Living It Up in a Down Economy
By Marjorie Rothstein
Talk about bad timing. A new movie, Confessions of a Shopaholic, is was released at the lowest point in our economic downturn, although postponing things in an attempt to avoid mass offence sounds like a far better idea. Things are rough for practically everyone these days, especially for an artistic soul. It seems as though everyone is feeling the pinch–except for the stratospherically rich of course, who are now finding that Living the 5-Star Life is even better than ever. For these lucky few, the New Economy is tantamount to cruising the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles at 3 a.m. on a Sunday morning. No traffic, no riff-raff. Just smooth cruising all the way. Here in Hollywood, you will still see the young and restless shopping, but now they’re having a right field day at the ultra-hip Fred Segal. This is just one of the many trend-setting boutiques that line Melrose Avenue which are packed with overpriced things you don’t need (unless your name ends with Hilton, Lohan or Trump.)
Just yesterday, as I was stuck in gridlock during on of the city’s rare rainstorms, I spotted an empty parking spot right in front of the boutique. I usually visit during the yearly ‘must-go’ Fred Segal Fall Sale, which rigorously happens only once a year in September. But wait…was that a sign up that read ‘75% off!’–in January? The most upscale store in town, which never has another sale, was in fact having a huge sale–again. And it’s not just happening over at Fred Segal. All across town, from Barneys to Bloomingdales, there are countless of sales being held. For shopaholics, it’s as if they have died and gone to heaven. Yet for most of us, this is just not an option. Nevertheless, I just had to stop by to see what was available. I told myself that I would only consider anything under $50, but when I stepped inside, I realized that most of the items on the racks were similar to things I already had–in fact, my threads are much nicer. I reminded myself of all the clothes in my closet that I haven’t worn in a couple of years, confirming the fact that if you have good taste and buy right, your clothes will transcend the latest trends. All you need are a couple of accent pieces, such as the latest scarf or a funky piece of costume jewellery and voilà, you’re ready to step into S/S 09.
Now is the time to shop your own closet. For most of us, unless you gain or lose weight, you will have enough clothes for at least the next few seasons. Who cares about the latest Ed Hardy jeans showered with metallic glitter, rhinestones and drips of paint? Go out and buy some spray paint and you’ll have your own designer jeans. And then when someone asks, ‘Who’s the designer?’ you can proudly reply, ‘Me!’
Now is the time to be creative, have fun and not care about what’s happening in trends, fashion or shopping. Take care of your inside and your outside will shine. Give yourself the gift of Extreme Self Care. Splurge on meditation, peaceful moments walking in the park and smelling the roses.
Now is the time to find out what really gives you joy and to pass it on to others. Now is the time to use what you already have, and get rid of what you don’t need. Now is the time to change from being a shopaholic to a creativity addict. Step out of the box and be free. Do something different, give away the things you don’t use and enjoy a moment of empty space and lightness. Now is the time to give up your addictions and clean up your act from the inside-out. Enjoy a new sense of freedom and live it isp in a different way.
Marjorie Hope Rothstein