Friday, August 6, 2010

Put the Shirt Down and No One Gets Hurt

Based on requests, and subliminal messaging (oh yeah), I will be dedicating this Fashion Friday post to impulse shopping.

Not that I have ever done that.

I mean, everything I purchase is planned. My closet is well-stocked because I have strategized. Each piece was a deliberate addition to my wardrobe. I....


I can't lie to you people. You're all such wonderful readers. You deserve better. The truth is that, yes, I, Jennifer Huerta, am guilty of impulse buying. I have purchased clothing on a whim and looked at it days later with disdain as it hung in my closet. All those tagged items just hanging there for months.

I think the idea of impulse shopping can be good. New environment. Fresh ideas via mannequins. Warm pretzels.

It's the buying part that always seems to get me into trouble. "Looking around" is harmless. It's that "picking it up, trying it on and loving it" part that is dangerous.

My Achilles' heel is online shopping; to me, it's that much easier to buy that cute top online or to check out e-bay.* Some of the sites that I frequent even store my shipping information for me.

Darned cookies.

So, to remedy my own sad situation, to save myself from running into debt, and to bring you the best fashion-y post I could this Friday, I've dedicated some time to figuring out WHY I impulse shop.

In my deep, self-revealing analysis (that took several minutes, interspersed with scouring YouTube and enjoying my tea), I've learned something about impulse buying.

Bad people do it.

OK, that's harsh. It's GOOD people doing BAD things. See, we have good intentions with our impulse buying. We think it's harmless. But really, we're not fooling anyone but ourselves.

You and I are usually plagued with any (or all) of the following vices when we decide to impulse buy. And, because my reflection also supplied me with some answers, I'm passing those along to you:

VICE - Ignorance: You truly have no idea what's in your closet. The inter monologue usually goes something like this: "Oooh! I've been needing new boots/a raincoat/neon tights." I'm betting you don't.
REMEDY: You think you're missing this piece (and yeah, you might be missing this exact piece), but you likely have 17 other items that fit into the piece's general category of clothing-ness.** The best thing to do is work with what you have and get creative.

VICE - Deception: Impulse buys promise you something. "I am the missing piece. You'll never have to buy another accessory as long as you live! How have you lasted this long without me?" What they should be saying is, "I hope you like car payments."
REMEDY: The above advice works for this. Plus, don't think that any one piece could make up for versatile styling of stuff you already have. A good portion of the time, you can create some cool outfits with your current wardrobe.

VICE - Greed - You hate this, want things. You want things you don't need. You want things no one needs. "Oh, it's the newest fall color?! Well, then, I have to get something in that color! My summer stuff will never work." You convince yourself that new = better.
REMEDY: A lot of colors work year-round. This goes for cuts, patterns, etc. Your closet probably already has all the stuff you need--and could want--for fall.

VICE - Jealousy: You also hate this: You want things that other people have. "Co-worker/so-and-so celebrity/cool kid wore something just like this. I bet I could rock it!"
REMEDY: They may have looked good in it, but is it really your style? Just make the little sacrifice and don't buy this item. And hey, maybe you can borrow it. Unless you saw it on a celebrity. Then you're probably out of luck. Anyway...

VICE - Stupidity: You've totally lost your mind: "Ah, buying this will make me look thinner!"
REMEDY: Know your pitfalls. If a shirt promises to slim you/highlight your eyes/raise your children, and this is something that preoccupies you when you are not shopping, just walk away.

VICE - Loftiness: You have big aspirations, but haven't really planned out how to execute them. "I've been meaning to transition my style into a more contemporary-romantic-goth look."
REMEDY: The best thing to do is plan. Plan plan plan. Think through what you actually want to wear. If this means making over your closet one piece at a time, so be it. Just don't make that first piece an impulse buy.

VICE - Weakness/Susceptibility: It's shiny. It's new. It promises so many things. Maybe it's catching you at your most vulnerable. "Oh no! My best friend is moving away/My football team lost/Facebook is down." You convince yourself that having this clothing will fix things: "This will be way better than my current three-quarter sleeve red cable-knit sweater! That thing is pilling, This sweater will never do that! Look at the quality--and it's cashmere!"
REMEDY: The impulse buy that will do you a lot better during this time is a cupcake and a talk with a good friend. Text them so that the Facebook thing doesn't make you even sadder.

In general, chances are good that you have options other than impulse buys (like borrowing clothes and reexamining your own closet) to refresh your current wardrobe. To keep from making impulse purchases, you really should try to avoid these vices and implement the remedies when needed. You should also try to avoid using so many exclamation points during your inner monologue; you could go totally deaf. Take it easy.

Hey, that request was fun. Maybe I'll take some more requests. Have any? Have a good weekend! (Oh no! I'm doing it, too!)

*I still have to share my wedding dress story with you people. Maybe next week.

**You've probably figured this out by now, but sometimes I make up words.


  1. You are hysterical! I love reading your posts! How do you find the time to keep up with them? I need your secret! AHHH The exclamations have got me!!!

  2. HAHAHA!!! They are under attack!!

    (I'm still figuring out if there are any secrets. I'm just kind of walking blindly at the moment)