You’re walking down the street, minding your own damn business. Maybe you’re checking out your butt in the bank window reflection. Maybe someone catches you doing that. Luckily, a sign catches you, too. The sign says “sale.” And even though you swear you aren’t spending money this week, passing up discounted jeans feels like a financial waste. Against your own will and better judgement, you enter the store.
It turns into a free-for-all — literally. In your mind, 40% off a $900 pair of shoes is free. So what if you previously declared them “ugly as shit and not my style” and “ew no I’d never wear those.” They’re on sale now, and they’re kinda your size.
What this says about you: You have a lot of crap you don’t need, but your coupon game is tight. You excel at last-minute gifting because your closet is a storage unit of still-tagged items, and you’re diplomatic in your retail strategy — all inventory is fare game. Buy three toothbrushes, get a vacuum half off! Hell yes. Down Coats Must Go! (Because it’s July!) You’ll take ’em.
Bragging rights: let your friends call you a hoarder all they want. You’re the one whose 2-year-old gamble on a pair of high waisted cropped flares finally paid off. Pink tag at night, sale-er’s delight.
Heaven help the gullible shopper. You enter stores with pure intentions and focused goals; you’re here to buy a pair of work-appropriate pants and a smart blazer. You’ve got an interview coming up but your last job was at a Cheerio farm, so you really do, for the sake of your future, need a few things.
But here comes the salesperson, and she’s bored. No one’s come in all day! She’s also harboring dreams of becoming the lead costume designer on Broadway but wants to get her styling chops in first. So suddenly you’re her project. Suddenly, she’s coming at you with pants the size of Saturn and an orange blouse so loud, someone across the street reported a noise disturbance to the police. You trust her, though. You believe her trend predictions and eat up her compliments — “That fur pimp hat looks marvelous on you!” — then you leave the store poor with an outfit that in no way will get you the job you now really need to pay for this stuff.
What this says about you: you may have gone in the wrong store.
Bragging rights: you’re friends with all the salespeople, so they let you use the secret employee bathroom and don’t mind if you bring more than 6 items in the dressing room. You also have an outfit for every imaginable occasion. Except interview clothes. Still need that.
Eye of the Tiger
You saw a pair of shoes on Instagram and knew from the moment you tapped for credits that they were yours. You’ve mentally built at least three outfits around them — that’s what you always do to make sure the buy deserves a place in your closet — and deduced that you also need striped tunic shirt to complete the dream team trifecta.
You know what store you’re going to for the shoes and you’ve already bookmarked the website that carries your shirt. Like Khaleesi, you will not be swayed. There will be no browsing. There will be no superfluous shopping cart editions. No talking — you’re not here to make friends. No, you don’t want to see similar styles. Eyes on the prize, baby.
What this says about you: you have a closet that reflects your current style and mood. You do, of course, experience flashes of regret when a party invitation calls for an all-pink dress code two weeks after you avoided Zara’s spring blush section. But you also don’t have to store your sweaters in the oven.
Bragging rights: Your edit’s so tight that when people say, “That’s so you,” you agree. Nothing is more satisfying…except for those tapped-for-credits shoes.
You can’t just buy the sneakers. You have to research the sneakers first. The best sneakers. The ones with the newest technology and strongest arch support and highest reviews. You’re like a dad buying a new digital camera. You labor over your purchases for weeks if not longer, and have packed-to-the-brim shopping carts lingering throughout the Internet. Your friends are sick of you texting them colorway options: “Should I get the blue and red with the white, or the white and red with the blue?” No one cares. They just want you to buy the trainers so you can move on already.
What this says about you: You’re careful! And thoughtful. You probably spell-check text messages and double-check attachments in emails, too. You’ve never accidentally sent a screen shot of someone to that person.
Bragging rights: You can sleep easy knowing you get the best bang for your buck, and you’re the only one in your friend group whose selfie-stick hasn’t broken yet.
The Taylor Swift of Shopping
Emotions, rather than planets, dictate your purchases. Flying high off a raise or a sugar rush? Then that hat, that bag, those jeans and this sweater are not only calling your name, they are singing it from the rooftop because you know whose hills are alive? Yours. The motto, Drake/Lil Wayne, is not only YOLO, but TREATYO (self).
What this says about you: You’re in touch with your inner you and can add the fun word “impulsive!” to your various online profiles with honesty.
Bragging rights: Your closet, while perhaps a little bit scary, is packed with magpie treasures covered in tassels, sparkles, sequins and thick red embroidery. No one buys vanilla yogurt to celebrate or cry.
Which one are you, and who did I forget?
Illustrations by Autumn Kimball