Sunday, April 18, 2010

Colorful Clothes As An Economic Indicator

According to a recent New York Times article, the resurgence of multihued designs can be interpreted as an indicator of recovery:

"The profusion of hothouse colors and patterns popping up on New York streets this month suggests a new buoyancy, as women shake off the constraints of a lingering recession and stock up on fashions more lively and vivid than they’ve seen in years."
"People are sick of not shopping," said Beth Buccini, an owner of Kirna Zabete, a SoHo outpost of vanguard design, where splashy florals and abstract designs are providing a bracing antidote to months of self-imposed sobriety. After such a miserable winter, and an even more miserable economy," she said, "people want a little joy in their lives."

I don't think the down economy has necessarily changed my spending habits. While I didn't stop spending money on non-essentials completely, I've gotten into the habit of saving (no matter how small the amount) for a 'rainy' day and try to keep my spending in check in general. If I'm able to pay all of my bills, save, and make progress toward my financial goals I'm happy. Building discretionary spending on non-essentials into my budget like clothing works for me but others feel very comfortable with cutting it out entirely.

I see a minor evolution of my personal style to being more comfortable in a more diverse range of color and prints rather than neutral colors. But I'm not sure if this change can be attributed to the economy making moderate improvements or outside style influences combined with the development of my personal taste. The article goes on to say that though there has been gradual increases in consumer spending: "consumption is not expected to rise to the levels of 2006, when apparel sales rose on average by 6 percent."

Have you seen any changes in your clothing spending over the past few years because of the economy? Do you think the economy influences your personal style color choices as the article suggests?

Image: New York Times


eemusings said...

Personally I've always been a fan of colour - I hate seasons when everything is neutral or black/grey/beige.

They also say lipstick and underwear sales are economic indicators!

Small Budget, Big Style Chick said...

@eemusings I've also heard similar things about lipstick and underwear sales. I hope the economy continues to rebound and that people don't forget to budgeting habits developed during the downturn, but I also hope bright colors and prints are here to stay!

Revanche said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revanche said...

I've been in a ton of neutrals lately because I simply can't bring myself to spend on more seasonal variety for work clothes yet. They're so expensive for clothes that fit that I'm just building a wardrobe of basics at this point. Someday, I'll have a clothing budget, and then I shall dress in colors! :)