By Elisa Bronstein

During today’s tough economy, a sale is most definitely a sale. There was a time, however, when it was difficult to get excited about a sale, because it was safe to assume that the sale article had been marked up and suddenly, drastically slashed. On recent shopping trips, I’ve come across both unmarked sales and ones that made me feel more like an archaeologist than a Recessionista, but that resulted nonetheless in some wonderful finds. Continuing to follow fashion on a tight budget has proven a challenge, but one that may leave me with lasting frugal habits when the economy has righted itself.

Fashionistas turned Recessionistas, like magazine companies, clothing retailers, and the politically prominent, have been put in an interesting position. In the past, Fashionistas have been charged with knowing and showing the latest trends, and now they must continue to display style on a budget. This challenge will only add to the Recessionista’s repertoire, as there are now both fiscal and fashion considerations in the creation of every outfit.

Gone are the days when thrift entailed public humiliation; the new ideals of the Recessionista are here to stay. Living the Recessionista lifestyle allows us to feel thrifty, trendy, and fulfilled all at once. What could be better?

My personal favorite find on the internet has been Mary Hall’s blog: Here, Hall, marketing manager at IBM Redondo Beach, California, shares her latest and greatest tips on staying ahead of the fashion curve. She offers exclusive coupons to her subscribers, lists sales that might otherwise go unnoticed, and posts interesting stories that are sure to inspire others to act more like CSI agents when it comes to uncovering a sale. Reading through her site, I found these tricks to be the most resourceful:

• Know how to reuse classic pieces in your closet in a fresh, new way.

• Embrace the courage to be frugal: Ask for sales, use your coupons, and know that even though you’re spending less, this doesn’t mean you’re getting less.

• Pick up simple, basic pieces from places such as H&M and Zara and from top designers’ lower-end brands such as Vera Wang’s line sold at Kohl’s.

• Swap clothes with friends to complete your look
without breaking your wallet.

• Shop around at Goodwill, Salvation Army, and
consignment shops to find unique, quality, lightly
worn pieces.

Get out there and show everyone your proud Recessionista self!

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