Tuesday, 9 December 2008

In the red

If you live in the UK, you might think that the phrase 'in the red' has something to do with the Labour Party, but in fact it's said to originate from the practise of using red ink to denote debt, or losses, on financial balance sheets and was first used in the mid-1920s. Fast-forwarding to today, apparently a person is declared bankrupt or insolvent every 4.8 minutes. I don’t know a huge amount about financial economics, but I found this statistic on a UK-based charity called Credit Action’s website. They also say that average household debt is £59,630, the overall daily increase in UK debt is £175 million and that we’re paying a combined total of £262 million in interest every day.

These scary figures may make your personal indebtedness pale into insignificance … but every little helps and small economies can add up to large savings in the long term.: So I suggest that, instead of spending a fortune on this season’s fly-by-night fashion trends, you look in your wardrobe to see what’s lurking at the back of the cupboard – when sometimes being ‘in the red’ can pay off.

Red clothing is appropriately seasonal at this time of year – and if you look after your things, you can bring out your favourite Christmas clothes and unique accessories year after year. Almost anything red gives a touch of warmth and a festive flavour to your outfit, even it it’s just a pair of old shoes (though these, by Vivienne Westwood, are rather special!)

Alternatively, you could help to save our environment from added carbon emissions by investing in some recycled vintage red, like this this timeless Vivienne Westwood moiré silk bustier from ShopCurious. If you’ve a grand occasion and want a luxury vintage look that’s got classic style, why not team this up with a dramatic floral quilted long skirt by Martin Kidman – though Queen Viv’s bustier is such a versatile piece you could even wear it with jeans.

Take a look at these roaring red numbers – also guaranteed to add uplifiting colour to your Christmas.

I was certainly uplifted by the extraordinary voice and the warmth and professionalism of Oleta Adams, who was wearing a deliciously deep red silk and satin evening dress, in a very Christmassy concert at the Barbican on Sunday night. If you want to defy the financial analysts’ doom and gloom, but you’re totally strapped for cash, then I don’t suggest you rush out to buy something similar – why not simply dye one of your old dresses red – or listen to the inspiring words of Oleta’s songs and you may find all the positive energy you need to propel you through these testing times ...

Will you?

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