Sunday, September 1, 2013

labor day weekend shopping recap

[For the key points, skip to the * * * below.]

I went shopping with a plan in order to keep from buying the entire mall. (*Spoiler alert* that didn't happen.) I really wanted to go home with "a top I love and can wear year-round". I haven't bought a top I love in quite some time. The last top I bought was the sleeveless aqua one seen Friday, but I don't consider that a year-round top. (And I'm not including the giraffe sweater and plaid top my mom bought for me in Colorado.) Actually, excluding a couple of ribbed tank tops and plain non-fitted t-shirts, the last top I bought (and kept) was in April. Crazy. Anyway, the point is, I was on the lookout for something I just loved, so much that I would want to wear it on Tuesday.

I found this blazer at Banana Republic on clearance for $55 + 40% off promotion = $33, but I just didn't love it. I put it back on the rack and decided that if I changed my mind, we would go back to get it. I did happen to see the Milly elephant shorts on final sale for $25 + 40% off promotion = $15, but not in my size. A sales associate found them in my size in three stores, but it would cost me $8 shipping. $23 for a pair of shorts I adore? He said I would have to call them myself, and so I put the ticket with the stores' phone numbers in my pocket and forgot about it until now. I'm still on the fence. In case you didn't already know, I love animals. But I'm also stingy. $23 for a pair of shorts that I'm not even sure will fit perfectly?

We went to a few other stores, but everything was either way beyond my price point or not of interest to me. We saved The Limited for last. Much of my wardrobe comes from The Limited, so I assumed I'd find something I loved. I was wrong. The only thing I liked was this belt, but even with the 40% promotion, I wasn't ready to spend $21 on a belt. The most frustrating part of the trip was that I had a handful of items on my online wish list, but they all ended up looking so different in the store. I guess this saved me from making unnecessary purchases online, but it was still frustrating. 

The one thing I ended up getting from the mall was a strawberry-banana smoothie and a brownie. Frustrated with this shopping experience, my friend suggested that we go to the outlet mall. We have never done both malls in the same trip (since the outlet mall is twenty miles or so from the mall), but we were going to make an exception so I could find something I liked.

The outlet mall was insane. It took ten minutes to find a parking spot, no joke. We decided to go straight to J. Crew Factory (since that what was bringing us there in the first place). I started at the shoes, since I've been fantasizing about these flats for days now. Days! The bronzed clay looked off against my skin tone, and they didn't have any in festival blue in stock. When I opened up the box to the bright persimmon, I was blinded by the bright. I found them to be more of a neon than a 'bright', but it proved to be less of an issue when I put them on, stood up, and was five feet away from the flat rather than five inches. 

I liked them, but even with the 40% promotion (and 15% student discount), I wasn't sold. I decided to walk around the store and see if something else caught my eye instead. I tried this top in light grey (again), hoping that the one I tried on in Colorado was a fluke, but again, it did not fit; too tight on my arms, too wide in the waist. I tried on this chambray shirt, but the small was too wide, and sizing down made me feel like ....

I felt like if I would have given myself a hug, the shirt would have split down the back. I don't understand how there can be such a difference between two sizes.

I did try on this skirt (in cabernet), however, and loved it (but not the fit). They didn't have the size I thought I would need, but tried the next size down out of curiosity. I was asking my friend for her opinion (read: confirmation that it was too small), when the fitting room attendant accosted us: "That is perfect." me: "um.. it feels and looks small." Her: "No, it will stretch. I bought seven of those skirts last year and they stretched out so much I had to exchange them all for smaller sizes." My friend started to tell me her experience with a wool skirt where it actually shrunk when she had it dry cleaned, and the associate told her she was wrong. The entire situation was getting annoying and awkward, so I darted back into my fitting room, tried on the other items I brought with me (this sweater, this top), and walked out with the too-small skirt in hand so that I wouldn't have to deal with the associate. I put it back on the rack and that's when I saw it...

A solitary box of blue suede heels in my size (no longer available online). On clearance + 50% promotion + 15% student discount. I could hear the chorus rejoice "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!" I slipped them on, and felt like Cinderella. I've been on the hunt for blue suede shoes ever since I returned a pair of cobalt/purple heels (in March) because they were too dark. There's a good chance I'll be wearing them on Wednesday. (Unless these blue heels I ordered from Forever 21 end up working out better.)

* * *

All in all, the time spent at the mall was disappointing (although the strawberry-banana smoothie really hit the spot). I'm considering getting the elephant shorts from Banana Republic, but am on the fence since I can't try them on before ordering them, and they're final sale. What do you suggest?

Things turned around when we went to the Outlet Mall and I found the perfect pair of blue suede heels. I'll keep an eye on the cabernet skirt and may end up getting it if it goes on sale. Do you have a factory wool skirt? Do they stretch out that much?

I felt like I was in a funk the entire time I was shopping, truth be told. I don't know if it was because I felt like I was coming down with something, or whether it's hard to shop for fall clothes when it's 100 degrees outside. Or maybe I'm just trying to only buy things I love and I really don't love most of what I see.

Did you go shopping this weekend? How did you do? 


  1. I've been feeling much the same way when I'm shopping these days. Of course, it's helping me curb my spending. (And then I went to Kohl's...with gift cards in hand, luckily.)

    The fact that you included a Chris Farley gif from one of my favorite movies of all time makes me stupidly happy. (I was just watching some of his SNL stuff earlier.)

    I'm glad you found your blue suede shoes! Every girl needs a pair of those :)

  2. I seriously laughed out loud at your Chris Farley pictures!... Been there done that! I know what you mean, when I try to go on a "mission" to find something I need...I find nothing, but when I go shopping leisurely, I find everything I don't need, but want! :) Thanks for the laugh, glad you found your blue heels though! :)

    Lauren from Modern Modesty

  3. I think you are in tune to what you are looking for/want and if it doesn't fit the bill, no sale. That just makes you a smarter shopper! I did part take in the Labor Day sale but mostly online with Piperlime and Tory Burch. I ordered a couple vegan leather tops/skirts but like you, it just too hot to think about fall right now.


  4. I went to Payless and TJ Maxx on Friday after work, and found some good stuff. Because I really needed 4 new pairs of shoes...

    Then I went shopping yesterday and had a very similar experience to yours (except the part about the outlets, because mine are 3 hours away!). I really wanted to find something great, and was specifically looking for jeans and boots, but I totally struck out. I ended up getting a fun anchor print tee from Banana Republic, so I'm hoping I still like it next spring. Then I got 3 tops at Gap, that I like but don't LOVE, mostly because they were so cheap. I think I will keep them, just because I don't have many good tank tops, and I think they will still be good next summer. I'm hoping to hit a different mall tomorrow and check out the department stores, and maybe Limited.

    I do think the weather is part of my problem. I just don't feel like trying on jeans and boots when it is 100 degrees outside. I really question the outdoor malls in Nebraska. There just aren't many days that are a comfortable temperature to be walking around outside.

    I'm excited to see the shoes you got!

  5. I've been having disappointing shopping trips like this lately. I really do think it's mostly because I'm shopping smarter and not just buying all the things, but it's frustrating when you planned to actually buy things. I can't wait to see how the shoes work out!

  6. Kate - I love your booties in your profile picture, where are they from? love how they curve down in the front. been on the hunt! thanks

  7. Your perseverance was rewarded. Who wouldn't want a pair of blue suede shoes? :)


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