Every season. Every year. My closet. Me. Credit cards. And the cycle begins again.This spring, it will not happen. I'll explain.I just got my J.Crew "early spring" catalog; they like to keep "late spring" and "early summer" and "mid-summer" separate, so that after you get all the early spring fashions, you are bombarded with the next set of "must-haves." I am pretty good about trashing the J.Crew catalog the minute it gets here, but for some reason this time of year brings out my weakness. The snow is gone, the dogwoods are in bloom, we get two-to-three 70+ degree days in a row... and all of a sudden, my debt-reduction scheme seems paltry in the face of baby-heel suede slides in "blue jay" that would look so awesome with a chino kick-pleat skirt in "stone." My Citibank account sits quietly simmering with a $0 balance and a $2,800 limit. I don't have the card (for good reason, as you can see). The weakness struck hard today. The account has been there with my old married name on it, giving me one more obstacle to having them send me a replacement card. "What the heck?" I thought today. "I should find out what I need to do to get my name changed on it," thinking it might involve more obstacles, like writing a letter, enclosing a copy of the dissolution decree restoring my maiden name. But no. The friendly Citi rep said, "Oh, we can change that. What is the maiden name?" I spelled it for him happily, and then, "You will need a replacement card, right?" Me: "oh, yes, please!" Oh god. Here we go again.----Tonight. I sat down with the J.Crew catalog and my laptop. I decided to make an Excel spreadsheet, filling in the items I wanted, how much they cost, and sizes, colors and order numbers. My roommate was happy to help (she is not a friend to my debt reduction). As we clicked through the pretty dresses, the shoes, the chinos, the refined linen stretch pants, the halters, and oh, the bathing suits.... I had clicked my way up to around $500. $500 seemed a heavy sum for the short list of items on my spreadsheet. I got sick of this after awhile. I couldn't tell what was making me more upset: the fact that the items were all so pretty and I needed new summer clothes, and I didn't have the money for them, or the fact that I was even going through such a worthless exercise in the first place. I put it all away and left my roommate to come think.And I realized what gets me so frustrated when I walk into my closet. Pairs of pants with the hem ripped out, ready to go to the tailor because they weren't long enough. Shirts I feel like I just bought (okay, last year) whose stitching is unraveling. A slight stain on the leg of a pair of light-colored summer pants. Shoes with a less-than "new" sheen. So, I made a decision. I stopped saying to myself, "one of these days, I'll get that taken care of," and I printed a list of local garment altering and repair shops near me. I've put together a stack of things that I love, used to love, or would love, if they were fixed, and will get them to the shop tomorrow.My shoes are all getting lined up for a "spa" day. They're each getting a buff, shine, polish, and if any need repairs, they'll be taken to a local shoe repair shop.When that new Citi card gets here, it is going in an emergency summer holding cell. This summer, I will be living on the remnants of my spring student loan, a small fellowship from my school, and maybe some proceeds from whatever temporary job I can get after my internship is over in July. I may need that available credit for emergencies this summer. I refuse to allow the slippery slope and the justifications. It's so easy to say, "well, I already started putting charges on this card; what's another $50?" It's also easy to say, "it's not like my debt is going to budge that much in the next couple of years; I might as well try to enjoy myself a little." It's also easy to start feeling badly about myself when comparing my wardrobe to that of my boyfriend, my roommate, my boyfriends' sister - all of whom have wealthy parents paying their credit card charges.This is what got me into this situation.Matter of fact, I remember a day in 1999, after a depressing, hard day at work, when things were going badly with my boyfriend, and I came home, sat down with ... what else?...a J.Crew catalog, got my credit card, called the number and just started ordering. I am still paying for those clothes, some of which I probably no longer own.The madness stops here. I will post the update, after I've actually faced had the willpower to overcome this. Oh, and another call I will be making tomorrow? J.Crew. I will be asking them to take my name and address off their mailing list.CG
