A Sort of Reformed Shopper

Every year I look forward to going back to school. Not because I particularly love school or enjoy getting up early. But because it means back to school shopping.

This year my mom said she would buy me a few items since I am a poor student. So I decided I would be very picky with what I got this year—I had to make my choices count since these are likely the only new clothes I will get for a while.

Many magazines recommend making a list of clothes you want or need before you go out shopping, that way you only buy those items. I always cringe at this idea—why would I want to take the spontaneity out of shopping. That’s where the enjoyment comes from, the not knowing what great items you will find.

Then I became a Grad student with no money and realized why making a list is a good idea.

So before hitting the stores I made my list. I started by flipping through old issues of InStyle. I knew there was a reason I had been saving three years worth of subscriptions. I now had a plethora of style inspiration.

I cut out pictures of clothes and outfits I liked and pinned them to my bedroom wall. I now have clothing ideas every day when I get dressed. This also gave me a list of the clothes I wanted to buy; a pleated skirt, a tweed jacket and a blouse.

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Then I hit the stores.

Having the list made shopping so efficient. If I walked into a store and they had none of the items I wanted I walked out.

But going into H&M nearly killed me. There are so many delectable clothes there and I wanted them all. I saw the most adorable 1960s inspired dress with black polka dots. I needed it and snuck it into the change room to try on.  I was the girl in the change room feeling ashamed not because I was shoplifting, but because I was veering from my sacred list.

The funny thing is in the end I didn’t buy the dress. I looked at myself in the mirror and said “You don’t need this, take it off and walk away. Well first put clothes on, but then walk away.”

The list really worked, I only got what was on it. I now feel good about my purchases and know I really will wear them. Plus I have my style board for daily inspiration of what to wear with the clothes I now own.

Alright I should confess I did buy one thing not on the list–a pair of hunter green jeans. Come on, who could resist 50 % off. And they are green, which matches my eyes. So really I couldn’t not buy them.

Maybe I am not as reformed as I hoped, but I think I did pretty damn good for my first attempt.

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