Thursday, July 18, 2019

A Shopping Survey

via - The Lo & Sons Pearl in Pacific Blue is one of my favorite and most functional  purchases from the past 12 months.

I've had a bit of writer's block lately, and I thought that this survey Elaine shared from the Good Trade (which covered groups of people who had spent under $500, $500 to $1,000, and over $1,000 on fashion last year) was a nice and slightly new spin on a way to discuss my shopping. Because I focus primarily on how I'm feeling month-to-month with my shopping check-ins, it's easy to lose track of longer-term trends and changes to my approach. My answers to these questions cover the past twelve months, from July 2018 to June 2019. 

In addition to my actual total spend for that period, I also threw in the number for how much I spent minus jewelry. In recent months, I'm starting to think of jewelry as a somewhat separate category from everything else in my closet, something which I enjoy collecting for its own sake rather than for practical reasons (almost like collecting wearable art, I suppose). With almost everything else, I'm far more inclined to think about utility and whether the item would be redundant of things I already own. But with jewelry, my desire for a new item is pretty much always a "want," there's never really a case to be made for it being a "need." 

Also, what I'm willing to spend on jewelry has been inching up towards being disproportionately large relative to what I'm currently willing to spend on most other categories for my wardrobe. There could come a time (it might already be the case now) when the jewelry portion of the total cost of my shopping each year distorts the analysis of how much I'm spending spend on clothes, shoes, and other accessories that I see as more utilitarian. 

Age: 30
How Much You Spent: $3,452.58
How Much You Spent (Minus Jewelry): $2,305.48

A Purchase You Planned: This is a surprisingly difficult question for me, given that I pride myself on "planning" every purchase! Most of my purchases in this one-year period - especially after I became more regimented about using Pinterest to track all my potential shopping - were planned out ahead of time by at least a few weeks. When everything is planned in a similar way, not much stands out as being a particularly good answer to this question.

I would say that the purchase I planned out the most in the past year was the Elizabeth Suzann Georgia dress and Asawa belt I received last month. I'd spent a lot of time thinking about all the ES dresses before I first saw a photo of this particular dress and belt combination and could finally make a decision. Because of the four week production time and ES's store credit-only return policy (though the secondary market for ES seems robust enough that one should have little trouble recouping close to the full cost of the store credit), I had to feel extremely certain about this purchase before I put in the order. And it turned out well, the dress and belt together really work for me, and it's a combination that I like wearing for both work and weekend. 

An Impulse Buy: This may sound contradictory to what I just said about how much planning I do with my shopping, but I also find this question difficult to answer because, in actuality, one of the main reasons why I spend all that time planning out purchases is that I'm otherwise very prone to sudden impulses and compulsions as a shopper. I know this about myself, and so I need to take those "extra" steps to rein those tendencies in. Enough of my purchases in the past year were originally inspired by fairly sudden impulses (even if I ended up sitting on the idea for at least a few days - usually at least a week or two - before letting myself go ahead and put in those orders), that it's hard to pick just one item as an answer to this question. 

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If I had to pick just one thing, I'd say the Sam Edelman Lior Loafers in gold glitter (similar) from November 2018 were my most impulsive purchase. I definitely wouldn't have gotten them if I hadn't seen them for a particularly good price during the Black Friday sales. I had an easier time putting these into my semi-regular rotation than I imagined, and I wore them almost once a week since I got them, mostly on casual Fridays. At the same time, maybe because these shoes are made of fabric backing under the glitter and not leather, they're not as durable as my other Sam Edelman loafers. There's a rip developing near a seam on one shoe. So this was initially a more successful purchase than anticipated, but also ultimately a little disappointing. 

Your Favorite Purchase: This would have to be either the Alighieri La Fortuna necklace or my Lo & Sons Pearl bag in Pacific Blue. Both were fairly impulsive decisions, I didn't sit on either one for that long, but they both turned out well and are each one of my favorite items in their respective categories. 

In particular, I was surprised by how functional and versatile I found my Lo & Sons Pearl to be. I'd never been interested in the Pearl before because I thought that all the compartments were unnecessary and might even make the bag less useful, since they divide up the somewhat limited space so much. As it turns out, the bag is thoughtfully designed and holds more than appearances suggest, so I don't actually find it that small. The middle compartment is just wide enough to comfortably accommodate my Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses in their case with no trouble getting the case in and out, though anything much bulkier than that probably won't be an especially comfortable fit. I don't need as many compartments as the Pearl has, but I do appreciate the internal organization. 

A Purchase You Regret: You know, I don't really have much of an answer here. A number of my purchases from the past year were ultimately not as successful as I hoped, including that cooler-toned pale pink Nordstrom-branded silk and cashmere scarf (similar), which ended up not being a great color on my skin tone. A warmer shade of pale pink or blush might have suited me better. Or maybe nothing in that family of colors would look good on me, as I generally am more fond of colors that have more contrast with my skin. 

Yet I can't really say that I regret the purchase either. For that particular scarf, I waited months for the exact color I thought I wanted to go on sale, ignoring other similar colors that were discounted earlier. Even if I chose somewhat poorly in the end, I made an educated guess and thought about it for a long time. And I still do wear that scarf, though it's not as versatile for me as the teal one. So I can't say I really regret that scarf, or any of the other items I had a similar experience with, even if my decision-making is far from perfect in those instances.

Out of all the arguable misjudgments I made in the last year, the most inexplicable is probably with the Mejuri Dome ring, which I picked in the entirely wrong size even after I took the time to go to their showroom in person. Don't ask me how it happened, I'm completely baffled too! My fingers must have been oddly swollen that day, even though it was winter and one's hands are supposed to swell less in cold weather. I can't really fault myself for my error, I did everything right and scoped out all the sizes in person. So no real regrets there either, alas, even if it turned out poorly and I can't really wear the size 9 I got because it's big enough to fall off. Maybe I'll try Extra Petite's tips on how to doctor a ring to make it fit a little smaller. (Though I should note that, because the Mejuri ring is concave along most of the inside, those ring size adjustment tips aren't likely to work that well.) 

A Purchase You Regret Not Making: Absolutely nothing in this category for me, which seems to be the most common answer to this question across the board, for most survey respondents. The only way I could see myself regretting or getting wistful about a purchase I didn't make is if I was much better about searching the secondhand market, and then I waited on something too long and let a badly-wanted uncommon item and/or an exceptionally good deal slip through my fingers. I guess the lesson here is that, as a general matter, if one waits out even a very powerful shopping impulse or craving for long enough, it'll most likely dissipate! 

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