Oh, oh, oh this strikes such a chord with me and I applaud, endorse, encourage your restraint!!I'm desperate for new clothes (I've recently lost a lot of weight, not entirely by design, and my clothes are all about 3 sizes too big).But I shall summon my strength and do what I should do and head to the tailor...one of these days.Many congratulations for having both the willpower and the strength to stop the madness!xxannxx
I loved the line "the madness stops here".!!I like to tell myself I only used my cards for IMPORTANT purchases, like plane tickets, car rentals etc.If that were true would I be sitting on something like 17,000 dollars of credit card debt??? I havent' used my MBNA card in at least 3 years. I still owe over $6000 dollars on it. I HAVE NO IDEA what I previously charged on that card. Now I know in 2001, I used the cards when I was unemployed. BUT, I did not use that one, because it was maxed out!!!Thank the Fool, my madness has stopped. And has been stopped for well over 1 year.Congrats to you for figuring out where your "madness" is, and for stopping it.back on track,trybklt
Iiiiiiii feel ya sister.A couple weeks ago I had that burnin yearnin so bad (Spring in LA is painfully beautiful, and sun on my shoulders always makes me think: NEED CUTER CLOTHES) and to satisfy it, I took two bags full of semi-decent, never-wear-em-anymore clothes to the Buffalo Exchange (I wish they had one in every town so I could tell you to go there, but maybe you have something similar), and got a disgustingly small amount of credit for them. But, at least I walked out with a never-worn, gorgeous pair of jeans that someone else didn't want, and enough to treat myself to a burger. It's held me over for a few weeks (the jeans, not the burger), but I know that feeling will be back soon. Especially when I see everyone else marching around LA in all those crazy expensive clothes I know they can't afford either.But I'll remember your post and stay strong. mary
Oh, and another call I will be making tomorrow? J.Crew. I will be asking them to take my name and address off their mailing list.Greetings, Deb, great going! Catalogs used to be my weakness when I lived in a small town with nowhere to shop. I always used to be known for my (then) somewhat innovative style of dress so having the catalog arrive in my mailbox was like Christmas. Trouble was, it was Christmas every day.I overcame this madness in two ways - getting off of EVERY mailing list, which took some time, PLUS deciding that an innovative style of dress was incompatible with heavy-duty hospital work during my medical school and medical residency years. I understand that the second way of dealing with the clothing issue is not a given in law school as it is in med school. But the innovation switched from dressing expensively out of a catalog to finding ways to bargain shop for attractive clothing. For me, TJMaxx became a prime source - plus I also made my acquaintance with upscale consignment shops (plenty of those when I was living in Montreal) and vintage clothing stores of repute. Though I was wearing scrub tops and jeans nearly every day, I still needed some nicer things for interviewing and some attractive things for places other than the operating room or the ER.Now that I have been working for a month, the issue arises again. During residency I gained probably 20 lbs so all the cute quality CHEAP clothes I found on my student budget have been sitting mocking me in the back of the closet, about to be put up on eBay for sale. But lo and behold, those pounds have come off and my clothes of yore are FITTING me once again. The shoe repair shop and the seamstress have been heaven-sent at keeping the things I do own in good repair for a fraction of the cost of a J. Crew item. But the other heaven-sent resource has again been TJMaxx - and I mean the clearance racks at TJMaxx. As in skirts for $5.00, sweater sets for $10.00, matching bra/undies worthy of Victoria's Secret for $8.00 total, jeans for $12.00 and so on and so forth. I may have even seen some J. Crew gems in and among the rubble. Once again I am dressing in a style which I find pleasing (though I will forever wish I could enjoy the comfort of wearing jeans every day), others most definitely find pleasing AND which inspires a new level of creative pursuit - finding an attractive way to dress for pennies vs. $100 bills - that no purchasing from a catalog can touch. I still lay out bucks for certain items I particularly enjoy wearing (for me, it is beautiful ethnic jewelry) but in order to do this, I save mightily on other items I spend on and the net effect is a stylish, flattering way of dressing that is my stamp and costs me a fraction of what J. Crew expects to be able to suck out of one's wallet for their first-run latest.xraymd
