A few months ago there was an article in Vanity Fair which mentioned that the wives of wealthy stock brokers were clipping coupons, not because they needed to save money at the grocery store, but because it was the cool thing to do. It was as if these women were saying “Look at me! I can be humble and poor just like everyone else.”
(Photo source - W magazine)
Everyone knows we are in the midst of a recession. We all have friends who have lost jobs. Most of us have had to tighten our belts even if we were among the fortunate who have not been hit too hard by the economic situation. But I don’t want to talk about ways to save money or tips on budgeting, what I’d like to discuss is how fashion has responded to the financial crunch.
Fashion is intuitive. Some things just LOOK RIGHT. What’s in the air that inspires fashion designers to create new looks? Why do fashion editors feel that this or that style is “now”? What is it that makes retro fur jackets, plaid shirts, granny dresses, and ankle socks look so good today, whereas they didn’t a few years ago? It’s often somewhat nebulous. Fashion is an intuitive response to the times and it’s often difficult to see the big trends until after they’ve happened.
The kids in the photo above are wearing thousands of dollars worth of high-end designer clothing, but they look like they just stepped out of a Goodwill store. It’s the opposite of ostentatious bling and designer logo everything that was all the rage a few years ago. Fashion is, in this trend at least, responding to the recession by giving us a more eclectic, impoverished look to present to the world.
Call it “thrift-store chic” or “eclectic”, this trend makes a lot of sense. We’re all trying to find ways to save money. A few years ago I wouldn’t have dreamed of purchasing clothes at a thrift store, but now shopping for used apparel is trendy. Tons of blogs are dedicated to it. It’s cool to wear mis-matched clothes, torn T-shirts pinned together with safety pins, distressed leather pieces, and items that look like they could be vintage, even if they’re brand new. Personally I’m liking the freedom and individualism of this recession-inspired trend.
What do you think of the “thrift-store chic” style? What are some other ways the current financial woes have impacted fashion trends? Has it altered your fashion sense or just your shopping habits?