Thursday, Apr. 16, 2009

Fancy Threads

Just about everything you wear has been discounted. But the biggest steals are in cashmere and formalwear, according to, which tracks online pricing. Cashmere is considered a luxury staple, meaning that it is expensive but purchased consistently by a small group of relatively well-off consumers. That group got a lot smaller when the recession hit in full force last fall. By then, though, manufacturers and retailers had already committed to producing and purchasing what proved to be wildly high levels of the material given the eroding economy. Now there is a glut of stylish, high-quality cashmere sweaters, scarves and blankets on store shelves, being offered at historically low prices as retailers scramble to lighten their inventory. These prices probably will not last through the end of the year. As for formalwear, the economy sank so fast that designers were not able to tone down their styles quick enough to keep pace with the more somber mood of the country. The prices on dressy tuxedos and gowns (which will come back into fashion with an economic recovery) have been slashed about 75%.

Read "How to Know When the Economy Is Turning Up."