Keep Your Style in Time of Recession


Regardless of to what extent the recession hits you, who doesn’t love the idea of getting a bargain?

Here are some quick ideas:

  • Follow your favorite brands on Twitter or Facebook. They often publish their sales and offers before they put up the sign on the stores.
  • Be aware of ‘Friends & Family’ (FF) sale events. Brands that did not usually have FF sales in the past surprisingly have joined the bandwagon. We were surprised to hear when MAC held two FF events this year.
  • Google up “Splurge vs Steal”. For example: Marie Claire has a dedicated section of Splurge vs. Steal. Morale of the story: runaway style doesn’t have to cost runaway price.
  • Think outside of your usual brands. is also an excellent source if you have a particular style in mind. The website will magically present you with selections from the likes of Neiman Marcus to Charlotte Russe (read: from thousands to something that costs one dinner). Forever21 is also famous from bringing styles at affordable tag.
  • Consider swapping items with friends and families. Raid your mother’s closet. We all know how fashion recycles itself.  Those vintage tops are looking good now, eh? We all know that FDers love to swap nail polishes, and it has been working out great. The caveat: avoid swapping intimate items though. Personal hygiene goes first (at least for me, it is).
  • This time of the year is the right time to splurge on those fancy or formal dresses. Every retailer is desperate to sell, and it often slashes the sky-high price of this sort of dresses. Do remind your male friend/relative/partner that the same goes with suits and tux.
  • Consider the care instructions on the items you are buying.  If a simple and cheap cardigan calls for a ‘dry clean only’, then re-consider the cost of care before buying it.
  • Go to you wardrobe closet and clean up! If you have things that do not fit anymore, or you just simply don’t like them, put them up on Fashionese Daily Market Plaza. You can always  donate them to your local charities. The recession is a great time to make your in-kind contribution goes further. Of course, you can sell them at Closet Quickies, owned by our own beloved Hanzky.
  • Search for coupons and online offer codes. Never be too proud to take advantage of coupons! I had an Inbox just for subscribing to offers and newsletters from my favorite stores. I’m also a big fan of Retail Me Not.
  • Watch those little spendings that add up.  Believe me, I understand the urge of having that Rp 35k+ cup from the coffee shop chain every morning. I was, too, guilty as charged. But just this once: try to calculate how much you would spend in a quarter by cutting down your expensive munchies; say, from five times a week to three times a week.  And then think what you could be buying in turn of your coffee. Find an instant coffee that you like from your grocery store and bring your own tumbler. Reach for it when the 4:00 pm yawn strikes instead of going downstairs to the coffee shop. You can do it! :D
  • Go to thrift shopping stores or sites. We’ve heard great stories of people’s fabulous finds in Pasar Baru!
  • Recycle the pieces you already own. You’ve got a t-shirt that’s too big? Try wearing it cinched with a waist belt. A jeans whose cut doesn’t fit you anymore? Try bringing it to the seamstress or to the ‘vermak jeans kaki lima’ that goes around in your neighborhood. Don’t you feel good contributing to the informal economy?
  • Get accessorized! Accessories could bring a whole new air to your usual look without having to buy new wardrobe pieces. Statement necklace on that old black t-shirt? Definitely up my alley.
  • Credit cards: love them and hate them.  Yeah, we all know that credit card companies have offers (buy 1 get 1, anyone?), but remember that you could end up paying for these offers at the long run in the form of interest and fees if you are maintaining a high balance. If you are a reward collecting sucker like me, there are plenty of free loyalty programs out there. Though most loyalty programs are dedicated to individual brands or stores, but not always. Google away!

You’ve got more ideas? Share them in the comment box!

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