Today at lunch I was asked by a colleague about how frequently I shop. I must admit: I inwardly cringed. I hate being asked about my shopping purchases; too many assumptions are made. I honestly responded that I do not shop that frequently--I constantly browse, but I do not shop every week (by "shop" I mean purchase). And despite the size of my wardrobe, 95% of it consists of items acquired by a slow, methodical, and shrewd process built over several years. In fact, I've become more picky about my purchases because a) my eye has become more discriminating; b) my closet simply won't allow it; c) it's not wise to overspend and overstuff each season.
As of now, the economic downtown has not hit my wallet, but I must admit that it has me re-evaluating my shopping habits. What, pray tell, will it change?
1. They Work Hard For My Money: I will no longer buy anything from a department store without an added perk thrown in. Last weekend, Saks gave away a Theory scarf (plaid is not my thing) with a $450 purchase; now it is giving its customers gift cards for spending a certain amount. Nordstrom was giving away a zebra-striped Versace ring with a certain spent amount. Beauty events are a given for every department store. In short: stores will have to work harder for their customers.
2. Sales Will Be My Friend. Yes, I've always been a sale shopper, but I must admit that when I want something badly enough, I will purchase it full price. But for most items, I will wait with baited breath until Black Friday.
3. How Low Will You Go? I recently spotted a student who wore a pair of killer skinny jeans that fit her like a glove. I had to ask. Turns out they were from Forever 21--who knew? (I must admit: I never go into that store. Now I may.)
4. You CAN Teach An Old Dog New Tricks. I will wear old items in new ways. It's amazing how an item can look completely different with new accessories and some creativity. I often look at the Sartorialist's blog for ideas. For example, I have a tuxedo jacket that has been lying dormant for years in the back of my closet. Now it's time to resurrect it--with a mini or skinny jeans and a large statement necklace.
5. Choosy Shoppers Invest. As I mentioned before, I am less likely to buy something on a whim. I must have an exact need or reason to purchase something. If it doesn't automatically fit in with the rest of my items, I won't buy it. If I have to think hard about how to wear it, I won't buy it. If it doesn't fit me to a tee, I won't buy it. If it's something I could get sick of, I won't buy it. Keeping a rigid list helps you buy only what you absolutely want and need.
6. Love, Not Like. I must absolutely adore the item; it must give me joy; it must make working more exuberant.