Sunday, September 15, 2013

another shopping recap

This post could also be called "how to save your money" or "how to suck the fun out of shopping."

Although my friend and I went to the mall to make some returns, I hoped to check off some items from my wishlist. Right now, I really, really want a pair of olive green pants. No luck, though. LOFT had some olive green crops, but I want full length pants. Crazy, I know. I tried this jacket on, but did not love it. I couldn't bring myself to put $63 towards anything that isn't on my wishlist.

I've been looking forward to this blazer ever since I received a mailer from The Limited with it in it. Unfortunately I was left extremely disappointed, unaware that it has a peplum-like poof at the bottom. However, this leather jacket made me forget about the let-down. At least until my friend reminded me that she bought a very similar jacket at Forever 21 a few months ago for a fraction of the price (I think it was this one). If The Limited's version ever drops down to a reasonable price, it's going to be hard to resist.

I had a hard time resisting this vest from Forever 21. It's a much cheaper version of the vest I really want. Under most circumstances, I would be tempted to buy it, but the zipper was so terribly cheap. It was tough to work the zipper. So what looks like a way of saving $60 would turn out to be a waste of $30. I wouldn't be surprised if I eventually found a mid-level look-alike.

The thing I'm beginning to realize is how un-unique certain items are. Passing on the leather jacket from The Limited wasn't that difficult because faux leather moto jackets are ubiquitous. Ubiquitous-ness is another reason I passed on a peplum top from Forever 21. While it was cute, it was nothing special (solid cream color, short sleeves). Even though I had store credit, I couldn't help but thinking there would be something I'd really want somewhere down the line. 

While I didn't have any luck finding a pair of olive pants, I did decide to try on pants at J. Crew Factory. I ended up finding the best fitting pair of jeans I have ever put on my body. (I'm not sure whether they are this pair or this pair, because in store their tag read "Matchstick skinny leg jeans" but there are no Matchstick jeans on the website. Any insight?) Despite the promotion price, I wasn't ready to shell out $40 for a pair of jeans. When I told my husband about the jeans after I got home, he asked, "Why didn't you get them?" I nearly fainted. I rarely ever get approval for new purchases from my husband, especially for such a splurge.

* * * 

I realized a few things this weekend.

1. Shopping with a specific list in mind keeps spending focused. It also eliminates impulse purchases. I tried on a sweater tee at The Limited. Despite how cute it looked on, I passed because the $23 I would have spent on it meant that I was taking away funds from the vest I really want.

2. Trending items are almost everywhere. So you really want a leather skirt? And you found one you like at Store X? Great. Unless you really love it, pass on it. You're likely to find another one again. Although it's not on my wishlist, I adore Peter Pan collar tops. I could have easily settled on one by now, but I haven't.

3. $8 purchases are a thing of the past. It would be interesting to see how many items I've bought in the past year that were under $10. It would be sad to see how many of those items I could part with in a heartbeat. I'm guessing I would have a couple more items in my closet that I really like, rather than a lot of items I am okay with.

I have been better with passing on purchases I don't love, but I haven't been able to bring myself to pay more for the things I do love. I'm beginning to think that if I want my closet to consist of items I really love, but stay within my budget, I'll be buying fewer items and spending more. Here's to being able to bite the bullet and spend $40 on a spectacular pair of jeans rather than $40 on two pairs of jeans I can't stand two years after I've bought them.

Have you been shopping lately? Has your purchasing been controlled? What's your method?


  1. That sentence about passing on things you don't love but not wanting to fork over the money for things you do love is SO TRUE. I think because we try to be so budget conscious that sometimes we let the gems slip away - sometimes it's not all about getting the biggest bang for your buck, but getting the most loved. Still learning over here. That loose sweater tee is cute though!

  2. True story! I think I'm on the same path, but it's a work in progress. I just want to find the perfect items for $8 all the time! I've already spent my September budget, but I think I did a pretty good job of getting things on my wish list. Not perfect, but better than I used to do!

  3. You are so right! Since developing a wish list, I've found that my shopping is much more focused, and it's easier to pass on the things that I don't really need, or even really want that much. But I'm also paying more for these things, because I know I'd really like to have them and have probably spent quite a bit of time shopping around for them and finding the one that fits the best. I definitely find myself spending a bit more, but I think I'm paying for quality instead of quantity now.

  4. You hit the nail on the head. Having a wishlist really keeps your spending in check. Since keeping and sticking to a wishlist my spending habits and shopping habits have been really curbed. Over the last few years I have learned not to spend $8 on something just because it's on sale and splurge on those perfect fit $40 jeans. I haven't shopped in a couple of months and today finally bought a shirt at Kohl's for $24.99 that I loved and one of the new Phillip Lim mini cross body bags for $34.99 which I love. We are just becoming smarter shoppers I think???

  5. This is all so true! I always have the motto, "if it doesn't take you away, pass on it". My girlfriends give me a hard time when we go to the mall because I tend to leave with nothing.

    I think its important to sometimes save your money for more quality items that will last you a long time-like a good blazer, or a nice pair of jeans. Spend less on trendy items that may be out of style next year.

    I hate being disappointed when I've had my eye on things for months and come to find out it didn't look great on or wasn't great quality. I also think its funny how you will find stuff when you least expect it or don't have the cash saved up ;) such is life!



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