I find the best way (requres planning ahead) is to buy clothes after the new season comes out...the sales racks keep going down each week until it often gets to 75% off.It does mean you will be behind a season but if you stay in classic looks, you will prevail!:)RBS
TJ MAXX was my only store when I lived in the US...and yes, the sale racks!Way to go!RBS
I just got my J.Crew "early spring" catalog; they like to keep "late spring" and "early summer" and "mid-summer" separate, so that after you get all the early spring fashions, you are bombarded with the next set of "must-haves." ------------------------------------------------------------------------What is it about J.Crew. I swear half my closet is theirs. I used to be a huge shop-a-holic. I even bought into getting a J.Crew credit card (with the lovely interest rate of 22%)! If you need new clothes, you need new clothes. It is important to look nice, especially for work. However, there is no reason to go into debt for it. Trust me, I've learned from experience. You don't have to give up your love of shopping, you just need to change your habits. J.Crew has a great clearance section on their website. Also, shopping on the off-season is something I am trying to do more of. It can save you up to 75%, and sometimes even more. One of the hardest things to get through my head was that everything goes on sale. Everything. How many times have you bought something and said, "If I had just waited I could have saved $x"? It adds up.I agree about the tailor, but take it one step further. I usually wear petite sizes, but if they have the pant in a regular size and it is a great bargin, I'll get it. It is often cheaper to take it to a good tailor than it would be to buy it at full price.A lot of people even take sewing classes and learn to do their own alterations. I am not quite as ambitious, but it could be an idea for you.Sounds like you are getting on the right track. Just keep it up, and don't feel like you have to give it all up. Just cut back and make changes.Hope it helps,Alice
I know *just* how you feel !!I get catalogs from my favourites stores... LL Bean and Coldwater Creek. I lo-ove LL Bean in particular. Flipping through those catalogs last night - man, was I tempted! DH was urging me to treat myself too, as we are on track with our debt reduction and feeling more wealthy than we have done in a long time.I sucessfully resisted and my catalogs are now in the bin too - just went and put them there after reading your post!!!The sum total of my buying for this summer has been a trip to Kohl's to get two new T shirts to replace two old worn out T shirts of mine, and to get shorts for the children. That's it. Even in Kohl's, it was so tempting to go mad and buy everything in sight! So many lovely things. Just as well I only brought my debit card with me -- I was determined not to start charging to the credit cards again!
I second the TJMaxx recommendation. I would add: Ross, Marshall's, and if you have one, Beall's Outlet. I used to hate Beall's Outlet because, a few years ago when they first arrived here, they were all doubleknit retiredwear and other similarly icky stuff. Now they're one of my favorite places to shop. Like the other discounters, you do have to dig around a bit, but there are usually gems to be found. And sometimes, the prices are incredible. I bought two new bathing suits for the summer...one of them was $4.24 and one was $1.25. Both look like I might have paid $40 each. I've also gotten fantastic deals on the clearance racks of Casual Corner/Petite Sophisticate (where I live they're two sides of the same store). I never, ever buy full-price from them, far too expensive. But their sales can surprise you.Good for you for ditching the catalogs. Another thing that'll help with: you won't have any more too-short pants because you'll be trying everything on before buying. (How I wish that I were tall enough where that might be a problem, LOL). Mare
As in skirts for $5.00, sweater sets for $10.00, matching bra/undies worthy of Victoria's Secret for $8.00 total, jeans for $12.00 and so on and so forth. Xray!! (It is me, Deb; I've been laying low with my identity for awhile...you're the first to get me!!) I have such an embarrassing thing to admit now. I swear, I always thought you were male! Hahahah... I am so easily swayed by things. I always thought of you as "Ray." :)Just had to say that. Good to see you again!Deb
