By Rich Kane
By Joel Beers
By LP Hastings
By Dave Barton
By Patrice Wirth Marsters
By Erin DeWitt
By Taylor Hamby
By LP Hastings
Everyone has heard that “hemlines go up in a boom, down in a recession.” Pre-Depression, flappers and their hemlines went playfully just above the knee. Afterward, the somber mood of the country was reflected with austerity and floor-skimming skirts. The long, hippie frocks of the ’70s trailed ’60s minis.
This time around, though, not so much: Spring 2009 runways revealed still-short hemlines. Blissful ignorance?
So you’ve given up your daily cup of Starbucks—$1.80 per day, $54 per month, $648 per year—and have forfeited the fancy organic produce and weekly trips to Whole Foods. You’ve even started to save some dough by, uh, “pre-drinking” PBR at your house before hitting so-and-so’s show or the club or bar or whatever—with a flask.
There are a few real ways to deal with your preexisting wardrobe, and sorry, but yeah, the reality is you probably shouldn’t be shopping either way. But for that splurge here and there? Look no further than to accessories.
That’s right: You’re going to have to wear the same coat as last year. And those same sweaters, knee-high boots and suede flats. It’s going to be okay. Fashion really hasn’t evolved much these past few years.
Instead, just add on some new touches. A new scarf, a new necklace, a knit hat or cocktail ring are perfect (and perfectly affordable) ways to update yourself.
Scarves are a great way to add color, layers and sophistication to your outfit. Best yet, they’re fun and multifunctional; you can wear them in a few different ways—more for your buck.
My favorite discovery this winter has been the Necklush (necklush.etsy.com, $40-$65). It is a circle scarf of sorts that consists of dozens of freeform cotton loops that you can hang around your neck as a necklace or a scarf; or you can even perch it a little higher, as a headband. (I know, I know.)
Drape it for a cowl-neck effect, or simply loop two or three times around as a warm scarf. It looks great with anything from your basic black-wool winter coats to cardigans and even basic tees.
Necklushes are handmade. You can wear them a lot of ways. And you’ll stand out from the crowd of oblivious Keffiyeh-wearing look-alikes.
But one thing’s for sure: This recession is finally going to repave our connections to our goods. We want the best buys possible made out of the best material possible. It’s a whole new consciousness of materialism: Stop buying crap.