Fashion in an Age of Recession

Looking at the Fall Winter 2008 shows in New York -- encrusted with jewels, dripping with feathers, and swirling in silk -- one has to wonder if the makers of high end goods have gotten whiff of the dollar's downward spiral. Yet, reports confirm that the purchase of luxury goods is up.

Do we just not know how to hang on to our money, or are we trying to get some value out of it while we can? Maybe a little bit of both.

One of the fascinating things in The New Look: The Dior Revolution was how an economic depression followed by a war changed our relationships with clothing. Imagine that you need to buy a purse, but due to government restrictions, you won't be able to buy another one for six years. Would you buy a vinyl purse from Target or a leather one from Coach? Of course, the question arises of at what price do you stop paying for the quality and start paying for the branding, but at least the word quality can still be used.

I prefer quality over quantity. I pay $50-$70 for my jeans because I only buy them once every five years. I just paid $400 for my Frye "Adrienne" boots because I don't plan on buying brown boots for seven to ten years. Many of my friends, however, are more than willing to throw down $19.99 at Forever 21 every three months for the latest look in purses.

When money is tight, do you buy for quality or get what's cheapest and replace it as the need arises?

Top to bottom: drawstring hobo, Target $16.99; Maxx New York "Room Service Satchel", $149.99; shoulder bag, Miu Miu, Net-a-Porter $760


Anonymous said…
I usually use Forever 21 and those like it as a way to fend off cravings of a more frivolous variety- bright colored purses, ridiculous shirts, party tops. But if I had four hundred dollars, I would have slapped them all down for those gorgeous, achingly pretty Frye boots. And I would have worn them until they fell off my feet.
Jael Paris said…
I deprived myself of fast fashion for months and threw in all my Christmas money to afford them. Worth every penny.

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