In honor of tax-free weekend here in Nashville, I imagine everyone in the city is aflutter and knocking down the doors of stores/boutiques/edifices everywhere pining to reap the retail rewards! With Summer Sale Season in full swing, I find it’s only fair that I share some sound shopping strategies I use to navigate the retail scene this time of year.
Everyone who knows me well can tell you two things about me: I use obscene amounts of ketchup on all of my food, and I absolutely love Jessie J. If you’re not hip to who she is, feel free to be enlightened to her exceptional level of talent by watching this video. Not only does the girl come equipped with an utterly impressive arsenal of melodious notes and vocal ability- her lyrics are comprised of pure genius. In her song “Price Tag,” she declares boldly that she “just wants to make the world dance- forget about the price tag.”
Everyone who knows me well can also tell you two more things about me: I love to dance, and when it comes to sales, I always forget about price tags. That’s right. I don’t believe in looking at the price tag when I shop for clothes. [pause for dramatic effect] You know why? Because I am aware of the “Sale Scheme.” People will buy almost anything if they think they are getting a good deal on it! Trust me. Any-thing.
I have personally purchased so much useless crap because it was ON SALE- that I find I never get my full money’s worth anyway. The Sale Scheme will trap you in one or more in the following categories.
Wrong size: Now- I’m a fairly petite girl, but I can’t even begin to regale you with all my apparel adventures that end with someone who is not so petite infringing upon my sizing territory. I have seen women get more than a little aggressive to fit clothes that are not their true size in the spirit of getting a deal. “Oh, it’s just water weight.” “I’m just bloated today so it will zip tomorrow.” And before you think I’m only defending the smaller side of the spectrum, skinny girls like to tip toe outside of their lane too. I’m even guilty of buying clothes I couldn’t fit thinking, “Oh, I’ll just get it tailored.” “I’ll belt it, and it’ll be fine.” Do you know how many size 4’s are swimming in size 10 attire because it was on sale? And if you think clothes are bad, shoes are even worse! I have shoes that make my toes go numb because they were the only size left in the store and too gorgeous of a style to pass up! Mind you- my toes GO NUMB! But who cares! They were on sale!
Too trendy: I believe that good style is forever, but humor me for a moment. Fashion is completely different. Fashion is trend related. It involves finding the hottest and latest. High-waist pants. Flare jeans. Ikat prints. Peasant tops. Asymmetric lines. The list could go on. People will buy clothes this year that they know have absolutely no sustainability or style power just because it’s on sale! Are you really going to wear that cropped denim jacket again next year? Really? I mean- you might, but why take that chance. I have an embarrassingly elaborate collection of short-cropped denim jackets that I purchased on sale about 5/6 years ago. I’ve only worn one. And much to my regret.
Not a good value: If I make something for $5 worth of material and sell it for $200, is that a good deal to you? No takers? That’s fine. What about if I mark it down 50% off so it’s only $100? What about if I mark it down 50% and then give you an additional 15% off if you open a line of credit with my establishment? You may be scoffing, but I assure you, it happens everyday. People will buy poorly made, overpriced merchandise all the time, simply because they think it’s ‘on sale.’ Know your fabrics. Know good quality when you see it. Know what good seaming/darting/tailoring looks like. Labels and name brands are completely negligible in the area of quality. Ask yourself: does this have a slip? Is this lined? How is the hem finished? How many darts are in this top? What’s the construction like? Can this fabric be washed? Does this dress come with boning? Know what you’re buying. More importantly, if you’re spending your hard-earned money, know what it’s going towards. Make sure you get the most for your money.
You don’t really like it: This may seem utterly intuitive, but I put nothing past anyone. People will talk themselves into buying plenty of things because it’s a good bargain. Sure, it may be your true size. Sure, it may be a classic silhouette. Sure, it may even be well made. But do you have to have it? Does your heart yearn to wear this item? Do you get butterflies in your belly just thinking about all the honest moments that you would encounter wearing this piece? Does it just exude your personal taste? Is it just ‘you?’ If the answer to any of the previous is ‘no,’ get out of dodge. Do not pass go- do not collect $200. Don’t waste your time or money.
And that dear friends is why I don’t look at the price tag when I shop the sale scenes. I find clothes that I fall deeply and madly in love with and then let the chips fall as they may. Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised by the price- sometimes, I can’t afford it and have to figure out how many of my kidneys I need to sell in order to acquire it. I’m joking of course as I know I can only sell one, BUT if I ever do sell it- you better believe it was for something completely magical. =) Once I’m devoted to an item and know it’s an exquisite value, I don’t mind making some effort to make it work out. DISCLAIMER: Don’t break the bank because after all- they’re just clothes. What I’m advising is that if you were going to spend that money on something discretionary anyway- why not get something you truly love. The key word being DISCRETIONARY. I’m not really big on seeking celebrities for practical life advice other than Jessie J, but “if you can’t afford to buy it three times, you can’t afford it.” Slim Thug taught me that. =)
In the meantime, shop smart. Shop often. Live well. Be happy.
You know, all that good stuff. =)
<3 J. Dior