I have such an embarrassing thing to admit now. I swear, I always thought you were male! Hahahah... I am so easily swayed by things. I always thought of you as "Ray." :)Greetings, Deb (now ClabberGirl) - I knew it was you because I have you on my Favorites!About the male thing - well, most people have seemed to think that. My handle to many looks like "X-Raymond" instead of "XRay-MD," plus there is that old societal thing of not thinking of MDs as being female, first off. I have gotten very used to it over my lifetime, as I have always worked in science; that is, in predominately male environments. Additionally, though my first name is female - except in Italy - (it is Andrea), my nickname of youth is male (Andy) so people hearing of me prior to meeting me generally assumed I was male. This has happened so many dozens and dozens of times that I am completely accustomed to it and never think a thing of it. Interestingly, I think it may have helped me in life because I have encountered very little in the way of assumptions about my capabilities or my station (or maybe I was just impervious to it). From the earliest days of my childhood I was both a lover of English and of math and I truly and honestly believe that the way down the math path was made far easier by not having to overcome any preconceived expectations - for most people, having to switch gears from assuming I was male to seeing I was female seemed to carry with it their original higher expectations of my aptitudes in science and math.I'm 46 now and youthful in attitude and in style (though I have finally and proudly gone gray). Though I never did have children, I am convinced that I would have given my daughters genderless names akin to mine. I thank my parents daily for having done so for me, though that was never their deliberate intention. But it's served me well!xraymd
ohhhh, but that striped washed lawn shirt on page 37 is to die for!Only $58.WOW! I must have that Double-zip cardigan on page 30.Only $58:)Just doing my small part to keep the economy going.Cheers and catalogues,donna
Call J. Crew and ask them to stop sending you magazines. Same thing for every other clothing magazine you get. You can also remove your name from the Direct Marketing Mailing lists and the magazines will quit coming.Here's a couple of links you can use to opt-out.http://opt-out.cdt.orghttp://www.dmaconsumers.org/consumers/optoutform_emps.shtmlGood Luck!Louise
WOW! I must have that Double-zip cardigan on page 30.Only $58I know...this one was on my list too. SO! cute.However, now, it is in the trash. Along with the Victoria's Secret catalog. This morning, I called J.Crew and V.S. to ask to be removed from the mailing lists.JCrew CSR: "No problem. For our records, can you tell us why you no longer want to receive our catalog?"Me: "I am weak, and the catalog is too tempting. I love J.Crew, but I can't have anymore credit card charges. I have no income."JCrew CSR: (chuckling) "I certainly understand. You may receive a few more catalogs but then it should stop." Me: "Thanks!" whew!-Deb planning my next trip to TJMaxx, AFTER getting my current stuff fixed at the repair/tailor shop!
For really young and trendy clothes, I like Plato's Closet. It's a brand-name resale shop. I can find cute Bebe and BCBG things pretty easily, and the inventory constantly changes.No, it's not deep deep discount, but for my limited shopping time (and patience), it's a great deal. Found BCBG pants for $16, a Bebe top for $12, both of them with tags still on them.CK
However, now, it is in the trash. Along with the Victoria's Secret catalog. This morning, I called J.Crew and V.S. to ask to be removed from the mailing lists.i bought my girlfriend some pj's from Victoria's Secret for Christmas. and the catalog bombardment began! i received like 10 in the next 2 months. i called to have them remove me from their lists. i found it amusing (and i think the woman operator did also) that as a guy i was asking them to stop sending me a catalog a week!shatty925
Though I never did have children, I am convinced that I would have given my daughters genderless names akin to mine. I thank my parents daily for having done so for me, though that was never their deliberate intention. But it's served me well!So interesting. I need to keep this in mind when naming my kids... and maybe not just in naming them, but in fostering gender-neutral attitudes.I did a similar thing this past week. My roommate and I are subletting our apartment, and I received an email from a woman named "Alyssa" who said that she and "a friend" would be coming to look at the apt, because they were interested. I could not remove the assumption from my mind that the friend was another woman. I kept saying, "when those two women come look at our place..." even after she emailed me back saying, "when CARL and I come..." I simply assumed a typo, and that she had meant CarlA. It did not even occur to me until my roommate kept saying, "Deb, stop saying, 'those two women;' it's a girl and a guy." I was just convinced that it was two women, so I went back to the first email she sent, looking for the reference that made me so sure. Nothing. Just "my friend and I." Such strong gender assumptions!It even extends to my discomfort over my Fool name! I'm finally happy, I think, with ClabberGirl, a subtle geographic term (Clabber -for me, and any others from my hometown) and the feminine "Girl." Why do I care about assuring my femininity, even on the Fool of all places?Both your posts, xray, and the startling revelation that you are a woman, got me thinkin.... always a good thing! ;)deb
