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Surviving a recession fashionably is sort of like weathering the disco era.
You have to keep trying until you find the right affordable look — or megahit, like Gloria Gaynor’s 1979 anthem I Will Survive.
Gaynor, who was in town earlier this year for a performance with the Houston Symphony, says while she’s celebrating 30 years of singing about being a survivor, she’s now ready to tell us how, especially when it comes to fashion.
“I miss the elegance in fashion,” she says. “In the ’ 70s, people cared how they looked. We might have looked crazy, but at least we cared.”
Here’s her advice for staying fashionable now:
Make the most of what you’ve got
“You have to get the most out of your looks,” she said, referring to outfits that transition from day to night.
That’s where you’ll likely find timeless and affordable pieces . Gaynor says she still has a Norma Kamali off-white gown with fringe that she bought from a New York vintage boutique in the 1970s.
Don’t spend beyond your means
“If your outflow exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall,” Gaynor says. Translation: If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it.
Comfort often translates to confidence — that “survivor” attitude.
Try incorporating one of Gaynor’s disco fashion staples — platform shoes, big shoulder pads, massive hair, cinched waists or glitter — into your look. But avoid too much or you’ll look dated.