Monday, October 15, 2012

"It's Not in My Plan"

sweater - Ralph Lauren Black Label

My best friend, whom I refer to as Slim, is possibly the best-dressed woman I've ever known.  What makes this fact even MORE fun is the knowledge that she buys over half of her clothes from ebay or from consignment shops and thrift stores.  Her taste is exquisite, and her ability to find a high-quality item in a sea of ordinary is almost supernatural.

She told us a story Saturday about a recent shopping excursion to one of her favorite consignment shops.  She was looking for black pants, and found a pair of Jil Sander pants for $50. (easily less than 10% of the original retail price)

But the extraordinary part of her tale: she also saw a sea foam green cabled cashmere sweater, in her size, on sale for $28.  Sweaters of this particular brand and fiber retail for over $600, so this was an amazing discount.  And a beautiful color.  And a timeless style.  And she LEFT IT IN THE STORE!

Why?  It wasn't in her plan.

This kind of discipline is really essential to having a well-curated wardrobe.  Imagine the chaos (and the financial peril) if you buy EVERYTHING that you see that's pretty, your size, and a good deal.  (Just on Michigan Avenue, in one day, I could bankrupt my household) 

It's easy to think that you should snap up these kinds of bargains, but if it doesn't contribute to the ongoing refinement of your personal style, and if it DOES contribute to the ongoing cluttering of your closet, is it really such a bargain?

56 comments:

  1. Brilliant! A French wardrobe construction mentality: discipline and restraint.

    xo

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  2. I wish that I've had the strength of mind to have passed up "bargains" in the past. Fortunately, I take my mistakes to a consignment shop and hope someone else finds a use for them. (And I've bought a "bargain" that I at a thrift store that I later sold at a consignment shop for $100 more that I paid for it.)

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  3. Excellent point; I`ll have to remember this!

    S
    xo

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  4. There is a valuable lesson in this to be sure. I imagine your friend enjoys shopping and spends a good amount of time doing it to be able to walk away from bargains like that. I, on the other hand, enter the retail world only when I need something and in the words of my husband go in for the kill.

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  5. Discipline and restraint...I am working on, but have yet to conquer! Thanks for sharing this story. I needed it!

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  6. That's exactly how I wish to be able to act... I'd really like to share my progress with you, may I?
    Last weekend, I packed 4 large bags for Red Cross Organization, and it feels so good to get separated from all these clothes, belts, shoes, bags... each item that leaves makes me breathe easier... and other people may hopefully take pleasure in my decluttered but still very wearable things.
    Now, at this point of time, I am avoiding any shop, online shop, fashion magazine etc. But it is not difficult, I don't even like the idea of allowing something new to come into my wardrobe or our household. And I am really sick of reading about 'fashion trends' and the last 'IT-piece'.
    Moreover, it appears to me that everything I need to know, I am gonna find right here. :-)

    Thank you dear Janice and
    lots of love to everybody who is following,

    Birgit

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  7. Amazing discipline - something I am working hard to discover in myself! I am learning to return my impulse purchases - if I could just skip buying them altogether would be much better!

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  8. I am trying to learn this lesson. As I went through email this weekend, I started unsubscribing from all the shopping type emails I get. I will save Land's End and LL Bean as I use them for basics but the rest are gone. Should make email easier to deal with as well.

    By the way, I love the new picture at the top of the blog.

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  9. I would love to purchase discounted clothing items online from reliable sites. But it's hit or miss with fitting and if you can't make it fit, you've wasted your money or you expense a shipping return. I live in a rural area and, while I love purses, shoes & nice clothes (in that order), I don't have many choices outside of a major outlet center and a well-stocked TJ MAXX. I have to drive at least 90 minutes to get to a metropolitan area. Online shopping would be nice.

    Any suggestions as to how to make it work?