Oh, and another call I will be making tomorrow? J.Crew. I will be asking them to take my name and address off their mailing list.my sister is a J Crew exclusive wearer it seems- but only a few new things every year- then she cleans out her closet and sends things to - ME!!!yea!My weakness - J. Peterman (yes, to Seinfeld watchers, it really is a real company).I buy maybe once every two years - but the items I have bought are such really really nice quality (and not "trendy") that I have more than gotten my money out of them. But I WANT so many more.I make lists of what I want- add up the totals - and then realize it's half my yearly income ;-)so I mentally put it all back. I do keep getting the catalogs for the cool stories.But those black silk "Hollywood Glamour" pants (onsale when the stores were closing $27/ reg $120) complimented on them still after 4 years.peace & weaknessest
Hi, Deb, quickie response as I head out the door:I think having grown up in the 1960s had its own impact on me. The 60s were totally free-form relative to the stiff, make-uppy 50s and since I was a toddler in the 50s I was never directly affected by the standards of those years. The 60s is when I forged my identity. Lipstick? Nylons? Huh? I lived in jeans, long straight flowing hair and WILD print/tye-dye t-shirts and you couldn't tell the guys from the girls! (Come to think of it, that's probably where I developed my love for ethnic jewelry.)But the entire era was unisex and gender-neutral. I never questioned my femininity because it simply was not a factor. Was I feminine? Sure! At least I always thought so. Makeup and dainties never defined me. That doesn't mean that I haven't enjoyed them as I grew to begin wearing them. But when the times nullified an entire psychosocial element from defining one's identity then it just never entered the equation. I am definitely a girl (even at 46!) but in my world growing up (even right during the foment of Women's Liberation and so on and so forth) it was simply an invisible issue to me and from out of it came a sense of complete freedom to do in life what I have chosen to do without accounting for my gender.xraymd
I've also gotten fantastic deals on the clearance racks of Casual Corner/Petite Sophisticate (where I live they're two sides of the same store). I never, ever buy full-price from them, far too expensive. But, their sales can surprise you.Yes..I did well there in a store in Florida. The catalogs, especially on-line are dangerous for me.I do have to buy my size 12 shoes on-line, saves time, energy and aggravation.RBS
Hey Clabbergirl -I would like to tell you, if you will listen carefully, how I overcame such desires back when I was trying to become LBYM.I figured out a way to quit "keeping up with the Joneses." Yes, that's what your have been trying to do. You said yourself you you felt badly when comparing your wardrobe to that of others.I looked for a way to feel BETTER about having less. Less new clothes. Less new cars. Less spending in general. It's so hard to break a habit that you feel bad about not doing. So find a way to feel good by not doing it. Retrain your brain, so to speak, to see things differently.I taught myself to feel superior to the better dressed people even when I was wearing six year old crap. I had to remind myself that every nice new item of clothing someone else had was just another day they would be working after I was retired. Every fancy dinner out they had was a little bit less money they had for the future. You get the idea. It worked for me.I dress lower, eat lower, drive lower, etc. than my friends and neighbors. And I feel good about it now. That makes it so much easier. They see me in rattier clothes and an old faded pickup-truck. Little do they know I could come over there and pay off their new car in full if I felt like it.He who doesn't spend it... has it!xtn
Though I never did have children, I am convinced that I would have given my daughters genderless names akin to mine. I thank my parents daily for having done so for me, though that was never their deliberate intention. But it's served me well!I find it really annoying to have to constantly correct the misspelling of my name. That's why I started using Fran as a nickname because I got sick of people spelling my name "Francis" instead of "Frances". Both of my daughters have feminine names with traditional spellings.
