Can I just say the trendy frugality is not cute or fashionable? For the record, let me state that I have officially come to dislike the terms: Frugalista, Recessionista and even TJmaxxista. Why? Because the terms and the marketing tactics used to popularize these terms undermine those who are truly going through a financial struggle. In a time where more than 3.9 million Americans have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks, its kind of insulting for it to be touted as “frugal” when someone chooses to by $300 shoes over their usual $800 pair. I cannot even stand to pick up a fashion magazine anymore these days. Some of these editors have the nerve to tell me and their millions of readers that spending $198 on a pair of jeans is being economical. I literally roll my eyes and it makes me want to do nothing more than roll up the magazine and bop them on their $300 manicured heads.
This “Frugalista” article in Elle really made cringe. At first, I didn’t think that this person was serious…but then I realized, in her world….she thought she was being frugal. I would hate it for her, if she really found out about being frugal for a purpose and not being frugal because it is trendy.
I see that I am not the only one who is sick and tired of this trend. Writer Latoya Peterson at Jezebel.com talks about her dislike of this trend.
Fashion Blog 39thandBroadway also has a great post about glamorizing the concept of a recessionista.
Note to fashion editors- Fashionomics is not about having 1 page of items under $100 and then 50 pages of items over $800. I mean really, does that make sense to you?
Now, lets put this in context. I don’t know much about the fashion magazine/publising business, but I can only assume that perhaps a lot of the staffers borrow heavily from the fashion closets or are provided items gratis, or maybe they just may be in a lot of debt–so it makes sense to feature some obscenely expensive item as a financially responsible purchase.
I do know that in times like these, my chagrin at these words is not about “hating”, its about things being in poor taste. I find it hard to take serious, advice about “style on a dime”, from a source that says paying $345 for a shirt is a “steal”. Ok, maybe when times were good, that was a great deal, but in times where people are having to choose between eating or having health insurance…its almost crass and borderline disrespectful.
My thing is this. Fashion Mags, don’t stop what your doing with your fashion spreads and editorials. Truth be told, I like the glossies and they can be truly inspiring. What you can do, however, is stop throwing around words like Fashionomics, Frugalista and Reccessionista in a misguided attempt to “connect” with your “broke” readers. Understand that you are not really doing anything to combat this current economic crisis.