17 August 2012

This is Probably Too Much for a Friday

I initially thought about this post when I took my first tentative steps at weeding out my wardrobe (didn't get far, but my blog sale is going to be exploding soon). I obviously have an overflowing closet(s). If I didn't go shopping for the next several years, I am sure I would still have plenty of things to cover my body with and I would be in no danger of running around with holes in my soles or threadbare pants.


I enjoy shopping and adding new items to my wardrobe. I make no apologies over buying shoes, shoes, shoes and getting excited about sales or new arrivals. I make my own money, I pay my bills on time, I've worked hard to pay off huge post-college loans and living-on-my-own-for-the-first-time-woo-hoo! type debts. I may be spending but I am still saving. And when it comes down to it, how I choose to spend my money is my prerogative.

But I obviously have more than enough. And yet I still want more. So as I flip through my racks and pull out items that I haven't even worn yet this season, I couldn't help asking myself - why do I want more?

Look, I'm not into the psycho-chatter and I (thankfully) never had anything really horrific happen to me in my childhood, so I don't think there's any sort of deep-rooted reasoning for why I like purses and want to buy yet another striped something. I know things don't replace people, I get it (and I don't think I am trying to replace my dad with knee-high boots). But when I already have so much, why is that not enough?

tribal  tribal

I'm figuring that since I got into even liking fashion fairly late in the game (like after college late), I may be playing a game of catch-up with myself. I enjoy the hunt of a deal and scoring the "perfect [insert item here]." Dressing nicely gives me confidence and I think people tend to treat me better because of that. Though this is not a competition, part of the coveteur in me sometimes can't help but to want what she's got. And though most of our significant others' wouldn't, other women definitely do notice a new dress or a kickass pair of shoes. So some people collect trains, some people collect porcelain cats - can't I consider myself in a way a collector of pretty frocks?

I'm not trying to really answer anything here or really enlighten anyone, but I guess I got my mind started on a fashion-related tangent and I wanted to see if I could get anyone else thinking about themselves. So ...

This may be a loaded question, but why do you like to shop? What does an item need to make the cut into your shopping cart and then your closet? How do you determine when enough is enough when it comes to buying things?


Top: Tucker isla wooden chest (worn here - sim, sim, blue/green, cas, poncho)
Shorts: J.Crew chino (worn here - sim, sim)
Shoes: Xhiliration by Target teanna (worn here - sim, sim, pricey)
Necklace: Overstock (sim, sim)
Bracelets: J.Crew & F21 (sim, sim, sim, sim)
Belt: J.Crew factory braided metallic (worn here - sim)


  1. Oooh, I know exactly how you feel, been there done that! I spent a lot of time buying things to figure out my style, also I spent a lot of time shopping to emotionally compensate for a horribly boring previous job. Also a big case of I want what she has and I want to look like she does! I've just begun to think about how much I have and realize that I really, really don't need any more....and if I buy something, I really have to LOVE it. I don't really shop much anymore, so I wonder, am I losing my love of clothes/fashion? It's weird. But good, I suppose. :)

  2. You look gorgeous!! Enjoy ypur weekend!


  3. I love to shop probably because my mother loves it and my grandmother loves it and it's something we did for fun growing up. I don't shop as much now because I don't have the time- or money, but I'm a firm believer you don't need much to punch up an outfit. I don't just like putting together outfits for myself but I love plopping down in union square or central park and checking out what everyone else is wearing. I am making a strong effort to buy pieces that will last me years instead of seasons but there is always the trend factor to consider. For example I really want a pair of red pants...but...are they too overdone? Will they be dated next summer? Are they worth 50 or 60 bucks? I won't go higher but anything cheaper feels...well, cheap and I have some junk in the trunk that needs to be held in. So I think inevitably we end up with "more" because media introduces things to us we didn't know we might ever like or "need". We get caught up in the hype and suddenly have too much. Every time I go to storage and pull out another bin of clothes I think to myself,,,,too much!!