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    1. I live 80 miles from the nearest McDonald's. I have great luck with things fitting from EBay if the seller provides the garment's actual measurements. Most are quite willing to do so. I wish regular online retail sites would provide this service. Some, like Zappos offer free returns.

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  10. Thanks for this super important reminder. I once had a closet full of bargains that didn't coordinate, but I was proud of my shopping prowess. And I had a huge credit card debt! Not any more.

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  11. I love your new heading.

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  12. Oh I would have bought that sweater...I adore cashmere.
    Planning never works for me when I go to consignment shops as I need to have an open mind so that I look at all the options.
    Wow! Jill Sander pants at $50 is a sweet bargain...

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  13. I'm not sure how I feel about this! I would have bought the sweater and thoroughly enjoyed it. What plan leaves no room for serendipity?

    As much as I idolize you Janice, and this blog, I'm having more trouble than ever. My old shopping method...a few times a season check the stores I like and if I love something, buy it and find a use for it. I made a few mistakes but basically I had lots of clothes I enjoyed and could always dress for any occasion.

    Now I'm trying to make plans, consider holes, "build a wardrobe"...and I've hardly been able to shop for a year. I'm looking for the perfect fill in the blank and not finding it, instead of being open to what is available.

    It takes all kinds I guess, and try as I might, I think I have to give up on being your kind and go back to my old kind. Not that I'll quit reading! I love your outfit ideas for inspiration.

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  14. You make a very good point - if Slim had been at a point in her shopping where she could honestly say "I need a pastel cashmere sweater that I can wear with navy and taupe and beige", even if this wasn't on any list that she has, it would have made sense to buy. You do have to be flexible sometimes, because serendipity can certainly play a role in the world of shopping.

    A question of balance, I think. If you have a general plan/outline/idea of what your shopping needs and desires are, you can be open to the surprise gift from karma. But one needs to avoid willy/nilly grabbing of beautiful marked down things just because they're there.

    it's a process, isn't it?

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    1. I totally agree, Janice. For someone like me, who already owns dozens of cashmere sweaters in a rainbow of colors, it would be foolish to add another, even if the sweater was beautiful and a great bargain. Yet, I'd be very tempted. I hope to someday have the discipline of your friend.

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    2. I'm all too afraid that I, despite the best laid wardrobe plan, would just have bought the sweater and been inspired to start a new seafoam green clothing and accessories collection....I do think that I am getting much better, thanks to your blog, Janice (especially when faced with rainbow color displays of choices [hmmm, which of those sweater colors will I actually like on my physical frame half as much as I like the sight of them in the store display?), but lifelong retail therapy habits are hard to change.

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  15. Oh...a bit more, a question about taking things to consignment stores: I've read a local ad that a thrift store will buy items outright...is that different from consignment? How does this all work from the seller end instead of the buying end?

    I have pile of things and I'm deciding between sell or donate. I've seen prices at thrift stores so I can't imagine I'll be offered more than a few dollars per item. Any info to help me decide? I'm leaning toward donate...I don't need the small amount I'd probably get from selling and maybe donating would help more people?

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    1. I live in California and haven't had luck with consignment. They never wanted my office clothes; only casual stuff, because a lot of California is ultra casual. Some consignment stores also only want things in certain sizes. I just couldn't find anybody too interested in my wide range of clothing articles AND size ranges; maybe they're not too hungry. I did find one gal once who bought a large amount of my stuff...it was a lot to cart and transport on hangers. She only would take things on hangers! I got maybe $60 for hundreds of dollars in very-wearable, nice, mostly-dress/office clothes. So, I gave up on consignment. Not worth the time and effort, at least in my area.

      I also have participated in what we call out here 'garage sales' but clothes do not sell in garage/yard sales. They can be bought new and cheaply in a store for what you can sell used. My experience after actually conducting three or four of my own garage sales is that garage sale shoppers have no interest in clothes or books. I donate books to my local library. Friends of the Library now even has a section for paperback novels; they don't have to be hardcover.

