Let’s face it. I shop. A lot. I love to shop, I love coupons, I love 40% off sales, I love trying clothes on. Just the entire experience= awesome. My love for shopping is nothing new, I’ve loved it for as long as I can remember. I definitely came from a family of women who love shopping. My grandmother, my mom and I used to spend wonderful quality time together shopping and enjoyed finding beautiful things together. I still have such happy memories of how my grandmother’s beautiful face would light up when she found something she really loved.
I always justify my shopping by saying “I can afford it,” “I’ll wear this all the time,” “I’ll regret it if I don’t buy this,” and “this is such a good deal if I don’t get it now it will be back to full price and I’ll regret it.”
Excuses aside, I do fancy myself a good shopper. By that I mean that I buy on sale 90% of the time, I wait for the best deals and I don’t usually buy on impulse or buy something “just to buy something.” I’m pretty picky and particular about what I select. Not always, but most of the time. Sometimes I’ll return from a shopping trip with nothing at all, or just essentials that I had meant to pick up anyway (like nail polish I ran out of).
I pride myself on the deals I get. There’s definitely a sort of “rush” you get when you get something that’s on sale with an additional 40% off. Getting a $128 skirt for $40 feels amazing. Of course it does, especially if you really really (really) love it.
The thing is, once you get used to shopping being a hobby you really really (really) enjoy, you want to do it all the time. I only shop once a week and I don’t shop online very often (maybe 5% or less of my purchases are made online.) For some people, shopping once a week seems excessive—for people who love to shop, it might seem impressive to shop that infrequently. I’ve known women who wanted to shop so badly that they went over their lunch break or stopped by the drugstore to buy makeup they didn’t need, just to buy something. I feel fortunate that I don’t have urges that are quite so strong. Saturday is always my “shopping day” where I can check out the mall or other stores I’d like to visit.
There’s a lot of temptation when you’re a blogger—you see all of these fabulous outfits on a daily basis and it makes you want to buy them too—but I’m usually pretty good about that. If I absolutely LOVE something, I’ll make a note to try it on in the store (and maybe 1% of the time I’ll love it so much that I’ll order it online—but this is very rare.) Another forte of mine is that I really do wear 95% of everything that I buy (and sometimes I may wear something a little too much, like my lovely Micheal Kors sandals that I love.) It’s rare for me to buy something and never wear it. I usually sell it because the garment deserves to be worn by someone who loves it!
I’m also definitely no clothes-hoarder. I donate and sell my clothes regularly. I just can’t have a crammed closet. It’s stressful and makes it harder to get dressed in the morning.
So, what are my plans to shop smarter this year and how can you shop smarter too?
- Quality over quantity— this doesn’t mean I won’t ever shop at Forever 21 anymore (sacrilege!) but I’m going to try to be more thoughtful about everything I buy. I’ll admit that sometimes I go just a teeny bit overboard at Forever21 because it’s so easy and cheap to buy. The last few times I’ve gone, I’ve gotten 1 or 2 things or nothing at all. I’ve been doing well—truly only picking items that I absolutely love and know I will wear for a long time. I also want to focus on saving for amazing items instead of buying a lot of things that I won’t wear as often as how many times I’ll use my new Tory Burch bag, for example. That bag will be in my closet for a very, very long time.
- Continue to use coupons and buy on sale— stores like Express, Ann Taylor, LOFT and many others are always having sales and sending coupons. I will continue to diligently use coupons and shop during promotions so that I can save as much as possible. Always enter your email address every time they ask you for it when you shop, even if you’ve already given it to them— they send you more coupons if they know you shop more frequently.
- Closet inventory— how many black dresses do I have? It’s too embarrassing to discuss. I love them so very much that when I find a great one (whether it’s wear-to-work or evening) I simply can’t resist. By taking an inventory of your closet and seeing the things you currently own, you can better decide what you need and what is simply a want. Black dresses are indeed awesome, but I probably don’t need as many of them as I have (though I do wear them all). A yellow skirt on the other hand…now that’s something I don’t have!
- Closet cleanse— Cleanses are for closets, not for your body. As I mentioned above—donate and sell! You can’t possibly work your closet if you have clothes that don’t fit you anymore, are from 1989, are damaged or that you simply don’t like anymore. GET RID OF IT. I promise it’s oh-so-cleansing and makes it so much easier to get dressed in the morning. Just writing about a closet cleanse makes me want to do one. I think I will! (yes, there will be a blog sale soon!)
- Ask yourself 3 things: Do I LOVE it? Does it fit? Where/when will I wear this? If you can answer all of those questions with YES (I love it), YES (it fits) and next weekend, to the ballet (where/when will I wear it), you can buy it! If not, leave it— seriously, step away from the garment. Come back to it if you change your mind—but you most likely won’t! When Candice and I go shopping, we always remember the rule: do you LOVE it? If you hesitate even for a moment, it’s probably not meant to be.
…and, don’t forget to visit Gigi’s blog—she’s got an incredible entry on the topic and the comments section is just as much of an interesting read!
PS— Here’s my outfit of the day:
Sweater- White House, Black Market
Pants- Express Editors
Necklace- Forever 21