  4. That's funny! I recently had the same thought - how come I keep buying pencil skirts (and other clothes that I don't really "need")? And I thought to myself, can't I consider myself a collector? So it's pencil skirts instead of artwork or whatever - does that really matter? Why is it any different if the beautiful thing is on my body instead of on a wall?

    I don't know, maybe I'm just trying to justify a pretty big purchase of fall J. Crew clothes. Okay, a really big (for me) one. But I think it is important to figure out whose voice it is that's telling me I "shouldn't" buy so much.

    Excellent post - so glad to see I'm not alone!

  5. I love this top and your accessories are so fun! I usually fall in love with an item then wait for it to go on serious sale. I have to absolutely freaking love love an item to pay full price for it.

    Dainty and Decadent

  6. Fashion is a hobby. If you are responsible and pay your bills - not racking up credit cards and still enjoy the process...do it. Some day you may find a new hobby - husband, children, now is your time. Enjoy.

    For me, I am at a place where I want to shop smarter and with more purpose. I don't want to find impulse buys in my closet a year later with the tags still on them. Each item I "welcome" into my closet must play well with others and be an instant favorite. The hope is to buy fewer items, higher quality - things that are of exquisite taste and timeless.

    Slowly I am getting there and can better resist the blog frenzy of the newest "it" item. I am carefully curating my existing clothes to find the gems I can't live without and honing my style. That's what is making me happy.

    Guilt is a useless state of being...

  7. I think the creative part of it is just having a lot of fun finding the right colours and materials to play with. The other side is loving the thrill of the new. I'm always trying to find the balance of the two- I usually try and make a run to the thrift store when I know I just want the thrill of buying something or variety, and then watch the stores to try and single out the big purchases I really, really want.

    That's not to say that I don't slip up from time to time...so often I am desperately in love with an item (sometimes directly related to how difficult it is to procure) and eventually realize it has been replaced in my affections by another piece!

    Gosh I love those target shoes- you look great with the vivid shorts!

  8. I am in the same boat as you. Enjoy shopping and get soooo excited for sales. Yes, we are all guilty of shopping and bringing home too many items than we need. But to me, it's retail therapy. I wasn't into clothes early as most gals do. So I'm late in the game so I'm catching up haha!

  9. Hi Lisa! What you said about not getting into fashion until late (like after college) totally resonated for me -- I too, didn't really get into it until after my first job (with that job I was making so little money that I was on a permanent shopping ban...basically wore the same 5-6 pairs of pants rotated with maybe 15 sweaters and tops and the 3 pairs of shoes I had over and over. Once I had a job where I could afford to spend a little more and enjoy it, I totally did. I do sometimes feel like I'm trying to make up for lost time, but I also feel like I am spending it while I can now (and still saving just like you) and once kids come I won't have as much disposable income so now is the time! Maybe that makes sense, maybe it doesn't....

  10. I've been going through the same thing lately... So I've been trying to get rid of some things, and then find the gaps in my closet. For example, black flats. I have 2 billion pairs of shoes but didn't have one decent pair of black comfortable flats to wear to work. Also need: more dresses, and more tops. I have skirts up the wazoo! I've made a mental list of the things I buy too much of, and the things I need but never buy. NOW I carefully evaluate every purchase to see if it's filling a hole in my wardrobe.

    That said, sometimes something "new" is all you need to feel good, and purchasing can be a must. I think it's therapeutic.

  11. Dang, Lisa, sometimes it's like you crawled up inside my head. I only have one regular sized closet but it's tightly packed, and sometimes I wonder why I go shopping - even while I'm shopping. My attempt at a ban worked great for a few weeks and then backfired when 40% off coupons came my way. Did I need anything? Maybe I reasoned I did, but not really. Am I a clothes collector? Pro'bly. Childhood issues? Definitely. It was all hand-me-downs and polyester pants until I started earning my own money babysitting - and priming tobacco. Seriously. Every dime I earned went toward buying "normal" clothes.

