2-for-1 Chanel, Lifetime Guarantees, and More Recession Specials

Variety is the spice of life", they say. Well, given that the dire, frenzied economic (and psychological) climate has forced us all to be mindful monetarily, variety has to be sourced through craftier means than just going out and buying more stuff. We've provided three handy ways to renew your style—without having to go off the deep end with the cash. Namely: some swapping events and online bartering resources, double-duty reversible items, and classic pieces that have long-term guarantees and the quality to match. Read on to maximize with minimal damage—a smart tactic no matter what that crazy Dow is doing.
Reversible Clothing and Accessories
Remember reversible clothing? It enjoyed a brief moment of popularity in the early '90s thanks to boy rap duo Kris Kross, but has since faded from view, with only a limited following of camping enthusiasts and frequent travelers. Well, seems that fashion folk have latched onto this money saving (and suitcase friendly) style once again. At first, we were slightly wary. Something about two garments in one reeked of skort. But our inner penny pincher prevailed, the logic being that if you can't reverse your fortune, you should at least reverse your clothes. Especially when those clothes happen to be made by Jil Sander or Nigel Cabourn—or if you can get two Chanel bags for the price of one. Yes, you heard right: the classic Parisian house is turning out a new bag. Called Coco's Cocoon, the lightweight and reversible nylon/lambskin bags can be turned inside-out for double the color pleasure...or to fool friends into thinking you've doubled your bag collection. Above, from left: Reversible Coco's Cocoon Chanel bag; reversible Nigel Cabourn shirt; reversible Jil Sander belt.
Lifetime Guarantees
Trends come and go, but heritage brands (like the ones found in your grandpa's closet) are here to stay, forever. So it's not surprising that stylish venues like Smith + Butler, Freeman's and Opening Ceremony, have been stocking up on classic wares from companies like Pendleton, Woolrich, Filson, and the ultimate old faithful L.L.Bean with feverish increase. And because nothing quiets a nervous shopper like a fail safe lifetime guarantee, these guys commit to standing behind their products. Dr. Martens, for example, just launched their "For Life" campaign, a lifetime insurance policy for seven of their iconic styles. So while your fortunes may change, you can at least count on your clothes (and your kick-ass boots) to be around for good. Above, from left: Doc Martens; Filson bag.
Swap Meets
Assuming you're bartering with people whose style you like, this activity provides the best of everything. Let us count the ways: it's fun, it's easy access to great treasures, it's environmentally sound, it's free, it's competitive (yet fair play, hopefully). Basically, you can get rid of your own dead stock and reap rewards of new duds, which is a killer combo. Check out Fashionswapandmeet for local swaps happening in Brooklyn, Clothingswap.org for the U.S. and any of these in the U.K. Obviously, it's hit or miss, but, hey, you're
a gambler right?