September is the time of year when fashion magazines try to outdo each other with the “mine is bigger than yours” competition usually reserved for the boys. Vogue won the prize this year at just under two and a half pounds, with 447 of its 584 pages devoted to ad space.
This season’s mandate: appear to acknowledge the recession while repackaging frivolous, insanely expensive items as smart, economical purchases. The following is what I gleaned from the magazines’ advice on how to indulge my inner greedhead in these dark recessionary times. Apparently, saving money involves spending stupid amounts of it.
1. Cunnilingus sells shoes. (Well, duh! Of course it does!)
2. Shop your closet.
Everyone knows that when money is tight, we can’t afford to buy head-to-toe designer looks. For this reason, InStyle advises accessorizing the $395 chiffon wrap that is undoubtedly already hanging in your closet with the D-Bag from Tod’s. No, it’s not a feminine hygiene product. It’s a purse which retails for $1,445 and is named in memory of Princess Diana. She would be so proud.
3. Indulge in life’s little luxuries.
Vogue writes of the “new economy”:
Irrationally exuberant spending has been replaced by carefully considered decisions about getting our money’s worth–like the smart buys on these pages, made by designers exclusively for Vogue.
One of these “pick-me-ups that won’t bring you down” is a $495 lipstick case.
There’s something so wonderfully ingenious about this invented necessity. I had been unaware that my lipstick case pined for a wardrobe of its own. I’d been considering saving on lipstick by dragging my mouth across a stucco wall for some color. Now I need to steal $500 and shoplift some Revlon in order to feel complete.
4. Consult the stars.
From my horoscope in Allure:
Saturn–the planet that’s caused you misery these past two years–finally does you a favor when it conjoins the Sun in Virgo on the 17th. It’ll still cost you time and money to resolve the issue, but the price is worth it for the peace of mind you’ll get in return.
Fucking Saturn. Even the heavens want me to go shopping.
5. You deserve a piece of the pie, even if you can’t afford a piece of pie.
The normally populist Us Weekly rationalizes deficit spending in its 28-page Fall Style Special, which touts Hilary Duff’s discount duds, then segues into this advice:
Can’t spring for that big designer tote? Help yourself to these hot-label accessories that A-listers adore
They include a $260 Fendi coin purse and a $345 pair of metal and resin (what my people call plastic) Chanel earrings.
6. You’re investing in the future, just not the one you were expecting.
Speaking of Chanel, Us has a two-page spread about the history and production of the 2.55 Chanel bag, so worth it at a cool $2,495. It helpfully lists Chanel’s website so you can order right away. The bag is just large enough to carry your lipstick case, coin purse, eviction notice and tissues to wipe your daughter’s tears when you tell her you can’t afford braces this year.Oh well, maybe snaggle teeth will be in next year. If not, she can always move to England, land of unfortunate orthodontia. You can always pass it down to her. It will hold her dentures quite handily, right next to her broken dreams of a better life.
7. When all else fails, multitask.
Don’t overlook the hidden benefits of your crass materialism. If the amortization of daily usage can’t justify your purchase of a designer Zip-loc with handles, look at that Chanel bag in a new light. Clear some space on your closet rod and those chain straps will make a trendy noose. (Autoerotic asphyxiation not included. Fashion can’t teach us everything.)