It's also easy to start feeling badly about myself when comparing my wardrobe to that of my boyfriend, my roommate, my boyfriends' sister - all of whom have wealthy parents paying their credit card charges.You would feel badly about yourself because someone else has 'nicer' clothes? I don't think a J. Crew catalog can fix that. That's just like getting upset because someone's girlfriend is better looking - there's an endless supply of those people in the Universe.Oh, and another call I will be making tomorrow? J.Crew. I will be asking them to take my name and address off their mailing list.Now, THAT'S THE ANSWER!You go, girl.Naj,1999 = 37k in credit card debt, plus medical bills.2003 = Zero Consumer + medical Debt total.You'll get there. :)
xtn Great post!I shop at the Salvation Army and drive a rusty VW bug!:)Just had to poke fun at Deb's trashed catalogue. I got one too and it is fun to look.hehdonna ( ... wearing thrift shop seven year old crap at the moment!)
plus I also made my acquaintance with upscale consignment shops (plenty of those when I was living in Montreal) Xray: please, tell me where these upscale consignment shops are in Mtl. I havn't had much luck in that area.Deb: I love your new name! I was having a hard time keeping track of your names for a while :)Skye
1999 = 37k in credit card debt, plus medical bills.2003 = Zero Consumer + medical Debt total.Hey Naj,Care to share your story with fellow fools? 2195501y
Xray: please, tell me where these upscale consignment shops are in Mtl. I havn't had much luck in that area.Greetings, SkyeQ, the ones I shopped at were off Sherbrooke near Westmount and also off of Laurier in Outremont. It was in 1995-96 timeframe so I couldn't really say where there are good stores now but a glance at the Yellow Pages might prove fruitful. One of my greatest coups was a totally gorgeous designer suit which looked like it was made for me and served as my interview suit for all of my residency interviews. I got plenty of compliments on how nice it looked and I think the total cost was $50 CDN! I also got a beautiful Italian lambswool sweater that I love, love, love but here in Tucson, the moths appear to love it at least as much as I do for I have found holes munched into it all over the dang place and it will be way too expensive to have rewoven - phooey. Total cost for this marvelous sweater was only $22 CDN so I am THINKING about having it fixed.Any moth-proofers out there? I won't use mothballs - too toxic.As far as seamstresses, I found an AMAZING one just down the street from me on Docteur-Penfield. Her prices could approach the stratospheric (if you want a wedding gown done straight out of Vogue, for instance) but for my two-bit duds from my resale shops, I found her prices completely within reason and it was no problem to spend $5 on a skirt that for a $10-$20 alteration fee she made look like it came straight from the Holt-Renfrew designer racks at nosebleed prices. Her name was Eva Psarou. I think she used to be a seamstress for Holt-Renfrew but branched out on her own. I wish I could have taken her with me to Tucson!xraymd
I'm going through the same thing right now! I think I'll have to buy SOMETHING, though. We didn't get much last year, since I was just working part time, so both of us need shoes and clothes. And I'm kinda stuck ordering things out of catalogs if I want something nice. Shoes, especially. Just going to have to make a list, I guess, & try to get good deals.Oh, yeah, and try not to buy more for myself than I get for him - that ought to keep a lid on it right there, since he HATES to shop!