      In the end, I think the best thing to do is simply suck it up on the clothes and donate to charity. We have a rescue mission that really does need the clothes for the homeless. They'll take anything, so that's where more casual things go. I've looked and looked for an organization who would take ladies' office/work clothes but they were all too distanced from my location. I'd thought about calling a local women's club to see if they knew a good outlet for this sort of thing, such as women returning to the workforce with not a lot of money to build a wardrobe. We do have a women's shelter where battered women are trying to rebuild their lives and earn a living, and they've needed separates and dresses for job interviews.

      From what Janice tells us about Slim, people must be selling clothes on eBay, but I think those would be clothes 'way out of my price range in the first place. I'm not Carrie Bradshaw spending hundreds of dollars on Louboutins. You can't beat the age-old Goodwill, Salvation Army...and they pick up if you can't go to them, even furniture. You'll eventually forget what you even donated and it will hurt less, also by knowing it will help somebody else.

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    2. Just wanted to add, I knew of a church holding a rummage sale with a focus on "better" women's clothing. They weren't advertising for donated goods they could re-sell, but I contacted and asked them if they wanted my clothes. They said yes, so I even gave them the racks. The minister told me later that before they put them out for sale to the public, they let some of the church women go thru them, which was a little reward for all the things they'd made to sell for the sale. I also learned recently that a local Catholic church will accept any box of clothing; they know the families that have a need for clothes and food. I expect any church does the same. Just throwing some ideas out there. Sometimes during the Christmas holidays, there's a drive called Coats for Kids, and it's a great way to move along coats, jackets, oversized sweaters, hoodies...they need male and female, all sizes. Any part of the country probably has something similar.

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    3. Vicki, selling and buying consignment are two entirely different matters. If you have good clothes, you'll do better selling on eBay.I had a pair of Prada suede and alligator heels; a consignment boutique offered me $30. Sold on eBay for $130.

      As for buying secondhand, you sometimes have to do a lot of looking and get to know the owners and staff. Scores like those Jil Sander pants are rare. In my large city they would have been picked before ever hitting the sales floor.

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    4. Anonymous: Consignment means the owner (the consignor) places the item with the seller for sale. The seller only pays the owner if it sells; the seller receives an agreed percentage of the selling price. Usually there is a contract that states how much the seller can mark down the item, and when. If the item remains unsold, the owner must either take it back or agree that it can be donated to charity.

      Most secondhand stores have moved to the consignment system, as it decreases their investment and risk. If they buy outright, they want to pay very little. Some secondhand stores buy in bulk from estates, paying a flat rate for an entire closet, or closets.

      Charity thrift stores receive items by donation, so have nothing tied up in the stock but of course have other operating expenses. But as they take anything wearable, you have to dig much deeper than in the curated secondhand store. (Many secondhand stores buy at thrifts and resell in their stores.)

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    5. Forgive my ignorance. Duchesse's comments are very informative and helpful.

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    6. If you have professional work attire that you want to donate rather than consign, check to see if you have a chapter of Dress for Success in your area. It is a nonprofit organization that provides career development for low-income women. I've donated several suits (pants/jackets and skirt/jacket) to our area Dress for Success. I feel good knowing that the clothing may help a woman look professional and confident enough to land a job that can make a huge difference in her life. The URL for Dress for Success is http://www.dressforsuccess.org/

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    7. Thank you! That was a name I couldn't bring into my mind when I was trying to comment. Unfortunately, Dress for Success was 'way far away from where I lived and I didn't have any means to travel there, but I do know of their great reputation. I had nice stuff still in their dry-cleaning bags; I think I'd decided at the time it would be too costly to try to ship it to their location. The nature of my work changed to where I no longer had to dress so formally and the clothes were in perfectly-good shape; I'd always taken good care of them. It goes against the grain on those types of clothes to take them off hangers, fold and put in a box for charitable organizations, getting them wrinkled and mussed, but the gifting does take on more appropriateness (is that a word?) if it goes to the right "audience"/purchaser, i.e. moms who I know, trying to budget for their families, who are going to a Goodwill-type of store, looking for clothes bargains for their growing toddlers are not, if also looking for themselves, going to be drawn to a 2-pc Chanel knock-off for the board room; they need practical clothing for their current lifestyle, and an outfit like that is really only practical for business/office/corporate life, so that's not going to help out the charitable organization either, because they then can't sell the item as quickly as another type of outfit.