    I haven't worked up the nerve to blog about this issue yet, partly 'cause family sees the blog, too.

    You are a lovely, lovely Lady in Red.

  12. I love this top on you! Oh shopping... I love shopping. It makes me happy, it's therapeutic, and it's just fun for me. However, I don't usually buy 'luxury' items very often, maybe for special occasions or unless it's something that I know I'll have for a long time. :)

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  13. I usually only buy things on, what I call, mega sale. It had to be on sale plus an additional percent off. I try to not buy doubles of things, unless I really like the item. And I only buy something full price if I fall head over heels in love with it. My budget is small so I don't like to spend a lot on one item and I'm not ashamed to return if I make a mistake:) Great post and outfit btw!

  14. Great question, Lisa! No doubt, I love clothes and fashion. I like to dress well and always have; I never leave my house without makeup and a well thought-out ensemble. That being said, in recent years, if I've ever shopped, it was never out of necessity, but either out of stress or because I was trying to ignore another problem that needed to be addressed. This doesn't happen a lot...maybe once a year, if that...but I'll binge shop (buy tons of things that I could do without) and MAYBE will feel good for about 5 minutes, but as soon as I get home, I'd feel like crap. Truthfully, I'll wear just a few items over and over again and the rest will sit in my closet.
    So...I'm refraining from shopping (unless it's a sick deal), trying to only buy items I love and that are good quality so they'll last for a long time, and cleaning up my closet to either sell or give away what I don't use.

  15. Again, reason #134901849187310947813098 why I love this blog! Real topics! Real issues!

    I used to shop quite a bit. No excuses, simply that I love things and I love clothes. Expensive things, cheapo things, whatever. And then, one day, I started thinking, and learning, and researching a bit on my own. Who makes my clothes (esp. the cheapo ones)? Who really profits when I donate these bins and bins of clothes in the name of charity? What is my carbon footprint for this "omg, so cute!" sweater made from overseas? How much fuel is used to transport this sweater to my nearest J. Crew? And once I started asking, I couldn't stop and I also couldn't ignore them anymore.

    I still shop (esp. online shopping, gah!), but I view shopping and material items much more differently these days. I guess, I took a step back and looked at my spending on a macro-level. Not even in terms of my finances and wallet and etc., but in the eyes of the world. With this in mind, I've gotten pretty good at only making LOVE purchases and anything less doesn't deserve a place in my closet. (It also helps that I'm a neat freak and my walk-in closet is immaculate. In fact, I stress when I buy a new pair of shoes bc where will it go?? The organization will then be ruined!)

  16. Fashion is my hobby! Some people play sports, I shop at the mall. It's just what I do. :)

    This past year I realized though that I was buying things just because and not because I actually needed it (although one could probably that I don't really NEED anything in the clothing department). So now when I shop, I think about whether or not it's something that's missing in my wardrobe and if I can wear it with multiple things. If not, it goes back on the shelf.

    The Tiny Heart
    Enter my group giveaway!

  17. Shopping is when I get my "me" time, for I know my husband doesn't want to go with me! I rarely shop with others at all. I don't want to feel rushed or guilty if I want to try something on. To make it into my shopping cart things need to have a purpose, be interesting and above all else, fit. I won't buy anything if I can't think of at least 2 ways to wear it. I also am always looking for interesting details. The one area that I fail at this is shoes! I will buy shoes even if I don't have anything to wear with them and comfort, ha, what's that when it comes to shoes. I love to collect shoes!!! I have shoes that I have never worn because I can't imagine wearing them for more than 2 minutes, but I bought them! Weird!

    Love the post Lisa!!!

