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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Off the wagon, over the cliff

On Friday I posted a Pay it forward tag, which involves making handmade things for the first five people to comment. On Saturday I decided to go to Michael's Craft store to buy a few things. Everything I picked up was on sale and nothing was more than five dollars, but when the clerk rang me up my total was over $40. I was flabbergasted, and I almost was about to tell the girl to just void everything and leave. I didn't. Damn over priced beads and chains and clasps.

Across the street from the craft store is a TJMaxx. Inside was the $100 Lucky Brand Bella Bag. I did a little mental math (this involves me staring blankly into space for several minutes while I visualize writing the numbers on a piece of paper, occasionally twitching my fingers as I count).
Last year I purchased seven bags. A tan bag for $20, a black quilted bag for $5, a mustard bag for $10, a pink slouchy bag for €35, a tie dye bag for $24, a blue and white canvas bag for $3, and a beige bag for $30. In total I spent about $140 (I just took a guess at what the euro conversion rate was, as I don't remember).
So this is my rational, I can buy tons on inexpensive bags that will never be the really expensive bag I want, or I can get the expensive bag and promise that for the rest of this year, I will not buy another bag. (Plus, the list price is $250, so this was 60% off.)
So this is me, hand over my heart bag, pledging not to buy any more bags!

I may have brought home a few other things from TJMaxx as well (what can I say? off the wagon and over the cliff) but I will hold off mentioning them until I decide if I am keeping them.

This bag rational made me think of my other obsession, the scalloped hem. Currently still not in my closet, much to my dismay. Since July I have been looking and looking. I know what I want, this pair from Queens Wardrobe for $72 + shipping from Korea(?) (frankly I don't know if I even trust that site, their email address under the contact section is a gmail one...)
But $72 is a heck of a lot to spend on one pair of shorts. Not when I could get this scalloped hem skirt from Forever 21 for $23, and in April, when the H&M conscious collection comes out, I could buy their pair for $18. And maybe later I could grab this pair from Charlotte Russe for $26.50. And by that point I'll have spent $67.50 and I still wont have what I really want.

Such problems. Here is what a wore for my day of 'reckless shopping'.
Denim on denim
Denim on denim
The Rundown
Ruffled Top Gap - White Jeans TJMaxx - Denim Jacket NY&Co. - Floral Pumps Not Rated Honey Bee - Turquoise Bag Charm and Luck - Flower Ring Kohls
Denim on denim
honey bee pump


I have a lot of nicknames, my favorite is Megs. said...

I love that shirt and I am not sure I could pass up that Bella bag either. It's gorgeous.

Shey said...

First I totally love your outfit and your shoes are super cute. Second I say pay for the thing you love the most, I can testify that I wear the things I paid full price and I wear them a lot, maybe beause they were good enough to pay a high price, like you said you end up paying more when you try to find cheap replacements and yet you are never happy with them because they are not perfect. I say pay for the purse you want, it's quality, it's nice and you won't be looking for the next look alike anymore next time you go to a store. I like the way you are rationalizing about your shopping and thanks for sharing, it helps to see how you're dealing with your spending, you are not alone Liddye. =)

Sue said...

Lol ... but you did buy some lovely things!
Re the scalloped hem - can't you find something in a thrift store and refashion? They are really cute.

Your shopping outfit is divine. Absolutely love that top with the ruffles and the aqua bag ... gorgeous!

Rachel said...

I'm having the same dilemma of quality vs. quantity...and quantity seems to be winning, unfortunately. It takes a lot of willpower, but I'm trying to save for the more high-end items I want rather than the "throwaway" ones. Good luck!

Closet Fashionista said...

Love your shopping outfit!!!
And yea, I know what you mean about spending so much on a pair of shorts when you can get similar ones cheaper :/
And I think Queen's Wardrobe is okay, a lot of the big bloggers wear stuff from there...hehe

Vanessa said...

i love the bag math! Makes sense to me!
Also your shoes are so whimsical! i really like them!

Courtney Erin said...