I like Lands' End myself - kinda like J Crew sometimes except that they actually come in my size AND carry it in the outlet store! A lot of times I check the outlet store before ordering anything, sometimes there are perfectly good catalog returns & overstocks. Got a great long black knit skirt for only 10 bucks and it was my favorite skirt for years. They have nice men's clothes too.Oh yes, and Chadwicks and the Wissota Trader shoe catalog. And Maryland House. I must have 8 pages with the corners turned down, they have shoes in all colors... - karen
"I find it really annoying to have to constantly correct the misspelling of my name. That's why I started using Fran as a nickname because I got sick of people spelling my name "Francis" instead of "Frances". Both of my daughters have feminine names with traditional spellings."Sigh. As a fellow Frances I hear you. I just spell it for everyone (who doesn't know me) right off the bat. The ones that annoy me are coworkers who ought to know better. The one that pisses me off though is my grandmother. SHE can't get it right. Of course, this is also the one who argues with my mom over which day is my sister's birthday. So I guess my advice to everybody is that if you are leaning toward a gender neutral name, make sure it does not have gender specific spellings of the name. I.e., Frances with an "e" is feminine; Francis with an "i" is masculine.Frances
Greetings, SkyeQ, the ones I shopped at were off Sherbrooke near Westmount and also off of Laurier in Outremont. It was in 1995-96 timeframe so I couldn't really say where there are good stores now but a glance at the Yellow Pages might prove fruitful.I will do just that. I think I've been looking in the wrong areas. Duh...stupid me... Thanks for the tip! FYI, Now with the municipal mergers, Westmount and Outremont no longer "exist" :)SQ
FYI, Now with the municipal mergers, Westmount and Outremont no longer "exist" :)Greetings, SkyeQ, now I am incredibly homesick for Montreal, and I was there even during the tensest moment in 1995 where the referendum to separate Quebec from Canada was defeated by only 1/2 a percentage point. We did not know which country we would wake up in the next day! So I know nothing of any municipal mergers because that razor-thin margin scared enough people for long enough to keep from messing with ANY governmental system there. I guess not forever, though.Montreal remains about the most favorite place I have ever lived, even though I have been in Tucson, AZ for about 5 years now. Nothing looks like Tucson, which is pretty phenomenal as far as uniqueness of landscape is concerned - the Sonoran desert occupies just a relatively tiny patch of our terra firma - but nowhere I've previously resided (Detroit, Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo) lived like Montreal - yes, I know New York, Chicago, Paris and London are fair competitors - but for sheer joie d'vivre, Montreal has them pretty much beat.Thanks for evoking some dear memories!xraymd
Thank you! I am just going through this myself! I found a few cute dresses and other things that I felt I "needed". I have lost about 40 lb recently, and I am still losing weight, so I am scared to buy too many clothes right now. But I also don't want to alter my clothes, because I am still losing weight. I will give a few a try though. Most of my clothes were ill-fitting to start with. I bought ugly, baggy clothes that hid my body when I was overweight, because I was ashamed of myself for being heavy. I had always been really thin (like a size 2), until I started taking meds a few years ago that made me balloon up to about a 16, and then I had a baby! Ugh! Now I am back to a healthy weight again, according to the government's BMI charts (which are hokum if you ask me, but hey, whatever makes you feel good). I am over wanting to buy new clothes. DH and I made a new pact yesterday. Unless something is falling apart beyond repair and needs to be replaced (like his work boots were this past week, but they were four years old, worn six days a week, 10 hours a day), we are not buying ANYTHING else until we can pay cash for it without worrying about anything else suffering, including funding our retirement account and our daughter's college fund. It is just not worth throwing all our hard work away. We have been watching our debt shrink for too long to have it grow again over some cute pants and a sassy blouse.Laura
Funny thing about the gender issues. Often people don't get that I am a girl at first. Flynn is my dog. I don't know why I picked the name, probably because he was sitting there. I usually try to pick the screen name "bobthecat" because Bob is my cat. I know that sounds silly. I don't know why I would TRY to pick a masculine sounding screen name. Probably because DH also uses the computer and the accounts, and he wouldn't want to be known by a silly frou-frou name. So Flynnister is just ambiguous enough for both of us. And it's our dog. Whoo hoo.Laura
Thank you! I am just going through this myself! I found a few cute dresses and other things that I felt I "needed". I have lost about 40 lb recently, and I am still losing weight, so I am scared to buy too many clothes right now. But I also don't want to alter my clothes, because I am still losing weight. I will give a few a try though. Most of my clothes were ill-fitting to start with. I bought ugly, baggy clothes that hid my body when I was overweight, because I was ashamed of myself for being heavy. I had always been really thin (like a size 2), until I started taking meds a few years ago that made me balloon up to about a 16, and then I had a baby! Ugh! Now I am back to a healthy weight again, according to the government's BMI charts (which are hokum if you ask me, but hey, whatever makes you feel good). I am over wanting to buy new clothes. DH and I made a new pact yesterday. Unless something is falling apart beyond repair and needs to be replaced (like his work boots were this past week, but they were four years old, worn six days a week, 10 hours a day), we are not buying ANYTHING else until we can pay cash for it without worrying about anything else suffering, including funding our retirement account and our daughter's college fund. It is just not worth throwing all our hard work away. We have been watching our debt shrink for too long to have it grow again over some cute pants and a sassy blouse.How about setting a small amount of cash aside to look for some new-to-you clothes at garage sales and thrift stores?
