When’s the last time you went to a sample sale and came out feeling like the most informed shopper planet Earth has ever known?
That’s never happened? Cool! That makes me feel much better about how terrible I am at sample sales, too. Just last week, in fact, I almost bought a velvet turtleneck balloon dress by simple virtue of the price slash. I had to stop myself and ask, What are you doing? When I did this, I looked back at myself like a puddle of Derek Zoolander and retorted, I don’t know. Which I didn’t.
We get so eager about sales, fire-breathing consumption dragons that we are, and before you know it, we’re practically pillaging. Fast forward three months et voila: sweaters, sweaters, everywhere, but shit, I don’t have pants. This is because we panic shop. Or maybe you don’t and I’m bringing you down with me, so I’ll rephrase. I panic shop. Things go on sale, I get competitive in my thinking they’ll sell out, I fill up my cart like the Internet is a video game and end up spending more money, no question, that I would at retail on stuff that, no question, I don’t even want.
A couple of years ago, I started putting together lists of questions to ask myself before I buy. I find that they have to change because the impetus for which I want to buy stuff changes fairly frequently. So before I motorboat into the cleavage of Black Friday, here’s what I plan to ask:
1. Do I actually want this thing? This one has been coming up more and more as product drops occur more frequently and we are thus inundated with photos of stuff we think we want, but actually probably kind of don’t. They say you can’t unsee things, and sometimes seeing things is all it takes to make you feel like you need/want something new but guess what? The mind is a powerful tool that must be leveraged to stop your id from acting like a greedy dragon!
2. Will it make getting dressed any easier? Is this the magical item that will change the way the rest of your closet looks and feels? Will your old, pilled sweaters suddenly feel like fresh unicorns trotting through the forrest? White jeans suddenly become the psychedelic trip for which you’ve been in constant pursuit? If the answer is yes, BUY THE DAMN THING! If it’s no, ask yourself…
3. Will I be happy I have it three months from now? Six months? A year? Sometimes we get mad excited to buy shit just because we want to buy shit, but then we get home and we’re still riding on the high so we try to convince ourselves we needed that snow globe then a week passes, a month passes, two months pass and you start to feel like, shit I could have really used that money on something else. Like a huge meringue pie to buy and share with people I love, for example.
4. Would I buy it if it weren’t on sale? Would I want it if someone offered to give it to me? If the answer to either of these questions is no, the following question is, what void are you trying to fill with this purchase? Talk to me, let’s work through this.
5. How’s it going to change the rest of my wardrobe? Kind of the same question as number 2, but that’s because it is really that important.