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Economic Woes Make Conservative Clothes

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Broker ; Madison.,[Single- and double-breasted topcoats], Digital ID 1599920, New York Public LibraryWhat happens to fashion when the global economy becomes strained? The answer isn’t clear, by any means, but there are hints from past circumstances. Generally, clothing stays conservative, or doesn’t vary from the ideas seen in the last pre-troubled seasonal lineup. I’d made some New Year’s predictions which seem to be falling short of expectations. Baby doll styles, shrunken jackets, and giddy colors can still be seen for sale en masse. The only thing I predicted that seems to be turning out as I’d hoped is a steady drumbeat for ecologically-minded, or green, fashion. 

Which brings me to the 1930s, a time when economic bad news was pervasive. Ironically, some of the clothing to come out of that decade proved to be stylish, and came to be labeled as “classical.” Men’s suits, for example, received accolades for being glamorous: well cut, smart lapels, and textural dash. This had everything to do with the fact that Hollywood and its talkies had a great impact on popular culture of that period. Movie stars are still considered fashion icons. Financial recession these days, however, will mean that innovation is stifled. Lack of cash will force designers and companies to sit on big changes in garments. Look for classical to have a strong run this year…

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