The story about "Barbie at 50" in Sunday's New York Times reminded me of the "Recessionista" attire recently worn by James David, communications manager of San Francisco's Goodwill Industries stores. Pointing to his $3 shirt and $2 fashion tie during a panel discussion on the economy, he also mentioned his style-conscious new blog SeamsSoGood. (You may recall that last year SF's Goodwill set another smart and sustainable fashion trend by partnering with designer Joe Boxer for the "William Good" clothing line of designer-remade Goodwill donations.)
So all this got me to thinking -- sadly, it's about time. Pardon me, Barbie, but I am done with Carrie Bradshaw shopaholics who for years have shamed the rest of us into buying more expensive clothing that we could really afford. I became one of them temporarily until the bottom hit last fall and I asked myself, "what am I thinking??" Things accumulating in my closet still with the tags on! And a $650 pocketbook (at a steal sale of $250) and a $900 necklace and earrings that I had no reason to buy except the peer pressure in the room. Clearly these wouldn't qualify as expensive luxuries for the shopaholics who set the tone, but in my case, twhile I do love and enjoy them, I've got to break that habit. Fortunately they are made well enough that they will hold up for a long time -- while my $200 jeans develop tatters and become even more trendy.
Like James' example, men are discovering secondhand shopping relief, too. San Francisco is just one city that offers a host of vintage menswear options. Clearly it's a new consciousness. I was having lunch not long ago in upscale Presidio Heights in San Francisco when I spotted a store proclaiming a "Recessionista Sale" with a massive banner. Darn, I didn't have my camera -- but even at its blowout prices, I didn't have the budget. So I zipped up my pocketbook, kept walking and began to feel the relief of re-balancing priorities.