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When You've Got Nothing

polly weinstein

I am mourning a great loss and it hasn't gotten much easier. I lost most of my clothes in the fire back in February. Ever since, I've felt a little less like myself - some days, a lot less. Dressing up was kind of my thing for a while there. My wardrobe, which I had been building since I was 16 was a big part of my identity, and I'd never even given a second thought to it. A handmade dress that reminded me of a flea market I visited in college. An Isabel Marant blazer I bought myself for my birthday one year. All those dresses I elbowed my way to at sample sales when I lived in New York. All the amazing things I found thrifting back East. The "Fuck You" shoes my mom bought me after a boy broke my heart. All gone. And irreplaceable to boot.

When it came to rebuilding my wardrobe, I was and still am so overwhelmed. I lived in black leggings for the first two months! If you had to choose from anything in the world, any item of clothing in the retail universe to replace long loved pieces - where would you begin? I figured, I couldn't go wrong in starting with some style staples (See Below).

One thing I feel compelled to share from this experience is the importance of having adequate insurance for your belongings.   That means photographing everything you own, having an inventory of it, and being insured for what it would cost to replace EVERY LAST THING - including the items in your pantry, your cleaning supplies, literally everything - so that you're fully covered in case of emergency. I did have renters insurance, but definitely not enough to cover the replacement value of everything I owned - all of which was lost in the fire. Make sure you're insured for that inventoried amount, or you'll be having to make the hard decisions of what you can and can't afford to replace. I didn't think it could happen to me, but it did and it can happen to you too. 

What would you replace first if you lost everything? Do you identify with your clothing items like they're old friends too? Have you ever had to start from scratch? I'm finding its a more common story than I thought. Tell me about your story in the comments. 

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Calvin Klein Sports Bra and Briefs - www.calvinklein.com

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Adidas Original Superstars - www.adidas.com

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Reformation Slip Dress - www.thereformation.com

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American Apparel Mid-Length Dress - www.americanapparel.com

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Modern Vice Snake Boots - www.modernvice.com

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Vintage Levi's Cutoffs - Exile Boutique

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Knyew Camo Sweatshirt - www.knyew.com