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A Shopaholic in a Shrinking Economy

October 14, 2008

As we’re sure you’ve all heard, there is nothing falling faster than the American economy these days, and while bailouts are underway and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is picking up, the money we’ve lost as a result of the past few weeks’ economic freefall has left our pockets feeling a bit emptier than we’re used to. The question of today’s post thus comes to mind: How does one stay current and on trend in today’s less-than-fabulous economy?

History tends to repeat itself, whether in our country’s financial state, or within the realm of fashion. We can never seem to escape the key trends of past decades—from fringe and floaty, floral hippie garb to 90’s grunge, the prominent trends of every fashion decade rear their fabulously fearsome heads every few years, and each time we’re unwittingly doomed to be caught in the cycle of infatuation and intense regret we were caught in the first time around. This fall/winter season is no different.

Deflowered Dress by Samantha Pleet
VOIC Motor Jacket by Nanushka

With that said, consider the reincarnation possibilities of statement pieces you’ve long condemned to plastic bags ready for donation. We know you bought a pair of Docs in the 90’s (and perhaps have since regretted the idea), but combat boots are indeed back for this fall. Pair them with your favorite floral dress from the spring and trusty leather motorcycle jacket (also possibly from the 90’s), stack those rings and bracelets, and you’re ready to go!

If you’re a true shopaholic like the rest of us, and shop whether you’re treating yourself or attending a retail therapy session after a bad day, you’re going to want to purchase something brand new. Don’t completely write off the last paragraph, however. Fashion repeats itself, so if you find a piece you truly love, don’t toss it after the year is over—keep it, and you’ll find it becoming current again sooner than you think. But as a general guideline, avoid fast fashion at all costs! Buy pieces that can easily incorporated into your wardrobe; never build an entirely new outfit around just one piece. If you need a completely new set of clothing just to accommodate one top, it’s not worth the money! You’ve done pretty well without it for so long, and you’ll keep doing just fine without it and the other three one-time use things that you’ll need to buy simply to make the outfit work.

Remember that quality is your first priority when looking for basics. Unless you know for a fact that there is little to no difference between the materials used, you’ll be much happier with an original (really cute), well-made black blazer from Nanushka that cost $500, than with a $34.50 cheaply made (and possibly visibly so), slightly generic knock-off style blazer whose buttons start falling off after just one wear. Not only will you be wearing a more unique style, you’ll save yourself the worry and fuss of having to reattach lost buttons as well as the inevitable does-this-look-more-or-less-expensive-than-what-I-paid situation.

Cat Jacket by Nanushka

In this time of limited jobs and shrinking credit limits, being smart about what you buy is key. If you know what you love, and hence what you’ll love ten years down the road, you’re less likely to regret a purchase and more likely to make investments you’ll wear time and time again.

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