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Fashion, Recessionista Style

In today's economy, it seems like everyone's keeping an eye on their budgets as layoffs sweep across thousands of jobs. Let's face it, the national unemployment rate in the United States is at 9.7 percent and rising. Luckily, when it comes to saving money, fashionistas will be glad to know that being broke doesn't have to mean - looking broke.

In a recession, cotton apparel is ideal since it's both durable and cost efficient. Cotton lasts all year and is always in style. Even I have cotton shirts that go as far back as six years ago. Pack rat, I am not! Besides, when the weather cools down, summer cotton outfits can be layered in the fall. (If you're worried about looking out of date, don't worry. Layering clothing is a fall trend, so there's no need to get rid of your newly purchased summer ensembles.)

Word from the wise: A few wallet-friendly items include zippered hoodies, leggings and denim jackets, says Linda DeFranco, Director, Product Trend Analysis, Cotton Incorporated.

Other options include typical long sleeved cotton shirts, khakis and layers. If you want to stay "trendy" for fall, Cotton Incorporated suggests buying clothing that contains, "mineral shades punctuated with loud pinks and warm oranges," or "jewel tones grounded by earthy grays." Another popular fall trend is "mustard yellow" as it adds a pop of color to any outfit.

Guys are covered too. It seems that the back-to-school trend forecast for males include hoodies, gray denim or fitted silhouettes and charcoal rubbed stripes on woven shirts.

So by now you're probably asking yourself, "Where should the budget conscious shop?" We've gathered a few helpful tips to help you get the best bang for your buck.

Thrift Stores: If you don't mind second hand items, thrift stores are a great place to find pre-owned clothing at extremely low prices. Check out stores like Goodwill or The Salvation Army, which sell clothing, furniture, electronics and more. For higher end, second-hand clothing Buffalo Exchange will be your best bet.

Garage Sales: You'll find garage sales to be prominent on weekends, especially in residential neighborhoods. You'll typically find signs advertising garage sales with an address listed on the bright sign posted on stop signs, light posts and trees. Garage sales are great and can offer you a great deal of second hand items similar to thrift stores. Every garage sale is different. It's always good to bring cash in case you want to purchase anything.

Sample Sales: If thrift stores and second hand items gross you out, then check out sample sales. If you want to find the latest styles at cheap prices, then head to sample sales where up and coming designers sell excess merchandise at a steal. Sample sales offer T-shirts, jeans, hats, purses, accessories, dresses along with clothing and accessories for males. Buyer beware, sometimes, clothing might have small - barely there defects, or the designer printed T-shirts with the wrong color ink. These defects are typically unnoticeable. Some sample sales can get messy with clothes hanging out of boxes, bins of accessories and then some. If chaos is not your thing, then it's a good idea to join sample sale websites where you get to shop in the comforts of your own home (or office).

The next time you decide to buy clothes, remember that there are budget-friendly, stylish ways to get your gear.

For questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to let us know.

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