What to Wear When the Dollar is at an All Time Low Against the Euro?

Written by admin on January 22, 2007 – 3:12 pm -

For those who fill their closets with European clothes, and we’re not talking haute couture but simply off the rack prêt a porter, what buying options are there when the dollar is lower than low vs. a vs. the Euro?

Those of us, who live on dollar incomes in the EU, are feeling the pinch. We’ve probably already developed the habit of buying better and buying less. We buy only during the sales unless it’s something perishable to serve on the table.

Pulling out all the stops, who is more of a buying expert than Born to Shop Suzy Gershman? She’s no enigma to Bonjour Paris readers and dedicated shoppers and advises people to purchase clothes and more for the long haul.  That includes weight fluctuations. Her caveat when shopping in Europe is, “ buy silly throwaway mementos or clothes, which you’ll wear forever.” Suzy states there are still bargains in Paris, but the majority of them are found in the make-up department. If you’re into designer clothes, she advises that the second hand store route may be a solution. Two of her favorite Paris outlets are Réciproque and Le Dépot Vente du 17eme.

I’ve found some neat, cheap and chic clothes in outdoor markets and should confess the dress I wore to my son’s and daughter-in-law’s wedding came from the Tuesday market in Vaison-la-Romaine. Suzy found a linen dress that she loved and purchased it in every color, merci.

Suzy’s current mantra is,  “Go West Young Man,”  (or woman) when seeking fashion deals.  “Think Indo-Chine (Vietnam) and head to Hong Kong or China where fashion and home décor bargains still exist. Plus,  $200 per night can buy a first-class hotel room contrasted with Paris, where you’ll probably be sleeping in a closet. Don’t forget restaurant costs in Asia and who doesn’t love noodles?”

An additional plus of buying in Asia is that clothes can be tailor made or altered within a matter of minutes or days. When was the last time (unless you were spending couturier big bucks) when you were entitled a fitting? If you have an item of clothing you love, take it with you and have it copied. Some people say you should import your own thread but that’s a matter of opinion.

Some trends: Department store and professional buyers are scouring former European colonies for the new look. US buyers are heading to Tokyo in order to seek out fashion trends. They may buy one sample and have it modified to fit the American body and shape, before articles find their way into department or clothing stores.

The shopping queen also advises going to second hand stores and buying carefully. Two of her favorites in New York are Michael’s and Encore, which was made famous by Jackie Kennedy Onassis, since her “used” clothes ultimately ended up (discreetly) being resold there. But, people in the know, knew.

Friends who live in the US are complaining about dramatic price hikes when it comes to their buying power. A few are threatening to go nude rather than wearing last year’s wardrobe. Even though that’s a grand exaggeration, what happened to parity? Suzy once again has a way to beat the system.  If you happen to be near a Loehmann’s, head to its Back Room.  You may find an Armani for a fraction of the cost you’d have to shell out in Italy. So what if it’s last year’s model? Women should also peruse the men’s department since they’re frequently less expensive even if they require some alterations.

Another recommended shopping destination is: The Woodbury Common Outlet Center where you’ll find 220 discount stores including Chanel and so many others. Located approximately 1.5 hours north of the Big Apple, don’t fret if you’re without wheels. There are buses to transport you to and fro for your buying pleasure. All you need to do is reserve.

Suzy has been shopping with a vengence and has just completed circling the world three times doing research her upcoming book, “Where to Buy the Best of Everything” that is slated to be released this coming March. She’s spent her time unearthing the 1000 places where addicted shoppers should shop before they die. Don’t expect to see the usual stores you’ll encounter on 5th Avenue or Rodeo Drive. The listings will include emporiums for people who are looking for the most unique of the unique.

How did Suzy pack for these killer trips?  “I always wear black and then black,” she said. She didn’t even pack anything grey for because it might necessitate an additional pair of shoes. Another hint; the shopping goddess always includes a very lightweight duffle bag in her suitcase. First, she’ll need it for things she’s purchased during her travels. Secondly, the way different airlines are adhering to different weight specifications, she’s been known to have to repack as she checks in for a flight.  And who said shopping is easy?  It’s both an art and a science. Not to mention, an act of passion and love.

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