Monday, March 7, 2011

Confessions of a Shopaholic

I swear, in the 11 months that I've been blogging, I'll never get back to the glory days of last summer when I was cranking out posts left and right, every few days. Now I either don't have inspiration or time. Both situations suck and I can't decide which one is worse, but I need to keep reminding myself to chill and stop playing the numbers game. Years from now when I look back, though, I don't want to think that all the fun stuff happened during the summer, because honestly, even though school and work are in the mix, the fun quota has not dropped one bit.

Anyway. A new vice has been increasingly manifesting itself to me. Whereas the thing I've been focusing on the most in the past few months is my bad eating habits, something new wants to take over. This vice has always been part of my life, but keeps getting more and more serious as I have to take on more and more financial responsibility. It is none other than the glorious activity of shopping (Haaaaallelujah!). 

Why do I think shopping is so awesome? To try to put this into words, it pretty much boils down to the fact that when I look good, I feel good. And when I get to find clothes that flatter me and I love, those things happen. I feel more confident, I get more compliments, yada yada. It's pretty simple, really. The problem is that I find too many things I like and would love to wear, so I end up buying them if they're cheap enough, but they pile up and I end up having too MANY things to wear. Or the outcome has it that one particular item just isn't something I want to wear that often, for one reason or another, even though I love putting it on, and that money kind of goes to waste. Good thing I'm a pretty thrifty person and don't like to spend more than $15 on a shirt or $30 on jeans, but in proportion to my own personal budget, shopping still takes up more than it should sometimes.

The most dangerous times to indulge in my habit are during the transitional seasons of fall and spring. I would have to say spring is a lot worse, especially this exact moment, because all I've wanted since December was for summer to come back again. Normally I'm not like this but suddenly I intensely don't care for winter at all, so every time the weather teases us with warm, sunny afternoons, I just can't help myself from buying clothes suitable for the warmer months, which actually aren't here yet. Add to that the fact that our family just booked a tropical cruise for June, and I have my sights set on even more cute summery dresses than I was planning on. Plus, every time I walk through Target they seem to have new clothes out, and there is never a time when I don't want to own something on a rack there that I don't already have.

I really want this watermelon shirt from Delia's.

I used to hate shopping because it was so hard to find clothes to fit my body type, but I've had enough experience by now that I just know the right places to look. I can usually tell by looking at something on a hanger if it will fit me in the right places or not, so I can eliminate those unwanted feelings of self hate from standing in front of the mirror in disappointment by just not presenting myself with those opportunities. That's not to say that I don't still try on plenty of things that don't work out, because that certainly happens a lot, too. I'm kind of infamous for being the girl that tries on 20 things and comes out with 2 or 3 that I like. When I walk into a changing room with clothes spilling out of my arms' grasp, it's not because I expect all of them will work out perfectly. In fact, sometimes I try on clothes without intending to buy any of them, just because I want to see what they'd look like. I feel bad for the dressing room attendants sometimes, especially at stores where their job is to specifically help you find things you like, because my shopping agenda is not usually what they're used to.

I've also become accustomed to always trying on dresses that I find cute, no matter what time of year it is. For me, personally, it's hard to find a dress that fits me right, so when an occasion comes up and I only have limited time to shop for one, that means my chances of finding a winner are much more slim. So all year round I keep my eyes open, just in case I find some buried treasure unexpectedly. I even lucked out today by finding two fantastically cute dresses that are both possibilities for a semi-formal event I have coming up. One of them was $9!! Did I tell you I was thrifty, or did I tell you I was thrifty? But of course, my mom usually buys my dresses for those kinds of things, and that's part of the reason we only shop inexpensively. Still, it's a good standard to have.

Another good rule to live by is always leave the tags on and keep your receipts until you wear everything. This seems like common sense but I still suffer setbacks from it. Occasionally when I'm getting ready in the morning I'll put on a new t-shirt with the intention of wearing it, take off the tags, and then decide 20 minutes later that I want to wear something else. The next week I will realize I probably won't want to wear the shirt that much at all, and I should probably take it back, only to remember that I already threw the tags out. I must stop doing this! It happened today, but it will be the last time. 

The principle I'm still debating on is this: Should you or should you not make it a habit of looking at the price tag before you try something on? A previous boyfriend and I disagreed on this - he said you never should, but I was set on the idea that it's a good practice. His point was that your notion of how expensive an item is will affect your like or dislike of it while you're trying it on. But his family's wealth situation was one that allowed him to bypass certain higher numbers on those tiny pieces of paper that would normally break my family's budget. The cool thing about this, though, is when you DO try on a dress that you really like and then find out it is ONLY NINE DOLLARS, that just makes everything ten times better. You pretty much have to buy it. 

One thing I also forgot to mention in previous posts was another thing I love about going to concerts is planning my outfits for them. I seriously think sometimes about starting a fashion blog, to keep record of all the perfectly put-together ensembles that I've adorned for numerous events. I would've taken pictures of the last few that I've been so happy wearing, but I'm not a fan of divulging what I look like to the anonymous audience that could be stalking me right now. Because I'm paranoid like that. 

Because I am so excited about it, I just found online a dress very similar to the one I got today (at Ross) that I hope I can wear in a few weeks to a dance. Here in this picture it doesn't look like anything special, but trust me, it is way cuter on me. It wasn't the $9 one - that's for backup - but they are both very chic. 

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