I'm now shopping at secondhand stores.
It's surprisingly liberating. I feel much less guilty about buying something because it costs less than $10. Sure, it's a little worn out and doesn't quite have that new clothes feel or the new purse shine, but it works. The coat keeps me just as warm as a brand-new one, the shoes pinch just like the department-store ones would. (But they're cute, so it's OK.)
It started with needing stuff for a costume. That makes perfect sense in my mind; who pays full price for clothes that are intended to make you look a little -- well if not goofy, ugly or silly, at the very least they're not supposed to make you look like you. Then I realized I needed appropriate outside winter clothes, and despite living in Utah, I didn't really have any. Back to the secondhand store, found what I needed. Walked past a really cute pair of dress pants on the way to the dressing room and debated stopping to check them out.
I've been thinking about this since, and I'm going to attempt to change my shopping habits. First and foremost, I'm going to save money, provided I only buy as much as I would have at a department store. The coat that probably retailed at $30 or $40, I got for $7. But secondly, there are so many options. It takes a little more work, certainly; I try on a lot more and buy a lot less than I might elsewhere. Almost everything is ugly.
But for the nine articles of clothing or accessories I would not wear unless I was dressing up as Cruella DeVille, there's the 10th. I've worn the coat more since I bought it than I have my two expensive coats. The winter pants are incredibly comfortable, and with cute little pink lines running up the sides, I feel a little girly while still looking sporty. (I bought them for an outdoor date, so I actuallly did think about that.) The shoes, once my feet got used to them, or got numb, really are cute and totally wearable, though I still might seem to be channeling Cruella.
And the purse I picked up today -- it's red. And I felt like a big spender getting the $7.99 one instead of the $3.99 one. This could be an excellent new trend in my life.
But if I start looking homeless, someone please drive me to the mall.