    Lisa B


  18. Loving the outfit! Not sure why I love shopping so much, maybe its the idea of creating new with the old! Mixing and matching!

    xx Amy
    Leopard and Lillies

  19. I have recently stopped buying shoes (gasp! I know!). I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 170 pair and really, I can't wear them all. So I stopped shopping for them...and started shopping for books instead. Not sure if that's better, but hey, the monies were already set aside every month, now the line item just reads "books" instead of "shoes." Whatever, I'm over it. :)


  20. I totally know how you feel! My shoe addiction didn't start until I started hitting the bar...then I wanted cute shoes to wear, which turned into a full ensemble needed everytime I went out. I don't go out anymore but I still always find myself wanting more. When I'm shopping I get attached to items that I can visualize an outfit with...especially when I already have all the contents of my creation in my wardrobe at home. That makes me feel attachment and need for something...as silly as it sounds! Lately I've been toning way down on my shopping and saving up for different things, but I still have that need sometimes! I think I'm ready to challenge myself to start shopping my wardrobe instead of the mall more. Love your outfit!


  21. I have thought this same thing myself. The only thing that I can point it to for myself at least is the fact that I grew up very poor. We were lucky to get a new outfit for the first day of school and usually it was thrifted or garage sale-d or something. I never, EVER, had the latest "in style" trends and if I did, it was always a knock off of some kind. While I've grown to embrace my thriftiness, I can't help but notice that I can't walk in my walk in closet and it is filled the brim with so many shoes that I could wear a pair everyday for six months. I think it the high that I get of finding something perfect or unique or on trend or just plain cool and even if it isn't "new", it is new to me and I love that. My kids have a plethora of clothes as well. I used to have to wear things until they literally fell off and I hated it.

  22. Oh and I just love clothes. Like you, it is what I'm into and what I collect. They're purdy.

  23. Well, part of it is an innate human appreciation for something beautiful, right? But I think another huge part of it is that clothing has become so cheap because of sketchy labor practices that more people can have way more than they need or even really want. And maybe there's that primitive gatherer part of women's brains that is constantly scanning for necessities that goes into overdrive in malls that are packed with goodies and constantly rearranged to look different, as well as really being different because for some stores, new shipments come in daily. Oh what a can of worms you've opened today!!!

  24. i've been dealing with this lately, especially with the wedding wrapping up. for a while it was stress. then, once i started blogging more, it was to expand my wardrobe and finally find my own style. but this morning i looked at an overflowing cedar chest and realized i need to stop and pair down. so... i shall be better (hence some returns sitting on my desk for after work).

  25. I just hopped over to your blog sale....and um...I'll take EVERYTHING. Can't imagine you having any more fabulous things to add! Hehee..

    I typically shop when I'm bored & have money to spare or if I've gone a couple weeks of hating all my clothes. Then of course there are the times I shop because I simply NEED something - jeans don't fit, etc.

    I'm not particularly selective when it comes to how things end up in my cart. I tend to try A LOT on & just pick the pieces I really like to buy. Sometimes I'll go into the dressing room with 15 things & come out only wanting 1. How are you gonna know you'll like it if you don't try it on?

    I've tried to get better now about visualizing how something might fit into my closet before deciding to purchase. If I know I'm going to go shopping a particular weekend (like this weekend I'm taking my stepdaughter back-to-school shopping so I'll look for some things myself), the week before I make a list of things I think I need to add to my wardrobe. That way I'm a bit more focused when I go into stores. I especially need this when going into places like Forever21 & H&M. They have SO.MUCH.STUFF I want I have to have a guide to keep my focused otherwise I'll just pick up all the pretty things & try them on!

    Oh & how I decide when enough is enough? Budget before the trip. If I'm really good I try to get cash in the amount of my budget and then only spend the cash.

