Monday, June 15, 2009

No Love, No Buy

Can someone please tell me what happens to your clothes from one season to the next. Maybe it's just me, but every season I ask myself the same question "where are the clothes that I wore last winter" or summer, or whatever the season is. So true to tradition, I've been looking in my closet, wondering where in the heck are my summer clothes from last year. Since I have yet to locate them, I decided to do a little shopping this past weekend.

I went to several shopping centers within a 12 mile radius - crowded, crowded, crowded. So crowded that I just couldn't move around the way I wanted to. Every other second it was "excuse me, pardon me, oh I'm sorry ... " geez, what recession? Well it just so happened that I saw several decent things and once I saw the prices on some of them, they became even cuter. Has this ever happened to you? You see something, it's decent, but then the price is right so suddenly it becomes much nicer to you?

Okay, so I'm at Banana Republic and I have an arm full of clothes. Happy as a butterfly because I actually found some clothes, I proceed to the dressing room and try on the items, they fit, maybe not perfect, but they fit. The color is not necessarily one that flatters me, but geez louise, the price is right. These pants are not very flattering on my buttocks, but do you see the price? Oh, the skirt and shirt are not really my style but I can't beat this price. Fifteen minutes later and 5 steps away from the register, I did an about face and returned every single piece of clothing back to their racks. I realized that I didn't love anything, I loved the prices.

It suddenly occurred to me that the clothes I couldn't "find" are really still in my closet. I mean I have a closet full of clothing but I'm always lamenting over what to wear because I'm not really in love with most of them. I'd venture to say that one thing I lost in my quest for a more responsible financial life is purchasing clothing that I actually want. This is why I don't "have" any clothes even though I have a closet full. I have clothes, just none that I want to wear. I have clothes that I bought because the price was right, not because I wanted them. This chapter ends here and now. Beginning immediately, if I don't love it, I won't buy it. No love, no buy.

I know it's possible to purchase fabulous clothes at fabulous prices (fabulous being relative here ... based on each individuals personal style). Honestly, I've never been the kind of shopper who stalks sales and price compares. If I like it, I buy it. Although I love clothes, I dislike shopping, very much. Maybe I have to enjoy the process a little more and take my time finding the clothes that create a win/win ... a win for my personal style and a win for my purse. A few of my bestest girlfriends (yep, I said bestest on purpose) are great shoppers, perhaps I'll get with them for a little tutorial.

Can anyone relate to this? Do you have a tendency to purchase things primarily because the price is right?


Shtinkykat said...

Ahhhh the folly of sales. Somehow those impractical and age inappropriate (for me) jelly shoes become okay when it's 30% off. You're right about thinking very carefully whether you're really going to wear something before buying regardless of sales.

Anonymous said...

Yes...this I can speak to!! When I go shopping for clothes here are my rules:

1. Never shop with someone who wears the same size clothing. This prevents arguements over things!
2. If I don't love it or if I have something similar to it at home, I leave it on the rack!
3. Don't buy pieces (just a shirt or random pair of pants); buy full outfits. This also helps prevent things from hanging in the closet because you don't have anything else to wear with it or shoes to match.
4. When I shop and hit the motherload, I always clean things out of my closet before putting in the new items. This helps keep my wardrobe fresh and uncluttered. I also usually donate the items I've cleaned out so someone else can enjoy them.

444 said...

Yes, yes, I have been practicing this lately, too! I try to tell myself two things:

1. Just because it's a great price doesn't mean that I need it or should buy it. I test myself by pretending it's more expensive and asking if I really like it or simply think it's a bargain. Because once the tags are off, who knows or cares what it cost?

2. I should wear everything in my closet or give away what I don't wear before even thinking about buying more, because there is probably plenty in there that I am neglecting. Buying more when I have acceptable things to wear at home is wasteful, at least for my situation and I can't afford it while I have debts to pay.

Eron Napier said...

I've battled with this one since I was 15 and first started buying things regularly on my own. After racking up a chunk of credit card debt in college, I think I've finally overcome this demon. It's still a bit of a struggle (my weakness is housewares!), but my finances have never been butter!