Opinion Editorial on Shopping for my Journalism Class

Dec 3, 2009

Shopping, what does it mean to you? Is it going to the supermarket and stocking up on food you might need for the rest of the week? Is it going to the nearest shoe store, to pick up a pair to replace the ones with the worn soles you have on right now? Or is it the urge to buy the new $2,000 “It” bag, you obviously don’t need because last season’s “It” bag is in perfectly good shape, but still want to buy it just to show it off tomorrow at the office?

No matter which scenario applies to you, it still involves spending money and making decisions. It could be a decision as simple as, do I want to eat lasagna tonight or do I just want to pop a TV dinner in the microwave. Or it could be a decision like the one many women face every morning. What am I going to wear? Every morning women wake up, shower and stand in front of their closets thinking they have nothing to wear. When they are obviously starring at a closet filled of multiple outfit possibilities waiting to be discovered.

It is no secret that our economy isn’t going through the easiest time right now, which is why a lot of us have to think twice about shopping. Cost Per Wear is one of the ideas introduced to us by many fashion magazines. If you are going to splurge on an item, make sure you are making the most of your money. So, buying a $2,000 handbag in this economy means wearing it everyday until the next “It” bag comes out, or if you can possibly handle the torturous stares of others, it means wearing it until it wears out. It did cost you $2,000, which one would highly assume is top quality, so you should have no problems being able to hold on to this bag until you can pass it down to your kids.

Recession proof wardrobe is the way to go. There is no time anymore to buy items because you think they are “cute”, or could wear on Friday for your hot date. It is more about making your closet feel new again. This way all you have to do is buy what you feel is really missing. Taking inventory of your closet is helpful before shopping, this way you avoid distractions and get straight to business.

Smart shopping is all about catching deals and pinching pennies where possible. It seems even designers are feeling the pinch of the economy. With designers like Rodarte starring up new lines in Target, Alice and Olivia for Payless Shoe Source, and Liz Claiborne becoming exclusive for JC Penney. There is no more embarrassment of shopping at thrift shops or at discounter stores. It is actually a compliment to successfully be able to pull off a low-end look without looking inexpensive.

The fall of the Lehman Brothers, a high-profile bank, in late 2008 came as shock to many. Hundreds of bankers lost their jobs and their ability to live their highly comfortable lives. They went from making as little as $100,000 a year to taking a cab home to their expensive apartments, where they had no idea how they would be able to come up with the mortgage. It was time to cut down on expenses whether people liked it or not. If major corporations were being swallowed up by they economy why couldn’t we be too? Women went from buying Prada suits, to buying the knock-offs at Zara.

Fast fashion retailers like Zara and H&M have benefited from this economy. They are able to roll out new items in a matter of weeks instead of months. Hearing about the economy gets tiring, so what better way to run from it and help it as well, then shopping for new designer like items, a very low prices. Zara is said to be so fast that they can have something seen on the runway two weeks later in their stores, while the original garment is still not in its designer store. H&M collaborations with high-end brands like Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Stella Mccartney, and Matthew Williamson, have left shelves deserted. People are keeping up with what is happening around the world and they are becoming cautious of their money.

It seems like a clear message across the board here, spend smart. We want to give the economy a boost, but not at our expensive. All these 50% to 70% off sales are great, but what do they mean if you don’t need anything that is on sale. The message is to, yes shop, but only for what you feel you need. And every once in a while it doesn’t hurt to splurge for yourself a little bit. So, think twice about a $2,000 handbag that in a couple of weeks you might not like anymore, when this could have easily been your rent check.

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