September 25, 2023   8:08pm

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Given our economic guilt and genuine need to be thriftier, should we or shouldn’t we shop …




I’ve truly minimized my shopping thus far — even returned a pair of pricey shoes charged during an impulsive moment. So I was interested to see an article in The Wall Street Journal: “The Latest Style: Self-Denial” reporting that the question of the moment is: “Do I really need it?” followed just this week by The New York Times report on “stealth shoppers” who tend to buy but avoid “public sorties.”  Recognizing I’m in good company and that cheap has become cool, I’ve become a bit more creative this season.

Taking a closer look at display windows led to the discovery that my short cardigans, previously passed over as passé, look great over longer items. Forgotten scarves tied with confident knots make for a surprisingly stylish neckline.  Sweaters have resurfaced to look great when paired with colors never before considered. And my favorite charcoal Donna Karan dress — bought so many years ago I can’t remember when — looks fantastic all over again with my long forgotten hippie belt (pulled out of a dusty drawer).

This “creative closeting” has made me think about how the items that seem to still work are — hate to say it — the more expensive ones, which leads me to that French style dictate (or is this a fallacy?) — “invest” in one terrific piece, build your wardrobe around it, and wear it again and again  …

A Solution:  This season, particularly with all the sales going on, buy one fabulous item — something you can layer for all seasons.  In your head amortize the cost over 12 months (so much cheaper that way) – and, then, wear it a lot!

Bottom line:  we can rationalize at least some spending … avoid deserting the economy that needs us … and feel good about ourselves — all at the same time. And even Tom Friedman agrees. (See his New York Times column “Gonna Need a Bigger Boat”).

Don’t you — and the merchants we need to support — feel better already?!


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