I’m a sucker for a sale. (Who isn’t, really?) So I was especially proud of myself at the outlet mall, where Saks OFF 5th was having a store closing sale. Every item was 70% off. At that rate, some of the items were actually affordable.
I’m still kinda between sizes. Which means that I can’t predict which items will fit me.. Which means I went into the dressing room with 19 items.
And walked out with two. Count ’em: two.
Surprisingly, the fit wasn’t the issue. Only four were too small. A couple were verging on snug but were still cute. And the rest fit just fine. The thing is, they didn’t pass the test.
See, I now have one question when I’m trying on clothes: Will I actually wear this?
In the past, I’ve convinced myself that I’d totally wear something. I actually have three items (okay, five) in my closet right now that I got back when we were in the apartment. Aka more than three years ago. Still haven’t found the right time to wear them.
It’s especially bad if you have a rounder or unique body type. When you find an item in your size that’s actually flattering, your first, second and third impulses are to get it.
You’ll rationalize that you’ll wear it because it’s so cute, because it’s a brag-worthy deal, because you look great. It doesn’t matter that it’s too dressy, kind of snug or any other reason you might hesitate to actually put it on.
I have a couple of shirts that I love, but I never wear because I’m self-conscious about how tight them are — and I’m thinner now than when I bought them. Or the great deal on a so-so-soft cashmere sweater in Seattle. I wore it twice, each time for less than two hours. Because damn but cashmere is hot indoors!
And so I’ve learned the hard way, it’s only a good deal if you use the item.
Nowadays I have to be able to envision myself using the item regularly. And if it’s clothing, I have to be able to imagine myself wearing it in more than one scenario. And I can’t be uneasy about wearing it for any reason. Nor can I be picturing how it will look if I lose “just a couple more pounds.”
So I asked that question a lot in the dressing room. This is gorgeous but snug. Will that keep me from wearing it? (Yep.) This is cute, but pretty loose. Will I feel shapeless? (Yep.) And so on and so forth. I was on the fence about a couple of $22 items. In the end, I couldn’t be sure I’d wear it, so they went into the rejects pile.
In the end, I got two cute-if-a-little-basic shirts. I spent less than $23 after tax. And most importantly, I know I’ll wear them.
What items have you bought that you never end up using? How do you combat the urge?