Monday, July 25, 2011

Moneywise Monday: Window Shopping--Without the Windows

As I've mentioned before, I tend to buy too many clothes.  What's unusual about my clothes-buying problem (I admit, I have a problem), is that I actually kind of hate shopping.  It gives me a headache most of the time, but sometimes--every now and then, it makes me feel important.  It's kind of like when I used to watch The West Wing in the mornings while having coffee before work.  All I wanted after watching it, was to have a job where I had to walk fast through hallways having smart-sounding conversations.
Give me the file and try to keep up--this is important!
Sadly, at the time, I was working in a call center and was actively discouraged from walking around in an important manner as it prevented me from actually taking calls.  That's another story for another day.

The point is, that sometimes going to stores makes me feel smart and like a gal about town who knows what she wants, and other times it makes me want to curl up in the corner and go to sleep.  Online shopping doesn't make me want to go to sleep, in fact, it's always very cathartic, which is what gets me into trouble.
Fabulous gal about town--this is what I aspire to

I also have a tendency to buy clothes for a life I don't lead.  This has been a problem for years, so I've often seemed oddly over dressed.  Example: When I was in grad school working in my MFA in writing, we had most of our classes from 6:30-9pm.  After class, we would go drinking, because we're writers and that's what writers do. Writers, and grad students, also tend to keep odd hours and frequently look disheveled.  One night I strolled  into class in a nice button-down with a cute sweater, fab pants and killer heels.  My friend MK, who was wearing ripped jeans and a Jem t-shirt, asked "why are you so dressed up?"

I responded with, "Oh, you got a haircut!  It's cute."

And then she told me that she had gotten gum in her hair, left it there for three days, and the stylist had to cut it out.

Why not look fab to go get a coffee?
So I looked a little out of place.

In my current profession, I have to wear clothes that keep me warm in the air-conditioning, are not sexy (because I get hit on by gross old men all the time), and sensible shoes (because I walk all over a building with concrete floors all day).  Naturally, I then buy too many cute dresses that are just a little too sexy for the workplace and are better suited to fancy art gallery events or the theatre.  I tell myself that they will come in handy in "X" situation, but since I work four nights a week, that situation never comes up, and they languish in the closet.

What I've started to do to combat this is ordering things and then returning them.  Sorry, merchants, but this is a way for me to get my fix without going broke.  I spend enough that I get free shipping, try on the clothes in the privacy of my own home, and then return the bulk of them.  Sometimes I wear them around the house for a bit before deciding that they're not for me, or before I can talk myself out of them.  I thrill to see the refunds appear on my credit card statement, and I get the added bonus of kind of cleaning out my closet but actually getting paid for it (in the form of a refund of my own money)!  Of course, I keep the things I really like, but since I'm not in a I'm at a store, must make a decision in this harshly-lit dressing room mode, I actually make better decisions because I feel more in control.

It's all very strange, but it's working pretty well for me.  Anyone else come up with methods to save money on  that one thing you always seem to overspend on?

1 comment:

  1. I can so relate to being overdressed! Last week, my eye doctor asked about my job, and then he asked if getting dressed up got me in the mood to work. I said, "No, I'm just a frilly person." Hahaha

    Anyway...I'd have to say I overspend on clothes too. To avoid it I just leave my credit card and the debit card that has the most money on it at home!