High Fashion in Low Times

More

The New York Times gave a nod to sensible cheap chic this week, with a lengthy piece touting second hand haute couture describing shoppers "spelunking for treasures at the Goodwill store on West 25th Street." It was a fun and informative story, and a charming respite from the now chillingly familiar sagas of home foreclosures and families having to chose between medicine and food.  The Times wrote:

 

   "The 5,500-square-foot thrift outlet is a laboratory of sorts for Goodwill and its 2,200 stores around the country. Intent on sprucing up an image that conjures low-end castoffs and no-frills ambience, many Goodwill stores are courting the shoppers who scour high-end resale shops and department store sales racks for bargains."

 

  The especially good news here is that the recycling of high quality merchandize--in this case thoughtfully crafted clothing--has suddenly become not only acceptable but cool.  What a wonderful alternative to the trend toward "disposable" clothing--the cheaply made "shabby chic" we've endured for too long at H&M and its ilk.  What cartoon superstar Homer Simpson calls "fallapart" is precisely what American consumers have come to expect from too many of our purchases.  How wonderful that today's "recessionistas" are fighting back by flocking to low cost, high quality "kindly used" garments--that they may even pass down to their kids!        

Jump to comments
Presented by

Ellen Ruppel Shell is the co-director of the Graduate Program in Science Journalism at Boston University. She is the author of Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving Money?

The US is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

From This Author

Just In