Despite the current credit crunch, the fashion industry is
still churning out looks, new merchandise, catwalk shows,
catalogues and magazines. We continue to be bombarded with
adverts for the latest must-haves of new season stock.
Some of us also get email exhorting us to buy last
season sales goods as well as new season stock and at knock-down prices.
No doubt for many fashion lovers the credit crunch has caused
them to slash their clothes budget; however a significant number
of people are not greatly affected by the recession, and the
latter still expect to buy fashionable clothing, accessories and
Those who are really rich will shop just as before - with gusto.
But the nouveau riche are embarrassed at still having money when
some of their colleagues are now cash poor. Such consumers shop a little more discreetly asking for that order from
Browns, Matches or net-a-porter, to be packaged as a
There will always be a need for luxurious goods for the truly
rich. After all, when everyone can access luxury why would
the really wealthy desire it?
Exclusivity is still important to
some and is the reason elite companies like Cartier,
Van Cleef and Arpels and other high end firms ride out
recessions. Their prices stay high and they keep their wealthy
customers feeling exclusive, because they keep out wannabees. Mere mortals simply
learn to live a new more thrifty way with their deflated income.
They may have tasted the good life, but plenty of newly
redundant consumers are learning to cut their garment according
to their cloth, and that cloth may be a bit short of yardage.
If you have lost your job, are earning less or just finding
expenses have mounted try to assess how things
got to this state for you. Look at every way you can to gain
back some measure of control. For many women control begins with
maintaining their own personal appearance. This is much harder
to do when cash is short, but try to prioritise the essentials
required to maintain self esteem.
Luxury Life Jewellery
Above Left - Gems for the seriously rich -
Van Cleef and Arpels Chandelier Earclips - Luxury
Bespoke Couture Jewellery. Resalable diamonds and
sapphires are always a girl's best
friend - especially in times of a recession!
Above Right - Exquisite Haute Jewellery - Luxury Gemstones at
Jewels of Ocean
- Sapphire and White Diamond Drop
Earrings. For credit crunch choices in jewellery see the finest
As a result of the
present credit crunch this may be
the season when you may be unable to afford new clothes.
However, that does not mean you cannot be smart or follow some of
the newest fashion trends. The top tip is always have well
cut modern styled hair.
If you forego all other purchases, and only spend money on getting your
hair well cut,
you will always find a great hair cut is money well spent. Many
small towns have good hairdressers that are not charging London
or New York
prices. Another tip is to just ask someone you see, who has
an elegant hairdo
where they get that haircut. Write down the name of the
stylist if you are impressed.
Don't forget mobile hairdressers, they offer huge savings on salon prices. Their prices are
often only half of the charge in a small town, and possibly three quarters
of a city charge. Other benefits of having your hair
styled at home is that you not only save on travel / parking
costs, but you are not tempted to spend when out in town.
Next concentrate on footwear, then work upwards and
with a few tweaks the rest of your outfit, an up-to-date look
will result. This season the type of shoe is less
important. It does not matter if it's a sandal, boot or shoe boot
as long as it has a
at the front it will scream, '2009'. If you bought into
Gladiator footwear in 2008 then this year you are already ahead
Monochromes - Several spring summer 2009 fashion trends rely on specific
themes such as the monochrome schemes of black with white,
or with navy; alternatively, there is the all white look. So if you are
straits with cut up credit-cards in your shredder, take charge of your grooming. Start by mixing and fusing
your existing clothes;
in particular, look to neutrals with a nod to
a few well selected key
Use Bold Brights for Accent - 2009 is the year of the boldest
brightest colours, so maximise your existing accessories, for
example, a touch here and there of a brilliantly
coloured bag, necklace, gloves, scarf, shoes or simple kimono
tunic will manoeuvre you easily toward the fashion fever of 2009.
Shop From Your Wardrobe - Another
shopping development is that while women may
ponder a fashion item from mall or online, they now check their personal 'shop' at home
before the actually buy. By their 'shop at home', I
mean those bulging wardrobes and spare room racks that may already
contain an unworn purchase. We all have these 'old unworn items',
yet teamed carefully with
other favourite garments is likely to work as well as a new
I won't be giving up shopping, but I will be
buying more thoughtfully in 2009 and beyond. I'll be
supplementing some purchasing by looking in my 'spare bedroom
clothes shop' as my husband likes to phrase it.
