Bitter Style, Recessionista Fashion

Even if we’re not exactly poor right now, we’re all acting that way.  If we’re not crabbing about the sad state of the legal profession, we’re bitching about the cost of living.  But, like rust, the demand to look presentable in a business environment never sleeps.  Whether it’s the day-to-day of associate life or the big interview, threads matter.

Loehmann’s –“The It Store for Designer Fashion”—offered Bitter Lawyer an opportunity to hunt the racks in search of professional, law firm-worthy, designer looks for female lawyers.  And they even let us bring the Hear/Say crew to tear it apart.

Unable to go it alone, we teamed up with our new friend Mary Hall, AKA The Recessionista.  Her wildly popular blog is dedicated to fashion advice on how to remain stylish in frugal, rainy-day times.  Being the great sport she is, Mary showed us the light at the end of the “back room” clearance racks tunnel.

Check below for coupons links and tips from the Recessionista:

Coming soon: Our journey through the men’s store, where we find a compete, designer-duds ensemble for the cost of a pair shoes.  Practically guaranteed to help you ace your next interview.  However, it unfortunately does not include the suit that fights bird flu.


• Print this coupon and get to Loehmann’s this weekend to receive 20% any single clearance item—and hurry because it expires Columbus Day (Monday, October 12).  Find a store nearest you here.

• Join the Loehmann’s Insiders Club for the best discount and coupon offers.

• Hit up RetailMeNot and Coupon Cabin for codes and coupons for your favorite fashions.

• More people hit up the back racks at discount stores like Loehmann’s than you think.  Don’t feel embarrassed to seek good deals.  While we were shooting, one woman in the store saw a camera, threw on her Paris Hilton monster shades, screamed she didn’t want to be on camera and bolted for the door.  (The Recessionista gives the dirt on our day together here.)

[Ed. Note: Before you go all “FTC Regulator!” on us, we (sadly) did not get any freebies or payment from Loehmann’s.  And we merely compensated the Recessionista with a couple glasses of buttery Chardonnay after the shoot.]
  • King Drew

    Camel? Too funny.

  • BL1Y

    If you want real advice for dressing well in a recession, pick up Nina Garcia’s The Style Strategy: A Less-is-More Approach to Staying Chic and Shopping Smart.  The tips are recommended for style in general, not just when money is tight, but obviously her approach is especially relevant these days.  And forget the fashionista’s advice on what to do if you’re going to buy just one item (who doesn’t reading this doesn’t have enough staple suits already?) and go with Tim Gunn’s advice from this past fashion week: the most important item for men and women to buy is a really great blazer.  When money is tight you need something versatile and a blazer can go with anything from a nice pair of slacks and a collared shirt for business casual, or just jeans and a t-shirt for regular casual.

  • Cheryl

    1. Mary, you rock!  I love you.

    2. A man who references queen bee Nina Garcia…?

  • Leon

    @ BL1Y,
    First, you’re way too harsh. Lighten up. I think it’s pretty clear that she meant 80% off of retail. You don’t have to be so literal. I’d tell you to drop dead, but I wouldn’t want your family to sue me for wrongful death.

  • Norm

    Is BL1Y a woman? When did he become a fashionista?

  • BL1Y

    Leon: I know what she meant, my point was that she’s an idiot and doesn’t know how to say what she means, nor does she know much about fashion.  Seriously, who the hell needs to be told to buy a staple suit?

  • BL1Y

    Norm: What’s wrong with being interested in fashion?  Women are allowed to be interested in law.

  • Norm

    So you’ve never made a mistake, BL1Y? RELAX. You’ll live longer.

  • BL1Y

    She thinks that giraffes are camels, that patterns are colors, and that the hideous garment she held up looks good.  That’s a bigass mistake, especially for someone who’s supposed to be knowledgeable about such things.

  • Doug

    BL1Y, please post your paypal account in the comments section. I’d like to send you money so you can buy a sense of humor.

  • Jessica

    Bl1Y, you know who Nina Garcia is?

  • BL1Y

    Doug: I’m sorry, are you suggesting that her comments were intended as some sort of joke?  I mean, I know it’s funny that she’s holding herself out as some sort of expert when clearly she is a moron, but unless she is the greatest Kaufman-esque comedic genius of her generation, I’m pretty sure she isn’t intended to be funny.

  • Mable

    Maybe the jokes on you, Idiot1Y.  There’s obviously some editing involved here and a lot of cuts.

  • Doug

    @ Mable. Exactly.

  • Virgil

    Wow. It’s toolshed up in here today.

  • Anon Female


    Bl1Y is quite the fashion expert!?

    just checkin in on Friday and so enjoyed this

    piece. such fun!

  • Macro-Micro

    TGIF indeed.

