How To Be a Fashionista In a Recessionista

What’s that you say?


Marrakesh Labradorite and Garnet Earrings


You have no money for clothes and accessories because you’re unemployed, had a salary pay cut, or froze your credit card in a chunk of ice in order to stop spending?

Oh, Pish Posh, kiss my  Lucky wearing Jean toukas.

This week on the Film Ladd Radio show, I discussed How to tell if you’re a Fashionista or NOT and how to be a Fashionista in a Recessionista. I’m in the last 45 minutes of the show.

As usual, our chat went wackily astray with talk of hunting giraffe, how squirrels are really rats with tails, what a meterosexual actually IS, fashion purgatory, whether or not Ladd owns a dress, and how I have taken up a collection from the neighborhood homeless people to buy him a shirt that is not black. We also discussed how to collect a cadre of friends that are your own size in order to borrow and never return their clothes, and how Ladd would look in a skin tight skating outfit. Listen, laugh, watch and learn. Click –> Here are the audio and video clips 

Here are the top 9, -yes, 9, not 10- signs you MAY or MAY NOT BE  A FASHIONISTA  and what to do about it in these tough economic times. 

1. If the inside of your closet looks like Bloomingdales, YOU MAY BE A FASHIONISTA

If the inside of your closet looks like Dick’s Sporting Goods  YOU MAY NOT BE A FASHIONISTA

2.  If you’ve seen AND READ The Devil Wears Prada or any Confessions of a Shopaholic book or movie twice or more EACH You MAY BE A FASHIONISTA

If you read Field and Stream  and/or own/wear waders on a regular basis.. You NOT BE A FASHIONISTA 

3.  If you look like you should be in the movies You MAY BE A FASHIONISTA

If you look like you work at Blockbuster or should play “the body” (as in dead person) in a movie You MAY NOT BE A FASHIONISTA 

4. If people often don’t recognize you because you keep changing your hair you MAY BE A FASHIONISTA 

 If you have had the same haircut since you had your Senior picture taken you MAY NOT BE A FASHIONISTA
5. If you think ice is for  freezing credit cards in and icing down “credit card swiping carpal tunnel syndrome” YOU MAY BE A FASHIONISTA

If you think ice is for icing down your latest twisted ankle, back sprain, or groin pull,  YOU MAY NOT BE A FASHIONISTA

Fragrant Valley Dress


6.  If you  clap your hands jump up and down and say “PRETTY, PRETTY DRESS” often YOU MAY BE A FASHIONISTA

If you don’t own a skirt or dress you MAY NOT BE A FASHIONISTA 
7. If people always ask you to take them shopping you MAY BE A FASHIONISTA

If nobody ever asks you to go shopping, or they say, “YOU DON’T WANT TO GO SHOPPING WITH ME, DO YOU?”  YOU MAY NOT BE A FASHIONISTA

8.  If people say  “NICE OUTFIT” you MAY BE A FASHIONISTA


9. If people lower the lights when you walk in the room YOU MAY BE A FASHIONISTA

If people shoot out the lights when you walk into a room YOU MAY NOT BE A FASHIONISTA

What To Do… What To Do…..


Princess Vintage Swarovski Earrings


Yes, you can look awesome even if you are short on cash.

1. Borrow clothes from friends or sisters and never return them

Hey, you know what they say, you can’t divorce your family. You may have to replace your friends more frequently this way, but think, you really don’t know what ever happened to that teal sweater of yours, now do you? Oh, yeah, you gave Briana your key so she could feed your cat. Mmmm hmm. 

2. Shop thrift

Depending on where you live, you can find some really cool thing in thrift shops. This is a place where rich old ladies who don’t know about ebay deposit their really cool stuff. The trick is, you have to live somewhere that has rich old ladies nearby. For guys, as I mention on the air, with an oh-so-nifty Charlie Sheen spin, is there anything cooler than a vintage bowling shirt with somebody else’s name on it that’s in really good shape? I don’t think so. I love vintage and have a few vintage and vintage-y looking jewelry items in my shop.

