Being of the Gen X Generation, I tend to think a tad skeptically about everything anyone from any other generation has to say. While we may have invented the internet, all the good music, survived being raised by wolves with nothing but sticks to play with, etc., we can also be obnoxious about all of these amazing feats of superiority (I will go ahead and punch myself now, so please do not @ me).
One of the few things I will gladly give it up to is Life Hacks. Gen X has tips and tricks (things I learned just by talking to my Nana because we had no internet and only 13 channels of television could be another blog post. Albeit an obnoxious Gen X one). A few of my favorite Life Hacks: using a delicates bag to wash Legos and other small toys in the dishwasher; placing dry teabags in shoes to eliminate odors #momofteenslifehack; not to mention the ridiculous amount of alternative uses for binder clips.
As far as my sartorial Gen X Life Hacks, I have two. But first, a bit of context.
I went to a performing arts magnet for my junior high years, at the height of the punk rock/new wave 80’s days. Purple mohawks, multiple piercings in one ear, and tons of black eyeliners (oh so much black eyeliner. On the boys as well as the girls) were commonplace. While my parents were “so like totally uncool” about my hair color and earring count, they only occasionally stepped in when it came to expressing myself through my clothing.
When the thrill of the thrift did not deliver on my desire for a vintage red gingham/checkered/plaid skirt, I found an almost perfect fabric in the vintage bedding section. In those days you could get a single vintage pillowcase for $.50, or a pair for around $.75-$1.00. The one I wanted was a single, so for $.50 plus the “labor” of cutting the top, finding a scrap piece of elastic from Nana’s sewing box, and then creatively tying, tucking, and hiding the top resulted in my first DIY piece of clothing.
There you have it. My Life Hack is Pillowcase Skirts. I styled two below. One for work/dressier and one that embraces my mom-is-over-it-but-still-wants-to-look-too-cool-to-care vibe. It is a real thing. That I embrace a lot. Throwing back to my 80’s punk/new wave days when the worst thing you could do was look like you cared.
Both pillowcases are recent thrift finds – and I am happy to report that the thrill of the thrift delivered an almost exact replica of the one that started it all, so many decades ago. Only this one has a ruffle at the bottom, making it look more like an actual skirt and not the imposter it is. While the top is from SHEIN, I found these Rachel Comey mules at Savers for $9.99. A quick search showed they retailed for around $275. I loved how the pattern mixing looked together, playing off of color and size of the check.
For the Mom Over It but Still Cool look, I loved this pillowcase because it was made from tee shirt material with a lettuce edge detail at the opening, which is still popular in clothing. And when I feel over it, but must get dressed, I tend to start with these fun H&M sneakers. I added a Led Zeppelin tee because, duh, we invented all the cool music, and a thrifted grandpa cardigan for an added bit of “I am too cool to care.”
(For the record, both pillowcases came from sets that now cost around $1.99-$3.99 depending. Both of the spares ended up in the guest room bedding stash).
Stay tuned for my second Life Hack next week. FULL DISCLOSURE: My dear friend and photographer, Breezy ruined my next one for me. It is done in a movie -a movie I have yet to see, that everyone says I should, given my history. But since I still love this hack and it really is not that well-known, I am still excited to share. Plus, it highlights one of my favorite independent, women-owned businesses, Vintage Meet Modern, with who we have partnered in the past and who we gladly still support.
Hope you have a fantastic weekend. Let us know in the comments if you would wear a pillowcase as a skirt. Please share your favorite Life Hacks below as well. And look in the photos for my absolute favorite Life Hack!
Photography by Breezy Ritter