Monday, May 04, 2009

Cheap Chic Recessionista Cliche Chronicles Volume I: Shop Your Closet!

As many of you have surely noticed, one side effect of the bad economy has been the awkward attempts by fashion media to work realistic, affordable ideas into their coverage.

Ideally these tough times would mean more creative and useful style tips for the masses. In reality, it has meant the criminal overuse of the word "recessionista," condescending travelogues in which chic fashion writers venture into big box stores (eeeww!), and a level of worship for Forever 21 that surely violates the first commandment.

So, to hop on the bandwagon and to honor the 30 of you who voted as a joke that they'd like to see more such articles here (laughing now? ha!), I'd like to present the Cheap Chic Recessionista Cliche Chronicles, a parody of this disturbing trend in fashion journalism. These posts will be packed with cliches, condescending tones, and ridiculous tips that don't make any sense

And what better topic to start us off than the much-hyped "shop your closet" theory? While this is a great idea at its core--
look through your closet for older clothes you can make new again, instead of buying new stuff--and has been written about in wonderful creative ways by hard-hitting fashion bloggers like Sal and WendyB, "Shop Your Closet" articles usually look more like this:

Cheap Chic Recessionista Cliche Chronicles Volume 1: Shop Your Closet!

Every fabulous recessionista knows that in this economy, cheap chic is the way to go. And it doesn't get much cheaper or chicer than shopping in your closet! Seriously, rediscovering old clothes crammed in the back of your closet can be just as fun as shopping at a real live store if you follow these helpful tips:

+ Make your existing pieces feel luxe by buying price tags and attaching them to bargain pieces. For example, clip a "$1000" price tag onto a Forever 21 purse, then pick it up off the shelf, check the tag, and say something silly like, "Hmmm...not sure if I can afford this!" Nothing distracts from recessions and pandemics like a hearty LOL.

+ Take this idea to the next level and go buy expensive pieces from top designers like Prada or Louis Vuitton, rip the labels out, and affix them to your existing clothing and accessories. Shopping your closet gets much more fun when all your Gap tees magically become Dolce & Gabbana. (To be extra eco-friendly, repurpose the ripped-up designer items as dish rags.)

+ Consider hiring a full-time employee to work in your closet. Instruct them to greet you with a smile and help you choose outfits. They could even stand in the corner and look down their noses at you, if you want your closet to feel like an upscale boutique.

+ Install unflattering lighting to add to the ambiance.

+ Can't afford a good tailor? Do your own creative alterations to make old clothes feel new. For example, rip the crotch out of a pair of leather pants--voila, Instant chaps!

As you can see, with a little creativity and a lot of money, any girl with any budget can enjoy a guilt-free shopping spree in her own closet and become a recessionista fashionista!


Jennifer Nicole said...

Another tip to add to your Recessionista list: "Those t-shirt you saved for years, even though you'll never fit into them again? You're in luck! Shopping your closet means that now they're 'babydoll' tops!"

(I can't wait fot the next installment.)

WendyB said...

"go buy expensive pieces from top designers like Prada or Louis Vuitton, rip the labels out" -- there was a vintage store in London where sly thieves cut all the labels out of the vintage Ossie Clark dresses and left the dresses themselves behind!

Lisa said...

For an added touch of class, the closet employee should offer sparkling grape juice in plastic cups. Ta da!

Holley said...

Love it! If I never hear the term "shop your closet" again, it may be too soon. There are some of us out here who actually *gasp!* clean out our closets on a regular basis and don't have treasures from the '80s or '90s hidden away on the back, back, back shelf.

Poochie said...


I shopped my closet over the weekend. I hated everthing and don't think I ever want to go back.

Now what do I do?

Bekah said...

I think I might find myself a closet attendant named paulo
he may have an issue with my painfully small closet, but I'm sure he'll do

my word verification is "geniz"
if you say it funny enough it sounds like genius!
which I'd say is adequate in describing this post

Robyn said...

My butt is too fat to shop my closet right now. But I guess that has nothing to do with the economy.

FutureLint said...

This totally made my day! I really would like to have an employee in my closet to hang up and fold everything after I go in there and destroy everything trying to get dressed!

Valerie said...

how about shopping in your boyfriends closet?

Catie said...

This reminds me of your skewering Lucky mag by applying the tips from their layering article. Memories!

echidna girl said...

My favorite thing about this piece is the picture - true photo journalism. I keep looking at it and laughing.

Lesley Myrick said...

Wow, I can't believe I didn't think of these tips on my own! It's so obvious - why haven't I hired my own closet employee? Winona, you're a GENIUS.

Anonymous said...

I can't remember what magazine I was flipping through in the newsagents, but one of their 'tips' was to hunt out a vintage hermes flask so that you could take your own coffee with you so you could save money by not stopping at Starbucks...

Kim said...

I can't adequately express how much this made my day.

Heather said...

Perfection! This is exactly why I voted for that category, and then was all, ohhhhh I bet she wanted me to be serious.... :)

Jesspgh of Consume or Consumed said...

I cannot tell you how excited I am for this series. It is already GREAT!

clashingplaid said...

Nothing distracts from recessions and pandemics like a hearty LOL.



Marie said...

Love it! The cliches that bug me the most are "statement" pieces and a "pop" of color. Can't wait for these posts!

kadler said...

Haha, love these.

stella-mayfair said...

I'm just starting to demount the leather based Hermes Logo from the thermos flask i HAD to buy right after reading this wonderful article.

Then I'm going to stick it to that lovely vintage starbucks paper cup I found in my litter box.

And voilà! A smart recessionista's dream for just under eleventy million and 2 dollars fifty!

Thanks, I'm so happy now :-)

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Gem said...

Haha that was amazing, I'm studying to be a Fashion Journalist and words can't express how much references to the credit crunch anger me.
Magazines use it as a tool to persuade us to buy almost anything. It's so contradictory. If it's a bargain, "super chic and super AFFORDABLE - credit-crunch-tastic!!1!!1!!" If it's a designer bag worth thousands, "Pricey but practical - this is an investment piece... In times like these, these are the products we all need to be buying.... Quality over Quantity.. blah blah"
It must end!

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