Here’s Your Spring Guide To Recession Wear Or Crashin’ Fashion 2009


Because the fashion world functions on the same sort of timeline as automobile makers. Today’s clothing collections were designed many months ago… long before it became clear that the “economic downturn” was actually the start of a real recession.

Clearly, Saks believe the Kiton line has a place in the wardrobe of solvent clients who are being buffeted in this recession storm.

Kiton employs 330 tailors and produces only a few thousand pieces a year. Now apparently the Kiton jacket – which takes twenty five hours to make – fits like a second skin. It’s light, extremely comfortable, and absolutely made for travel. In fact, they claim it can be crushed into the crevice of an airline seat for a long flight … and at the end of the trip, your jacket will magically be wrinkle-free. And the price for such incredible “convenience”? More than $7,000 for an off-the-rack suit … and as much as $21,025 for the made-to-order version.

When the 2009 collections were marched out onto the runways of Italy, many designers were parading three-piece suits. Yet that simple vest can add an extra $150 to $300 to the price of the suit, hardly a “recession-friendly” styling choice.

How do I update my wardrobe without splurging?

This spring, in both men’s and women’s fashions, we’ll be seeing lots of colours. According to Women’s Wear Daily, clothing buyers last fall were snapping up bright colours and bold prints to enliven our closets, and hopefully their own markets, for the Spring fashion season. (And these buyers are promising us more than just your basic black for the Fall line-up, as well.)

In the meantime … few of us can afford “excessive” shopping. So what’s the solution for anyone having to economize on their wardrobe?

Here’s how you do it!

Step 1: Find out which colours are best for you. (I have a few tips below to help you with this.)

Step 2: Freshen up the look of your suits with some of the bright colours available this Spring. For example, get a bright new blouse or shirt, to announce that Spring is finally here. But… it’s got to be a YOU colour. Make sure it’s a colour that enhances your skin tone, eyes and hair. That way, you’ll wear it long after this year because, for you, it won’t be “last year’s colour”, it will be a “forever colour”. Men can accessorize with matching colourful ties, and women with matching coloured beads or scarves.

Step 3: If you must buy a new suit, choose a conservative style in your best neutral colour, and simply “brighten it up” as mentioned above. Depending on the situation, you may want to wear a neutral shirt or blouse… and pick up some vibrant colour in your accessories only.

Here’s how to discover your best colours by doing a basic colour analysis. Stand in front of a mirror, and drape yourself first with a gold, and then a silver piece of fabric … then, take an orange-red fabric, followed by a cranberry piece.

If you look better in gold and orange-red, you’ll want to always choose clothing in warm tones, as shown in the chart to the right. If you look better in silver and cranberry, you want fabrics in cool tones. This is an amazingly simple, yet reliable, method for sorting through the seemingly endless colour choices available today. Grab a friend and go through this process together – you’ll appreciate having a second (and likely more objective) opinion. Remember: You do not have to be a big-spender in order to look like one! There’s a lot you can do to pay homage to both the economy and smart fashion.


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