I think things like bags usually justify a higher price tag/better quality - I personally lug a ridiculous amount of stuff in my purses and I also carry one every day so it's definitely worth an investment.

xoxo ~ Courtney

Sarah Dee said...

I really do love the black shorts! I think they are gorgeous

<3 Sarah

Lisa Lisa Lisa said...

I bought a pair of shorts from queens wardrobe and I wish I'd gotten the Medium instead of the Small. The fabric has little stretch. BUT I love the product.

I say go for the quality. Just don't make a habit of going for the quality every weekend. Investment pieces survive in closets like ours.

eek said...

Your shoes make me happy! Love them!

buttonjar said...

That bella bag is beautiful. I do the same thing - get so caught up on bargains that I sometimes miss the thing I actually want/need. This is a good reminder for balance. Plus you still saved 60%! Go you.

Lydia x

jesse.anne.o said...

Great shoes, Lyddie!

I feel your pain re bags. This year I bought the Matt & Nat Nico for $100, hoping it would be perfect and last forever. Unfortunately I'm already having to repair the zipper! And using a $10 tapestry tote bag I picked up at Beacon's Closet on impulse last time. May you have better luck than I!

I think, in theory, quality over quantity is very smart!

Ashley said...

Are those shoes comfy to walk in? Whenever I go shopping these days, I ALWAYS wear Converse or something equally comfortable. I used to try and get by at the mall in heels and failed every time. I'm envious of anyone who can do it!

The place I work for uses a Gmail address and we're legit. All the employees think it's weird though. Probably because it is.

Anyway, you can't feel too bad about your purchases. If they were sound investments--like that bag!--everything is good!

Orphaned Apparel said...

Love your jacket and shoes! And I'm having the weirdest sense of deja vu while reading this post. I can't figure out what's causing it. Haha.

katsiepooh said...

Cute shoes and jacket!
My thoughts: if you think you can go through the whole year without buying another bag, go for the Bella bag coz it's soo cute and on discount already ;) Or just wait for another month or so, you might see a bag you'll like even more!


jamie-lee said...

I think it's always worth spending a bit more to get what you really want. I've bought two things from Queens Wardrobe, I think they're based in Australia, and I was stoked. I got a burberry looking trench and although it's not the real thing, I love it as much as I would've loved the burberry one.

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Wait for the H&M - it's the best looking pair and I wouldn't trust buying from Forever 21 again.

I'm going to enable you on the bag thing. If you love it and can afford it, it's worth it. I was freaked when I first broke the $200 mark (I got a Hogan bag), but still love the bag and break it out. It was a slippery slope after that but has culminated in me getting a vintage Chanel. Yes I will wear the heck out of it and you should wear the heck out of the new bag.

Chic 'n Cheap Living

Diana Mieczan said...

Im totally smitten with your shoes, sweetie. They are perfect for spring! Happy Monday

Bex said...

Lovely outfit. Go for the more expensive, chances are it's better made so it'll last longer as well!


silvergirl said...

LOL, I can totally relate to your purse dilemma. I have done the same exact thing myself.
super cute shoes and I like the cropped jacket. Love those buttons on it.

Hazel☺ said...

you got a cute turquoise bag and lovely shoes <3 and about your shopping dilemma, i guess don't buy it if you were unsure! and besides you said it yourself that you can buy it from F21 or H&M :)


Silver Strands said...

I think you're super smart to figure out the bag thingy ... I used to buy about a million cheap bags every year. I never used the "trick my brain" thing you did, but once - just once, I got smart and bought an expensive one. LOVE it!

Mrs. J said...

First cute outfit, I love those floral pumps and need them for spring!! Second buying the bag sounds like a great investment and will be a keeper that you'll have 10+ yrs later. Plus I can't wait to see what your going to style it with!!

ps. I forgot to give you my email for the "pay it forward" post.... mrsjefferies2010@gmail.com

Sara said...

Ooooh there's nothing like taking the plunge and buying that pretty, pretty, yummy, delicious bag you really really want. I've found myself buying really nice bags, like once a year, for the past few years (and filching a few from my mom's closet), and honestly, if you really really love it and its great quality, you'll use it forever. Then you won't even feel the need to buy more!

