Today’s NY Times: Recession Chic hits the news!

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So my 15 minutes of fame may at last be here! 🙂 As some of you know, The Recessionista Blog was featured today in the Style section of the NY Times. In the words of a famous TV “Dr.” this is a “changing day in my life.” 🙂 This blog has found an audience because of the state of the current economy. The NY Times is dead on, people are struggling to do more with alot less. And the term “Recessionista” is a word well known to ordinary, reasonable people & shoppers like myself. Its not just a meaningless buzz word made-up by “pundits” and fashion magazines.

So back to FASHION, I’m receiving a lot of comments today from new readers as well as familiar fans of the blog. A big shout out of thanks today for everyone who is stopping by. Alot of people want to know, is ALL the stuff in the picture yours? And how did you snare it on a budget? The answer is yes– its all mine. Let me share some of my recession chic shopping techniques. (note: the above picture is my personal photo. The photo in the article is exclusive to NY Times.)

1) I love Coco, Coco Chanel. I have several Chanel pieces that I wear for business. The pink jacket in the picture was purchased at a Designer Consignment store in New York City. It was purchased for a fraction of its retail price. The previous owner wore it maybe once. I love that its hanging on the wall of my study in this picture. I consider Chanel art! -:)

The Chanel shoes in the picture were purchased at the same store, and they had never been worn..not even once. When I found them, I was amazed that shoes like that would just be dropped off for resale, without ever having been worn. Incredible what you can uncover when you take the time to look.

2) The designer Alice Temperely dress was purchased on eBay. It was “NWT” (new with tags for those of you not familiar with the eBay lingo.)Retail price for the dress was over $800 USD. But, through the magic of eBay, I paid $99.00 for this dress. Yes, I have bragging rights on that steal of a deal!!

3) Wearing: Celia Birtwell top from Express purchased on sale for a song,
Yummi Glass heart necklace and on my lap mi amour, my Target Anya Hindmarch handbag.

4) Pictured around me, a “bevy of bargains” : Sigerson Morrison shoes from Target, Yummi Glass jewelry box, H&M “stuff”, Nordstrom Rack silver ballet shoes + Prada shoes from the Barney’s NY sale.

Special thanks to the folks at The Shampoo Lounge for the great hair! David’s been doing my hair for years. The prices are reasonable and the look is fantastic!

That’s all for now…I’m running off to get some coffee and check out H&M’s Comme des Garcons preview on the H&M home page. I’m pondering the collection for a future blog….

Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.


  1. Jennifer K

    October 26, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    I read about your blog in today’s NYT’s style section and just had to check out your blog. I really like it. I just wrote about it on my blog

  2. kmackstress

    October 26, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    The ladies of Recession This! love your blog! How cool to find us all blogging about surviving a recession in style on both coasts.
    We’d love to add a link to Recessionista on our blog if you don’t mind.

  3. MH

    October 27, 2008 at 1:56 am

    Hi KMACKSTRESS, What is your blog? Thanks for reading mine. Go ahead & link to Recessionista –I'm very flattered, MH

  4. Julia

    October 27, 2008 at 3:43 am

    Hi Recessionista! It’s always wonderful to meet another bargain hunter (even if it’s just online). You should check out the blog I write – the Bargain Hunter – for the LA Daily News at I just mentioned the NYT story on you!

    On the Bargain Hunter I help readers save money on groceries, gasoline, meals out, and tons of other everyday expenses. Hope you’ll check it out. Thanks! ~Julia

  5. Beth

    October 27, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Read about you in the NYT. Great article … good for you!! And, yes, there are lots of things that we can do to stay fashionable without breaking the budget, even without a recession.

    Two things to mention … ACCESSORIES! Great way to update a wardrobe without breaking the bank. A new scarf can change the look without breaking the bank. Same with fab jewelry.

    Second thing …!! Fabulous place for really unique, often one-of-a-kind items for some great prices.

    Thanks again for devoting a blog to this idea!

  6. Lavon

    October 27, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    I read your blog and as I noted in my blog I guess that I have been a recessionista all my life.

    It is the way I was taught to shop. Regardless of what the world money situation.

    I truly appreciate your blog and I am now a follower.

  7. JenX67

    October 27, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    How awesome for you! I follow Jennifer K’s blog and found her post about you. Good luck on the Big Idea. What an accomplishment.

  8. Miss Gisele B

    October 28, 2008 at 12:22 am

    I think this is simply brilliant because this is the time where we need to take a long hard look at what we buy and “WHY” we buy it.

    Scoring that want-to-be-designer bag at Tarjay (Target) was a coup because now you can use the $1200+ you saved on other things.

    I think the idea here is that we’re all about learn some hard lessons and it will change the way we shop for the better.

    Hopefully, when things turn around and the economy is roaring again like crazy and money (or the lack there of) will no longer be an issue, we will always remember October 2008 and we will always be a little more cautious about our purchases and we will have learned how to be better savers!

    Congratulations on your great feature in New York Times! You must be quite pleased!!!

    Miss Gisele B.

  9. Kristin

    October 28, 2008 at 2:37 am

    My siblings and I started a free online service called that will also benefit our readers! It’s allows you to save items you like into a Shopping List and then when the item goes on sale, we email you! It’s really easy to use and satisfies your craving for buying something new without the guilt! You can also share your Shopping List so start dropping hints to your friends and family for holiday gifts!

  10. David Thorpe

    October 28, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Hi Mary! Congrats on the article, which as a hoot. Do you know about Housing Works is a charity that runs upscale thrift shops in NYC and just launched an online store with truly amazing merchandise (Prada, Dolce and Gabbana, Blahnik) for ridiculous prices. They’re also having a massive charity sample sale from Nov. 13 to Nov. 16 called Fashion for Action (

  11. The Big L

    October 28, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Dear Mary…

    Bravo! Your blog is fantastic and the wonderful coverage in the NY Times Style section is icing on the cake. Congratulations! We at Loehmann’s have always believed that timeless style doesn’t have to be costly, that one can wear great design and not break the bank and that a chic outfit is even hotter if you got it for less. Now that these tough times are forcing everyone to be smarter with their pocketbooks, we are glad that your message is being heard loud and clear! Savvy shopping is cool and being frugal when it comes to fashion is en vogue. We applaud you! We know that you’ve relied on us as a source for some of your fashion finds in the past and hope that you’ll continue to find great items at Loehmann’s in the future. With your permission we’d like to add The Recessionista to the Loehmann’s blog. Speaking of which, we hope you’ve checked it out:, as we post regularly with market updates from buyers on great merchandise to expect and up to the minute deals and discounts. We look forward to reading more!

    The Big L

  12. Heather

    October 28, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    Hello! I’m Heather Viggiani, the other photographed recessionista in the NYT article!! Just thought I’d stop by and say hello! I’m developing my own blog right now so when I’m all done with the design I will be sure to link to your blog and let you know when it’s all up and ready!
    : )

  13. MH

    October 29, 2008 at 3:05 am

    Hi Big L, Sure you can link to my blog from the Big L blog.
    Please get some more Yummi Glass jewelry over at Loehman’s. Also, let us know when you have some Jovovich Hawk in the back room 🙂
    MH at The Recessionista Blog