Free Subscription to Debbie Mandel's Acclaimed Wellness Newsletter

Frugal Is the New Sexy

By Debbie Mandel

Frugal is the new sexy The other day a portfolio manager who happened to be out browsing on her lunch break observed a socialite spending a few thousand dollars at Hermes in Manhattan and requesting an unmarked shopping bag for her purchases. Curious, she approached the store manager who confided that he had on hand many unmarked shopping bags as people felt uncomfortable about flaunting their wealth.

Shabby chic is out and frugal is in. Many people are going closet shopping, their own or their friends' where mixing and matching to create a "look" is the hottest trend in fashion. With the economy plummeting and layoffs multiplying at a geometric progression, Jimmy Choo shoes suddenly seem unattractive and out of place. Human beings are beautifully engineered to adapt and so, our eyes are readjusting to basics and simplicity after all the affluenza. Physically and spiritually we are asking ourselves: how much stuff do we really need? Winter is a great time to clean out the clutter and see things more clearly.

Many of us define ourselves by the externals and of course, this is a set-up for disappointment because media-driven looks are fleeting. Even cosmetic surgery is temporary and requires repeat procedures. Eventually, you have to cultivate beauty inside out by reclaiming your identity and knowing what you uniquely bring to the table.

This doesn't mean that you need to wear sweats all day, walk around slovenly and unkempt. Rather you should cultivate your signature look because through fit, color and style, you give shape to your unique inner self. You can make an entrance to the board room or the school lunch room. You express yourself in the way you carry yourself - I suggest shoulders back and down - how you walk, toss your hair, and the pressure of your touch when you shake hands. Inexpensive costume jewelry adorns your personality in a creative way.

Your personal style creates a sensory impression expressing who you are. If you wear black, you might be a minimalist and mysterious. If you wear bright colors with large pieces of jewelry, you might be free and expansive. Trying on different "costumes" is like trying on different identities and in this time period less is more. Claiming your unique identity and acting with self-confidence is incredibly sexy. You don't need to hide behind the label. Brand yourself!
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life, Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout and Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: