RENEW. Multiple possible meanings and interpretations. Friends (picture posted with their permission) and I renewed our friendship last Saturday, catching up since we last saw each other several weeks ago. Eileen Fisher Renew welcomes the return of items no longer being worn and donates them or turns them into reusable clothing, an ecologically sound and interesting business approach, about which you can read more here. What else to do but renew at Renew!
I was determined to look nice for the outing, switching out of my typical shorts and tee shirt for a nicer looking Land's End Art T-shirt, a Gap polka-dot sweater (I love this sweater because of the polka-dots and the background being a neutral gray, which means I can pair it with patterns or solids, a fun styling approach I learned from Sheila), and new-to-me *hand-me-down incredibly comfortable and soft pants by Ann Taylor Signature. (*A colleague at school gave to another colleague two bags of clothing that she and her daughter were no longer wearing. That colleague kept what she liked and then passed the rest on to me and another colleague.)
The website showed the store opening at 10:00 a.m. though the hours on the storefront stated 11:00 a.m. Off we went around the corner to enjoy a mid-morning snack at red barn bakery, a small gem down the hill from Renew and up the hill from the Irvington Metro North train station. Besides the entry area viewed in the photo below, there is a comfortable seating area up a few steps in the direction from which this photo was taken. We each indulged in a different delight (mine was hot cocoa) and whiled away almost an hour talking about life and family.
With our appetites renewed, we spent about two hours browsing and trying on clothing, and I wound up purchasing three sweaters (one for my daughter-in-law) and two dresses. The green sweater appears to be never worn but with a small snag on the outer side of one sleeve. The label states it is made of Italian yarn. Judging by the state of the other label, the linen rust sweater looks to be gently worn.
Both dresses are mostly rayon with a little lycra. The black dress replaces a longer one I had years ago that was a go-to and perfect for travel. This one is above the knee and can double as a tunic. What makes it interesting is the pleating on the front.
The orange dress was chosen by my friend (on the right in the photo); she insisted it would be perfect for me. While I liked the color, upper shading effect and back peephole, I was dubious about the length but once it was tried on I loved the look and figured it could be cut down and hemmed to tunic length. The fun twist to that idea was my husband loved it on me, as is! I have a smashing pair of shoes to wear with this dress. Both dresses will wind up back on the blog when they are styled and worn.
There was a particular reason we chose to spend our shopping outing at Renew, as it kept our wallets not exactly renewed but definitely not depleted! Samples were $5 and everything else was $10. This isn't always the pricing; periodically the store offers special pricing events and this was one of them. (This is where it pays to be on their email list, which is how our friend found out about the event.) In addition, there were gently used items as well as never-worn items. Dressing rooms are communal and I enjoyed meeting other women and hearing their stories.
One lovely woman was bemoaning the fact that it is very difficult and frustrating to find stylish, colorful clothing in her size. Another woman was telling us that she stopped wearing a bra years ago and we all agreed with her none-too-positive assessment of the bra industry. I was intrigued that she doesn't wear a bra to work; as a teacher I cannot imagine going braless, though I have spent the bulk of this summer doing just that (and it is SOOOOOO comfortable, especially on hot days!)
Afterwards the friend in the left in the photo, who is quite knowledgable about the area, was eager for us to see the revitalized Irvington waterfront. She led us on a park stroll where, on such a glorious weathered-day as we had, the view of the new Tappan Zee Bridge (renamed the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge after a much loved NY Governor and father of our current Governor) was super! You can see video of the bridge removal process and read about the new bridge here.