Tag Archive for 'retail therapy'

The Price of Happiness

How much is too much to spend on a handbag? A pair of shoes? A dress?  A suit?  . . . We all have different thresholds based on our own incomes, lifestyles and paradigms. That said, regardless of your income-bracket, it’s sometimes difficult to justify spending what seems like an ungodly amount of money on a pair of shoes(my ungodly amount might be different from yours and yours might be different from your best friend’s, but you get my point here).  However, all of us engage in a little Retail Therapy from time-to-time.  Feeling a little down, frustrated because you have to work the weekend yet again, wading your way through a horrible break-up? It happens to all of us.  Before you know it, your fingers just start dancing all over the keyboard as you participate on that conference call and peruse Zappos, Amazonor Bluefly to find your “fix”; you know, that item that once you have  it in your possession will make you feel soooooooo much better!  A little retail therapy never hurt anyone and it’s certainly helped keep the economy afloat, but how many of those purchases have really given you more than a momentary high?

There’s a FAB pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on, but they’re really really expensive.  So, you pass on them and buy 3 other items that you like but don’t love. Duh!?!?!?!  You coulda had the FAB pair of shoes and been really happy.  Your high would come back each time you wear them!  Instead, you’ve got 3 new items that in all likelihood are going to be relegated to the back of the closet or to The Salvation Army once the shine of having something new wanes.

Lesson learned here?  We ultimately end up spending more money not buying that expensive handbag, pair of shoes, or beautiful suit because we buy to fill the void we feel by not having the item we really wanted.  Sounds crazy, right? Maybe so. Pay attention as you clean out your closet this Spring, what are you purging?  Rarely is it those coveted items that you treated yourself to (unless one’s gone beyond its shelf-life), it’s the things you bought instead of that coveted item.

I’m not advocating that you go out and spend a paycheck on a handbag.  Far from it.  My point here is, think about your Rate of Return and spend wisely rather than spending to spend.  There’s always a first time, but to date, I’ve never regretted purchasing something I really really wanted.  Spending the money is always hard for me but each time I pull out my YSL Tribute shoes, for example, they take my breath away. On the other hand, when I purge my closet each season and get rid of those filler items the regret is palpable.

[image courtesy of Chanel]

The Art of the Sample Sale

I know, we’re in a recsession and no one’s shopping.  The economy is tanking and everyone is doing his or her part to save money by staying away from the stores. Got it.  But, on the off chance that more than a few folks are trying to maximize on the economy’s effect on the retail industry, take note.  Sample sales continue to flourish, both in Manhattan and online for those of you who dont have the pleasure of living on our lovely isle.  Ever go to a sample sale and wonder why you wasted your time? Lied to your boss? Skipped lunch?  Finally got around to logging into Hautelook.com  or Gilt.com only to find that the 1 item you really wanted has “SOLD OUT” emblazoned across it?  Here’s the truth, and if cornered any fashionista worth her weight in Prada will tell you the same, there’s a definite art to sample sale shopping …. Go early.  I know, the sale is going to run for 3 days so what’s the big deal, right?  If you really want that Hermes scarf, Missoni dress, or Kooba bag you’ve got to play the game by the unwritten set of rules.

  1. Go early.  If the sale begins at 10 am.  Get there no later than 9:30 to cue up.  Diehards will be there at 8:45 or 9 am at the latest to ensure they get what they’ve come for.  Bring something to read and be cognizant of friends meeting up with you – depending on the sale (Tory Burch or Kate Spade for example) a cat fight may ensue if folks feel that your friend is cutting the line.  If it’s an online sale, set a reminder for yourself so that you’re signing onto the site just a few minutes before the sale is slated to begin.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the brand’s merchandise.  Know what is, or was, in the stores.  This way, once the sale begins, it’s just a matter of locating your item rather than browsing through racks or pages online.  Trust me, while you browse others are making a beeline for the items they’ve already identified.  This is a sure way to walk out of a sale empty-handed and dejected. 
  3. Remember, lots of sample sale places don’t have individual dressing rooms if they have a changing area at all.  Wear your nice underwear … enuf said …. and wear clothes that are easy to get in and out of to make trying stuff on easier.  
  4. Pay attention to the fine print.  Some sales are final, some take cash only, some will only accept credit cards (and certain ones at that) …. Online sales usually permit returns but instead of getting your money back, your account will be credited once the shipping costs are deducted.
  5. And lastly, and most importantly, don’t buy something for the sake of buying something.  There’s nothing wrong with a little retail therapy every now and again, but if you don’t see what you came for  and/or if you dont find something that makes your heart sing – back away from the racks … Go home or back to work and try again next time, ‘cuz you know what, there will absolutely be a next time.