  26. I love this outfit! That top is amazing.

    I think it's all a matter of wanting what we don't have. And shopping plays into our insecurities, which obviously everyone has. "If I had that shirt, that outfit would be cuter!" Etc. And no, we will never have enough :D

  27. Dang why couldn't we be the same size. Oh well... I am constantly doing a closet edit! Selling, giving away. It's just fun to have new cute stuff. I don't go crazy,overspend,and shop on credit but I like having pretty things.

  28. Love your blog! And great topic, too. Eckhart Tolle talks about the ego always wanting more and it lives for the future or past but never in the present. It seems that's why we are never satisfied even when we get what we've been wanting. **Vegas jackpot bells went off when I read that!** Being conscious and living in the NOW have helped me tone down the shopping and accumulation. There really is a point of saturation: it's when YOU say so--or ME for that matter... ;-)

    Another topic is sparked here: who do we dress for? If our significant others don't appreciate how we present ourselves, are we dressing for ourselves or to impress other women??

  29. I started my blog with the intention of remixing and appreciating what I already have, and stop shopping so much. Like you, I have pieces that I love but that won't even get worn in a season! But that idea was an epic FAIL. I felt like I do when I try to diet... deprived and it made me want to just shop more! I now instead am trying to only buy pieces I truly love, from retailers I truly love, rather than cheaper items that I'm tempted by in the moment...because I almost always regret those purchases.
    Great topic!

  30. I really feel like shopping soothes me. It's like therapy. I LOVE that tucker blouse! You look incredible!!

  31. Shopping is just pure fun and nothing wrong with it. We need that to look updated and feel good. Having said that, before every clothes purchase I will think really hard as I dread closet clutter and I normally get tired of clothes after 1-2 season's freqent wear: it is better to be work appropriate, then I will consider if it is better/prettier than what I already have, if not I probably dont need duplicates becuase it does not add value, then I consider its secondary value when it is time for closet cleaning, is it a style/brand that's easy to sell on ebay so I will have no problem getting rid of? Those are thoughts that kept me from overshopping and buyers regret.

  32. Classic outfit. Love the red shorts and all the jewels!

    New Follower! <3

    Love from NYC,

  33. Your rocking the red shorts Lisa!! Super fun chic outfit...perfect for Friday!!

  34. I love to shop because it makes me feel happy :) Love getting new things for the wardrobe and using them :) I guess it can be like a destresser to after a long day at work :)


  35. I enjoy shopping for a variety of reasons! I've always like pretty things, and enjoy the challenge of finding the perfect clothing or home item. I don't really dress for anyone else's approval, I just like to wear the things that make me feel pretty! Also, shopping for me is a very social thing, I love to spend an afternoon browsing with my mom and sister. Some of our best times together are spent looking for fabulous bargains and giving each other fashion advice :)

  36. I love your top! The print is gorgeous, and it looks so comfy.

    I've gone through plenty of "buying more than I could possibly wear" phases. Then I go through a closet-cleaning phase. Then I go through an "I'm only going to buy a few high-quality items at a time" phase. I'm in the last phase right now, so I guess it's about time I circle back around to the first one :)

  37. I love fashion as much as anyone else here, obviously. But I actually do have a collector's mentality when it comes to dresses... my favorite dresses are not the ones I wear repeatedly (although I appreciate those very much, too), but the ones that I store carefully and pull out for special occasions and still *sigh* over with a fluttering heart when I smooth my hands over the dress in my closet. For me, that category comprises 2 silk dresses and a crinoline-lined strapless, all from Anthro and all with sky-high cost per wear. But you know what? I don't care, because I AM a collector of pretty frocks. (And I'm motivated to maintain my weight/body because I do want to be able to occasionally wear these dresses forever.)

    1. I will say, however, that I don't have any collector's urges toward shoes or bags. If I could find the perfect black dressy heel, I'd be happy not to buy any more dress shoes for the rest of my life. (Perfect, in my book, includes a 3" heel and 12-hour standing comfort. Yeah, not going to happen with my specialty size and super fussy feet!)

