The economy of fashion: Low-cost tips from Russian women

Russian women have talent to be well-dressed without spending big money. Source: Reuters

Russian women have talent to be well-dressed without spending big money. Source: Reuters

Minimum funds - maximum beauty. To maintain the image of "the most beautiful in the world," Russian women have a frugal knack for finding style.

According to official statistics, five years ago, in the years of crisis, more than half of Russians stopped buying brand clothes. Across the country, a wave of cutbacks and layoffs relegated many Russians’ care for outside appearance to third place. Women had to be cunning to look attractive. But Russian women have their own secrets and how to dress nice, spending minimum funds.

Soon after the crisis the situation grew quickly. People were tired of economizing on themselves, and the sale of “finished clothing" stores significantly increased. However, access to quality, stylish and expensive things remained only for a few. The majority of Russians, who wish to look "expensive" even with modest financial capabilities and in a European way are forced to improvise.

The secret: Russians prefer to wear things that are workable in many outfits. It is from here that there is a large percentage of things in shops. It is not always manageable to choose shades and textures of sweaters suitable with both spring skirts and woolen pants, but it is necessary.

That’s why there is popularity in the basic models only: from knitwear to outdoor clothing. They can last for years and will not hang in the closet, waiting in the wings.

The second secret: If there is a need to make the image more of a statement, fashion accessories come in handy as they are replete in shops in all price categories. The Russians have constantly used this trick of wearing one coat but freshening it up with new scarves and handbags for years.

Fashion secrets of the savvy Russian women

The Russians have constantly used this trick of wearing one coat but freshening it up with new scarves and handbags for years. Source: Getty Images / Fotobank

In contrast to most countries, in Russia handbags are carried always and everywhere. Even in the playground you rarely see a mother without a backpack or a shoulder bag. Because of the climate and social insecurity it requires stocking up the right things, including packages, wipers, shoe sponge, etc.

The third secret is in the replacement of the expensive and risky with matching skirts, blouses with dresses. However, Russians love for dresses is irrational, yet reasonable. Russian woman always seek to be feminine and naturally beautiful. Even when she deliberately put on silhouettes, she secretly hopes that it will look fragile and attractive.

Fashion secrets of the savvy Russian women

Russian woman always seek to be feminine and naturally beautiful. Source: Getty Images / Fotobank

The fourth secret, which would shock many Europeans, is that most Russians don't throw out torn nylon tights. Instead, they carefully sew them up and continue to be worn under pants. In winter and autumn, bare feet one can easily catch a cold.

Still, a majority of Russians lack the concept of "underwear," that is to say, the upper and the lower part can absolutely not be combined, not to mention the color under the dress. Here, too involves the notorious savings.

Fashion secrets of the savvy Russian women

The upper and the lower part of the underwear can absolutely not be combined. Source: PhotoXPress

The fact of the matter is that the bra lasts much longer than the panties, so Russians immediately stock up on a few pairs of the latter, because they simply do not have enough funds.

An independent secret is the place of purchase. Shops in Russia without any hesitation are providing surcharge on goods from 100 percent to 400 percent. Therefore buying from a boutique an original Etro jacket or shoes, Valentino, or something less branded, but not less efficient, it is simply impossible.

Luckily, we have the assistance of foreign Internet shops and seasonal sales, which, however, do not bring special benefits, since the real discount often does not exceed 20 percent to 30 percent.

More recently, in Russia there was another magic lifesaver for fashionistas, who opened their first outlets in the country, but they are only gaining momentum and are only in Russian means. So far, most of my friends prefer to go to Europe and buy clothes at a local outlet or on discounts. Time for shopping is in capital letters during vacation activities.

Fashion secrets of the savvy Russian women

Women like to shop in outlets. Source: ITAR-TASS

Advanced "hunt for stylish things” happens also in consignment stores of brand clothing, of which there are dozens in Moscow. This also helps the ladies who bring those clothes for which they no longer have room in their personal wardrobes.

Often this is a new item, some even with labels, and the prices are set by the sellers. So if you're lucky, you can find the original Roberto Cavalli ankle boots in perfect condition for 60 euros or a Jil Sander skirt for 50 euros.

There is also a huge industry of second-hand emporiums. Here you can find a lot of good things for ridiculous prices, like a "new" coat for $6 or an H&M Caroline blouse for $4.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

More exciting stories and videos on Russia Beyond's Facebook page

This website uses cookies. Click here to find out more.

Accept cookies