Cheetah, giraffe, zebra, tiger, ocelot, leopard--I love all the animal prints! (I would never wear the real thing, of course--just the print :-) My favorite, I think, is leopard.
Do you use ebay much? Do you check ebay before you buy something new? Do you search for things there you've pined away for in the past?
I realized this week that ebay is right for me. I like that it's a form of recycling. I like that it puts things that might once have been discarded into the hands of someone who wants them.
My son just sold Hogwarts Castle lego set for $200 on ebay. It went within moments to a woman for her son. When you sell an item on ebay, you sometimes have interact with the original owner, as we did in this case. It's sort of sweet to know who's buying your stuff--it feels sort of neighborly & recalls for me early days of exchange. The only drawback to this personal touch is that you feel very bad about returning anything.
Anyway, maybe because I have this blog, I can retrace the clothes I've loved over a couple years' time. About a year ago, I wanted this Anthropologie Rione skirt but wouldn't dream of paying $118 plus shipping. I gave up following it after a while, though it eventually went down to $19.95.
Last week I found the skirt on ebay for $40 in my size. It's still a lot of money, & likely the seller got it for $19.95, but I don't mind. I think it's pretty fantastic to find that it still exists.
Here it is on me. I think I can wear it three seasons with a bunch of tops. It isn't quite as A-lined as I expected; it's more of a pencil shape. I wore it for a dozen hours yesterday, & it didn't wrinkle at all, which was awesome. I enjoyed having pockets. My boss said I looked elegant.
Sure, someone's turning profits, someone's exploiting our obsession with celebrity memorabilia, & mass retailers do sell goods on ebay.
But lots of other people are just selling used things that they know are worth something & may bring joy to someone else.
Do you accept things the way they are?
Or will you go to any lengths to change them?
If you find a dress sold out in every size but petite, will you buy
it & have it lengthened?
If you find a skirt you love available only in a bigger size than
you wear, will you buy it & have it taken in?
I regularly buy things in the wrong sizes & then pay to have
them altered. But sometimes the trouble I go to backfires.
I'd even say that sometimes the more I adapt an item, the
less likely I am to wear it later. Talk about an investment
not paying off!
For today's post, I tried to pull out everything I've had altered
to see how much of it has been worth it; how often have I
worn the corrected items?
Here's my best attempt at the ROI analysis...
Both the skirt & the top below have undergone adjustments. I bought the skirt in too large a size & had it taken in, & I had a hook added to the neckline on the top. Even though the cost to alter the skirt was high, I paid less than $20 for the skirt, & I love the color & wear it constantly, so that alteration was definitely worth it.
Too low cut
I went through a phase when I got hooks added to several of my tops to keep them from opening too low. It cost me very little--just a couple dollars at most. I would say it was worth it, but this top I've only worn once--to a crêpe restaurant for lunch. The top is from Forever21 & cost, like, $15. I enjoyed wearing it that day, so it was certainly worth it. Maybe some day I'll wear it again.
Hook added: $2
Times worn: 1
=Still worth it!
I loved the style of this dress below & thus bought it in a petite (only size available) knowing it would be too short.
Hoo-boy, was it too short! I had it taken down the full amount available, which was about 3 inches. It's still too short!
I think it might be less poofy (as my kids call it) if it were longer. I'm thinking about adding longer slip of chambray to lengthen it further. Cost to lengthen the dress: $15 so far.
So far I've worn it twice, & I predict it's not going to get worn much even when altered, so I'm not so sure I should throw more effort into it.
This dress had the opposite problem: I had to buy a Tall size (since they were out of Regular) & have it shortened. After I got it back from being altered, I realized that I should have matched the hem at the bottom to the length of the hem on the sleeve. I'm off by about a half inch. It frustrated me a bit, but it's not a deal breaker. I wear the dress constantly, so this alteration was worth it!
You may have seen the post a couple years ago when I shortened & belted an old dress (post here). I like the new look, but I still haven't worn the dress. The right occasion hasn't arisen, my bra shows in it, & I don't like the dress enough.
Not long ago they had a super cool "Tailor Swift" event at the Museum of Contemporary Art during which seamstresses would alter anything for $5 (see my post about it here). I took several pants I needed lengthened to the event. I've worn a couple of them a bunch of times since. I also had them put an extra button in a too-tight wrap skirt.
The Bottom Line:
It seems to me I get a lot of bang for my buck from small adjustments--an extra hook or snap. But when I try a major overhaul of a mis-sized item, I do end up throwing good money after bad.
Final recommendation: Try to stop buying oversized & undersized things. Do not hesitate to make small alterations to favorites you already own & wear all the time.
If I'm going to have to live in this heat, I'm going to need a couple of these...
