I’ve been trying really hard to spend as little money as possible lately, which makes it hard to write reviews of products I’ve purchased. I’ve unsubscribed from most of my favorite retailers’ promotional emails and I’ve tried to avoid the Mall of America like the plague. When I browse my favorite fashion bloggers’ sites, I try to remind myself of my short-term financial goals, and, for the most part, I haven’t been tempted to shop for anything they’ve been wearing.
I did make one shopping-related compromise. Since I have the Old Navy VISA and use that for all my purchases (gas, groceries, etc.), I get lots of Old Navy rewards certificates. My compromise to myself was that I could shop, but only using those reward certificates. So if I got a $20 reward certificate in the mail, I’d be allowed to spend $20 on Old Navy/Gap/Banana Republic stuff. And that would be the extent of my shopping allowance.
All my rules went out the window last weekend, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it). I’ve been getting tons of birthday-related coupons from all my favorite stores, and I felt compelled to put them to good use. I also had a couple store credit vouchers lying around that had been on my mind. I figured this was the perfect time to get all of that out of my system.
I stopped at H&M first. It’s been a really long time since I’ve purchased anything from H&M. There’s something about the layout of the store that overwhelms me. Anytime I’ve walked past it, I’ll think, “Hmm, I’m sure they have good deals, but I don’t want to fight the crowds to move from rack to rack, and I definitely don’t want to stand in their never-ending checkout line.” But this morning I had arrived at the mall right when it opened, so most of the stores were relatively empty. I was able to freely bounce from rack to rack. I was even able to easily get a fitting room — twice!
I’ve wanted a grey pea coat for a really long time. I’m confident this jacket will provide next to zero warmth on our bitter cold Minnesota days, but I think it’ll work for fall and spring days where you just need a midweight layer. I love the popped collar on the neck — it reminds me of the colorblock J Crew winter coat I bought last year, but that jacket’s collar was more of a funnel collar and it was incredibly stiff and uncomfortable. This one is flexible so you could have it popped without causing trouble for your neck/hair. It’s also soft enough that you could fold it over if the popped collar thing isn’t your bag.
I went on a scarf buying spree a few years ago and haven’t worn most of them since. I just go in phases with scarves — I either wear them every day or I go months (or years) without wearing a single one. I loved this scarf the moment I saw it, but didn’t pick it up right away, thinking I’d probably never wear it. However, after I found the marled maroon sweater that I purchased, I decided the scarf had to come home with me. It’s an infinity scarf, which means it’s easy to wear because there’s no decision about how to tie it.
I love these sweaters (I bought the “pink,” which looks more maroon to me, and the black) because they are long. I can wear them with leggings and not feel totally inappropriate. I stopped in Old Navy later in the day and found sweaters that were similar, although I don’t think they’re as long. I’m going to wait a couple weeks to see if Old Navy has a decent sale, then I might buy one or two of theirs and return one from H&M.
After buying way too much at H&M, I stopped at DSW. I had a birthday coupon for $5 and it was burning a hole in my purse. I didn’t see anything I had to have, nor was anything that great of a deal with a $5 discount, so instead of buying shoes, I bought a three-pack of socks. How exciting!
A couple years ago, I over-spent while at Forever 21. I bought a few ridiculous things that I somehow rationalized in the store. Luckily I returned them before the 21-day return deadline, but it meant I got a store credit voucher with a sizable balance. Most of the purchases I’ve made at Forever 21 since that day have been necklaces and other accessories that were priced less than $3 a piece. I went into the store this weekend hoping to find a few blouses I could wear to work, but there was nothing. Crop tops aren’t acceptable according to my office’s dress code, unfortunately. (Well, fortunately — I don’t think any of us want to see each other wearing crop tops.) Luckily their accessories department never disappoints me.
So clearly I’m having a scarf buying spree on this trip. There have been multiple times I’ve thought, “A grey scarf would look good with this outfit,” but I’ve never had one before. Now I do. I’ve also been obsessed with this red plaid flannel print for a few years. It always pops up in my Pinterest feed, and on most of my favorite bloggers’ outfits of the day. I don’t really have a need for a red flannel shirt and am not ready to commit to one — the $6 scarf seemed more versatile.
As for the necklace, I really have no explanation for why I bought it. It’s been awhile since I’ve bought a larger statement necklace — I figured this satisfied that hunger. *I can’t find the necklace on Forever 21’s site anywhere — sorry!
My last credit card swipe was in Express. Similar to Forever 21, most of the tops in Express are crop tops right now (at least in the clearance section, which tells me a majority of Americans don’t want them any more than I do). I like their Editor pants, but have no need for more pants. But I did have a $10 birthday coupon to use…
So I spent a bit of money in Express. However, I had additional coupons on top of my birthday coupon, so I paid a little less than half of what the original price was. Anyway. I don’t think I will ever have enough black cardigans, so one more felt fine. I also bought a cream one, which I haven’t decided on yet. And it wouldn’t be a scarf buying spree trip if I didn’t buy another scarf. This one has great colors and is super soft, but the print is actually skulls. I tell myself it’s a good balance of hard and soft. I’m pretty confident no one will be able to identify the scull print when I’m wearing it, though.
There were a few other scarves I liked at Express, but I couldn’t rationalize paying the price.
We’ll see how I do now that I’ve gotten one shopping splurge out of the way. Most of my friends and family members know that I’m a serial returner, so there’s a good chance most of this will never even make it into my closet. Time will tell!