      I watched a television segment on either Dress for Success or something similar, years ago, and it was very satisfying to see a match of nice clothes to a dedicated and determined woman doing her best for herself and her family, having enhanced her job skills and re-entering the workforce, just needing a little boost until her first paycheck of some decent outfits both for interviewing and initial weeks on the job. I was sold. I always figured that a day might come where that very woman could be me or the woman next door or the one standing next to you in the grocery market line, especially in hard economic times. I know, WERE it me, I'd be incredibly grateful for the help, because just going back to work after several years away is intimidating enough!

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  16. :-) Beautiful photo of beautiful Paris!

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  17. I never buy bargains or anything on sale, just because it's on sale. I don't buy an awful lot in comparison to others so true passion must sway me.

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  18. LOL it always amuses me to think that slim people must have so much choice it must be overwhelming!
    Fortunately, there isn't much choice in my size, just enough to make shopping bearable - if necessary.
    Recently, I found several pants that fit when I was shopping for some, but in the end, it made more sense to buy a second pair of my favourite dark jeans. They won't be worn once or twice and disappear to the back of the wardrobe, they will be worn to death and go with everything, dressed up or down. :)

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  19. Nice post...and good point. I am getting better at "leaving it behind" even if it is a great deal. Some hard lessons have been learned in that department (I think one of them is still hanging in my extra closet upstairs...great suit, great price--never worn).

    I love your new header picture!!

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  20. Shame, I think Slim should have bought the sweater and sold it on eBay ;)

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  21. Wow, this is inspiring! I fall victim to the "purchasing something because it is onsale" all of the time. I need to follow her rules!

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  22. I was an impulse and bargain shopper until last year. And like so many others, my closet was filled with mismatched, poorly constructed items. I have gotten so much more disciplined since reading this and a few other blogs. I do, however, allow for items found unexpectedly and which I can't stop thinking about. I don't buy when I first see it; I go home and if I can't get it out of my mind, I think about how I could use it and if the cost is worth it. So far that has only happened a few times this year and the purchases turned out to be favorites. Perhaps if you see something that really speaks to you, it is telling you that you will use it and love it.

    And I have begun wearing all my clothing instead of keeping some "for good." I can't tell you how many things I consigned which were only worn one or two times because I would only wear them to dress up. Not any more.

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  23. Another terrific post I can't just read, nod my head in agreement and move on. I am a shopaholic; I have a disease and an addiction. Shopaholic is not a cutesy word. It's a consistent conversation I have to now have with myself, stopping before I consume, confronting temptation, to be strong and determined and sensible (like GROW UP!) and not have it feel like sacrifice because, after all, shopping has been a pleasurable thing in the past, and who wants to give up pleasure?

    I'd always gone by the premise of work & reward. I just picked the wrong kind of (and too many) rewards and could never find a balance. On the wardrobe front, I have a shameful situation of clothes spilling from closets and onto rolling garment racks. I actually HAVE purged, all to charity, but I'd just buy more and fill up the same racks again. It feels overwhelming. It's also embarrassing and selfish. I don't feel good about myself but I'm trying really hard to change.

    A LITTLE bit of retail therapy never hurt anybody, but the secret has to be feeling good or better by doing something else besides consuming...and there's a lot of stuff out there that can fit THAT bill, not just for oneself but also for others. A great way to get out of your own head is to reach out and do something nice or helpful for somebody else. I would formerly think, even sarcastically, "oh, how noble." But there's truth to it. Listen to the ancients; no new thinking here. I'm glad I got older, slowly realizing that less is more, and simple is a stress buster.

