Friday, March 30, 2012

A Chic Sighting, and a cautionary note on "payday shopping"

Black tights – Fogal, Trench – Burberry, Boots – Kamik, black skirt – Paul Smith 

So I finally get a day off, and wandered about down in the "Loop" meeting a friend for lunch, stopping by to see belovedest, and just hiking about taking in the sights...  The young lady represented in the above assembled outfit was a shining light of cheer on a gloomy day; I first noticed her radiant smile, but her well-curated outfit caught my eye too!

And another thing I saw: payday shopping.  Back when I was in soft-goods retail, we always knew that the 15th of each month, and the last day of each month, would be very busy at lunch time, and after the end of the office work day.  Why?  Insert graphic of money burning a hole in someone's pocket.

There's nothing theoretically wrong with shopping the same day you get paid; it is, in many way, just another day.  But we saw a LOT of... well... a sort of desperation and desire for instant gratification and a quick "pick-me-up", which often translated into a cheap and cheerful item that didn't really GO with anything else someone owned, and which wasn't a particularly well-made garment of enduring style either.

Maybe everything I saw being carried around today in the Pay-Half, H&M, Nordstrom Rack, Charlotte Russe and Forever 21 bags was well-chosen, carefully planned neutral classics of quality fabric and construction.  But I'd be surprised...

16 comments:

  1. Dear Vivienne,
    Could you please consider dedicating one of your future posts to analyzing key elements of Lily Van Der Woodsen style? This characters wardrobe looks so dignified, luxurious, extravagant and decadent. Could you please create a wardrobe capsule inspired by Lily’s wardrobe by selecting the most wearable garments, accessories and shoes? Mini tutorial on selecting statement jewelry would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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    1. Is there any criterion for selecting statement jewelry besides covetousness?

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    2. Gail, let me please disagree that all women that accessorize with statement jewelry well are motivated by covetousness. I have no experience of wearing statement pieces. For this reason I am asking advise of someone whose taste is divine.

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    3. :) I love statement jewelry. All I'm sayin' is that my own motive is always covetousness. Yes, I'd love advice and a plan.

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    4. Russia Chic - I really love Lily's style too - I think she always looks the most elegant woman on the show. This would be a terrific post!

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  2. Vivienne,
    keep those inspirational posts coming. I 'joined' you on your year long shopping fast shortly after I stumbled upon your blog and now finished my third month. So far so good, and with your wonderful ideas, I have lots and lots to wear. Thanks so much.

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  3. Ah, it is hard to work day in and day out if you can't have some sort of occasional "reward."

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  4. I've never met a woman who hasn't indulged in Payday Shopping! I absolutely love your blog.

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  5. Oh la, when I lived in NYC I was the queen of Payday Shopping. Not. A .Good. Idea! So many things "to go out in" now sleeping, snoring away in my closet...

    PS. Still mourning the verdict on waterfall cardigans. Sigh.

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    1. Waterfall cardigans are NOT uniformly dismissed - one of the Chic Sightings at LaGuardia was wearing a variation of a waterfall cardigan. I just rejected them for ME; my front torso does NOT need droopy lengths of fabric... You might be wearing them with great elan - don't let anybody (including ME) tell you what to wear.
      big big big big hug,
      Vivienne

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  6. You are so right - when I worked in retail, you knew which days customers would be coming in to shop (the same customers!) and you knew it was payday.

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  7. You're right about payday shopping if its impulsive, but sometimes I plan to get something and wait until 'payday' to buy it. What a super outfit for a rainy day - I bet the young lady looked wonderful!

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  8. great outfit for a young one! I only recently discovered your blog and went back through all your posts. I would be interested in how to wear navy, it is my new colour, I feel good in it. But what to match it with? NOT red - it seems so like a flag. And what accessories? can it go with navy shoes or is that too matchy?
    Janey

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  9. Okay...I've been sitting at my computer most of the day absorbing your blog post by post! I made it through the 2011 archives and look forward to catching up. I've learned so much today!

    I like your posts on traveling. I'm curious what you would recommend for a travel day when going from cool Minnesota weather to hot island weather. Once we arrive we are tired from travel and so very warm and still need to rent a vehicle, shop and drive across the island.

    Looking forward to reading your blog each day. :)

    Lisa

    PS - I'm a "summer" and really appreciate that you mention the seasonal coloring in your posts. It is helpful.

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  10. I absolutely adore your blog! I know you are overflowing with requests, so thank you for answering all of our fashion questions; I hate to add to the que but would it be possible for you to help a first time cruiser going to the western carribbean? Any suggestions would be so welcome!

    Thank you for your lovely posts.
    Laura from San Diego, Ca

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  11. I find that I can get the same effect as Payday shopping for clothes by doing something else equally pick-me-up, but where you're less likely to spend the money on something you will regret later, like scheduling a hair cut, or getting a manicure or pedicure, or something like that. Yes, you still spend money, but depending on what your budget for clothes/those other items are, you might spend less, and you won't flat out regret buying it later.

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