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Coutorture Network Finds Ways To Stay Stylish Despite Economic Woes

Shout Out: Network Partners to the Rescue

Yesterday we were in a brooding mood as we pondered the effect the economic downturn would have on our fashion choices. However, we've since turned our frowns upside down, as we realized that the fashion world doesn't have to become a virtual strip mall of homogeneous, low-quality goods. While we're still aware of its pitfalls and are sleeping with one eye open, we've found solutions for the fashion-craving girl or guy on a paltry budget. Our network partners show us the way.

We found inspiration in the form of a puffed shoulder, via Kingdom of Style's tale of victory on eBay, where she scored a unique bolero jacket that sent her over the moon with rapturous joy. Her jubilant photo spread with said jacket proved to us that you can still sate your high-fashion appetites. You just have to know where to look. Even if bidding wars aren't your thing, there are many virtual stores on eBay that don't require you to engage in high-speed clicking battles with an enemy mouse. For the uninitiated, these stores allow eBayers to buy and sell goods at fixed prices.

If it's indie accoutrements you crave, Etsy is pretty hard to beat. As a marketplace for independent designers to showcase their wares without the costs associated with a brick and mortar shop, it's a go-to if you're looking for unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that you won't see everywhere else. Plus, it feels good to support a fledgling designer and stick it to our mass-producing culture. Network partner Stereoette makes and sells her own jewelry at her Etsy online store. She also recommends Gavin & Lily, and Holly Stalder.

If it's vintage you seek, our network partners have you covered. Shrimpton Couture is a treasure trove of vintage finds and is currently offering 15% off of everything on the site until May 31. Debutante Clothing lets you know where to find the great vintage styles and tips you off to the best eBay and Etsy shops. Zuburbia always features an enviable vintage pick of the day and provides a well-edited list of links to vintage resources.

Perhaps our economic woes will force us to become better, more resourceful shoppers. There will always be a niche to serve those discerning consumers who won't be satisfied with what traditional retailers try to peddle, and as long as we continue to seek it, the market will respond accordingly.

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