You may have heard the term “Recessionista” thrown around lately. It’s a combination of the words “fashionista” and “recession.” In Los Angeles, hot mamas still have to get their shopping on, but they’re doing it in a much more budget-savvy way — seeking out sample sales, swapping clothes with their BFF’s (Best Friends Forever, if you’re not up on your girly lingo), joining designer handbag-of-the-month clubs, and looking in their own closets and re-vamping what’s already in there (with maybe a cheaper change of accessories.) I’ve always considered myself a bit of a “Recessionista,” even when there wasn’t a recession, to speak of.
To this day, my favorite bargain was a 100% silk, Italian made, Miu Miu cheongsam-like top I had seen in the actual designer’s store on Melrose, that same season, for thousands of dollars. I bought it for maybe $75 at a second-hand store, and I could not believe my luck when I spotted it that fateful day in 2003. My friends Lynn and Sarah were with me, and I think they heard me shrieking with delight and astonishment across the entire store. It was in pristine condition. Someone must have needed the money desperately, I thought.
These days, I haven’t shopped much except for a dress I bought recently for my engagement photos. And I actually paid full price for it because it was so last minute. (When people tell you never to shop for groceries on an empty stomach, I think the same idea applies to shopping for clothes. Never shop for clothes at the last minute when you desperately need something because you may blow your budget.) Well, I’ve been regretting the purchase every single day because I, honestly, hate buying anything for full price. I bought this BCBG Max Azria dress in a petite the morning of my engagement photo shoot because the dress I ordered from Bloomingdale’s was on back order (and no one called to tell me). I had thought originally that I’d try and return it after the shoot, but they put tags on the OUTSIDE of the dress nowadays to ensure that doesn’t happen.
I spent $246 on the dress, and what really gets to me is…it’s made in China!!! If I wanted a dress that’s made in China, I would’ve just gone to Target, K-Mart, or even Wal-Mart. I didn’t need to spend $246 on a “designer” dress that was possibly made in a sweatshop in China. OK, OK…don’t write me hate letters. I don’t know if it was really made in a sweatshop. But I just don’t understand designers who have to take their clothes to Chinese workers. If I’m going to spend a couple of hundred dollars on a dress that you designed, I would like it to be made right here in the U.S.A. On the other hand, I bought it at a department store that, I understand (on very good authority) is hurting for business in this economy right now. So…maybe it’s a good thing? What do you think?