On How Avoid Shopping Regret

Regret.  It’s something none of us like to experience, but unfortunately at one point or other…we all do.  EVEN IN SHOPPING!  How many of you have bought something that you regretted spending your hard earned money on?  Show of hands?  If you’re not raising your hand, then please, teach me your magical ways and please, rewrite this post for me.  And of course, the only things we ever regret buying are the things we actually spent money on right, because who ever regrets spending $2 at a thrift store??  Okay, so sometimes, we regret those impulse buys, those crazy “when am I actually ever gonna wear this?” buys…but sometimes, I actually end up regretting those “this is a basic I’m gonna wear it all the time” buys.  Like, WHAAAAAAT?  How can you regret a “basic” buy?  Yeah.  I think you know exactly what I’m talking about.  You’ve got that one pair of jeans you spent $200 on that you never wear.  That one dress that was supposed to be your “summer staple dress” that kind of makes you feel itchy and bulgy…and now it has permanent residency in the back of your closet, mocking you every time you see it.

So how do we avoid this horrid shopping regret hangover from those things you totally convinced yourself were “SO worth it?”  Okay, obviously this just happens from time to time.  Sometime, call it insanity, or just a moment where you suddenly decide that you are Alexa Chung and from this day forth you will be dressing exactly like her, but it does happen.  I have had times when I see something I would never wear…and suddenly I envision myself driving a vintage convertible (I can’t even roll the windows down because, um hair + lipgloss you guys, so a convertible is NEVER HAPPENING) looking exactly like Audrey Hepburn and only drinking things out of a martini glass.  Then I regret buying that headscarf because when the frick am I ever gonna wear a headscarf (rarely).  Maybe we can’t completely prevent this situation, HOWEVER, there is hope!  Tell that summer dress in your closet to shut it’s expensive, er, mouth, and let’s talk about some ways to avoid SHOPPING REGRET!

*these are all only my IDEAS on the topic.  If you’ve got tips to add, I would LOVE to hear them!

