Monday, October 13, 2008

Walk on By...

You know how I'm always on about this great thing and that thing I couldn't live without. Upshot being that I have lots of gorgeous stuff and nowhere to put it. Not to mention less cash. Well, here's an example of something I bought that I might have - nay should have - passed on.

And let me tell you why...

The dress, by Sisley (Benetton's edgier sister, a brand I have a lot of luck with), is a fantastic colour to be sure. It's got that retro shape I dig. The jersey stretch fabric is comfortable and "easy to wear". It's got a sassy kick pleat that makes it functional for walking. It looks nice with tights and boots or heels. It was on sale for 70% off so it cost $40.00.

So what's the prob?

It doesn't fit perfectly. The sleeves are too long (and they are cuffed so they can't really be shortened). Fortunately they look good pulled up. (Did I mention that the button closure is actually a snap designed to look like a button, which secretly thrills me?) The shoulders fit ever so slightly off. Not too snugly, exactly, but not right. Which impacts the look of the bodice, an area about which I need to be so careful.

I bought it before I was really into the blogs and blogging. Before I met Enc and Editor and all of the women who think so consciously about want and need. I bought it on an excursion during which a lot of purchasing was happening very liberally and it just slipped in. (You know what kind of problems that can land you in! :-))

So, today, if shopping, I would have tried it on and put it back. Lately, I've been doing that all the more often. In fact, in the last month I've bought but 2 things - a pair of stylish, heels I can walk in (about which I just blogged) and a vintage taupe blazer (50s) in the most awesome shape - perfectly preserved and made for my figure. It was art, IMO, that I couldn't pass by. And you know how challenging it is for me to find a good jacket that fits right. (Post to come.) It wasn't about the money - though neither item was particularly pricey. It was about need intersecting a compelling urge to own those items.

Am I edging toward a shopping ban? I can't say that. But I am moving in the direction of increased consciousness about consumption.

Editor has challenged us all to count the items in our closets and share the numbers. I haven't found an opportunity to do this yet, but I intend to. And, as with the Starbucks banana bread treat I just discovered has 430 calories a piece, I hope I'm so horrified by the numbers that I can't bring myself to buy again except occasionally / at least for a while. Sometimes you have to know the real price of something before you can walk on. Do you agree?


  1. I do agree. And applaud you for your mindfulness, and your mindfulness of your mindfulness. You may not actually NEED a ban if you begin to feel like your relationship with shopping is changing, and moving in a more careful, considered direction.

    As for this dress, I would never have noticed any of its flaws had you not pointed them out ... even though you photographed them specifically, I thought they were just detail shots! Probably an unhelpful thing to say, but just being honest. ;)

  2. Consciousness can be a killer of desire. Just knowing how many black tees I actually have has curbed my desire to buy even more because until I took a count I kept telling myself "You can never have too many long sleeve black tees." It turns out you can.

    I am reluctant to take a count of my closet as I am not ready for a ban. No, I don't think if I knew the number it would stop me. But the calorie count of banana bread makes me scared to discover how many calories are in the pumpkin bread. It turns out that the pumpkin bread also has 430 calories. Drats!!;-)

  3. The only thing I agree with is that you look great in that dress. Hubba hubba.

  4. Being conscious about one's purchases is a good thing. I try not to buy something just because it's an amazing deal (but I must admit that I do sometimes get my "sale goggles" on and everything 70% off looks fantastic!).
    That being said, I think you llok so cute in the dress!


  5. The dress looks great on you. Those minor problems can be fixed by a great seamstress -- even the sleeves. Take them up from the shoulder, not the bottom.

  6. How shocking is the starbucks cake - that's why I make my own!!

    Wrap dresses are a nightmare except for DVF ones.

  7. Hooray for you! Sounds like you're being very responsible and aware of your shopping habits. :D

    Can you get the dress adjusted?

    And as to counting items in one's closet - that sounds absolutely terrifying. Which probably means it's a very good exercise. I'd hate to know how much stuff I have ... but I think I'm going to count it. Will be eye-opening.

  8. I do agree.

    I think taking inventory and facing numbers is a real eye-opener.

    I think being aware is key.

    I think that dress is an interesting catalyst for all this introspection.

    I think that dress is really nice on you, and like Sal, I wouldn't have noticed the things that are "wrong" with it if you hadn't mentioned them. However, I'm with you, in that if something isn't perfect, why bother?


    I am all for thrifting. In fact, I hardly ever buy anything new anymore. Reason being (besides the fact that I have four kids and live in a swank downtown apartment) is that after I get over the fact that the shirt is only $5! I realize THE SHIRT IS ONLY $5!!!

    But really, even so, it makes me more conscious of my spending habits and even while thrifting, things add up. By thrifting too, you keep consumption down and recycling up. Plus, more often than not, you're shopping is keeping people employed (big for right now, ya think?).

    It's empowering to be able to put something back and say, "Well, ya know, Im not going to die if I don't have that". And walk away. Plus, I know you have a kid (s?) and thats a great way to model.

    One of the things I focus on is buying quality stuff while thrifting (i.e. this sweater was made in Italy) and also have quite a bit of functional pieces that work well together. I avoid big trends and focus on what makes me feel good.....

    Thanks for letting me rant! Cheers!

  10. Love the dress...u look awesome in it..

  11. Numbers do scare me..I do know there are those playing with numbers and create lies but the numbers I come across do make me face the reality. counting stuff in my closet being one. Knowing how much money getting spent on fashion is another. I'm getting better now. I do pay more attention when I shop just like you. :)

    I thought that dress looked great on you. I would say taking up the shoulders as WendyB suggested would be a good thing.

  12. Thank you Sal. I love the idea that I might not need a ban. That makes me seem so responsible :-)

    Belette: It was the pumpkin bread calorie count (I only ate it once) that made me curious about the banana bread calorie count. That stuff is just not worth a meal's worth of cals...

    Dr. M: Merci beaucoup.

    Thanks CC: Sale goggles is an excellent term...

    Wendy: Thanks for your comment. And that's a smart idea. I am totally going to do that.

    MDM: Mega shocking!!

    Andrea: Somehow, I still haven't managed to find the time to do the clothing count. Hmmmmm, no procrastination there.

    Thanks Miss C. I thought of you. Do you celebrate both hols??

    Enc: I'm so grateful to find the blogosphere is evolving from shopping = everything to shopping can be looking only. It makes me see the world differently.

    Luvvy: Great comment. When I find something, at first I think "I MUST have that beautiful thing". But I've discovered, when I walk away, I rarely keep that love glow going. And thrifting / vintage is such a super way to go. Good for the world. Fun forensics!

    Thanks Kingshuk.

    Thanks Songy. It's scary going through the closet (aka metaphor for mass consumption). I'm starting to feel like Mariah :-)

  13. In these troubled times i say just keep on spending - we need to spend our way out of the recession. :)

  14. Matt: No one's going to be able to pin the recession on me! :-)