Do you ever wear tees that play up your curves?
Have you ever felt guilty about a purchase you made that you can't return?
I didn't feel guilty when I clicked the "Place order" button. I didn't feel guilty 10 minutes later nor half an hour later nor even three hours later. At that point, I was still feeling good about the purchase, thinking about the playful mixed studs & how these would be my first pair of shoes with a zip down the back. I thought the sandals might be for work or play since I could hide the studs if I wanted to with pants or expose the studs with a skirt.
I convinced myself they might be "transitional" sandals since they're brown (for fall). And the heel is sturdy & exactly right height for me. Although they were an impulse buy, my after-research also discovered I'd gotten them for the lowest possible price.
But, still, some eight hours later, I began thinking about how I don't need these sandals, not one bit. I have sandals, even some new ones, & some reviewers say the leather on this pair is stiff & that their foot slides down making the sandal uncomfortable. While one person said she'd never gotten more compliments on any pair of shoes she'd ever bought, another said they were clunky & loud.
I found images of the sandal on a few bloggers, which really neither assuaged nor heightened my guilt.
Final sale is so final. I almost never order Final Sale items, do you? I don't blame companies for not allowing returns on some items, but I have to remember to try not to buy Final Sale things since I change my mind so much.
I guess the best I can do now is some penance. I can resist the next frivolous purchase or resist a few smaller purchases until I've made up for it. I can always sell the sandals on ebay if need be.
My friend Rachel also helped me enormously, saying I'll love the studs & wear them into the ground! She pointed out that sometimes it's the unexpected purchase--the one that you didn't think was quite "you"--that turns out to be your favorite.
The guilt is still with me, but maybe it's a good lesson. This getting & spending is rough business--it's hard on our psyche & on our wallet. I do believe we should buy only what we truly need & keep only what we truly love.
The guilty accomplice...
Have you felt shopper's guilt?
I spent a lot of time around New Year's Eve looking for a sequin skirt. Who knew we could buy one now for next to nothing, probably to save for the Big Event but possibly to wear for a fun night out?
Styling suggestion for now...
The parent/teacher conference, the meeting with a consultant, casual Friday, training days--times when you need to look presentable but not too dressed up. These are the occasions that cause me the most trouble figuring out what to wear.
The order of the day is for these events is something like business casual (an oxymoron if ever I've heard one) but perhaps even just a little more relaxed. Men seem to have this category down (albeit a bit boring) with khakis & golf shirts, but women have it a lot harder. Let's see if we can break it down:
I've made it my mission to create an arsenal of easy-reach, easy-match in-between outfits.
Here are some of the key pieces I'm turning to...
White or denim knee-length skirt, crisp shirt.
White & denim go with everything. My first choice: pair it with a long-sleeve oxford tied at the waist. I like that I can roll the sleeves up or down to make the outfit more or less formal.
I'm not sure about jeans or skinny jeans in particular for the workplace--what do you think? But I think they're fine for
in-between days in a slim cut, trouser style, in a dark rinse like these. I like them with a sleeveless white shirt.
A casual, knee-length dress.
I look for a higher neckline like this dress has. This dress has a fun back for after work but looks perfectly appropriate with a cardigan for the workplace.
A few more outfits from my arsenal (from previous posts):
The shoes make a big difference in how dressy the outfit appears. I have a stockpile of mid-heel sandals.
I think the workplace over the warmer months is a more casual place in general--please correct me if I'm wrong.
Do you face this same dilemma? What are some of your go-to in-between outfits?
You may also like...
Whether or not you live by the ocean, nothing says summer like palm trees.
Every now & then over the past month or so, I've found myself digging through the disco drawer looking for a swimsuit top or something, & each time, I've been, like, how can I get those clothes out of this drawer & into circulation? I love to dance, but I don't see myself hitting a disco any time soon. Should this whole genre of clothing just remain stagnant?
Here are my three suggestions for how to wear your disco clothes in the daytime....
1. Wear your slinky disco top over swimwear or with shorts
Just bring it down from its fancy self by putting a swimsuit top underneath & pairing it with casual shorts & flat sandals.
A short, tight skirt can also serve as a great swimsuit cover-up.
2. Wear your disco mini-dress with jeans
This H&M dress below makes a nice tunic to wear out to happy hour or dinner, don't you think?
3. Wear your shiny disco top as a layer
Add a little texture to your outfit with a shiny, silky layer. I think I could easily wear this outfit to lunch with friends.
So whether you're a regular at the clubs or whether you know that the only dancing you'll ever do again is at your Zumba class, you don't have to donate some of those disco clothes. They're such pretty things--surely we can find another use for them--what do you think?
More fashion experiments...
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