  1. Avoid making snap decisions.  Maybe this is a no-brainer, but I think we all need to be reminded of this one from time to time.  It’s easy to get caught up in the moment of a frantic sale, a super amazing instagram post, or something that is “one of a kind”.  When I get in this moment and am about to click BUY or race to the register elbowing other shoppers out of the way, I talk to myself.  (Not OUT LOUD people will think you’re crazy so please do this SILENTLY)  I remind myself of a couple things.  There are other amazing “one of a kind” things.  I WILL find something else I love no matter if this thing is “the one” for me or not.  Just reminding yourself of this point will calm you down and help you not make a rash decision.  Take a deep breath, and really LOOK at what you are going to buy.  Try it on, take a photo of yourself in it if you can try it on (this is HUGELY helpful because if you hate the photo of you in it, you will most likely hate that item of clothing on you), and if it’s online, look at the item details.  Check the measurements and the fabric.  Ask yourself if you can resell it or pass it on to a friend if it doesn’t work for you.  Just take time to THINK.  When I’m in the moment, I often realize later I didn’t even really look at what I was buying and just bought because I got kind of frantic!
  2. Do your homework.  I wrote a whole post on this, but the quick and “in the moment” way to do this, is to bust out your smart phone and do a quick search for the item OR a similar item, by brand name or style.  Sometimes you’ll see that what you’re about to buy isn’t a good deal at all.
  3. Picture at least three outfits on yourself with this item.  This is INSANELY effective for me.  Sometimes I am just about to buy something, and then I realize, I can’t think AT ALL of how I’m gonna wear it.  If you can picture at LEAST three different ways to wear this thing you’re about to buy and spend a good chunk of money on, then it’s worth it.  It means it won’t sit in your closet or your drawer because you automatically will know how to wear it.  Still want it and can’t come up with three ways to wear it?  Okay, that’s cool!  Do your RESEARCH!  Look up that item of clothing using a hashtag on instagram or google “how to wear bell bottoms” online and this could solve that issue quickly, expand your style horizons, AND allow you to buy this thing you really want!
  4. Know your body.  This is an important one.  I’ve spent money on things that are not the best for my body type, then I wish I’d maybe spent a little less on something that isn’t my favorite thing to wear.  This isn’t to say that you can’t try things that are “wrong” for your body…I firmly believe that you can and should wear what you love, no matter what your body type.  However, most of the time if it isn’t the most flattering fit or the most comfortable, you’re not likely to choose it often.  One of the most helpful things I’ve found when online shopping, and not being able to try something on (not being able to try stuff on can make it really hard to tell if it will look good on you or not!), is to google that item of clothing or that style and click on the IMAGES tab.  Then, you’ll see lots of different body types in this style.  Stores use girls who are like a size 0 or 2, and if it makes HER look, um, larger than she is, then it’s not gonna do ANYTHING for you REGARDGLESS of your size.  Trust me on this one.  Sometimes I’ve been saved from wasting money on something by actually seeing a photo of this thing I want on a NORMAL HUMAN and realizing that it sure as heck is gonna do nothing for me.
  5. Know your style.  This is another important one.  It’s not always the best idea to spend a lot of money on an item of clothing that deviates from your usual style.  Again, this is not to say that you should never buy something that’s outside your norm!  HECK NO!  I’ve been known to buy and wear polo shirts and I’m NOT a polo shirt person.  But hey, I felt like wearing a polo, so I bought one!  But it’s not the best idea to drop hundreds of dollars on a shoe trend you’d “like to try”, unless you don’t care if they never get worn.  I’ve had the best luck testing out a new style by buying second hand or maybe just buying a cheaper Target version, just to see how I feel about it before committing to it for real.  Think of it as a “trial run” before buying something that you actually are putting a larger chunk of money towards.
  6. Think about it.  Okay, sometimes you don’t have the liberty of putting something on hold, walking away from it, or waiting a week.  However, if you do have this freedom, do it.  This works every time.  You’ll either completely forget about it, or be so obsessed with it that you can’t stop thinking of ways to wear it.  This will definitely reduce your chances of regretting a purchase by 99.9%.

I love to bargain shop.  I also, though, love to from time to time, walk into a super nice store and spend an absurd amount of money on something, because sometimes that makes it feel special!  I think both are important to do, both can really provide you with great items that you’ll love forever.  I’ve gotten better and better at NOT buying things I regret just by using these tools…however it still happens!  And when it does, hey, you’re only human and you love to shop so, forgive yourself :)

I got this dress for under $20, which was great because I love it, but it’s not something I’m gonna wear like all the time.  It’s comfortable enough, but the vintage fabric makes it a hard summer heat piece for me…so the price was right for me to wear this occasionally and not regret spending on it!  The boots, I got on sale but still spent a good amount on and man do I NOT regret buying them.  Even though I have a lot of fringe boots (this fact made me almost not buy them in fact) I love them and wear them quite frequently.  I actually considered buying them for months before finally doing it (and I ended up getting them much cheaper because I waited!), and I’m so happy I took the risk!

Happy weekend shopping all you beautiful girls!  Whether you are bargain hunting, online shopping, or heading to Barney’s…enjoy it :)


On Shopping and Homework

Since it’s a holiday three-day weekend, I thought a fitting subject would be “how to do your homework before buying an item.”

Wait just one tiny minute.  You mean that there’s HOMEWORK involved for shopping?  Here’s the easy answer.  If you want to save money, HECK YES there’s homework to be done!  Yesterday, I was doing a little online shopping, and I realized that I have a total process in which I make shopping decisions.  I didn’t even realize I was doing this until then.  I thought since today’s a holiday, why not have a little homework to do right?  I mean, it’s a day when lots of stuff is on SALE so shopping is definitely happening, so let’s talk about how to do your “due diligence” before you commit to buy!

