Thursday, January 26, 2012

When Shopping Sales Isn't Worth It

{Written two days ago.}

The pinstripe black dress pants I am wearing today are too short. Even though I only wear them with flats, I still have to shimmy them down my hips a bit so it doesn’t look like I am waiting for a flood. And that makes the crotch sag a couple inches lower than in should, which makes me look dowdy overall. And even though I can’t see myself from behind, I am quite certain these shimmied down pants aren’t doing my derriere any favors. I only have one pair of flats (I am 5’2”—I wear heals a lot) and they are scuffed beyond embarrassment. I hate the bottom half of my outfit today.

But I opted for these pants over the black pants I got at GAP that have such a high waist they go around my ribs (I am 5’2”—I am quite short-waisted and unless a pair of pants has a very short rise, my ribs are in a bear hug). They have this rough, denim-ish texture to them that I don’t like. They are uncomfortable. And they collect every piece of lint and hair in a five-foot radius. I must keep a lint roller at the ready.

And those are my two new pairs of pants.

My older, trustier pairs of black pants both have broken flies (just wear a long top and no one can tell they aren’t done up, right?). One has major cuffs, which aren’t flattering to petite shorties like moi. And the other pair is a pinstripe skinny paint—can’t wear that with everything.

So I have FOUR pairs of black dress pants and I hate them all.

I also have a pair of cream-colored dress pants that are so ginormous they won’t stay on my body.

Why do I have such terrible pants? I’ll tell you why. It’s because I shop sales.

Instead of shopping for things that actually fit and flatter, I shop for the best deal. The cheapskate in me gravitates to the clearance rack and won’t look at anything else. In this frame of mind “almost fits” is good enough. At least at the moment.

(This phenomenon isn’t limited to pants. I happens a lot with shoes. About 5 years ago I bought a $60 of leather boots that I wore the crap out of. They are now scuffed and dumpy looking. I replaced them with a clearance pair worth $100 but I only paid $6. I hardly ever wear them because I don’t like them as much. I still long for my $60 old pair.)

And then for the next six months, year, two years, or however long I last until I break down and buy a new pair, I hate my clothes. I hate my body. And I kind of hate myself. This hatred bleeds over. And I start to hate other people. You know, those people with “perfect” bodies and chic clothes. And then I hate the world.

See? Shopping sales is a really, really bad, damaging thing.

I am going to stop.

At least when it comes to clothing essentials.

My motto used to be “Never pay full price for anything.”

Time for an addendum. When it comes to clothing essentials where quality and fit is key, and it’s an item that will get much use, do it right. Buy the right size. Get it tailored. It’s not just frivolous spending. It’s an investment in a hate-free world. 

And so I went out and bought these at full price:

And I love them!


Mom on the Go said...

It took me a long time, but I'm finally there. When there is an item of clothing I love and want I don't buy what's good enough. I wait and shop around until I find what's perfect and I will pay full price for it.

Debra said...

I use to shop almost exclusively at Ross for their good deals and then my clothes started falling a part. Don't so much love Ross anymore.

Beckie said...

OOh i love em- where did you get em? I'm soo guilty of shopping clearance- my closet is busting at the semas with stuff that doesn't fit- I hate- or would look cut eon someone else- but it was "almost free".

Jewls said...

Lance has instilled this lesson into me since we got married. Better to buy nice once then buy cheap ten times!

Sarah said...

You can try on pants or what ever you are shopping for and find what fits you perfectly, then see if you can find it cheaper online. That works for me on jeans, shoes and sometimes dress pants. I find that I'm OK with cheaper tops for work and usually just wait for sales on those.

Meagan said...

Good job Lara! I'm so proud! I've decided that I'm not allowed to buy any article of clothing unless I love it. "Gotta Love It" is my shopping motto. :)

Haylee said...

Growing up, my mom taught me about spending more on things you love and that will last and look great (which makes you feel great) for a long time so you'd think I'd be a pro at it. But, getting married and living on an itty bitty college student budget and now just getting out of that world, it is hard to readjust my brain after years and years of just getting what would work and was cheap (the only thing we could afford). I'm getting there though.


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