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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