Skip to main content

tip deLuxe - Be a Recessionista


It’s a tough time for fashionistas.

Most of our pocket books are quite a bit thinner these days

and [God help us] the 80s are making a comeback on the

runway and in department stores. So I was more than a

little discouraged when I started my spring shopping a few

weeks ago. Faded blue jeans, buttoned shoulder details and ruffled

skirts? Bleh – If I couldn’t pull it off at 16, it’s not going to work at

39. However, while amusing myself with a tour de force of the local

retailers in Carefree, Arizona this weekend, I found my salvation in

the least likely of places … the strip mall. That’s right. Armed with

Starbucks latté in hand, I mosied over to Target, then Sherre’s and

made a final stop at Chico’s (gasp!). Not only did I find a selection

of cosmetics, lingerie and clothing that were surprisingly fabulous,

but not a single item approached the $100 mark. That’s worth a trip

to the strip anytime. Trade in the title "fashionista" for "recessionista"?

Maybe not so painful after all.

1 177

Look at all my goodies!


Shots of all my fun tops.

1 157

This beaded jacket only cost me $65 – Can you believe it?!

target shades 3

Trying on cheap and chic glasses at Target.

And I love the cosmetics section. Target carries some fantastic brands.

Napoleon Perdis, Jemma Kidd, Boots, Sonia Kashuk and Pixi.

Hip, colorful compacts from Napoleon Perdis.

1 134

1 179

And rising star Jemma Kidd’s line is the hippest

thing in the UK and now the US.

1 187

Boots – another UK import – has super skincare products.

1 161

1 166

While Target veteran Sonia Kashuk makes professional-

style brushes like these as part of her cosmetics line.

1 146

Rocking old school peds is another great way to save money

without skimping on style. I love my Dr. Scholl’s and

Minnetonka Moccasins. The mocs cost less than $35 and

a friend picked up the sandals for me at a garage sale.

Now that’s a deal!

Tunics Shopping in unexpected places usually yields me positive

results. I found these tunics at Timothy Paul - a home and

bedding store - for under $50 each. Imagine how much two

Tory Burch tunics would have cost me.


And what better to pair with the items above than a vintage

ring or brooch. Need a new vintage source? Try your mother.

That fabulous costume jewelry she sported in the 70s will

give your outfit just the kick it needs!

Still need some help stretching those recessionista dollars?

The 8 principles below got me through my lean graduate school

years and have been my standards for shopping ever since.

1. Take stock before you shop.

Go through your closet and make a list of what you need.

You’ll avoid purchasing those items you buy again and again

even though you have too many already.

Do you really need another Hermes scarf?

2. Avoid trendy looks – especially unflattering ones.

NO ONE looks good in parachute pants.

3. Cover the basics. Flattering jeans, tailored black slacks,

lightweight cashmere sweaters, simple tailored tees and

good shoes. These are the items that build

the foundation of your wardrobe.

4. Buy items that can work in multiple

seasons or that can be layered easily.

5. Shop out of season. This is a hard one for me and

something I need to work on. Winter boots are going to cost

less now than when fall rolls around.

6. Accessorize with jewelry, scarves, hats, etc.

One outfit can transform into multiple looks

depending on your accessories.

7. Be careful of sales.

You’ll end up buying more than you want and not what you need.

8. Invest in quality. I have pieces in my closet that are

10-20 years old. They still look good and add

something unique to my wardrobe.