In 2008 the phrase
investment dressing took on a new relevance for the
fashion conscious woman. The fashion sentiment for 2009 is about
the consolidation of many recent fashion changes. I
believe this will be good news for the consumer.
Individuals will get back to buying women's clothes that truly
suit their figures, their lifestyle, and their likes. More
importantly tough times will herald a new era of creativity in
My top tip is only buy quality garments that
become wardrobe workhorse investment pieces. If the apparel on
offer does not fall into this category ask yourself, 'Do I need
it? Will I wear it until it is worn out and for more than one
season?', and if you know you won't then don't take it to the
Any new fashion item you buy now must pay for
itself wear for wear. It must be a budget balancer garment that
sees you through a year of budgeting rather than a payday spend. Read more on my fashion
If you have been affected by a drop in income,
or a huge rise in outgoings, the best way of surviving the
fashion crunch is to take the long term view. Unlike our
poor forebears who were faced with
previous recessions, such as the
Utility clothing coupon
rationing in the 1940s, we 21st century fashion fanatics
have a head start with one, two or even three wardrobes stuffed to overflowing with
racks of frequently unworn (BNWT), or
hardly worn clothing.
So now is the time to review what you already own
in the way of fashion clothing. The result may surprise
you, suddenly you see new value, and new possibilities for these
When eventually you next shop for a new item, buy into a
mixture of classic layering items, where just one designer led piece with a quirky twist, can transport your
existing base clothing into a
top ten trend outfit. Firstly, carefully prune your
wardrobe of the garments that don't do a thing for you.
Use your skill to seek out any clothes that were a hideous
mistake (and there is no woman who does not acknowledge this at
least once a year) and remove items that are frankly out of
fashion. Dispose of them as you will - through charity
shops, recycling, eBay sales or swop parties. But do clear
Shopping is associated with a similar pleasure to
that of eating chocolate. Shopping can be about the thrill of
the hunt for the picture perfect garment, shoes or accessories.
In terms of gratification, completing the transaction by making the purchase is similar to
winning a game or solving a puzzle
The ultimate fulfilment is that we feel we have proved
something to ourselves in finding the perfect item. It really is
about the thrill of the chase, being ahead and being a winner.
Many will be doing what I have been doing for
sometime browsing the shopping malls online. The online
shop displays are getting more exciting all the time, with
animations and movies supplementing the static pictures.
Another recent trend is for a wider sizing range, and of course
huge discounts. Many consumers do as I do - merely 'play'
at window shopping online by adding items to the basket, but
never checking that basket out with a debit card. Or we save
items on a wish list, but never really buy them. By the time we
are asleep most of us can't even recall what we put in that
So remember you can shop till you drop online as
long as you don't checkout. This may be the best way to have
your shopping thrill but not have the cost.
For far too long women and men have been engaged
in random acts of fast fashion purchasing, they regard cheap
high street bargains as disposable after just one or two
outings. In the past, even brand new garments often found their way to charity shops, never worn,
tags still on, never loved, simply a must-have of the moment and
for the price a few cups of cappuccino, appeared too cheap to
leave at the store. But ask yourself what kind of bargain
is one that never gets worn?
If you are now in dire financial straits, then
its important to be realistic about how important fashion trends
are in your life plan. Does buying fashion really fit into your
'budget plan' right now. I suggest you are reading this because
fashion is still a topic which interests you and my aim is to show
how you can still enjoy fashion without incurring crippling debt. One problem
is that people have actually fixated on itsy bitty fashion fads
rather than the wider fashion trends of the changing silhouette
as being important.
Attitudes and values are changing; nothing in the future will be quite as
before this major recession. Men and women will be forced to learn
to budget properly.