    But I've got a lot of work ahead of me, and I don't just mean renting the dumpster or calling Goodwill. Something I did do just this week was make a timeline and a deadline for what I want cleaned out and streamlined; I'm not going to rush it, and I can be sure some "life crisis" will happen to distract me or detour me, but I refuse to let it stretch out forever either. There IS a ray of light, and that's the fun I'm starting to have, creating my new wardrobe and my new living environment, filling it with intelligent and shrewd choices from what I already own...and looking forward, maybe just a wee bit from time to time, to enhancing with that very special, single item but only after something has to be replaced, using forethought, planning, restraint...making the ultimate purchase very pleasing and useful. It feels good to be smarter like this; I'm learning it doesn't mean I will feel deprived. I was thinking about how it's like a box of chocolates; we pick one or two favorites, but we don't eat the whole box, because then it really does steal the joy and also just makes us sick.

    I never knew what to do about my stack-up of material goods, only that I couldn't wait much longer to make big changes...but I couldn't make the start. Because my house is small and too full, I don't have a staging area where I can sort and work comfortably (and moving stuff to the outside is problematic). Sounds like an excuse; you have to dig in and work with what space and materials you've got. We can't all hire a personal organizer! I also was resistant to purge because I remembered what I paid for clothes and house decor, and it's hard to get rid of stuff you spent money on that you never got full use out of...but these are the hard choices, you can't go back, only forward unless you want to be buried alive. I happen to like a lot of my STUFF, too, which makes it challenging.

    I don't know...I've bought books on the subject of consumerism, clutter... I've watched the TV shows about hoarding. Good intentions, but nothing really had an effect until I read this blog. Maybe because while Janice educates, she also makes it fun and encouraging. It's always uplifting to scope out possibilities, and coming here to La Vivienne is the right place for more than just dreaming.

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    1. Good for you, Vicki! If you have room to stand in, you have room to begin! You might like the blog Breaking the (Shopping) Contract,
      http://breakingthecontract.com/

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    2. Thank you, Duchesse; you're very kind. I'll check out that link.

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    3. Vicki... thank you for your openness - it is still hard for me to admit, I have been addicted to shopping for about 4 years. A disease, yes. The result: 4 wardrobes filled with masses of clothing that were crushing me. During all this time, I have been selling and donating from time to time, but the wholes have always been filled again quickly.

      At the beginning of this year, I brought myself to start a project: not to buy any clothing for a period of 6 months and to get rid of parts of my wardrobe at the same time. I failed after 64 days, I was not able to resist any longer. Unfortunately, I went back to my previous -bad- shopping behaviour - just thinking about the next thing to buy when having bought another (more or less). But it did not feel good although I rather successfully ignored this fact.

      Now, due to a German blogger to whom I am very grateful, I discovered this wonderful and inspiring blog about one week ago. When starting reading, I felt as if someone opened my eyes, and for the first time - after all these years - I found the motivation I needed to change my behaviour. There is a change in mind as well, it is kind of overwhelming. Maybe this sounds a bit histrionic but it is the simple truth.
      Please excuse if I do not always find the right words since English is a foreign language for me.

      Good luck for you,
      Birgit

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    4. Vicki, you are not alone in your shopping habits. I am also a reward shopper. Especially after a series of long days at work, then I want to feel good about myself and I don't have energy to do much more than wander around a store. Something always follows me home. The amount of money I have wasted in excessive purchases is shameful. And while I have cut down, I have yet to fully stop my bad behavior. I always feel bad purging my closet, I think of all the money I wasted.

      At the beginning of this year I created a tracking sheet in excel for myself to see how much clothing I own, how many repeats I have and how often I am wearing my clothes. I live in a 4 season climate and at the end of the summer I donated or sold all the items I did not wear all summer. I was shocked at how little clothing I was wearing. And I really liked the extra space in my closet.

