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New style police: How much are you wearing?

November 12, 2008 |  3:34 pm

Nic80004097_2 It used to be "Who are you wearing?" 

Reporters practically tackled actresses on the red carpet to divine the designer behind an Oscar gown or a crocodile clutch. But thanks to a flagging economy -- which breeds what I like to call "resentistas," or people who can't bear to see others shopping while they can't -- and the recent focus on style in politics, it's now all about the price tag. More like, "How much are you wearing?"

Recently, one blogger at LA Weekly tallied up the cost of a "Gossip Girl" wardrobe on Bluefly.com and stopped at $38,560. Another at Freepublic.com totaled the amount you would have to spend to get Michelle Obama's J.Crew get up -- $337. The media, and American people, went gaga to learn that Sarah Palin spent $150,000 on a wardrobe. As price becomes more of a consideration for consumers, it is also becoming criteria to red carpet critics. Is it possible that aspirational now means attainable too? I have noticed that actresses have adjusted their red carpet style to reflect the recession. A lot of women are wearing more affordable labels like Alice & Olivia and Black Halo, rather than Versace and Gucci.

No one wants to pull a Nicole Kidman, who wore a $2 million diamond necklace of 1,400 carats to the Oscars. Go ahead. Count them.

-- Monica Corcoran

Photo: Getty Images

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