Sunday, January 24, 2010

Closet Shopping (aka Clothes Shopping on an Extreme Budget)

The new semester starts back on Monday and I really need to change my look.  Here in California, professors can sort of get away with more casual dress than our counterparts in other places because we have the weather and a "go with the flow" attitude.  The problem for me is that my casual look made me look like a student that just doesn't give a damn.   It doesn't help that I look no older than 25 years old anyway.  But I'm on a EXTREME BUDGET on crack so I also can't just run out and paint the town Nordstrom's, New York and Company or even Old Navy! 

As I was scouring clothing websites last night, I saw a pair of gray trousers on sale at Target and decided that first thing in the morning, I'd go see if I could find them.  The price was right at $17.99.  So off to bed I went with visions of hitting the bargain clothing jackpot.  But when I got up this morning the closet door was open for some reason when I noticed a pair of my navy trousers that I hadn't worn in ages because they had become too snug in the waist.  But I lost 15 pounds and 15" overall last year (4 of which came from my waist) so I decided to give them a try.  Lo and behold, the trousers zipped up easily and they still looked great.  Excited by my discovery, I pulled out a pair of red trousers and got the same result.  Voila!  Just that quickly, I discovered two pairs of dress slacks that I can wear to work.  I decided to see what else I could find since I was tired of rotating the same 3 pairs of pairs (two of which were jeans; one pair obviously way too big now that I've lost weight).  I ended up finding 3 skirts, 3 slacks, and 5 blouses that I could wear to work.  Yipee! 

I also pulled out my "Imelda Marcos ain't got nothing on me" selection of black shoes and found a pair of kitten heels that I bought while on vacation and never wore; rediscovered the pointed toe ankle boots that my husband bought for me in 2004; and found a pair of Bandalino kitten heel slingbacks that I got for $30 from Marshall's a little over a year ago.  All I really need is a new handbag but I can wait until March to get a new one.

This has to be one of the best shopping sprees ever.  I didn't spend a dime.  I didn't have to stand in a line or hassle with the dressing rooms or deal with unorganized crap that looks picked over a thousand times over.  Some pieces will need to be altered because they're a bit too big in the hips (I'm top-heavy) but I go to a fantastic local cleaners that does amazing alterations and I use coupons to save on my tailoring costs. 

This whole exercise taught me that I really need to slow down and think about the stuff I buy before I run off to the shops fully steam ahead without some thought and a plan.  For now though, I'm just happy I saved the $17.99 and gas and still came out ahead.

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