September 21, 2008

Revolve's dangerous $$off codes

So I didn't stop the broken ban but I DID stop blogging after my last post. I am unreliable. I have no excuse except that I was trying to distance myself from the guilt of my own shopping binge. I managed to get TWO codes from $100 off $200 and $150 off $300. I ended up buying Frye Paige Riding Boots in dark brown with the $150 off code. Thankfully (and yet unfortunately) my supercalves were not fitting these boots properly. I could only sort of tuck jeans into them.

For $200, the item should be transformative, not so-so. Back they went.

With the other code, I bought a Black Halo Jackie O dress in Amber. It is far more body-conscious a silhouette than I typically wear, but I was persuaded to keep it by some girlfriends. I had it hemmed so that it no longer hits the widest part of the aforementioned supercalves.

I think I should probably only wear this dress with spanx but they are too uncomfortable to actually wear, imo. I'm trying to channel Joan Holloway so I should probably just get a straight up girdle. Since it's been altered, there's no returning. I hope I don't regret it.

I took a bunch of things to the tailor along with the above dress. I can now wear my DVF Bilboa without feeling like I am 2 feet tall. I have wearable J Crew Matchstick cords, and my newly hemmed $7 SFAMK Gabriel Brothers score will soon be dyed darker to remove signs of faux aging from the wash.

I still needed to find boots that fit my epic calves. Although they may appear to be normal sized calves in the outfit photos, part of me believes the vast bookmaking conspiracy. I solved the boot problem... And got a good deal thanks to sales at Nordstrom! Tell you all about it next post! And I promise not to take so long, this time. Happy Halloween!

Part 2: REUNITED and it FEELS so GOOD

It seemed as though the universe conspired to ensure that my self-imposed, practical, smart shopping ban was an epic fail. The Saks mystery money thing was a surprise but I didn't falter. The European event at Filene's had surprising potential, but I walked away with my bankbook, unscathed. I continued to casually browse ebay,'s Marketplace, Make Up Alley's fashion swap group, and the Deals and Steals/Marketplace boards in The Purse Forum. Nothing really stood out for me in terms of recent sales. Although the looming recession led to retailers scrambling to turn over stock at the end of the summer season, nothing stood out as being must-haves. It helped that my least favorite fashions are warm-weather friendly. Regardless of the reason, I was staying true to my ban.

Then the bag that got away became available. The bag whose photos I'd linger over any time I logged into my flickr page. The bag that happened to already be what became (soon after losing it) my holy grail color. The bag I had toiled over selling could be mine again!

You see, a few months prior I bought and swiftly sold a Balenciaga City from 2006 in Gris Fonce (aka the perfect gray mid-size bag) in TPF's marketplace . I sold it because I had also purchased a Balenciaga Day in black around that time. I decided the Day suited my needs better than the City, even though the color and size of the City filled important gaps in my handbag collection.

Thanks to TPF marketplace, the MUA fashion swap, and ebay I had plenty of opportunities since that sale to score amazing deals on bags I've long coveted (Marc Jacobs Stam, Anna Corinna City, Marc by Marc Jacobs Hillier Hobo in Elephant, ChloƩ Ava, Miu Miu Bow Satchel, etc.). I managed to pass on every deal, and occasionally tortured myself by visiting the Balenciaga subforum on TPF Marketplace. One day last week, the buyer of my bag listed it. I made an offer and she accepted. So now the bag is sitting in its dustbag on my dresser.

But it didn't stop there.

September 18, 2008

When bans lead to binges

I was so responsible. I was so restrained. I was so so disciplined. And somehow it all came crashing down in a flurry of surprise coupon codes and incentive gift cards. Part of why I haven't updated is because I have been trying to feel less consumed by my own consumerism. I made a conscious effort to distance myself from shopping and it was easy to avoid while I was distracted by the start of a new semester, the move into my first home, and all of the unpacking.

Somehow, after over a month of consumptive composure and nearly three months away from the lure of online shopping, I managed to spend an undisclosed amount of funds on what will essentially have be the only frivolous material purchases I can make (minus gifts for others) for the next half of a year.

It began innocently enough. There were a few trips to Ikea and Target where I mostly bought throw rugs, linens, cleaning supplies, and other odds and ends for the house. Then I ordered Roman Shades from to replace the hideous mini-blinds.

Craigslist proved to be a great source for furniture to supplement the abysmally tiny closet square footage of the house. (You can see the new-to-us desk, chair, and one of the armoires in the above photo). Now the house is starting to look great. But I didn't stop there.

Because first, Saks sent me a mystery money gift card. And although it was only for $20, I went with a friend to browse. I managed to leave with nothing, giving her my gift card so I wasn't tempted to spend it unwisely online. But it was a close call. I almost bought shoes. I almost bought a top. I almost bought stuff I really don't need.

Then, Filene's Basement sent me notification of their European Designer event. A trip to the Waterfront was easy after dropping Chris off on campus. There, I had another close call. I anticipated rack after hideous rack of Piazza Sempione and Valentino Red. And it was there in spades. But there was a lot more than that. I kept my head, though. Even after trying on every dress I coveted desperately from last year's See by Chloe collection, I walked away with only a pair of cheap purple tights. Thankfully the dresses were marked up just enough from their last call Neimans sale prices that I could pass without regret. I also passed on the Vena Cava dress Carrie wore in the SATC movie when she and Big agreed to wed.

It would have only been $80 after my 20% off coupon. All week long I have toiled over it but am ultimately glad I passed. If it is there on my next visit, who knows. You can see the other items I passed on in my style diary, here:

I did stop at Ulta to check out the OPI France colors in person. I bought two (You Don't Know Jacques! and Eiffel for This Color) since they were limited edition.

All the while, I browsed ebay, adding things to my watchlist when something was really special. As per usual, I frequented my favorite fashion sites and forums ( and The Purse Forum, to name two). I ended up losing an auction for the Jovovich Hawk Roslyn dress that I bought and returned a few months ago from Saks. I refused to spend more than I spent initially and somehow it was bid up to go above that price. Makes me sad but I made the right decision to return so I have to live with that.

My next post will reveal what led to my spree.


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