Recessionistas in, fashionistas out in bad economy

Wed Feb 4, 2009 2:12pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Move over fashionistas -- there's a new girl in town.

She's called the "recessionista" and she delights in spending $70 rather than $700 on a cashmere cardigan or $1 to make a kiwi fruit face mask instead of shelling out $100 for a session at a trendy day spa.

As the world economy tanks, recessionistas are finding pleasure in finding bargains rather than splurging in an era where ostentatious consumption -- even for the well-off -- is beginning to appear gauche.

"There is something grotesque about paying full price -- $2,500 - $3,500 on a handbag. It is such a dumb thing to do," said Mandi Norwood, former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan and Mademoiselle magazines.

"It is very chic to save and very chic to get a deal. Any girl wants to look stylish but also be perceived as smart," she said.

The word recessionista -- originally a person who enjoys dressing fashionably on a budget -- has gained rapidly in currency and now embraces the worlds of dining, entertaining and beauty.

It was declared the word of the week on the Macmillan Dictionary Web site last week and is one of the top fashion buzz words of 2009, along with its sibling "chiconomics," according to the Global Language Monitor.

Recessionistas enjoy hunting for bargains on sample sale Web sites, in consignment stores and in discount stores which commission inexpensive fashion lines from top designers.   Continued...