Over the last decade, I have developed a shopping ritual. We didn’t have seasonal wear in my home country. Now, I am aware of seasonal colors, trends, sales and the shows. Thanksgiving shopping is in the air. I have done a pretty good job barring myself from the newsletters and shopoholic affiliate link blogs. But, I am still aware of it. Articles on how evil Black Friday can get, somehow sneak into my reading feed. I am publishing this so that I don’t give into the sales and break the system that has been working for me.
I do not walk into a store or online and browse till I find a need. Atleast not anymore. I used to do that when I was younger. Now, I am more picky. Currently, I would love it if a dark grey silk shirt would miraculously come into my closet. I wanted it for a while now but no body makes it in the shade I want. I can trace this need to seeing too many grey shirts on Death-by-Elocution / how much of grey I wear everyday/ need for a more dressy grey shirt. I have to admit I do get influenced by people I follow on Instagram and try to minimize my contact with the sales people. I do have some brand loyalty. I check out Everlane, APC and Cuyana from time to time for my basics.
If I need something, my go to places to search is eBay, Vestiaire Collective and TheRealReal. I usually find it thanks to the decluttering haze in the country. I never have to go hunting elsewhere. I grew up wearing my sisters hand-me-downs and I am not iffy about second hand. The idea is to get good value for money and this is the way to go, for me. I have an Hermes cashmere vest that I wear so much but paid less than what I would have paid in Zara for it. Let the person who bought it first hand pay for the brand, the runway shows, the advertisements, the lifestyle of the designer, store decor, ‘experience of shopping’ the brand, etc. I pay for the material and quality when I procure it second hand. I would never buy something from H&M/fast fashion brands second hand. They fall apart after a few washes and end up at the thrift store. I am not going to take that crap home. I look for designers known for the quality of their wares.
ONLINE VS IN-STORE
I absolutely don’t like the American shop girls. They find everything ‘cute’ and have the ability to guilt trip me into things I normally can stay away from. They reduce the space and time that I need to think. Second hand shopping is a matter of testing patience and time if I want to do it in a store. I rather do it online. Az/Ca are not very fashion conscious states and I haven’t had much success with finding quality wares so far. I do everything online. I can usually find jeans/pants online too because I have a body close to the designer’s size charts.
Whenever I see something I like, I pin it to a board on Pinterest that I share with my best friend. I try to leave it in there for as long as possible unless I think it will sell out ( second hand shopping ! ). I usually get over it if I wait long enough. I edit it and remove the not needed. I learnt that most things feel unnecessary after 2 weeks and I can’t believe I ever wanted it. I talk with my friend and she gives her ‘super honest’ opinion. So does my husband. Although he thinks I can pull off everything ! I used to love Hukkster, the website that tracks an item till it goes on sale. I can’t believe that startup shut down. I am still mourning it.
YEARLY STOCK UPS
Things wear out. Sunscreen is a necessity. So is shampoo. Instead of replenishing things as they run out, I do it all in one big order during the thanksgiving sales. I buy my skincare for the entire year – 4 sunscreens and 2 face oils. I know how much hair care I need per year and order it from Sephora during their VIB sale. A bottle of foundation gets me through the year and I get a new bottle during this time around. Eye makeup needs to be replaced every 6 months-1 year for hygiene reasons. Tshirts dont last too long. So do the tights, lingerie and socks. I assess and procure depending on the wear and tear. I have a ritual of buying a scarf every year. I would like a purple one this year. Not the shocking purple but the hue that Rick Owens would approve. This is not to turn on my radar and waste my time scouting the super sales. But to be sensible and save some money. Most stores do the 20% off and I buy my new items during this time of the year.
Avoid shopping with the “yes, you look cute” friends.
Avoid shopgirls: they are programmed to compliment everything you wear.
Consult with that friend who has told you “that is not flattering. Let it go”.
Don’t randomly pick every pretty affordable thing in the store.
Don’t buy second hand high quality clothes just because they are affordable.
“Do you need to do all this?”, I keep getting asked. “Wont you miss out on that special item that you dont know exists because you dont go to the store?”, I get asked. “Should you overthink every little thing?” ….. Oh well, this is the way that works for me. After many many mistakes, this works. I am getting better at doing closet edits and bringing in long wearing pieces. I can’t do it any other way.