POSTED ON JULY 9, 2008:
Forget the Recession
Follow your instincts and shop local
With the Times. A great line appropriate for our day and age is a line of t-shirts by LOL Green. These 100 percent organic cotton short-sleeved shirts are trendy in their physical make as they are in their designs.
My instincts told me that this might be the last time and I'd better enjoy it. I was on vacation in Orlando and felt compelled to spend like crazy. This isn't highly unusual; one step beyond the 918 area code and I have an urgency to buy tons of goods that can't be found around here.
I lugged too many items at prices I don't normally spend to the register and the total didn't even faze me. I thought it was just the excitement from a week of only seeing Disney or Mickey Mouse merchandise. But now I know that my instincts were telling me that it was the last great shopping trip I'd have for quite a while.
Two weeks after the trip I moved residences and my former shopping money went to electricity deposits, a couch and other home wears. Just as I was about to pout in frustration at my maturity and wise spending habits, I learned that people can have clothing and life's other necessities. It's possible through two recent discoveries: the new term "recessionista" and the new boutique Instincts.
Recessionista comes into our lexicons courtesy of Style.com. I love it because it's a goofy word combination (something I loathe) that sprang from two of my least favorite words: fashionista and recession.
Fashionista seems like a derogatory term, like its definition is "clothing diva." If someone is interested in clothing, he or she should be fashionable or stylish; add the -ista and I get persnippety.
A recessionista is a stylish person coming to the realization that it's either fashion or foreclosure. And he or she has chosen. According to Style.com," Recessionistas aren't letting a little thing like falling stock prices and rising gas bills get in the way of their wardrobe." Rather than ceasing shopping all together, recessionistas are getting craftier with their purchasing. Consumers who threw down cash on high priced items (cough, me) are continuing their shopping habit, but on items with lower prices.
If you think "recessionista" describes you, visit one of Tulsa's newest boutiques, Instincts. It's a good resource for people who enjoy purchasing home items and gifts and women's fashion items. I appreciate a store that multitasks, especially now that I'm in "home" mode.
Nature V. Nurture
Opened only a few short weeks, Instincts is located in Chrome Clothing Co.'s former location at 18th and Boston (Chrome Clothing moved to 1338 E. 15th Street). Owner Barbara Rieger is still in the assembling stages of creating a store that blends her expertise in interior design (she is also the owner of Design Instincts Inc.) and her love of fashion. The store's name comes from her natural instinct for good design. More so, the store represented something that Rieger could share with her daughter Kristen Sides. Together, the two have chosen an assortment of international home décor items, gifts appropriate for everyone from party girls to grandmothers, and clothing collections for women.
My assessment says most boutiques throughout our fair city have items with prices don't fit the current recessionista trend. Instincts is the exception to that trend. The store fits with the fashion thoughts today's woman, giving her a chance to buy a tank top and fill her gas tank, too.
There is a consistent fluttering of new items in the store. Pieces or collections are determined based off current trends. Sides admits that she spends quality time online looking for what's in fashion.
At Instincts you'll find an even selection of items that can be comfortable and loungey, like tanks and tees. You will also find items more suited for going out, like dresses in feminine, flowing materials. There is also a handful of accessories--flip flops, dog carriers, purses and still more to come.
For now, check out the clothing. A great line appropriate for our day and age is a line of t-shirts by LOL Green. These 100 percent organic cotton short-sleeved shirts are trendy in their physical make (that whole "green" trend) as they are in their t-shirt designs. One says "My White Shirt is Green" while another proclaims "Pick Flowers Not Fights." Another has "Heart and Soul" written on top of a design. This same collection also has v-neck t-shirts with thin hoodies that have gothic fleur de lyes and studs on an aged-looking shirt. You can also find ribbed tanks in black and white with graphics and crystals. And, as no summer would be complete without, Instincts has a handful of swimsuits left.
A brand that made me chuckle was Janette. These dresses were bold and occasionally formed fit or scantily there. They were funny because the tags said the name Janette followed by a small John 3:16. Don't know if I'd wear these items to church on Sunday, but you could definitely wear them Saturday night.
Looking for something classic or polished? The white organza halter dress -- currently in the store's window display -- is exactly that. Same with a deep v-neck dress with capped sleeves. Black on top with a skirt that's a black and white floral print, the two are divided with a row of black jewels. There really are dresses of all sorts, some with sleeves, some without, but nearly all in a distinctive pattern -- geometric, polka dots and nearly all with a pop of bright color.
A few pieces would work for career wear. A chiffon black halter with a beaded neck and a black satin band around the waist would work for the office if a cardigan or blazer was thrown on top. Additionally, there are great empire waisted dresses in easy-to-wear jersey with a tie waist. The solid colors in jewel tones will probably carry through until fall.
If you want something that involves less work, there's a cheetah print chenille robe. If you need something that involves less work and that you can wear outside of the house, there are soft lounge pants and leggings. There are solid colored leggings, yes, but also Zenana leggings in which the white leggings feature graphics that look like tattoos (think Ed Hardy). For someone who can handle some attention, the See You Monday leggings are tie dyed and feature a peace sign.
In the upcoming months, Sides said there will be clothes for fall and back to school. The store is also planning on having men's clothes. There will also be more items for home and Instincts is planning on featuring art by local artists.
Sides said that in its first week the store gained attention from people looking for gifts. An added benefit to the gift giver, free gift-wrapping is an option. They've also struck up quite a deal with the new restaurant Oscar's next door. Should you have to wait for a table, the wait staff recommends taking a trip next door to Instincts where they will happily call you when your table is ready. Not too shabby.
And with hours that extend Tuesday-Saturday, 9am-9pm, you'll be hard pressed to find a time when you can't drop by to satisfy your home needs, gift needs or just to fulfill your inner recessionista.
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