It’s also (way more) about money, and how I’m spending it. It’s not that I’m bad with money; I’m just a little too good at spending it on stupid things. And of all the stuff I spend on after bills and groceries — clothes, cabs, drinks, dinners with friends, more drinks, Seamless (a.k.a. takeout, for you non-New Yorkers) — clothes are probably the easiest thing for me to take a break from buying.
Years ago, when I first moved to New York, I didn’t ever buy new clothes because it just wasn’t an option available to me. Working two minimum-wage jobs and unpaid internships on my days off didn’t exactly leave me with any disposable income. (That doesn’t mean I didn’t shop; give me a by-the-pound dollar bin and I will find you the silk and cashmere.)
Now, eight years into my career, I can afford to buy something when I really want it, and sometimes I do. I browse for wine in the $20-$30 section instead of buying the cheapest bottle from France. I take cabs home instead of suffering through the late-night subway. I don’t think twice about adding avocado. And I don’t feel (too) guilty about any of that. But for some reason, when it comes to buying clothes and objects, I still see myself through the eyes of the 22-year-old who agonized over the $35 purchase of a used winter coat when it was freezing outside.
I still wear that $35 coat. I also just bought one a few weeks ago — the aforementioned splurge — for $400. It doesn’t keep me the least bit warm. In its defense, it’s a leather jacket, so it’s not trying to. But inner me is raising her eyebrows.
Since implementing the ban, editing market posts has become excruciating. I want most of these earrings, and I really want
every single pair of these shoes. I haven’t pulled the trigger on anything from the site, but I do have a confession: After two weeks, I broke my own rules for something I didn’t even want, let alone need. I made the mistake of accompanying some of my coworkers to a Reformation sample sale, and when it was time to leave, I bought the skirt in my hands instead of putting it back.
I blame sample sale psychology, and obviously my complete lack of self control. Which, to be honest with you (and myself), is what this whole exercise is really about, right? The skirt I bought at the Ref sale was actually a great deal, but if I could resist the impulse buys throughout the year, I wouldn’t have to beat myself up for the splurges I actually want (like my new jacket).
At any rate, I’m trying again. My six-month clock reset the morning after my “setback.” Inner me is crossing her fingers. —Cory Baldwin, shopping editor