Now for sure, there are a couple of things to consider when you’re shopping.  One of them is this: is the item you’re looking for very specific…like maybe you found it online or you saw it in a store and you know exactly what brand it is…if this is the case, there’s still homework to be done, but it might change the end result.  There have been times that I’ve done all my homework, and not saved a dime because it turns out I really just had found the best deal to begin with!  But more often than not, if I don’t do my homework before buying, I end up overpaying.  Plain and simple.  You want to get an A+ on your shopping skills?  Yeah me too!

Here’s my usual disclaimer…this is just MY process, you may have your own AND you may have some hot tips I don’t know about, so PLEASE share with me if you do!  I’m always looking for extra credit! :)


  1. Google the item you want.  This may seem simple, but how many times have I happened upon something I want, and not taken the two seconds it takes to just google it before buying it from the first place I found it??  OR maybe you are looking for a Free People dress and you just go straight to the Free People site without checking other retailers.  Here’s something I’ve found.  Often, places you don’t even suspect may carry a brand or an item that you want.  Once I desperately wanted a Novella Royale jumpsuit and I googled it, only to find it had gone on sale half price on freepeople.com.  Boy I was glad I googled it!  When you find what you’re looking for, google the exact name of the item, and who knows? You may even get lucky and find it listed on hautelook.com or gilt.com!  Wouldn’t that be amazing?  It kind of surprises me how simple this is, and yet how few people actually do it.  I have purchased things for a fraction of the normal price that it’s listed for AT THE SAME TIME as it’s listed for more…simply because I googled it.  This is also SUPER helpful if the thing you want is sold out in your size.  Sites like swell.com, revolve.com, shopbop.com, zappos.com, lordandtaylor.com, asos.com, as well as all the standards like Nordstrom and Macy’s, ALL carry a variety of brands and sometimes they will have a sale specific to their store that applies to that item!  Did you know that Minnetonka is also carried by American Eagle Outfitters and Urban Outfitters?  Yep.  Google will be your best friend!
  2. Do a search for the item…in different ways.  Sometimes things go by different names.  There’s really nothing new under the sun, we just often call things by different terms than they did in say, the 1960s.  I’ve often run into people who were teenagers during the original time a clothing item was popular and they always say: “in MY day, we called those dungarees” or something like that.  So, say you’re looking for a kimono.  Search for “kimono” of course, but don’t forget to use the term “robe” because often they are synonyms for each other.  This is VERY useful if you are looking at vintage items because people from different generations will call things by different names, so depending on the person selling it, you may need to use different key words.
  3. Check other sites for knock offs or similar items.  I have a few places that are my “go-tos” for this.  I’ve learned that as much as I love Free People, not all of their stuff is unique.  Not only do people knock them off very quickly, but some of their stock is not really unique to their store.  So, I check a few places first.  I check second hand retailers like thredup.com and poshmark.com…this is a great way to find what you are looking for, for less…and sometimes it’s even new with the tags!  I always check zara.com too, because yes, they can be just as expensive, but they often have similar items or sometimes things I like more for less money.  vicicollection.com has had items IDENTICAL to Free People for under $20!  I do a quick scan of their site to check.
  4. Search for a coupon code.  This actually works a lot of the time.  When I find something I’m looking for, I do a quick search for the name of the retailer and “coupon code” and I’ve gotten codes that save me money.  If it’s a smaller retailer or seller, check their instagram or Facebook feed for sales.  Get on their email list to save off your first order AND to get deals.  Once I was ordering something from England and was just about to click the magic “place order” button…when I thought I’d better check my email first.  I did, and since I had subscribed to her emails, I saw that she had sent out a code for free international shipping.  Yep, I just saved myself like $30 just by checking my email first.
  5. Look for the item that inspired the piece you want.  This is kind of interesting to do.  Sometimes I will be obsessed with something…and then I actually find a vintage piece that is virtually identical to what I want.  Um, I’d rather have the original thanks!  Sometimes it’s expensive yes.  But SOMETIMES it’s a fraction of the price.  Here’s a great example.  I bought this dress from Spell Byron Bay that is gorgeous.  I literally had not seen many things like it, so I went for it, shelled out the big bucks, and of course it’s beautiful.  Then I went down to Venice Beach and walked into a vintage store and they had four dresses on the wall that were virtually identical to my dress.  The owner of the store informed me that the Spell girls had just been in their shop to get inspiration!  The dresses were the same price as the Spell one I purchased.  Do you get my drift?  This is the reason I chose this kimono for today’s post.  I have been in LOVE with a Spell kimono that is quite similar to this one, but haven’t been ready to shell out the money for it.  I was on poshmark.com a week ago, and I could not click BUY fast enough when I saw this.  It is almost the same thing, at 1/4 of the price.  And it’s vintage, so it’s the original!  Yep.  Homework pays off you guys.

