Thursday, November 20, 2008

And heaven and angels sing...

As the cold weather approaches, most people’s thoughts turn to home, hearth and family. Mine turn, unequivocally, to cashmere.

It started with a serendipitous purchase last winter. I happened upon a lovely tomato red Kenzie cashmere cardigan in Winners, and following the Cinderella’s Folly philosophy, purchased one in sage green and black as well. That was enough to tide me through the long, cold winter. But this year I, like the rest of the retail masses, have been caught up in sea of cashmere that is showing up in every store, from coats to scarves to cozy sweaters. I have become a cashmere glutton.

The latest focus of this gluttony has been the sinful luxury of Club Monaco’s Claudine wrap sweater, available in the most delicious winter cream. I have been tracking this elusive piece of cashmere for weeks now, calling the stores to see if it was on sale. Yesterday I struck gold. A salesperson, who I had been calling for days, replied in a bored voice that it wasn’t on sale. When I said sadly that it was out of my grasp at regular price, she mentioned, as if the thought had just occurred to her, “Well, it’s not on sale, but it is on promotion. Today is the last day. 30% off.”

The heavens opened and angels sang. Telling myself that I could not miss such a divine opportunity, I cleared my calendar for the afternoon and rushed to the downtown store, the only one to have it in stock. Now me and my Claudine sweater are one, and never the twain shall part.

Pick up your own at Club Monaco stores for $239. But, wait for the 30% off ‘promotion’ – it’s sure to come again before the holiday season is out.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Question of the Day: To Return or Not to Return

As much as I am a shopaholic, I am a return-aholic. I almost never make my mind up right when I see something, so I bring it home, try it on...and usually return half of what I buy. This is great, in theory, except that in practice two disconcerting trends emerge:

1) I end up buying stuff I wouldn't really buy in the first place, reasoning that I can always return it
2) When I go to return it, I find something else I like instead, and usually end up blowing the whole refund.

Now, the issue is this: I have two things to return from Banana Republic, amounting to a pretty sizeable $200. One is a top I like, but admit was not worth what I paid for it; another is a dress that was unanimously voted on by my friends to be returned. But what if I go to return it, and get drawn in by the sales all over again? Sure, I can pretend that I am strong enough to resist that, but at this point, I am not sure that I am. On the other hand, it is $200 just sitting there.

What to do? Any ideas?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Dawn of a New Day

The time has come, people. As much as I love, love, love to shop, I am slowly starting to recognize that sometimes it can be a teensy bit much. And while I have tried the justifications of 'I'll only buy things I REALLY love' or 'I'll only buy investment pieces' blah blah blah, the truth is, I cannot resist the lure of a sale. Of a bargain waiting to be had, of the last pair of shoes, of a bag that will inspire murmurs of reverence when I step on the subway.

So I have decided to go cold turkey for a month.

I realize that a month for most people is nothing and will elicit snorts of contempt from most of you. But for me, a month without shopping is a big thing. I cannot set foot into a fabulous summer sale for a month, I cannot stop and pet the back-to-school goodies for a month, I cannot even kill time by wandering into the corner shop for a month. I MUST BE STRONG.

I will be chronicling my month of no spending (on clothes and accesories) here, and taking a good, hard look at why I feel the need to buy. But don't worry, I won't get all self-righteous and eco-holic about it. As long as gleaming leather handbags and silk dresses exist, the shopaholic in me lives on.

And now, to help me through this difficult journey - what do you do to curb the urge to shop?