I Try to Be a Mindful Fashion Consumer—Here Are My Wardrobe "Lifers"

Meet Rachel Hilson: actress, trained dancer, ukulele player, and vintage shopping connoisseur. Some of you might already be acquainted with Hilson’s on-screen prowess from her turn as college-age Beth on This Is Us, but for those of you just getting to know the 24-year-old, I highly recommend catching her performance in Love, Victor, the must-watch TV spin-off of the beloved film Love, Simon premiering today (June 17) on Hulu. Something you should also know about Hilson, which I alluded to earlier, is that she is a big-time advocate of sustainable fashion practices with an affinity for sleuthing fantastic vintage pieces. Knowing this, we asked the actress to share her tips for being a more mindful fashion consumer as well as some of her favorite eco-friendly finds and “wardrobe lifers,” as she appropriately calls her closet staples. The result: five seriously stylish summer looks that will have you heading to your local vintage shop stat (as soon as it's open and safe to do do, of course). 

I try to buy vintage and “pre-loved” clothing 90% of the time. I like the idea of recycling clothing and thus not contributing to the waste stream. I also feel like I’m wearing (and adding) little pieces of history. When I do buy new, I try to consider how much utility and wear I’ll get out of each item as well as its longevity and afterlife. Is it made of sustainable materials? If not, will it be a wardrobe “lifer”? Was it made ethically? Nobody’s perfect, but we can be both mindful and fashionable consumers.

Photo:

Rachel Hilson

Look 1

One of my favorite places to browse and buy vintage since moving to L.A. is at the Silver Lake Farmers Market. Each Saturday (pre-COVID, at least), half the market is dedicated to your usual farmers market fare—produce, flowers, prepared food—and the other half to vintage vendors, candlemakers, jewelry merchants, etc. These pants are from one of my market favorites, BIPOC-owned Ankh Vintage, curated by the lovely Racquel. Favorite long-sleeve tee made of hemp by Mollusk Surf Shop, shoes from a flea market, and tote from Package Free Shop!

Photo:

Rachel Hilson

Look 2

If we weren't in quarantine, I might pair this outfit with my little chunky chestnut-colored heels for a date or outing with friends. But, like, it's a skort, people! The most prized and versatile article of clothing! I threw on a cropped tee, some boots, and a visor and hiked in it the other day! This skort is from the women-owned, Brooklyn-based Awoke Vintage. They’re doing some very cool things for BLM, like offering their space to Black-owned vintage for pop-ups! Can’t remember where I got my Nefertiti socks, but they’re also pretty sweet. “Lifer” staple tank is Free People.

Look 3

I love florals! I love light sweaters! I love muted tones! This I'd wear on a chillier morning to the farmers market or maybe an evening walk around the neighborhood. Long skirts always make me feel dreamy. Vintage Adidas sweater from Fox & Fawn in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Cotton skirt is Awoke Vintage.

Photo:

Rachel Hilson

Look 4

One of the best things about auditioning is wearing stuff for the character that you don't usually wear. I wore this for a self-taped audition recently and fell in love with it all over again. It's 100% silk, which is one of my favorite materials and flowy. I love the buttons and the sleeves and the length. I feel like a cool church girl in it, especially paired with these platforms and socks. I'd probably wear this to a Zoom party (lol) and hopefully a real one again someday. Silk dress from a Silver Lake Market vendor. Socks are Kind Hemp Co. “Lifer” shoes are Jeffrey Campbell.

Photo:

Rachel Hilson

Look 5

My favorite jeans and my favorite shoes: vintage Versace, that just so happened to fit perfectly, and '90s BCBG cowboy mules. We Sell Designer Kale tee is from The Butcher’s Daughter a few years ago and is altered a bit. ;)

Shop styles from some of Hilson's favorite BIPOC-owned brands and vintage shops:

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