I am a career catalog/online shopper (literally, it's part of my job). It can be done for cheap. Yes, as cheap as TJ Maxx. Three rules:1. Don't buy anything that costs more than $20. Yes, I'm serious. There are plenty of terrific $58 lawn shirts and $78 premium hipster-flare jeans that end up at $19.99 on J. Crew during their clearance sales. They have clearance sales at least twice a year (one is going on now: www.jcrew.com/sale ). They have a lot of stuff for $9.99 too, and some at $4.99. That's as cheap as Old Navy on sale!2. Permit yourself two shopping sprees per year, and only if you can afford it. When that clearance sale hits (and remember the word you're looking for is CLEARANCE, those are usually the deepest cuts, also WAREHOUSE is a good tip-off) look at your bank account and decide if you can afford the risk to your savings/freedom account to buy new clothes. If not, you can wait for the next one, and brown bag your lunches or whatever so you can save up. Remember you are not allowed to do this again until the next spring or fall.3. RETURN ANYTHING THAT YOU ARE NOT IN LOVE WITH. If it doesn't grab you and make you want to go run into the street to show all your friends, send it back. Don't keep anything that is just OK. You have plenty of just-OK clothes already.Protomolly.practicing what she preaches. mostly.
Cool!You are the post of the day!!!Congratulations, CG.:)Donna
Protomolly is absolutely right. All the good clothing catalog retailers are online, and their sale/outlet sections are constantly updated. My absolute favorite is Coldwater Creek. I work in a law firm so I always have to look professional. Coldwater Creek's clothes are VERY well made, look great, and wear well (especially if you take good care of them). They have major online sales at least once a year (usually twice) where you can take 25% off EVERYTHING they sell, including sale and outlet items. That's when I buy (I usually use my Christmas bonus then). I've gotten some smokin' deals on incredible silk blouses, wool skirts, tailored suits and dresses, you name it. And if I end up with something I don't REALLY like, I send it back. Their customer service is super -- never any hassles with returns. So if I'm careful, I can shop once or twice a year and not break the bank, plus what I buy lasts (some other inexpensive clothing out there doesn't hold up as well).***I have to be very careful, because I get email alerts from Coldwater Creek whenever new stuff goes into their Outlet section. It took a few times, but I've finally learned not to go through them all the time -- there were days when it was hard not to spend everything I was making that day while sitting at my desk! I'm determined to get out of debt, so it's easier now. I thought about discontinuing the email alerts, but those are the only way to find out when the 25%-off sales are, so I'm just more disciplined the rest of the year. It's good practice ...32go0
Hi valueape,The idea of the "Buffalo Exchange" sounds great! Can you tell us newcomers to the idea how it works? Also, where is it located? Many thanks.wildirish5
The idea of the "Buffalo Exchange" sounds great! Can you tell us newcomers to the idea how it works? Also, where is it located? Many thanks.No sweat... here's their site, lots of info:http://www.buffaloexchange.comLooks like they're in more cities than I thought. Basically it's just clothing re-sale; it's exactly like selling your CDs to a used music shop in that you bring them 800 things and they'll take like 10 of them. Then they give you $x in cash or $1.5x in credit. The selection there isn't purely hipper-than-thou vintage like a lot of resale -- they re-sell "current labels and basics" too. The re-sell prices seem a touch high to me. But when you're buying on credit for stuff you were just gonna give to goodwill, it doesn't hurt so much. -mary
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