  38. I love this outfit, it works together and you look great. I love shopping and make no apologies too. go on sister ! Thank you for visiting my blog. appreciate it. Do you want to follow each other?


  39. that's so true, what you want to do with your money is your prerogative. and i see nothing wrong if people love to shop all the time, most especially if all other aspects of their life is okay (savings intact, no debts, bills paid, kids' necessities met, or no kids to send to school, etc)... to each his own, if they have the means to shop, let them be. :)

    <3, Mimi
    Win 3 kinds of truffles from The Madelaine Chocolate Company! :)

  40. this shorts are incredible, i really love themmm!

    and you are so beautiful!
    have a nice day!


  41. Guess it's a habit picked up from my mom. Shopping, esp scoring perfect deals, makes me go wheee!:p And although it may not appear so, I'm actually more discerning with my shopping choices these days, I think. An item needs to be able to work with several pieces in my closet. I guess that's why I'm not much for trendy pieces. Exception of course being shoes. In that case, enough, what is that? haha... love that printed top!

  42. great outfit! love the bracelets!

  43. I was just asking myself the same question! I am on vacation with limited luggage space, and I still want to buy clothes. I am really late to the fashion game, and for years didn't buy many clothes due to lack of availability and time, and pregnancies and breastfeeding. I also thought my size and being a stay at home mom meant that i didn't deserve to buy nice clothes. When I went back to school as a mature student, I had such identity crisis, when i dressed the same as my young classmates, I felt like mutton, and when I dressed for my age, felt like an imposter. Then I started shopping for the life I wanted to have, and I started reading blogs and watching makeover shows and knew that despite my plus size, I could dress better. Now, i am known for my fashion sense, and I feel like I have to work to keep up the image. I love looking feminine and I do think it has had a positive influence on my new career. People want to trust someone who wears good shoes.

  44. Beautiful outfit and I love your nail color too! I guess shopping for me is a challenge or sometimes a release. I love to find great deals (from my mother) and I also like to put on a new pair of shoes to forget the week. Enough is enough happens when I buy 2 of the same thing at different times.

  45. I like myself a good bargain... that's when I usually shop.

  46. Love the print on that top, and the whole outfit is really fun and colorful, Lisa! I think lately (and having a blog!) I've been more careful with my shopping, as I try to think how I can wear a piece more than once (I'm a true believer in remixing!) or if I don't own something very similar already (although I don't even want to start counting how many LBD I already have!) but with that being said, I like to splurge sometimes if what I want is something that I know worth its full price, but if it's something that I know it will go for sale later, I will definitely try to be patient. Sometimes, getting something that you LOVE on SALE, it gives you more satisfaction than if you have bought it on a whim!


  47. Loaded question! lol The top & shorts are like pb&j. Perfect!

  48. I love the print of that top and paired with those bright shorts it is perfection! Just discovered your blog and adore it! Following you xx


  49. Gorgeous colors! And I love those shoes!

  50. I think you look fantastic! What great colors! and the shoes are adorable!


  51. I am trying to figure out the same answer to the question, "how much is enough." I have so much stuff in my closet, brand new with tags never worn....it's bad.

  52. Cute outfit! I am a picky shopper, so part of the enjoyment is finding just the right item that fits well. :)

  53. For me my reasons to shop have changed over the years. Of course, there's always special moments when I just feel that I must have it, but it's rare that I impulse shop. Now, before I do loaded seasonal shopping I go through my closet to see what I don't wear and swap with friends or donate. But, I have been trying to wear pretty much everything! :) I love your printed top.

  54. Love this tribal print top! From one lover of pretty frocks to another :)


  55. i think there are days when i'm feeling a little down and i know that a new pair of shoes or a cute dress will just brighten my day! not that i only shop when i'm grumpy...but there is something about a new dress that just makes me happy. i don't think we need to make any apologies! =)

  56. wow!!! that looks really cool!

    xoxo from rome


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