Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Attention, shoppers.

It's been awhile. Like a really, really long while. So here's the plan: I will catch you up very briefly on Hillary-World, and will then write about something we can all benefit from. And just what might that something be? Smarter shopping. Read on, readers!

So my life. It's been going alright. Incredibly busy (which is my rather paltry excuse for the lack of posts) but wonderful just the same. My IFB internship was a fabulous learning experience, and more than anything else gave me a whole new level of respect for people like Jennine who put so much time into making the online community work together. Maura is going to school in Chicago now which rules. School is challenging and a thrill. I know people typically use the word "challenging" to describe things that are both difficult and unpleasant but still entirely necessary. Rest assured that in this case I am not one of those people. I find myself agonizing over some of the texts that the upper-level texts that Shimer has us read, but when I finally figure out their meaning, it's the most rewarding thing in the entire world. My humanities class is reading Descartes' Mediations on the First Philosophy, and while it takes me a fair chunk of time to understand the french philosopher's train of thought, I feel rather spectacular when I finally understand the heart of his argument. Other awesome things? My boyfriend (yes, the same one from the summer! Who would have thunk?!), my friends, my job in the admissions office, and the city of Chicago. Bored yet? Me, too. Let's do what we do best: Blog about fashion.

Yesterday Maura and I were walking around Macy's, drooling over designer duds. A chunky Rachel Roy cardigan had Maura doing some major coveting, and I couldn't stop staring at a gorgeous shift dress by Tracey Reese. The prices were definitely out of our range, but there's nothing like treating yourself to some in-person designer eye candy. What was a pleasant, and reasonably affordable discovery was the clearance rack. $60 , as it turns out, could make you the happy owner of a versatile, quality Kensie dress. I am not typically one to spend that much on a single clothing item. It is my embarrassing admission that I often go for quantity over quality when it comes to shopping. As a result, I have a ton of clothing, but hardly things that exude style and class. Yes, that red polka-dot trapeze dress from H&M looks adorable with a nautica-inspired belt cinching the waist, but it's not exactly an investment. It isn't versatile, and it is likely to fall apart before the end of the season. I buy too many things, waste money on clothes that aren't going to stand the test of time, and wonder why my wardrobe and bank account always seem lacking. And after venting all this to Maura while we hungrily eyed a rack of Nanette Lepore coats, I came up with my rules for shopping.

To make your rules for shopping, think about the things in your closet that get the most wear. Think about what your weaknesses are when it comes to buying new outfits. Think about people whose style you admire and what makes their outfits look so good. To get you started, here's what I came up with for myself:

1. Never buy anything from H&M, Forever 21, or any store of a similar audience/prince range. I say this not because I think these retailers are bad. I say it because every single time I walk through their doors, I find about a million tops, skirts, and dresses and feel the painful need to buy every single one of them. My mind tells me "Go for it! They're such great deals!" but these sorts of purchases are the very reason I spend way too much money in a single store and my closet is overflowing with things I've only worn once. Cheap, on-trend clothes are my weakness. I will, from here on out, only buy basics (H&M tanks are my favorite things to layer with) from the aforementioned stores.

2. Only buy one item per shopping trip. Oh, that pencil skirt is adorable! So I probably need an adorable blouse to go with it. My mind tells me this, and my heart aches for it to be true, but you know what happens when you give a mouse a cookie? She'll need to buy a pair of chocolate brown hidden-wedge boots to go with it. This rule might be too extreme for the majority of you, but it's something I really need to make to curb my cravings.

3. Only buy things that are on sale. Again, this might be too extreme for a lot of you, but if I don't make this rule, I will spend way too much on a single item. Plus it's not that hard to find crazy gorgeous things on the clearance rack.

4. Make these rules a habit by shopping with someone else who won't let you break them. In my case, this is Maura. I know I would let myself get away with ignoring my rules for the sake of a crazy cute mini dress from Forever 21, but Maura certainly wouldn't. Until I am super cemented in my shopping rules, I won't go on shopping sprees alone.

5. If you must buy more than one thing, make it an accessory. I used to take for granted the effects a good scarf can have on an entire ensemble, but seriously. It's like magic. And belts - those babies are friggin fantastic.

Well that's that for today. I am looking forward to getting back on a regular posting schedule. Have gorgeous evening/day/whatever's relevant to the time during which you are reading this.

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