Thursday, January 1, 2009

Shopping in My Closet

How many times have you looked in the closet and thought, “I have nothing to wear?” I know I do this almost every morning. Despite the fact that I have three closets full of clothing, over 150 pairs of shoes and more than 30 purses, I seem to still find a way to hit the mall and look for something new.

I remember watching an episode of Sex & the City when Carrie Bradshaw was faced with the reality that she had no money saved to purchase her apartment, but had invested a lot in her wardrobe; Especially in her shoes.

Well I’m sure there are plenty of people who can relate to this feeling. We go shopping, shopping and do more shopping, when does it ever end? What could we possibly need that we don’t already have? This is the time of year when it is almost impossible to resist a great deal. Some of the best discounts can be found everywhere from high end department stores to discount shops. Most retailers are trying to clear out fall and winter stock to make way for the new spring styles.

How can a person say no to a gorgeous pair of peep toe pumps that were $300 and have been slashed to a mere $99.00? It's after Christmas and all the stores have markdowns. Especially with the turbulent economy, many store managers say they have no choice but to give these deep discounts. "Oh lead me not into temptation" is what I murmur to myself. Think real hard, is that pair of pumps in the window really that different from the pair at home? Well it could be argued that there is nothing like these in the closet at home. After all, these pumps have a half-inch heel and buckle detail unlike any other. So of course these are different than the pumps sitting at home still in its coveted box. These are different.

"Oh and look at the black skirt in the window; I know I own about nine black skirts but this one is slightly slimmer than the pencil skirt at the back of my closet. This skirt is made using the finest fabrics. The one at home is polyester…or is it?"

This is how I, and many other people, rationalize making a new purchase. This, like many other shopping excursions, just ends up mounting up excess stuff that sits at the back of our closets hoping to see the light of day.

As much as shopping can be an exhilarating experience it is also an expensive hobby. Last year I decided to make a career change and went back to school. I was suddenly unemployed I had to learn how to adjust my spending habits while keeping my thirst for fashion quenched. How was I going to do this? I really had no choice but to continue shopping…in my closet that is.

When forced to shop in my closet I’ve made some of the most magnificent finds. Some pieces still have the tags attached. It’s just like being in the store picking up something new. As I shop in the closet full of blazers, blouses, jeans, skirts and slacks I remember what store each piece came from. I often reminisce about the thrill I felt when snatching up an amazing buy. Now I experience the pleasure of finding fabulous clothes in my own closet.

The great thing about this new adventure is I have items that can easily be updated with the right accessory. My black deep v-neck dress was instantly updated when I topped it with a fabulous wide belt I picked up at Goodwill for only a couple of bucks. Viola! I looked like I just went shopping.

I can’t tell you how many times compliments have come my way when I wear something that is five years old. A friend said to me, “Wow that’s a great blazer. Where did you find that?” I smiled when I realized that this piece was purchased two years ago. I recognized that my clothing didn’t have to be new to be nice. Classic quality pieces are always well received.

In the last few months my mother has commented on how great I’ve been looking and she also thinks that I’ve purchased new clothes. Every time she sees me she says, “That’s very nice, where did you get it?” I smile and say “I just went shopping; in my closet.”

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