      Cold weather clothing will be much harder to purge, as these items then to cost more (cashmere, wool jumpers etc). But now I have the summer clothing to help me push through doing the same for the winter.

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    5. That's a really good idea...do an inventory, put it on paper, using a computer spreadsheet or even a pad of paper with ink pen. In the beginning, it's less daunting than hauling all that stuff out of the closet, wondering how to hang or stack it while sorting and, in the meantime, having created tunnels of the stuff to walk thru (well, I'm exaggerating, but I do have a small, vintage bungalow completely lacking closets, and there's not exactly room for gigantic armoires either, so you can see a shophaholic's problem here...although, in the end, it's part of my "cure" because I simply have no choice but to get rid of things because I simply have NO ROOM for anything!). It does also make one think about the fact that, in the "old" days, even people with enough "financial means" who could afford to build a custom home, with an architect and using the best-of-the-best materials, must not have had overly-large amounts of clothes AS THEY COULD HAVE EASILY INCORPORATED LARGER AND MORE CLOSETS IN THE CONSTRUCTION PROCESS but simply didn't because they obviously didn't have a need. Not-so-large houses, not-so-large closets...and not-so-many clothes. Maybe there's a lesson in there to be learned from the past!

      Anyway, Lisa, thank you and I'm glad I got to see your comment! I was YOU in younger years; every Friday night after work, there I was at the mall, selecting another outfit for that weekend, living for the moment. The thing that I can never get over is how even this morning, I'm on my way out, and my daily/common phrase is, "I have nothing to wear." Unimaginable, isn't it. Work-in-progress, that's messed-up-but-improving me. Like Janice here has said, "it's a process..." I think some of us with the "problem" are now on the right track. I know I sound like a noodle-brain to smarter people (and smarter shoppers!), but give me time...I will catch up to you, AND your smart shopping habits!!

      By the way, Birgit, I applaud you for your English-language skills! I studied French for six years but I would stumble terribly going into a French-language blog, trying to make myself be understood! Your English is just fine and I enjoy your responses here on Janice's excellent blog. I think to be able to speak, read and write in another language other than one's own is a wonderful accomplishment; do not apologize Birgit, because you are understood beautifully, as I believe Janice told you before as well!

      (Janice, sorry to be hogging the blog; thanks for permitting a little/a lot of chat here, on your thought-provoking post. I first learned of your blog thru Tish and I thought the capsules were so pretty, clever and trendy, never realizing it would lead me to more substantive issues on your blog, which have helped me learn SO much! Now, I will shut up and allow somebody else to speak!)

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    6. Thank you, Vicki, I am really delighted to read your words to me. I have always been interested in learning foreign languages - I have studied English and French and used to work in Brussels, years ago... English was the 'unofficial' office language and I could decide whether to speak Belgian Dutch or French in my free time, of course I chose French. It was exciting to see how one can improve a language when living in the country.

      When discovering this wonderful, wonderful blog, I couldn't help but commenting. I am so glad that I get along with reading and writing... actually, I could comment on almost every posting but I won't. :-)

      To Janice:
      I really enjoy this kind of 'chat' but I am new and I do not want to annoy somebody by no means... so please let me know if it is too much. Thanks!

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  24. IF I had a friend who could wear that sweater I might buy it as a gift; I've thrilled friends that way (and am open about where it's from.)

    And, agree if it is not "you" it is just overbuying.

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    1. Dearest D,
      I must thank you for the helpful and insightful comments - you're a treasure trove of information, and you answered a lot of questions for our dear readers.
      It's always a privilege to know that you're reading my blog!
      Janice

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  25. agreed, discipline is paramount!
    love your blog!!

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  26. My friends still find it amazing that I can leave something that I quite like in a shop if it is not in my colours.

