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Fashion from the racks at Goodwill

Some fashion shoots are spontaneous. When I went looking for models for this resale-shop-inspired photoshoot, I did the only thing that made sense: I walked into Local Sprouts Cooperative in Portland and approached the first two women who made eye contact with me. I told them who I was and what I had in mind: A photo shoot outside, maybe by the ocean or on a tree-lined side road, but first a shopping spree at Goodwill as part of the deal, if they were game. Turns out, Taylor Shepard and Emily Dunuwila were. (Shepard is a bit of a Goodwill aficionado, having shopped every Goodwill within a three-hour drive of Portland. Pretty impressive!) Together we hit the Mill Creek Goodwill in South Portland, where Dunuwila and Shepard picked out their own ensembles—blouses, slacks, skirts, scarves and earrings perfectly suited to their unique styles (and each outfit cost just about $20).

“I can’t separate fashion from the rest of my life,” says Shepard. “What I choose to wear everyday says something, consciously or unconsciously, about me. What we wear can affect our feelings in so many ways. Sometimes I’ll be feeling bad, but as opposed to wearing something black, I’ll put a bright color on. Feeling uplifted can be as simple as that. Taking time to find things that I like and that feel good to wear is a way of taking care of myself, and when I care for myself I can extend that to other people, which is why I think fashion is important. And clothes are just fun!”

“I never try to embody an image,” says Dunuwila. “Rather, I try to let my clothing be an extension of my natural genuine personality. I think I look my best when my clothes emanate my energy—that way I’m a whole person rather than just a wardrobe. I usually choose to communicate that through colors and accessories that accentuate the warmth, groundedness and vibrancy in my personality.”

Lauryn Hottinger is the visuals editor for Maine Women Magazine.

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