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On Fashion & Frugality

On Fashion & Frugality


By Miriam Silverberg

As a comfortably middle-class Baby Boomer with a passion for fashion, I do have to exercise some frugality. Fortunately, this comes naturally to me since I was raised by parents who were children of the Depression and passed on their values to me. This column is a continuing commentary on my efforts to justify fashion and frugality. I’m very ingenious, wearing things in a way that they were really not intended. For instance, I have a rather expensive sarong-type black wool skirt by Donna Karan. I’ve had it for years, but it was a mistake. I never should have bought it. Every time I wore it, the big knot in the front made me look fat even though I’m actually very slim. But as I say, it was expensive, so the thought of throwing it out bothered me. Finally, I put it in a pile to give to charity. But before I gave it away, I suddenly had an “aha” moment. Why not wear it as a shawl? I now have a beautiful, luxurious black wool shawl and no one would ever suspect it’s really a skirt. It has no zipper, buttons or closure and is very wide. Remember when half-slips and petticoats were part of every woman’s wardrobe? Well, I unearthed a beautiful black taffeta one with embroidery on the hem. It was buried in the back of a drawer, and I forgot I had it. Into the pile marked for charity it went. And then another “aha” moment. Why not wear it as a skirt? Why not, indeed. I wear it in the summer with a tee shirt over it, belted loosely at the waist. It garners me many compliments. •

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