A budget is not always a bad thing - it
can be liberating for the cash poor to make a budget plan and
see where money fritters away. Those who are cash rich
know their annual budget. Unfortunately, when many people read the word
budget, they hear the phrase 'going on a budget' rather than
absorbing the idea of listing and allocating essential living/food/travel
expenses and apportioning essential finance first. The remainder
of the finance available should then be allocated firstly
to replacement clothing/essential footwear and the final 'pocket money' aspect should
be for non essential fripperies, which might be anything from a
coffee, a newspaper, magazine or cinema ticket.
After all living essentials are calculated it can be
liberating to find that some of that
'known free budget' can be spent as you prefer. Not on daily coffees that soon add
up over a month, but instead such money could be set aside if preferred and
added to the basic clothing budget. This is feasible as soon as
an individual realises that one cappuccino a day might leech some £60
in just one month, two or three coffees a day and
correspondingly more possible savings. Such budgeting can become a
game and may encourage both women and men to shop wisely for
fewer, but better fashion apparel and
To enable you to achieve small gains that add up daily you
must consider using cash for day to day transactions. When you
hand over real money, that cash transaction really works its way
into your brain in a way that a credit card transaction cannot.
Credit card transactions always feel like you are getting
something for nothing - until the day of the bill arrives.
The best budget plans are calculated over a 12 month period,
since that way holiday, car servicing, annual insurance
policies, birthdays and Christmas for example all get accounted
for in the overall plan. And your plan may be different than
your neighbours. But remember it is the daily savings that can
Mr MCCawber said - 'Income 20 shillings, expenditure 20
shillings and sixpence, result misery. But income 20 shillings,
expenditure 19 shillings and sixpence, result happiness'. It is
still good advice as it always feels good to be ahead of the
If you have clothes in your wardrobe
that you feel are dated, or simply hate then try to resell them. People love
a bargain. What may be a dead dog of a garment to you,
may be the perfect dream item of a stranger. Consider selling
such clothes and accessories on EBay.
Once your existing wardrobe has been sorted into
3 piles of keep, discard (charity/recycling) and too good to
throw out, then you are ready to sell off your unwanted clothing
on EBay. If you don't know how to do this go to eBay and
read their instructions. You may
also consider selling, swapping, or bartering clothes for other goods. Plus you may look to online sellers such as
craftspeople at etsy.com.
For successful selling, the resources you really need are a digital
camera, plenty of time to list goods well, good packing
materials and for serious business a PayPal account.
You could also read
my vintage selling tips pages plus preparing and displaying your garments for
Truly strapped for cash? - Then learn some dressmaking
and sewing skills to enable you to alter or make your own
clothes or adapt those from thrift and charity shops. This
may not be as difficult as it sounds, the key is to get a good
pattern. As with other skills, the more you do the easier
it gets. Also there is lots of information online and my
page will get you started with
how to draft a skirt block pattern. This basic skirt can be
made out of minimal fabric and before adaptation is a perfect
pattern for a knee length pencil skirt too. (More
dressmaking tip pages will appear soon.)
Make 2009 your year of fashion re-education.
Despite reduced footfall in fashion outlets, and continuing grim
statistics, women's fashion will survive the credit crunch,
because frankly, a girl has to dress. Where, and
how, we buy is quite likely to change as old familiar names
disappear from the high street. My prediction is that ultimately these will be
replaced by smaller niche retailers with brands targeting a much
clearer demographic, rather than the retailer who tries to be
all things to all women and for all ages. Within 5 years
fashion is likely to become even more interesting.
The more discriminating
purchasers will grasp the 'grown up' attitude of buying clothing
and accessory items to accomplish two main aims. They will
expect clothes to fulfil both a practical function and add
dateless fashion adornment. Women's fashion should make a
woman feel good about herself. Why else would we all enjoy
programmes like 10 Years Younger? We appreciate how fashion can
help improve self esteem.
This page has been about shopping in the current recession
and the opinions and views are entirely my own concept of how
the credit crunch affects fashion. As a consumer,
observer and forum owner the observations are my analysis on the
current fashion retail situation.
Images - Diamond and sapphire earrings image courtesy of
luxury jewellers Van
Cleef and Arpels; and Diamond and sapphire earrings image
courtesy of luxury gemstone suppliers and jewellers Jewels of
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