WTF Is Going On?

When times are tough, we buy red lipstick and raise our skirts

12 September 2021 - 00:01

The idea that serious economic indicators are tied to the so-called frivolous vagaries of fashion is amusing. The seemingly random aesthetic choices we make appear to offer a direct insight into how things are panning out in the general economy.

If, for example, sales of red lipstick are on the rise, chances are we're going through a serious fiscal downturn. Leonard Lauder, scion of the Estée Lauder school of economics, claimed that sales of his companies' red lipstick shot up dramatically after the 9/11 attacks. The economy not so much. After that pronouncement, the lipstick effect became a thing...

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