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How to be a Recessionista

When a fashionista can tighten her budget belt just as well as she can a wide, patent leather one, she earns herself a new title: recessionista.

These are the women who listen to their inner Suze Orman and put down the Christian Louboutins. They get a nice buzz from slashed prices and clearance signs bring tears to their eyes. But, their style never reflects their commitment to savings.

"It physically hurts me to pay full price," says Kathryn Finney, creator of thebudgetfashionista.com. "People have this belief that if it’s under $10 it’s not worthy and if it’s over $100 it must be great. That’s simply not true."

Fashion mavens who want to maintain a high standard of style in this dire economic climate must change their thinking. Simply stalking sales won’t cut it, either.

To be a true recessionista you have to implement the same creativity with your wallet that you do with your wardrobe.

Here are some of Finney’s best penny-pinching tips. Check out the looks we’ve put together, too. Each of them illustrate how well affordability and fashion are getting along these days.

 

• LEARN TO SEW

You’d be surprised how much this could save you. You don’t have to own a Singer, either. Just the basic skills will save you trips to the tailor for hemming and "taking in" garments.

Plus, lost buttons and broken zippers won’t translate to "out of commission" clothes.

• CLOTHES-SWAPPING PARTY

Invite your most stylish friends and ask them to bring their finest dust-collecting duds. To make the trading fair, for every item a guest takes, they must give one.

If more than one party is interested in an item, some hosts require a "walk-off" to determine a winner.

• ONE-STOP SHOPPING

If you’re not pointing and clicking while you shop, then surely you’re driving and guzzling — gas, that is.

The best way to avoid the "E" on your gas gauge is to buy your clothes, outerwear, underwear and athletic gear all in one spot. Kohl’s, Target, Old Navy and H&M are excellent resources.

• Surf ebay

Bid at the right price and the right time and you can walk away with a steal of a deal.

Likewise, if it’s time to part ways with a garment, post it at the price of your choice and reap the profits.

• THRIFT SHOP

They can require more digging than an archaeologist is willing to do, but the treasures you can find at Savers and Goodwill make it well worth it.

If for nothing else, at least consider going thrift for your winter coat this year.

• SHOE REPAIR

Find a shoe repair shop. No need to invest in a new pair if it’s just a matter of a worn down heel or broken sandal strap.

It’s the best way to get the most out of your shoe investments and prevents bidding an early farewell to favorites.

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