are lived out in the small moments. Enjoy!
I still remember the day Matthew first spoke those words to me. It was as if the weight of the world was lifted in that moment. You see, our ordinary lives & ordinary choices matter.
By ordinary, I don’t mean insignificant but rather, routine. Most of us live a routined life which can seem uninspiring. But if we choose to live ordinary well, that routine then has the power to affect change.
Living ordinary well is a declaration to make intentional choices every day, from the coffee we drink, to the way we spend our time with one another, & even (as you probably guessed it) the clothes we buy.
When I made my declaration, I wanted to both dress well & do good because I realized my clothes weren’t just garments, they were stories, they were choices I made, they were values I pursued.
My love of fashion was inspired early on by a grandmother who was nothing short of a fashionista. Fashion was the art we lived our lives in. And I think there’s something to that – all in relative perspective, of course. However nothing turns around a bad day quicker than a good outfit (& ladies, let’s be honest,
when our underwear match our outfits we’re unstoppable).
But that art has a hidden cost, a True Cost. I eventually realized my routine visits to the mall were causing oppression. My routine “buy one in every color” was both excessive & denying basic human rights to others.
My routines mattered, but in all the wrong ways. To live ordinary well I had to redefine my relationship with money. I was so used to paying less for more, & now I was trying to wrap my head around paying more for less. But money is an extension of our value system. How we spend money reflects what we value most.
I also learned the valued of community. Dressing well & doing good isn’t always easy. Having people around you who are on the same the journey, asking the same questions, makes the pursuit all the more fulfilling.
One of the greatest chapters so far in my journey to live ordinary well was the invitation to join the Purse & Clutch team. I was no longer ashamed of loving fashion. In fact, I’ve never been more excited by it. I learned what true craftsmanship looks like. I began to understand what real pride in my purchases felt like. To be able to start telling the stories of the artisans that handcrafted my purse gave richer meaning to the whole experience of fashion.
To quote Yves Saint Laurent, “dressing is a way of life.” The question I will always keep asking myself is what does my dressing say about my life. Hopefully it’s a life lived well.