Category Archives: Shopping

I’ve Been a Bad, Bad Girl

This is why it is a bad idea to live next door to a mall:

9am: Wake up, realize I have no clean clothes to wear to a work event in the afternoon.
10am: Ponder doing laundry, but fail to find clothes (that aren’t dry-clean only) that would be appropriate for said event.
11:20am: set off to the mall to find one outfit ($100 max) to purchase for work.
12:30pm: return home with $370 in clothing purchases including: 2 pairs of pants, 1 t-shirt, 1 jacket, 1 nice button down shirt, 1 cute random $70 bright blue shirt that would be good for, uh, clubbing (do I ever go clubbing?), and 1 sweater.
12:40pm: Put on jacket, t-shirt, and pants, and head out to work event.

Anyway… I’m now trying to figure out if I should return anything. Obviously I can’t return what I wore yesterday. I really like the sweater from Express… and it wasn’t too expensive so I’m going to keep it. Really the only items I could return are the $40 bright blue button down, short-sleeve shirt and the gray dress pants, also from Express. But I always manage to not have any pants to wear. I should return the shirt. I don’t even know if I’ll ever wear it. I’m still upset with myself for buying a dress –on sale–at Macy’s a year ago and then never wearing it and managing to not attempt to return it until it was too late to make the return. That’s $53 down the drain.

In any case, I shouldn’t have spent $370 on clothes! That’s ridiculous and I know it. But clothes make me happy. I’m an addict. And I’ve decided that buying things on sale is a waste… because then I always buy things (like that dress) and never wear them. Well, the jacket I bought yesterday WAS on sale (for $60, compared to its $173 original price tag) but… my new rule is to buy clothing that I am in love with at the store, because i know i’ll get a lot of use out of it. For instance, the $70 purple shirt and $160 jeans I bought last month have already been worn… a lot. I try to buy machine wash and dry clothes now, since my dry-cleaning bin is filled up and I’m too stubborn to spend $100+ getting it all washed. Of course that would be cheaper that going out and buying new clothes.

Hmm. So I think I have a shopping addiction. And it’s pretty bad. I’m depleting my savings, even while making $50k a year. How is that even possible?

shop-a-holic / a rant re: dry cleaning.

I’m totally blowing my first month’s salary (for my new job that i haven’t even started yet) by taking a few (supposedly harmless) trips to my local mall.

Remember how I bought a pair of $156 jeans the other day (i’m still madly in love with them, though terrified of washing the pair. i think it’s ridiculous to dry clean jeans, but i also don’t want to destroy a pair of $156 pants in the washer/dryer) — anyway, yesterday I bought another pair. And this one needs a good hemming in order not to cover an extra 5 inches of imaginary calf.

[[[addition… i found the same part of jeans sold on Revolve Clothing for $231, so I feel rather good about buying the same pair for $153 on sale.]]]

Nordstrom is dangerous for me. Given, I’ve learned to control myself when it comes to buying clothes that I know I’ll only wear once. Still, my basket full of dry cleaning is awaiting my dragging it to the cleaners and spending $150 or so to get it all cleaned. I hate wearing clothes more than once in between washes, but I’m learning to get over that as well… especially my dry cleaned items. Dry cleaning is so damn expensive. Why must all of the nice clothes be dry clean only? I hate that.

At least men’s dry cleaning is fairly cheap. I love the places that advertise $1.00 per shirt, then I bring in my shirt and they say – ‘oh, that’s the men’s price. your shirt costs $3.50’ or whatever the marked up price is. In one of my sociology classes in college we watched a investigative piece about women getting overcharged for things, and in one part of it a guy brought a woman’s shirt to a dry cleaner and he was charged the lower fee, then a woman brought in the same shirt and she was charged more. WTF?

Anyway, I really have no right to complain about that when I just spent $153 on another pair of jeans. And I really shouldn’t have. Well, they just looked so great with that $66 shirt that actually made me look attractive.

Now, those $153 were actually on sale. I wasn’t familiar with the brand, but I was browsing the Saavy department of Nordstrom (where I have constant clothiorgasms, similar to the ones i have in the “Impulse” section at Macy’s)… the goal of the trip was to find a pair of True Religion jeans to try on (someone mentioned the brand on this blog so I figured I’d check them out and see if they happened to fit better than Joe’s brand). Well, I found one pair of True Religion jeans but they were this fugly dark wash that wasn’t my style. Then I found myself browsing the other jeans and noticed one brand way in the back of the too-cool-for-school section of the store. I’m not sure how denim designers think they can get away with charging $230 for a pair of jeans, but for this one brand that price tag seemed standard.

I wasn’t going to bother trying on that brand (I was afraid I’d fall madly in love with them and splurge $230 for the pair) but then I was browsing the sale rack (sale in the expensive department just seems like the wrong word to use) and found a pair in my size by the same brand… on “sale” for $153.

That brand, William Rast, is apparently Justin Timberlake’s denim line. Justin Timberlake has a denim line? See how much I know about fashion. Anyway, I tried on the jeans and lo-and-behold they fit quite nicely. But I think it was the way they looked with the purple shirt I tried on that sold me on the pair. After all, my goal was to buy one more pair of jeans… light wash… to balance out my wardrobe. These jeans were NOT light wash. They’re almost the same tone as my Joe’s pair, except the hue leans slightly towards a grey-blue, whereas my Joe’s jeans are true blue. So when paired with a color, they are less distracting and I feel like they match better.

