Bargain shopper and writer extraordinaire, Nancy Brenner, pens another important piece for GSNYC:
According to Barron's new cover story on the new consumer and the Michelle Index, Michelle O. wields weighty influence over brands like J. Crew whose fortunes rise as a result. Michelle Obama tried to lead the nation as a frugalista by gracing J. Crew even wearing a timeless twin to Jay Leno, but Crew is still an aspirational brand for most Americans. And at the TIME 100 dinner, she showed up in a pricey Michael Kors number. Michelle - try shopping like most American grappling with job losses, furloughs, and two-household paychecks slimmed down to one or none- by being a recessionista. As a veteran of more sample sales then I'll ever admit to, I offer my tips to savings wannabe Obama and real recessionistas on how to earn their sample sale blackbelts. Tips for the frugalista: Ever had someone snatch your very own clothes at a sample sale? It's not just an urban myth - bring a bag with you that's big enough to stuff in your "street clothes" so you don't have to guard them in the makeshift dressing room. Don't want to show up to work or an appointment with your hair in disarray? One savvy shopper clipped her hair close to her head in a signore Chanel scarf so she could keep her coif perfect. Set a stopwatch - establish a time limit from the start - and allow for checkout lines. Be strategic - go for the most limited item first - if a sale is stocked with skirts, but few blouses, get there faster than KFC coupon holders. If you can wing it to NY for a Broadway show, surely it's worth the savings to head to the sales. Amortize extra costs such as parking near the building - consider it part of the expenditure. One woman takes the red eye to hit up her favorite sale, stocks up with racks of clothes and heads home with her booty. At reductions for a Lafayette 148 leather jacket from $895 to $75, it was worth the airfare. Buddy up - go with someone who's judgment you trust and can be an extra "mirror" - and can assess when something is not the perfect fit - maybe Sarah Palin has some free time. Michelle - show us you got game and on your next trip to New York, roll up your sleeves (if you're wearing any) and go where real fashionistas hunt for fabu finds - on long lines to gain entry into dimly lit spaces, with teensy try-on rooms and dresses that even Jackie-O would have worn with grace. Bring the Secret Service with you and find out where the real housewives of New York and their single counterparts hang out and economize.