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The Recession: Separating The Well-Dressed From The Stylish

01/08/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

We are officially in a recession, as declared Monday, December 1st. And as it turns out, the National Bureau of Economic Research says we have been in a recession since December 2007.

The fashion industry, however, seems a bit confused. Flipping through the recent Harper's Bazaar, I found myself looking at the price points on each item, something I've never done before because, let's face it, I've never shopped out of a fashion magazine. Checking prices became a game: I would look at an outfit and guess how much it cost. I always lost. These garments, accessories, beauty products truly outdid my expectations. The game quickly became "Who's the customer?!"

The economic crisis forces people to shop more creatively, no matter what tax bracket they fall into. THIS IS NOT BAD! Economic constraints can be very positive when it comes to shopping and dressing. Behold the return of personal style!

Gone are the days of buying a complete outfit, or going by what the fashion industry says. This means more thought, but it also means more style. Choosing the right pieces will make all the difference, and since money is scarce, people will focus on buying, coveting, a few key pieces that they can mold into their own. Accessorizing and personal touches will go far. Mixing and matching will be crucial as one is forced to pair old with new. Looking for deals, shopping sales, going to new stores will all reveal new looks for all price ranges, specific to the people who put them together.

Welcome back personal style, we've missed you! With all this new inspiration, the big fashion houses themselves will be taking note, which may even reveal new, fresh high fashion for us to look at, since we definitely won't be buying it for awhile.