I still feel silly about wearing jeans by Justin Timberlake. I tend to avoid all of the rock star designers… J Lo, P Diddy, etc. They can mark up their prices to ridiculous amounts for no reason other than their celebrity.

Still, the jeans fit, and as far as I know I’ll be able to wear jeans most everyday to my new job. If that’s true, it makes sense to own a few pairs of quality jeans. Right?

Ok. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m really bad with money. I was such a spoiled little kid. Of course, I never bought $200 jeans when I was younger. But it was common to spend upwards of $1500 a season buying new clothes. I’d buy A LOT of clothes for that price (whereas now I could see spending that much and getting maybe three outfits). If I found one shirt I liked, my mom would basically force me to buy it in every color they sold it in, even if I hated all the other colors. I was always aware of things being pricey, and would rather spend $30 on a shirt (and buy 10 shirts) than buy one $130 top.

Bad spending habits are hard to break. I’ve told my boyfriend that as soon as I start my new job, I’m going to make and stick to a strict budget. I think it will be fun to start saving and splitting that savings up so I can put, say, $50 a month into a shopping fund and then when a new season rolls around, I can limit my spending to the money I saved for shopping. If I don’t want any new clothes that season, I can keep saving. It’d be fun to go shopping with $1000 to spend once a year. And then I wouldn’t feel guilty for buying a $66 shirt that I’m madly in love with.

I just need to keep myself away from the mall. I went there yesterday to go shopping with my boyfriend. I was supposed to be looking for shirts for him. But then I ran into Nordstrom just to check out those True Religion jeans and, well, the rest of the story is history.

I’ll try those jeans on again tonight and see if I really like them, then i’ll take them to get hemmed at some point. It’s about time I visit the dry cleaners anyway.

Luxury Denim: $200 for a pair of jeans?

Back in the day, I remember oogling brand-name jeans in the Juniors department at various department stores and getting sick to my stomach looking at the price tags. But back then, the most expensive pair of jeans I saw was $100, maybe $110 for a really pricey brand. Most of the jeans were more like $50-$70, and there was always a pair I could find that fit decently for the $40-$50 range.

Yesterday, I spent $158 on a pair of jeans. Plus tax. I can’t believe I did that. But it was my reward for getting myself a new job where I’ll be making $15k more a year. The new job also lets me wear jeans to work more than one day a week, so I figured it was worth the investment. Sure, I could buy three or four pairs for that price, but why buy three or four that aren’t perfect when I could buy one I love?

I’m trying to get out of the mentality that my mom taught me: more is better. That’s not true most of the time. I’m a shoppaholic, sure, but I own so many items of clothing that I bought on sale that I wore once and never had the occasion or desire to wear again. Jeans, at least, will get a lot of wear.

I remember hearing from Suzie Orman (or maybe I read it in one of her books at Borders) that in order to determine the price of an item, you should device it by the number of times you wear it. So a $15 shirt worn once is actually a lot more expensive than a $150 pair of jeans worn 200 times. I like that concept, as it makes me feel pretty good about spending so much on one pair of Jeans. What doesn’t make me good is finding the same pair (fitwise/style anyway) on sale on Bluefly.com for $60 less (wrong size anyway).

So I went to Macy’s determined to find a pair of $150-$200 jeans that fit like a glove and required no further alteration. That’s more difficult than it sounds since my legs are too short purportionately for the size of my waist.

I tried on 8 pairs of Jeans, ranging in price from $78 to $186. I wanted to see if I could tell the difference between the quality, or if the price difference had to do more with the little logo that would rest near my ass and less to do with fit.

The three main pricey designer jean brands seem to be Citizen’s of Humanity, Seven for All Mankind, and Joe’s. I soon found out that Citizen’s and Seven Jeans are meant for model figures. I was tempted to buy a pair of Citizen jeans that sort of kind of fit, but for $186 I didn’t want jeans that fit like someone else’s glove.

Then, I found them. A pair of $156 Joe’s Jeans, size 31 petite, dark wash. The perfect pair of jeans. Almost. They fit like my glove. Even better, the details were classy, not trashy (i’m not spending $150+ on a pair of ripped jeans, thankyouverymuch.) Ever since finding out I have a nice behind (it seems to be one of my better assets, according to others) I’m very picky about how jeans make my ass look. And the pocket detailing has a lot to do with whether they’re flattering or falling flat. This pair had the best pocket’s I’ve ever seen. A braided weave of denim that would, indeed, gracefully cling to my bootie. This was the pair of jeans I had been dreaming of when fighting with pants to make it over my wide womanly hips, only to find out the waist itself was way to big (can you say ‘hello underwear’?)

I bought them. I also ended up buying a $90 DKNY dress/shirt that I probably didn’t need. But it was so beautiful that I couldn’t resist. I might return it. That’s one of those items I’ll wear once, maybe, and never wear again. Just because while I love fashion and patterns and color, lately I’ve found I always fall back on solids and, well, basic black. I’m so boring. When I grew up I was all about fancy patterns and bright colors. I’m no longer craving that kind of attention or desire to make a fashion statement. Besides, five out of seven days of the week I work, and while I don’t need to be extremely conservative at work, in order to be taken seriously I can’t wear paisely.

So here I am, wearing my over-priced designer jeans, enjoying the fit, the details, the feel of heavy, high-quality denim clinging to my hips and knees.

And now, of course, I want to buy another pair. Light wash.