Okay so this kimono.  I’m freaking in LOVE.  And again, having a little patience and persistence really saved me some money in the long run!  These necklaces are BOTH handmade by amazing women, please support them if you need some new jewelry in your life that really wows people!  The choker is from Desert Mermaid on Etsy (it comes in white too and it is really the most comfortable choker I have ever worn) and the leather fringe one is a BRAND NEW creation by my DEAR friend Jessica of Hillbillygypsy Boots.  She’s selling them on Poshmark too!  The boots are Sam Edelman (they’re like almost completely sold out, so if you want them, I’d shop NOW for them), and even though I own so many fringe boots, boy am I glad I bought these babies.

Argh.  It is most definitely a Monday.  Will someone please tell my kids it’s a holiday?!?

On Getting a Bargain

I love to shop.  I bet you didn’t know that did you?  :) I love to bargain shop, thrift store shop, grocery shop…you name it, if it involves shopping, I’m probably in, and very excited about it.  Now obviously, I think it’s totally worth it to spend full price on certain things or even spend a lot on things if they’re investment pieces or things you wear the heck out of  (like my Minnetonka boots or my Show Me Your Mumu bells).  Nothing beats finding exactly what you want…in the fit or fabric you want, right?  However, what’s even BETTER than that?  Finding exactly what you want at a thrift store or on sale!  I got contacted by ThredUp (the ever so lovely Sasha Agent recommended me, bless her!) to collaborate with them…and I really didn’t know what kind of clothing site it was!  I checked it out, and BOY was I surprised.  Now I honestly try to be very careful what I recommend to you all.  If someone offered me free stuff and I wasn’t crazy about their shop, I’d decline it.  Because it most definitely means a lot to me to be able to say with certainty that what I’m recommending to you is something that I would actually buy or wear myself…not just “oh hey look free stuff!”  But if Sasha says it’s good, trust me, that girl knows her shizz.

You guys.  There is SO MUCH stuff on ThredUp, and the bargains are PLENTIFUL. I saw SO much stuff…Free People, Madewell, JCrew, Gap, and even high end designers at a FRACTION of the cost.  You can search by your size which makes it SUPER easy to shop, and so many of the prices were under $20.  It’s so great, it’s almost overwhelming!  Naturally, after searching through the site, I agreed to collaborate because this is kind of like thrifting for brand names, but online.  It’s awesome.  I highly recommend if you’re looking for that perfect JCrew button down…check ThredUp first!

So here’s what I came up with.  They gave me $30 to shop with.  And that’s EXACTLY what my outfit cost.  No joke.  Okay, it was $30.48 to be exact, you caught me, but I’m SERIOUS YOU GUYS, this shirt is from Madewell and the skirt is pleated silk from Gap.  The pieces are gorgeous, and I’m SO excited and proud to show you that YOU TOO could get your very own entire outfit for $30!  Is that not SO COOL?  By the way, I’ve got an invitation code for you too.  If you use it, you get $10 off your order, and I’ll get $10 too…honestly I’m more excited about you getting $10 off though fyi :).  Click HERE to shop and get $10!

Shopping is much more relaxing when you know you’re getting a bargain!

Happy weekend all you gorgeous babes