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Economic reports indicate a looming recession. After a grueling pandemic, government stimulus packages have dried out, and the global economy has felt the effects. The invasion of Ukraine, and other global crises have put the world into a spiral. Increasing prices at the gas pump and sky-rocketing inflation create cause for an anxious public.

The most recent recession in late 2008, was characterized by the housing crisis and put many people out of work and was extremely difficult to get through. As we head into another recession, we can study the consumer activities of the late 2000’s to predict upcoming trend cycles.

Articles from 2009 describe consumers' buying habits as bargain based. Most people switched from higher priced brands into cheaper options. Most evident in store-brand grocery items, cheaper medicines, and away from premium priced products. In a shopping sense, this reflected into lower consumption of clothes.

During the 2020 pandemic, there was an uptick in fashion cycles due to stimulus checks, more time, and there was not much else to spend money on besides online ordering in the spring of 2020. As we head into another recession, fashion cycles will slow down. Most people will not have extra money around to keep up with changing fashion trends. Staple wardrobe items will become essential in everyone’s closet.

Recessions have an interesting impact on retail businesses as a whole. “From 2008-2011, European brands such as Zara and H&M saw store growth rates of 10%-13%. The US also saw the growth of discount retailers like TJ Maxx and Ross,” according to Shopify. Discretionary spending takes a hit and makes it difficult for brands and retailers to compete with discount style stores.

So as we prepare for an impending recession, it is important to manage spending and focus on needs over wants. But for our more fashion forward readers, capsule closets and staple pieces are already on the rise and will only continue to do so. Microtrends are over, and traditional fashion cycles following our economic cycles will usher in an era of slower trends and a recycling of closets.

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