This is a guest post from The Frugal Duchess, Sharon Harvey Rosenberg. Rosenberg writes a column for the Miami Herald about saving money. Her new book is The Frugal Duchess: How to Live Well and Save Money.
 
Almost every year for Rosh Hashanah — the New Year according to the Hebrew calendar — my family buys new clothes. With a few new tags, we make symbolic and fashion statements. And the same message is delivered during the fall back-to-school shopping season:  Our new clothes represent a fresh start for a new year.
 
But this year was different, and not just for me. For example, at a gathering of family and friends, old clothes provided the newest fashion statement.  Here are the trends I spotted at recent parties, family dinners and other celebrations:

  • Closet vintage clothing: My friend Ellen recently stepped out in a navy Alfred Nipon suit — a classic — purchased for a family celebration in 2004. Four years later, the suit is still stunning.
  • Borrowed clothing: Monica —  a neighbor — showed up at a dressy dinner party wearing an outfit borrowed from her adult daughter’s closet. I was tempted to ask if I could borrow the same outfit for another event.
  • Favorite classics:  At a recent gathering, my friend Ahava wore a 20-year-old black and white  skirt.  She dressed it up with newer accessories, but the old skirt was the centerpiece of her outfit.
  • Thrift-store specials: One friend proudly sported a designer shirt (Givenchy) purchased from $2.50 at an area thrift store.

As for me, I’ve been shopping in my own closets and cupboards. Shopping at home has several advantages. For example, I’ve re-discovered at least three skirts and several jackets that were forgotten.

When confronted with the large volume of skirts, shirts and jackets in my closet, I actually feel ashamed about wanting new items.  (I really, really don’t need new stuff!). Modeling my own wardrobe provides a sense of gratitude and pride.

As an added bonus, while rummaging through my closet, I find purses, jackets and suits that would look great on a friend or would work well in the window of an area thrift store.

For more on this subject, please read:

Recycling old clothes renews my creative spark and prompts me to examine my closet and my life with fresh eyes.

Sharon Harvey Rosenberg, the Frugal Duchess of South Beach, is a write-at-home mom with three kids, one husband, one dog, and five blogs. She has fine tastes and a small budget, which she explores in her Miami Herald column about saving money. Here fashionably frugal attitude is “Live well, find meaning and stay on a budget.”

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