Saturday, April 2, 2011

Confessions of a Relapsing Shopaholic

Well, it's happened again - my insatiable desire for shopping has returned full force and I am once again reeling from overspending.  It all began with one innocent trip to an outlet mall about a month ago where I dropped a modest amount at the BR Factory Store (2 skirts, neither of which I've yet worn) and then a more obscene amount at the Ann Taylor Factory Store (of which a pair of shoes and a cardigan I have not yet worn).  Then came the unexpected purchase at a charity event (items acquired here), followed by a self-induced shopping ban which lasted all of 2.5 weeks, which ended with a trip to a local boutique to use my Groupon (, and then caving in again this past weekend at the mall. 

So, now I'm feeling the pinch of my extravagance and am contemplating which items need to go back to the store.  Should it be the dress I bought from the local boutique - very high price tag, but also something totally unique and different (posted about it here), or will it be some of the Ann Taylor items I bought in a state of madness induced by the 40% off already reduced items sign at the storefront (posted about these here).  Or, will it be the shoes that are making their way to my front doorstep that I couldn't resist buying after just having dropped some cash at the brick&mortar AT store (see below).  Oh, and the shoes below are not the same color (as far as I can tell, they just look it - but if they are, I'm not afflicted enough to keep both - or AM I????)

In an effort to prevent my fellow shoppers from experiencing a similar relapse to mine, I am not posting the link to buy this online.  Trust me, you'll thank me later :)

Sadly, I've been working from home so much lately, I am only getting dressed in work attire about 1 day a week - so if I should be buying anything, it should be PJ's (I laugh as I type this in my Victoria's Secret pink argyle flannel set).

Oiiiiiii, thus begins the vicious cycle of binge-shopping, returning, buying more items when returning, returning them again, buying, returning, buying, returning, shopping, shopping, shopping - you get the gist!

In college, I worked at Banana Republic, and distinctly remember a very frequent customer (one that came into the store at least every three days or so), who was always buying a boatload of clothes, and then returning them a few days later.  They all had the tags on them, but I'm sure some of them had been worn - in fact, I wonder if she bought items based on how easily she could hide the tag.  Hey-I'm not passing judgement, the dress that I'm thinking of returning was taken out for a spin when I was in the office last week, and I masterfully tucked the tags into the back of my bra - given that the dress was silk, I'm amazed people didn't notice (or did they??)

1.  How many of you find yourself in the vicious cycle of buying & returning? 
2.  How do you save face when you see the same store associates who you know recognize you?
3.  What do you do to control your habit and exercise restraint? 

Really Petite has a great post about how not to fall prey to impulse buys - sadly, the intoxication of an outlet, a charity event, a Groupon, and then a sale overtook my senses!  I hope you will learn from it. 



  1. Oh Lilly! We've all been there. If it would make you feel better, why not just return it all? Of course it helps to buy ALL clothes on sale but the one thing I just hafta hafta to have when it goes on super sale is shoes... like the 50% off AT shoes earlier this year. Those I didn't return! Because they'll last forever and they'll be worn *often*. However, pumps don't sound necessary in your wardrobe right now. Trust me - the AT pumps aren't going anywhere! So just get them in a year or two when you'll actually wear them =)

    If you can't see yourself actually wearing it at least once a week, just take it back. Wait, let me rephrase - take outfit photos wearing the items, review, then take it back! :D That way you'll always have the images ;) and you'll have made the clothes work for you.

    I always buy boatloads, get home and then decide I don't like half of it as much as I thought I did in store, then do a huge return haul...and I always feel SOO much better after the return!

    Keep us posted!

  2. I can totally understand and I've been consciously fighting that urge. But every once in a while, it rears its ugly head. LOL.

    I hate returning things, especially since they're online and I have to pay for return shipping. It's too much of a hassle so I try to have a mindset that it's all on "final sale" and returns aren't possible.

    When it comes to self-control, I assess the current state of my closet and recognize that a lot of things I tend to want to buy are similar to what I already have, so I don't have to buy it. Plus, I'm getting super picky about fit and quality so if it doesn't meet my standards, I don't buy it either. It's not a failsafe process, but it's helped me lower the volume of clothes I purchase, but at the same time, the price per item has increased since I'm going for better pieces and not just fast fashion ones.

    Sorry to make such a lengthy comment, but take small steps and build from there. It takes time but you'll get there! =)

  3. I feel you. I have a ton of things in my closet that have not seen the light of day. today I just returned a whole bunch of things at H&M and it made me feel good that I decided to part with some unnecessary items but then I felt guilty while swiping for new items...
    I used to be able to resist the urge by not shopping at all. I wouldn't even allow myself to browse because then I would find that "great sale". Then online shopping happened and now the UPS guy knows me by face.. sigh.. I think the most fail proof way for me nowadays it just not shopping, not to even look. I do retail therapy by perusing blogs and living/shopping vicariously through the awesome fashion bloggers out there!

  4. Aubrey, Stylepint, & Beartea: thank you all for your encouraging comments & suggestions! I am using them in my next post - an update to my confession - let's see where this goes!

  5. Grrr... I wrote up this incredibly long and it is now gone : (

    Sigh, short story - love these kind of posts. Helps me stay on track. * hugs * I think I should write more about remixing too... now that I've added so much more to my wardrobe in the past year.

    I used to hate shopping. Then as Beartea mentioned above - online shopping came about. And it's the worst and best thing invented :D

    Can't wait to see more future posts about how you are continuing with your wants/desires and not giving in!

  6. @grace - you should totally do it - there's something oddly appealing about diving back into your own closet to "shop" and putting different things together. Join me on the challenge!