Budget Shopping Advice for Clothing Junkies
I needed that new top'
think obsession is the best word to describe my relationship with
clothes. I view my wardrobe as a collection that is never complete.
I go through the cycle - impulsive spending sprees, guilt, rationalising
(Of course I needed that new top, I had nothing to go with
the new pants I bought last week) and then a plummet into
Post Purchase Depression. Sound familiar anyone?
Well fear not though Ive yet to find a cure for this
addiction, I can teach you how to become an Expert Budget Shopper.
The following are 10 tips on achieving realistic wardrobe perfection,
in as guilt and stress free way as possible
Top 10 stores to mix and match from:
1. Jacob (Metrotown, Robson) Classy, quality, shirts, dresses, lounge
2. Jacob Annexe (Metrotown, Pacific Centre) Casual, hoodies, cords, T-shirts.
3. Sirens (Metrotown) Ultra trendy, party wear, cheap, petite sizes.
4. Garage (Metrotown, Pacific Centre) Slightly less funky, suits, casual
5. Dynamite Metrotown, Robson) Trendy casual, tops, jackets cool accessories.
6. Aldo (Metrotown,Granville/Robson) Sales, boots, sandals, bags.
7. Gap (Metrotown, Robson) huge markdowns frequently. Preppy. casual
8. Mimosa (Metrotown, Robson) sparkly jewellery, hairclips, belt buckles
9. Le chateau (Metrotown, Burrard/Robson, Granville Sky train) funky,
10. Fairweather (Metrotown, Oakridge) Quality suits and office wear
Make a list. Check it twice.
Before you head out, do a quick inventory of the wardrobe. In the excitement
of the moment, you can easily forget that the perfect top
you just found is almost identical to three other ones in the closet.
When to Buy
Dont make the mistake of blindly rushing to the till and paying
more than you should for the perfect item youve been searching for
all this month. Try (if you can) to wait a week or two. Chances are itll
be on sale, especially at Gap, where there is usually a huge markdown.
This doesnt work as well if youre petite but there are always
plenty of mediums and larges left.
What to wear on your big spree
Unlacing, unbuttoning and unbuckling gets tired after the tenth store.
Heres the ultimate outfit: Slip on shoes, zip up sweater, pull on
pants and push up bra. Theres nothing worse than trying on a dressy
top with floppy boobs, it gives no idea of the full effect.
Who do I take with me
I shop alone because I dont want to be distracted by contradictory
opinions or wait for my girlfriend to decide on items she shouldnt
even be considering. Worse yet is the competition factor a friend
who is uglier/prettier, fatter/thinner. Apologizing or reassuring is a
waste of shopping energy. Leave the Boyfriend at home. Have you witnessed
the desperately bored looks on their faces? We dont like browsing
for car accessories, dont torture them, its just unfair.
Size up your size, and dont wait in line
When you dont want to wait _ an hour for each customer to try on
20 items (a particular problem at Metrotown Sirens), heres a tip:
hold up a pair of pants or skirt to your hips. If it just reaches either
side of hip bones, it should fit (also a way to avoid the cellulite enhancing
mirrors in the dressing rooms. Whats all that about?)
Ive tried to limit myself to $100 a spree, and if that means plonking
down the Visa, I give myself a month to pay it off, before the next jaunt.
Beware of breaking out the Visa when youre on a PMS, job loss or
break-up spree. Its as bad as food shopping when youre hungry.
Youre not thinking straight. Where do we go for lunch?
If youve decided to take the girlfriend, this is one of the days
highlights (aside from getting the stuff home and putting it on display
for a couple of days) It gives you a chance to show off your incredible
spending savvy (you got a similar top for $10 cheaper than she did), or
maybe discover new territories shes already conquered. Robson is
littered with plenty of people watching hangouts: Cactus club, Milestones,
Le Crepe and many sushi spots. Metrotown food court is about the only
option there, but there is plenty of variety and cheaper if you are alone
(save money for more post lunch shopping)
Dealing with Post Purchase Depression
A call to the girlfriend may remind you of more outfit combos than you
have already thought of. I find it usually disappears the next day when
I get to dress up and have everyone admire how fabulous I look. Clothes
dont make the woman, but looking good is a great ego booster.
Finally, if all else fails:
If you are really on a tight budget, dont forget theres good
old Value Village (Hastings/Commercial). You may have overlooked this
untapped resource whilst browsing for a dress up party once a blue moon.
There are racks of untapped retro items of dead cheap prices that smell
only slightly of mothballs.
Dont forget - consignment chic is timeless. Many Hollywood stars
will agree. I read that when Beck was living in poverty he used to wear
clothes he found, and no-one can accuse him of lacking style. (Incidentally,
wouldnt you agree that his duds look the same even after earning
© Jenny Brown November 2002
Brown takes a walk in Vancouver's 'secret garden'
Wright will soon be The Happiest Fag in the World
a Vancouver personality on the up and coming list.
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