3. big huge sales/personal shopper secret info

Here’s what you do to take advantage of a big department store sale. For example. If, like me, you wear a size 8 shoe, which is average, you know darn well on sale day all your shoes will be sold before you get there and the shoe department will be a nightmare. No need to get pissed off, fellow fashionistas… Go to the store two days before the sale, try on your shoes in an uncrowded pleasant shopping environment, and have the personal shopper on staff put them back in her office for you until sale day. They are only too happy to do this. Not only do you get your shoes, and at sale price, but you do not have to stand up on a chair to flag someone to fetch you your shoes in the middle of a vicious crowded shoe department on sale day. 

4. Closet trading event with friends your own size.

First of all, we can have friends in all shapes and sizes, of course. But please go out of your way to befriend people who are your size, and this is why: Once a year you can have a martini and closet exchange party. Simply bring all of the stuff you no longer wear and have a trade session. Easy. It’s also a great way to get back the items that disappeared from your closet from item #1, Ha ha. 

5. Ebay

I could and WILL do an entire blog about Ebay, because that is just how much I love them. Ebay is a fantastic way to buy great new and vintage stuff at a fraction of retail. It’s also a great place to sell your clothes, boots, shoes, and handbags that you no longer use. I do this twice a year, usually in spring and fall. It’s a great way to earn cash to “buy more stuff”  WOO HOO! 

6. Shop in your own damn closet.

As I stated in Conquering your Closet you really do have a ton of stuff, and if it’s organized you can find things you forgot you even owned. How awesome is that? 

Yes, my daughter actually owns this shirt and I have worn it.


7. Wear your daughter’s clothes. Just put them back in her closet before 3:05

As we discussed on the airwaves, what better reason to reproduce than to have daughters so you can swipe their cool duds? I have no sisters. I was desperate. : ) 

8. Get a job in a retail clothing store. ok. Get three jobs in retail clothing stores.

You can get a great discount but you will need to work at least 18 hours a day with what they pay you. 

9. Let students cut your hair or be a hair model. Hell. the dog groomer would be better than what you’ve been doing.

When I was a student I was a hair model For Vidal Sassoon, among others. That just means you go in there on a given day when they are training their students, volunteer your head up and get a free or greatly reduced price haircut. They usually have to do a certain cut, but sometimes you can pick. Oh, the benefits to having good hair. YES! Little known fact: Most dog groomers cut hair. Maybe one will give you a break, who knows? HA

10. Read my blog DOES THIS LOOK GOOD ON ME?

Of course I will keep the great ideas coming, for you, my loyal readers and viewers. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING MY JEWELRY ADDICTION, as always.

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7 Comments on “How To Be a Fashionista In a Recessionista”

  1. dietcokeluvah Says:

    You were a hair model? Totally makes sense. Your hair always looks fab. Thanks for the great suggestions and humor, as always. I agree that Ladd does need a blue shirt, even if he pops in faux contacts once in a while.

    • sueanneshirzay Says:

      Oh, yes. Most commonly made comment from everybody when I sit in the chair: WOW, you’ve got some hair. LOL yes, the homeless will provide a shirt for the man in due time.

  2. I fit somewhere in between. But then it takes a REAL WOMAN to pull off both Fashionista and Field & Stream! I clean up nice though. And of course your jewelry makes anything I wear look good – even waders baby. Thanks for the tip on having personal shopper hold back shoes – that was news to me. I’m a size 8 too and they are ALWAYS gone. grrr. What would I do without you? xoxo

    • sueanneshirzay Says:

      Somewhere in the rubber boots family there is this thing I like to call galoshes, which is the baby version of the evil wader. Now, they? Are cute! Polka dot, little duckies, plaid? Oh, yes. Galoshes rock.

  3. PussDaddy Says:

    Hmmm. From what I can gather I don’t think I am anywhere near a fashionista.


  4. A point of technical correction; that would be …kiss my Lucky wearing Jean SHIKSE toukas 😉

    And to elaborate on point three:
    3. If you look like you should be in the movies You MAY BE A FASHIONISTA
    If that movie is Deliverance or any one starring Larry the Cable Guy…you might not be a fashionista.

    Love how this is developing. Keep up the good work!

    Your loyal Hamptons groupie,

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