March 4, 2009

Frugality is the new black

Have you heard the news? According to this CNN news story, in a recession cheap is chic. The article says even people with money are cutting back on their purchases, and it's not cool to shop for luxury items anymore. I've been practicing my own brand of non-coupon clipping frugality for years, mostly because I can work less and write more if I can manage to live on less money. But I have to admit I have a bit of an aversion to being part of a trend. It almost makes me want to go shopping. But not quite. That's just the contrarian in me. I've had enough of the years of celebrating excess, maybe enough to last me a lifetime. And in my opinion it's way past time for greed and conspicuous consumption to be put to rest.

The article says it's no longer considered cool to brag about possessions and purchases. Does that mean it's cool to brag about NOT purchasing? I wonder. I don't want to be a braggart or a scold on this blog. My goal is to entertain and inspire people to try to live on less so that they can step off the consumer treadmill. I'd like to do it in a fun way, as opposed to a sort of evil stepsister way. Because the truth is I'm pretty good at not spending money and not buying new stuff, but I'm still learning every day. And I still spend too much on some things, but I'll save that for another post. And I certainly have tons to learn about recycling and being green and all those things that relate to frugality. The truth is I'm not very good at all at some of those things, and I hope to remedy that during my year of buying nothing new. I'm looking forward to lots of projects on that front.

One thing I loved in the article was about a recent couture fashion show in Virginia, where one of the most popular presenters was Goodwill Industries. They took stuff off their racks and put it on models and supposedly it looked great. I'm not surprised. Some of my most stylish friends spend very little money. Originality, creativity, surprise, and a sense of fun go a long way toward creating a unique style. Whereas just spending a fortune on the very latest fashion only dates you six months later when you're convinced you're the bee's knees in that pirate get up. What do you think? Do you need to spend a lot of money to be stylish? What about the idea of frugality being the new black? Can you be stylish AND frugal, or are they mutually exclusive? Please write in with your thoughts...


Marylyn said...

Back in October, I participated in an "Anti-Fashion Show" at our local alternative arts center. My dress was remodeled from a 1980s, shoulder-padded, weirdly-gathered party dress. The designer (Joanna of "Irisewn") let out the gathers, inserted some sheer, black triangles from leftover material, and cut off the sleeves. The whole show was either remakes or the kind of thrift/vintage combinations you are talking about. Another designer who participated has a blog, and here's her post about the show:
I have a picture of me in my remade dress, but I don't see an option to upload that, ha ha. Good thinkin', Angela. But, actually...we could use a few pictures here, y'know. Show us yourself in your thrift-shop digs.

Angela said...

Email me the photo and I'll post it- please! It would be great. I know- I need to add a few pictures to the blog- would you believe I don't have a digital camera? George takes all the photos. So now I've asked for a used digital camera for my birthday this month so I can start posting photos.
So far I don't wear thrift shop digs, just clothes I've been collecting over the years and some newer stuff from my swap with friends.