Specifically, I decided to invest in a couple of pairs of linen pants now that my old ones are too big.
I waited until Old Navy was having one of its 30% off sales and went through Mr. Rebates, netting me two pairs of linen pants (one black, one gray) for about $36 after tax.
Not bad. But still money I wish I hadn’t had to spend. Then it got worse.
Shortly after I got the pants, my gray ankle boots — the only gray shoes I own — died. Meaning I had two choices.
The most frugal option would be to go exchange the gray pants for a second pair of black pants. But I’ll be avoiding jeans as much as possible, and I didn’t want to spend an entire season wearing just black bottoms. It’s seems weird to me. Maybe because I spent most of my formative years too insecure about my weight to wear jeans, so I wore black leggings everyday. Not a period of my life I felt like repeating.
The remaining option was to just get some more gray shoes. Which doesn’t seem so bad, until you consider shoe prices. They’re insane. Even Payless now starts around $20. Et tu, Payless?
I poked around the Payless and Forever 21 websites, neither of which had gray ankle boots at all. Macy’s had exactly one pair in my price range (under $30), but I wasn’t that impressed by them.
Then Shoes.com (nee Shoebuy) announced one of its 30% off sales at the same time that Ebates was offering 15% cash back during its birthday special. And if I used Chase Freedom through PayPal, I’d get 5% back.
Clearly, the universe was giving me a break.
The first order of business was to replace the boots. Not just to dress up the linen pants when the occasion called for it, but also because I have a pair of dress slacks I wear to FinCon that require a gray dress shoe. I found a cute pair that were already marked down to about $26. After the discount, they were just under $19.
Normally, I’d have quit while I was ahead, but I knew there would be days that (or tops with which) I’d just want some sneakers. So I snagged a pair of gray Skechers, with a far less impressive price of $43. Still significant savings over retail and Skechers last forever, but nowhere near as good as a $19 pair of boots.
All in all, though, it was a good deal. After accounting for cash back, I got two pairs of shoes for $49.79. Granted, it’s $49.79 that I wish I’d been able to keep in the bank; but I suppose it could have been far worse.
But even after all that, the pants found a way to cost me more money.
I wanted at least a couple more tops that went with the gray pants. I know gray is a neutral and thus theoretically goes with everything; but I’m always hesitant to go too crazy with color. So I went to the thrift store to find some tops that matched.
I came away with three tops that definitely match, two that could probably work with either the gray or black pants, and two more that are for slightly cooler weather but were cute enough to get. Also, a Superman shirt that’s ridiculously tight that probably won’t be worn outside the house but will keep Tim quite happy if I wear it around here.
So yeah in the end I paid another $41 for shirts. Granted, that was for eight shirts. But still: $41 more out of pocket.
It’s like these damn pants will never stop bleeding me dry!
I calm myself with the very real point that these purchases weren’t impulse buys.
In reality, I’ve been wanting to get some more tops for at least two months. I only have three or four tops that I wear over and over, and it was starting to make me self-conscious.
Meanwhile, my old linen pants included a charcoal gray pair, so I’ve actually been meaning to get gray sneakers for about three years now. I could just never pull the trigger.
In other words, it’s not so much that these new pants are costing me money as that I’m finally getting around to some long overdue purchases. And logically I know that $126 for eight shirts, two pairs of shoes and two pairs of pants is a darn good deal. But it’s still $126, which makes me queasy.
Do you find clothes costing you money even after you’ve bought them? Do you ever put off purchases too long, then have to deal with a large outlay?