January 22, 2021
For no good reason that I can pinpoint, I’m in the mood to shop! Maybe it’s the sunshine beaming down on the lakefront that gives me this sense of optimism and cheer that translates into… buying things for myself?
Just on the face of it, that’s an odd thing. I should be wanting to go out and walk for miles, or throw some snowballs, or open all of my blinds and clean our THIRTEEN big windows… (because cleaning windows is so often something one longs to do, right?)
But one of the occupational hazards of writing The Vivienne Files is seeing TONS of beautiful things, and finding that I’m still thinking of a few things long after I’ve moved on…
Like these beauties:
You can clearly see what colors I wear, that I’m a big fan of pearl jewelry, and that I wear flat, comfortable shoes!
But do I actually need any of these things? Some of them? ALL of them? (I suspect that last question is a definite NO…)
When I’m buying things other than clothes and accessories, I try to be thoughtful and analyze what I’m doing – why do I want it? what will I DO with it? is this just an impulsive waste of money? But I’ve never really done that much at all with my wardrobe. Neither do I have a budget…
So this is a work in process. I’d like to have a 1-page “Impulse Check” page about each item that I’m considering. Eventually, each page could be moved to one of 3 files: Purchased, Pending, or Pitched…
I’m very eager for your feedback about this, as I am about all things!
First is this cardigan/blazer… I own this in pink, and it’s really lovely – just enough structure to resemble a blazer, but a forgiving fit and softness that’s part of being a cardigan…
I see this cardigan every day I work on The Vivienne Files, and I’m drawn to it… But do I need it in black?
Same with this striped shirt; I love black and white patterned shirts – stripes, checks, trellis prints – ALL OF THEM! But I have 3 or 4 – why do I still pause every time I see this shirt?
I own 3 garments in this shade of pink, but this shirt always causes me to linger… I would wear it and love it, but is that reason enough to buy it?
Through the last 5 months or so, I’ve been living in fleece. A lot of mornings, I get up and put on gym clothes, believing (rightly so!) that being dressed for the gym is a big part of getting myself there! (getting on the very tight schedule is the other hard thing…)
So this top has a reasonable chance of coming home to me – it could be worn over a gym shirt, or with a nicer shirt and pants as a surrogate sweater. This one is a possibility….
Yet another sweater – yes, I love sweaters! But I can only wear 1 at a time; owning 30 sweaters (for example) means that (assuming an 8 month long sweater season) I could only wear each sweater 8 times, on average.
That seems like it’s not a big enough number…
But still, I’m always reading this description, and considering the possibilities:
From the first time I saw this necklace, I was smitten. I adore black velvet, and I’ve worn pearls forever and ever – so what’s not to love?
Except I don’t dress up at all right now, and may not have the occasion to do so for quite a while…
That said, there are quite a few experts suggesting that the latter parts of the 2020s will be new “Roaring 20s” with a strong trend toward dressing nicely and just generally being pretty festive… There is a case to be made that one wants to be ready when this starts to gain momentum. And if you see something pretty, and tempting, and right for you, AND on sale, it might make sense…
For this next item, I have the perfect excuse – I’ve LOST my pearl earrings! How does one do these things?
But there’s a world full of women who live their entire lives without pearl earrings, and never miss them! And if I was enough of a knucklehead to lose the last pair, I clearly was a little bit careless with them…
For some reason, I’m not mad to own tons of shoes (nor handbags, frankly). But there’s always something lurking around the world that tempts the living daylights out of me. Black and white are already enough to push me over the edge, but knowing that these are from Thierry Rabotin, and that I thus could walk about 15 miles in them without pain… sigh…
And lastly (at least for this 15 minutes!), I’m longing for a pretty coat. Who could have watched the news on Wednesday and NOT wanted a new coat in a lovely color?
I KNOW that a pink coat in Chicago is just asking for filthy, filthy trouble… but it’s so… pink!
One thing that really prompted me to try something like this: when I’m searching for things to share with you on The Vivienne Files, I see a METRIC TON of used garments every minute. Tons. And they all look… droopy. Wrinkled, poorly photographs, and unappealing.
So I like to preserve a photograph of something that I buy in its lovely, pristine, brand-new glory. If everything you own looks like a scrub rag, you’re going to be easily tempted to buy new things! But if you can retain, in your mind, heart and closet, that feeling of excitement that you had when you first buy something, you can perhaps enjoy your purchase longer.
Eventually, I would like to be able to leaf (possibly digitally) through my personal version of this file, and recognize that the things that I DID buy were great choices, that the things I DIDN’T buy were mistakes well avoided, and then be able to think more intelligently about the things still on the bubble….
What questions would you ask yourself about a potential purchase? What could I leave out, and what should I add to my list of questions?
p.s. Just 5 months ago, I was pondering what I might buy from the Nordstrom Fall Sale… I only think about shopping every few months, but when I do it, I do it SERIOUSLY!