Image from Style.com
Like other stylish chicas out there, I couldn't wait to get my hot little paws on the September issue of Vogue. I enjoyed flipping through the ads and immersing myself in the beautiful photos, but I found the Ask Mrs. Exeter column and its "priceless advice for the frugal fashionista" downright laughable. A reader had submitted this letter to Mrs. Exeter:
"My friends and I are all under 30, and this is our first recession since we moved away from our parents' homes. Although in public we talk only about the broader socioeconomic implications of the international market crisis, in private, to be honest, we worry about our fall wardrobes. Our careers may be great, but our salaries are so last season. You must have lived through lots of recessions, Mrs. Exeter, and we wonder how the Best-Dressed cope during economic downturns?"
I know Vogue is all about the aspirational and there are actually people in the world who live like this and can easily afford to wear designer clothing head-to-toe. But proclaiming a socialite as ingeniously thrifty because she swapped the gold strap on her Cartier watch for a white alligator one? Talking about how the wealthy are slumming it by shopping at Topshop and Banana Republic? Suggesting Prada and Oscar de la Renta as part of a "strict, limited uniform of staples"? It's well-intentioned advice but so far removed from the economic reality of most North Americans. My frugal little heart winces at some of the prices at Banana Republic and calculates how much the deceptively cheap lace top from Topshop actually works out to be in Canadian dollars.
If that's Mrs. Exeter's idea of advice for the frugal fashionista, in her eyes, I'm probably the flat-broke fashionista.