Jessi Arrington: Wearing nothing new

Recorded atMarch 03, 2011
EventTEDActive 2011
Duration (min:sec)05:03
Video TypeTED Stage Talk
Words per minute180.99 medium
Readability (FK)68.17 very easy
SpeakerJessi Arrington
Descriptiondesigner; based in Brooklyn, New York, United States

Official TED page for this talk


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.

Text Highlight (experimental)
100:15 I'm Jessi, and this is my suitcase.
200:18 But before I show you what I've got inside, I'm going to make a very public confession, and that is, I'm outfit-obsessed.
300:28 I love finding, wearing, and more recently, photographing and blogging a different, colorful, crazy outfit for every single occasion.
400:39 But I don't buy anything new.
500:41 I get all my clothes secondhand from flea markets and thrift stores.
600:46 Aww, thank you.
700:49 Secondhand shopping allows me to reduce the impact my wardrobe has on the environment and on my wallet.
800:57 I get to meet all kinds of great people; my dollars usually go to a good cause; I look pretty unique; and it makes shopping like my own personal treasure hunt.
901:07 I mean, what am I going to find today?
1001:09 Is it going to be my size?
1101:11 Will I like the color?
1201:13 Will it be under $20?
1301:16 If all the answers are yes, I feel as though I've won.
1401:20 I want to get back to my suitcase and tell you what I packed for this exciting week here at TED.
1501:27 I mean, what does somebody with all these outfits bring with her?
1601:31 So I'm going to show you exactly what I brought.
1701:34 I brought seven pairs of underpants and that's it.
1801:40 Exactly one week's worth of undies is all I put in my suitcase.
1901:45 I was betting that I'd be able to find everything else I could possible want to wear once I got here to Palm Springs.
2001:53 And since you don't know me as the woman walking around TED in her underwear -- (Laughter) that means I found a few things.
2102:01 And I'd really love to show you my week's worth of outfits right now.
2202:04 Does that sound good?
2302:06 (Applause)
2402:08 So as I do this, I'm also going to tell you a few of the life lessons that, believe it or not, I have picked up in these adventures wearing nothing new.
2502:18 So let's start with Sunday.
2602:20 I call this "Shiny Tiger."
2702:22 You do not have to spend a lot of money to look great.
2802:26 You can almost always look phenomenal for under $50.
2902:29 This whole outfit, including the jacket, cost me $55, and it was the most expensive thing that I wore the entire week.
3002:37 Monday: Color is powerful.
3102:40 It is almost physiologically impossible to be in a bad mood when you're wearing bright red pants.
3202:46 (Laughter)
3302:48 If you are happy, you are going to attract other happy people to you.
3402:54 Tuesday:
3502:56 Fitting in is way overrated.
3602:59 I've spent a whole lot of my life trying to be myself and at the same time fit in.
3703:05 Just be who you are.
3803:07 If you are surrounding yourself with the right people, they will not only get it, they will appreciate it.
3903:14 Wednesday:
4003:16 Embrace your inner child.
4103:18 Sometimes people tell me that I look like I'm playing dress-up, or that I remind them of their seven-year-old.
4203:26 I like to smile and say, "Thank you."
4303:30 Thursday:
4403:32 Confidence is key.
4503:34 If you think you look good in something, you almost certainly do.
4603:38 And if you don't think you look good in something, you're also probably right.
4703:42 I grew up with a mom who taught me this day-in and day-out.
4803:46 But it wasn't until I turned 30 that I really got what this meant.
4903:50 And I'm going to break it down for you for just a second.
5003:53 If you believe you're a beautiful person inside and out, there is no look that you can't pull off.
5104:02 So there is no excuse for any of us here in this audience.
5204:04 We should be able to rock anything we want to rock.
5304:07 Thank you.
5404:09 (Applause)
5504:12 Friday: A universal truth -- five words for you: Gold sequins go with everything.
5604:20 And finally, Saturday: Developing your own unique personal style is a really great way to tell the world something about you without having to say a word.
5704:30 It's been proven to me time and time again as people have walked up to me this week simply because of what I'm wearing, and we've had great conversations.
5804:38 So obviously this is not all going to fit back in my tiny suitcase.
5904:42 So before I go home to Brooklyn, I'm going to donate everything back.
6004:46 Because the lesson I'm trying to learn myself this week is that it's okay to let go.
6104:52 I don't need to get emotionally attached to these things because around the corner, there is always going to be another crazy, colorful, shiny outfit just waiting for me, if I put a little love in my heart and look.
6205:06 Thank you very much.
6305:08 (Applause)
6405:11 Thank you.
6505:13 (Applause)