ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Jessi Arrington - Designer
Jessi Arrington is a color-loving designer based in Brooklyn.

Why you should listen

Jessi Arrington is a founder and owner of WORKSHOP, a designer firm in Brooklyn. Her favorite color is rainbow and her default answer is YES. She’s taught Design Fundamentals at Touro College and given guest lectures at NYU; she's a board member of AIGA/NY. Before co-founding WORKSHOP, she carried out branding for Brooklyn Brewery, Tomato Records and Lion Brand Yarn under the direction of Milton Glaser. She makes a hobby of wearing nothing new (except undies).

She blogs at LuckySoAndSo.com about design, consumption and color.

More profile about the speaker
Jessi Arrington | Speaker | TED.com
TEDActive 2011

Jessi Arrington: Wearing nothing new

Filmed:
1,357,338 views

Designer Jessi Arrington packed nothing for TEDActive but 7 pairs of undies, buying the rest of her clothes in thrift stores around LA. It's a meditation on conscious consumption -- wrapped in a rainbow of color and creativity.
- Designer
Jessi Arrington is a color-loving designer based in Brooklyn. Full bio

Double-click the English transcript below to play the video.

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I'm Jessi, and this is my suitcase.
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But before I show you what I've got inside,
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I'm going to make a very public confession,
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and that is,
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I'm outfit-obsessed.
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I love finding, wearing,
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and more recently,
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photographing and blogging
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a different, colorful, crazy outfit
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for every single occasion.
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But I don't buy anything new.
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I get all my clothes secondhand
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from flea markets and thrift stores.
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Aww, thank you.
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Secondhand shopping
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allows me to reduce the impact
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my wardrobe has on the environment
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and on my wallet.
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I get to meet all kinds of great people;
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my dollars usually go to a good cause;
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I look pretty unique;
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and it makes shopping like my own personal treasure hunt.
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I mean, what am I going to find today?
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Is it going to be my size?
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Will I like the color?
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Will it be under $20?
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If all the answers are yes,
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I feel as though I've won.
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I want to get back to my suitcase
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and tell you what I packed
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for this exciting week here at TED.
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I mean, what does somebody with all these outfits bring with her?
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So I'm going to show you exactly what I brought.
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I brought seven pairs of underpants
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and that's it.
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Exactly one week's worth of undies
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is all I put in my suitcase.
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I was betting that I'd be able to find
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everything else I could possible want to wear
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once I got here to Palm Springs.
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And since you don't know me
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as the woman walking around TED in her underwear --
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(Laughter)
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that means I found a few things.
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And I'd really love to show you my week's worth of outfits right now.
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Does that sound good?
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(Applause)
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So as I do this,
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I'm also going to tell you a few of the life lessons
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that, believe it or not, I have picked up
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in these adventures wearing nothing new.
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So let's start with Sunday.
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I call this "Shiny Tiger."
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You do not have to spend a lot of money to look great.
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You can almost always look phenomenal for under $50.
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This whole outfit, including the jacket,
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cost me $55,
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and it was the most expensive thing
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that I wore the entire week.
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Monday: Color is powerful.
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It is almost physiologically impossible
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to be in a bad mood when you're wearing bright red pants.
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(Laughter)
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If you are happy,
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you are going to attract other happy people to you.
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Tuesday:
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Fitting in is way overrated.
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I've spent a whole lot of my life
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trying to be myself
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and at the same time fit in.
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Just be who you are.
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If you are surrounding yourself with the right people,
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they will not only get it,
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they will appreciate it.
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Wednesday:
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Embrace your inner child.
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Sometimes people tell me
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that I look like I'm playing dress-up,
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or that I remind them of their seven-year-old.
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I like to smile
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and say, "Thank you."
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Thursday:
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Confidence is key.
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If you think you look good in something,
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you almost certainly do.
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And if you don't think you look good in something,
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you're also probably right.
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I grew up with a mom who taught me this day-in and day-out.
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But it wasn't until I turned 30
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that I really got what this meant.
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And I'm going to break it down for you for just a second.
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If you believe you're a beautiful person
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inside and out,
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there is no look that you can't pull off.
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So there is no excuse for any of us here in this audience.
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We should be able to rock anything we want to rock.
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Thank you.
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(Applause)
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Friday: A universal truth -- five words for you:
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Gold sequins go with everything.
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And finally, Saturday:
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Developing your own unique personal style
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is a really great way to tell the world something about you
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without having to say a word.
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It's been proven to me time and time again
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as people have walked up to me this week
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simply because of what I'm wearing,
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and we've had great conversations.
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So obviously this is not all going to fit
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back in my tiny suitcase.
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So before I go home to Brooklyn,
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I'm going to donate everything back.
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Because the lesson I'm trying to learn myself this week
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is that it's okay to let go.
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I don't need to get emotionally attached to these things
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because around the corner,
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there is always going to be
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another crazy, colorful,
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shiny outfit
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just waiting for me,
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if I put a little love in my heart and look.
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Thank you very much.
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(Applause)
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Thank you.
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(Applause)
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ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Jessi Arrington - Designer
Jessi Arrington is a color-loving designer based in Brooklyn.

Why you should listen

Jessi Arrington is a founder and owner of WORKSHOP, a designer firm in Brooklyn. Her favorite color is rainbow and her default answer is YES. She’s taught Design Fundamentals at Touro College and given guest lectures at NYU; she's a board member of AIGA/NY. Before co-founding WORKSHOP, she carried out branding for Brooklyn Brewery, Tomato Records and Lion Brand Yarn under the direction of Milton Glaser. She makes a hobby of wearing nothing new (except undies).

She blogs at LuckySoAndSo.com about design, consumption and color.

More profile about the speaker
Jessi Arrington | Speaker | TED.com