  • Lady lawyer

    Light interview but great for a Friday.  I know for you

    BL!Y everyday is a Friday, hope you find a job.

  • Bill Shakespeare

    Pwnd by Lady Lawyer.

  • Reasons to leave the Law

    It’s all coming back to me why Lawyers hate other lawyers and are so overly critical of each other.

    There is no higher compliment than these comments.

    This whole thing is meant to be FUNNY. The Recessionista is designed to be funny…..gessh.

  • Real Peeps

    I’m surprised any one would hold Nina Garcia up as a fashion icon for real people on a budget.

    First up, she gets a ton of freebies from her jobs at Marie Claire and Elle.  She doesn’t shop and buy stuff from her own pocket book.
    NG is also a paid endorser of plaid items from Target.  I don’t consider that stylish at all.
    This video is real feedback from real people who go to the store and shop on a budget.  I think the presenter , the blogger, Mary, did a great job.  Who knew advising a bunch of lawyers would generate such hostility?

  • jagcab

    Love it! and I think it takes a lot of class and sophistication to pull off camel which is probably why BL1Y is so intimidated by the comments about the color. Love you recessionista!

  • BL1Y

    Jessica: I’ve met Nina Garcia a couple of times.  She’s very down to earth; polite but she doesn’t deal with bullshit.  I’m sure she gets tons of freebies like Real Peeps says, but she also recently quite literally eliminated a lot of her wardrobe and cut it down to the basics.  I wouldn’t discount to principles in her books just because she gets some benefits of the trade.


    I would also suspect that The Recessionista blogger, who made the video doesn’t have people write scripts for her ala Nina Garcia, or rehearse a video or have a staff to do a “store pull” as Nina recently did at a big store in NYC.  My guess, she shot it in one take, in the store off the cuff.

  • Boogie Jones

    still chukcling ‘bout the camel.

  • Guano Dubango

    Stop being critical of BL1Y.  He is really a very funny guy, and I enjoy reading his posts.  Those that put him down are d-bags.

  • Legal Beagle and Fashionista

    Of course BL1Y has a right to his opinion, but my take is anyone who has EARNED a law degree (The Recessionista, Mary), been covered by The NY Times, Forbes, Reuters, ABC TV, and The Guardian UK, is not a moron.  Someone who can build a top trafficked website in the midst of the Recession, just doesn’t sound like an idiot to me.
    BL1Y’s antagonist comments and judgements just surmise many of the things Bitter Lawyer spoofs–one of which is WHERE did you GET your law degree,because my degree is better than your degree.  And of course, I am better because I can find more typos too.  And spot all your mistakes and point them out for you,…because really, I am just better.
    I think this is the tone that other comments object to here. It’s BL1Y’s Church Lady like superior dance that irks us.

  • Guano Dubango

    Legal Beagle:  I understand and take your points, but usually the articles are so lame that the comments are often more meaningful, no?  And BL1Y, in his own way, makes me laugh.  If the tools running the website did not appreciate him, they would censor him, like they often do me, which I think is discriminatory, but that is another matter entirely.  Besides, the tools don’t understand that it is the commentators that drive website traffic, and the more clickthroughs to the advertising, the more money the website (and its tools) make.  So their occasional snipping at me, however lame, is not appreciated.

  • BL1Y

    @6:11: Nina Garcia is actually a pretty good speaker when talking off the cuff.  She dismisses stupid soft-ball questions, and otherwise provides thoughtful insights.

  • Obvious

    Guano and BL1Y, get a room.

  • Anonymous


  • Guano Dubango

    According to the Video, Mary Hall-Recessionista went to a “Triple T” law school.  What is this Triple T mean?

  • Lady lawyer

    Hey Guano, speak for yourself.  I am not a d-bag.  Do your really know what one is? 

    BL1Y is a big boy, he can dish it out so he can take it,

    right BL1Y.  Also, I am not from LA or NY, who is Nina?

  • Gbaby

    agree. real feedback for real people.

  • Cheryl

    BL1Y.  Principal’s office.  Now.  Tool.

  • Lady lawyer

    Did ya all read about the suit that fights bird flu.  Quick, the suit or bird flu.  Those Japanese have done it again, we will be back to Japanese products.

  • BL1Y

    Lady Lawyer: Nina Garcia was fashion editor at Elle, has the same position now at Marie Claire, and is a judge on Project Runway.  If you want tips on how to build and maintain an affordable (and actually stylish) wardrobe, get a copy of her new book Style Strategy.

  • Lady lawyer

    Thank you BL1Y.  I shall get in style.

  • rbaby

    Bl1Y, while you arstill looking you should moonlight as a stylist or fashion expert! I know some lawyers that could use a good style expert.