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  27. I've consigned some of my clothes and done quite well (at least I've received check for over $100). I also donate clothing and feel good about that.

    One caveat--have any of you read about clothing sent to Africa which is claimed by people who extract a profit for it? This is donated clothing, but ends up being sold abroad for a profit. I have to admit that this has given me pause. I would welcome any more information .

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    1. Hi Susan. Yes, that happens. Jobbers buy from places like Goodwill in bulk, paying pennies per pound. Bundles are then exported and sold in the developing world. This is no different than the pickers who scout charity stores, then mark up the item to sale in their hip "vintage boutiques". But otherwise, a lot of marginal donations (faded, worn or out of date) would remain unsold. The NYT Sunday Magazine had a feature a few years ago, tracking t-shirt donated to a charity thrift in the US. It ended up for sale in a street stand in (as I recall- not sure) Nigeria. The developing world has long been and will remain a dumping ground for what the affluent world does not want.

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  28. I love consignments stores, however I've been guilty of misusing the beautiful concept of a bargain. I always pick up too many "steals"! I've been shopping with the "get it now as it may not be there tomorrow" motto- big mistake.
    I appreciate your friend's discipline, it's something I'm working on myself (and writing about too).
    Thank you for sharing. "It's not in my plan" will become my new mantra.

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  29. Honestly? Life is short...a sweater at that price would be a steal. I'd be willing to create some wardrobe plans just around the sweater alone! Planning is wonderful and is really and truly important. It keeps us from going bankrupt with all the beautiful things in the world. But, a little part of me believes that there must be something left to chance..to that magically kismet of moments when the stars align and $600 sweaters are less than $30.

    That said, if it was a color that Slim would NEVER have considered wearing (much how I am about pink or purple) then even the best of bargains has no place. Still, for something special, I think we need to keep the doors to our hearts (and closets) open for serendipity.

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  30. I walked into a thrift store last week and found an Armani jacket, skirt and two pairs of pants that all coordinated. All items were under $30 a piece. They were a size larger than I wear and not exactly my style but could have easily been altered. I bought nothing. Why? Because I am a stay at home mother that spends most of my time on the playground or soccer field. I would NEVER wear any of it - perhaps the pants here and there. But I already have a black suit jacket and pants that fit well and are kept for emergencies.
    Unfortunately I have never met a cashmere sweater I haven't liked. That sweater would have been mine!

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  31. A word to the people wondering if they should try to sell their nice stuff: better to donate! Not just because it's easier, but because generally it's not worth your time to sell. If you look up Ralph Lauren black label cashmere on ebay, you will see that most do not sell at all, and only a few would net the consignment shopper any profit, after fees.

    I occasionally sell items, but have mostly given up for the above reason. Things that you CAN sell for a pretty penny: St John knits, designer bags (but I don't have any), and certain high cost, difficult to find items. Not the things you are getting rid of.

    I frequent thrift stores and I am amazed at how much cashmere I see--from low quality to high. So if you leave one behind and regret it, another will appear some time or other.

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    2. Frugal, IME top-drawer designer will sell on eBay; I've done well selling Hermès and Prada- made way more $ than if placed with consignment stores. But other designers, the better and entry-luxury brands do not do so well, hence the glut of RL, Eileen Fisher etc that's unsold. My fave vintage dealer says, unload your clothes while still current (within a year or two) or keep till they are at least 35 yrs old; she says the middle, such as padded '80s blazers, you can't sell.

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  32. I totally agree with you dear Janice! Would you be so kind to discribe what Ms.Slim thinks about when she is looking for a wardrobe. How she finds a right thing from the crowd? It can't be just a gift. Would be nice to learn from her:)

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  33. I am so guilty of doing this! I should memorized every word in this post...verbatim! Although I had to giggle at Pat's comment. That was my first thought, too! Great post...thank you!

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  34. I'd have bought it and listed it on eBay; then put the profits towards buying the pieces that fit my plan :)

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