If its a great, timeless bag you'll use it for month at a time without changing (at least I do). And always remember, divide the price by how many times you use it!

Oh, and your jean jacket is to DIE for!! Its so structured and adorable :)

Kristin said...

You gotta love the Maxx. My mama and I have scored so many fabulous bags there! And I have a Lucky cross body that I adore. The leather is so nice. Yours is gorg!

Isabel said...

i think u r much better off buying a bag that is a bit more expensive because they are usually better quality and real leather. it will last much longer!

Krystal said...

haha reckless shopping :) I like it!

Eyeliah said...

yay, I love this bag!

Melanie said...

Those shoes give me some intense feelings of shoe envy. Love your handbag, too! I've recently decided it's better to spend a little more on fewer high-quality items than to spend a little on lots of crappy items.

Follow @UnraveldThreads on Twitter!

WendyB said...

Love the bright bag with the more subdued outfit!

Pho W. said...

Hello, love your blog, such lovely photos.
Im now a follower :)
follow me

Sara said...

I definitely know what you mean about this shopping issue; I also often buy several iterations of the thing I really want, thinking I'm somehow saving money. I just bought a dress from Target a few weeks ago that is the LOOK I want, but at a much cheaper price, and guess what? A seam tore already. Guess I got what I paid for :P

Lynzy said...

I love love love the pop of color with the turquoise! Gorgeous girl!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

oh those scalloped skirts are really lovely indeed! now i want them. i'll keep an eye and let you know if i saw any of them here in hong kong

Jodi said...

I love your top.. and I am glad you are going for the bag you really want. you will get the use out of it and will love it.. I think its better to buy less and to buy good quality.. you can tell by the make that its good and its a timeless piece.. not always easy if you want lots of variety but I have been slowly weaning myself off cheaper clothes and only buying higher quality in combination with fun finds at the thrift store... LOVE the brown bag.. is gorgeous!! xoxo J

Kayla said...

Those shoes are amazing! What a fantastic touch of whimsy for any outfit!

Wendy said...

I'm not going to mention each item individually ... the W.H.O.L.E. outfit rocks and each item individually as well :-) Now please send me my denim jacket back ;-)

La Historiadora de Moda said...

Well, the bag is gorgeous and you will get lots of use out of it, so I buy your rationale.

I love the blouse that you're wearing!

Ali said...

Red and yellow red and yellow! Such an awesome color combo. I seriously love that shirt, and with the shoes and your necklaces dsfjdfhjsdg too cool, my friend. Too cool.

I've been a bad follower and commenter and dictator lately. Luckily, my mom likes to read your blog and will call me over to give me a break from schoolwork so I can see your pretty outfits. :D yeah. <3

Alex Elizabeth said...

Hold out for H&M, those shorts are cooler than the F21 skirt!! That's the exact philosophy I use for buying bags too, sometime years I don't buy any bags at all.
I love the military details on your jacket! You look like spring and I feel like I'm still stuck firmly in winter... maybe this weekend I'll try to dig out some spring stuff!
Also, I wore heels today and I was amazing :)

Kim said...

I was looking at someone's blog the other day and she had bought an inexpensive pair of vintage/second leather pants and cut them into scalloped shorts! so inexpensive and so cute! I thought it was a great idea

Iris said...

Yeah when you're lusting over something that specific I would say go for it or find something that is exact, not close or you will not be happy with what you ended up with. I love that jacket BTW!

Jessica said...

This is precisely where I'm at right now. And while it's hard to say no to all of the impulse purchases, it's satisfying to choose special pieces only.

It's exactly why spending $300 on those Kate Spade shoes was scary. But I loved them. And no other shoe was going to satisfy my "need" for them. Sure, this means I'm going to have to lighten the budget in other places for the next couple of months, but that's okay because I still smile when I peek at them.

Jessica said...

Oh, another thing I did to help myself stay on track is write every single 2011 sartorial purchase in a note on my phone (with prices). When I'm in a dressing room, I peek at that list to put my shopping in perspective again.