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Friday, January 8, 2010

When to Splurge: Anthropologie Sweater

A Mother-Daughter Rumination

Situation: Anthropologie has beautiful sweaters, many over $100. True statement pieces. Miss Em is swooning over a few. They go on sale seldom, if at all. Besides, this is not a good year for sales. Retailers, stung by overstock during the financial meltdown, do not have huge inventories. Next year will probably be a better year for sales.

Mother's View: Well, I am pathological. So my instinct is to say NO. Or rather, my instinct is to say WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR. Buying a pricey sweater now means that you won't be able to take advantage of later opportunities. Also, I know from experience that indulging just leads to more indulging. At least for most people. I also know from experience that ketchup and moths--or the worst, mustard--seek out your newest and most expensive items.

Complicating matters. Shopaholic Grandma offered to buy the sweater in lieu of a $100.00 cash gift. Also, Miss Em has several hundred dollars in her debit account, so she could buy it if she wanted to.

So, we turn the mic over to Miss Em. Miss Em, why have you not purchased the sweater???

Daughter's view:
Let me first point out: the sweater I want is not $100. It is $79.95, reduced from $148. That's a little better. I think.

Did you know brushing your teeth with your non-preferred hand can increase will power? Well, so can rejecting something you really really (REALLY!) want. It gets easier every time. Practice--putting down gorgeous and cheap Talbots merch. Practice--saying no to an Anthropologie sweater you've been lusting over for months that's finally gone on sale. Practice--not taking home a gorgeous $3 Banana Republic skirt at Goodwill because, let's face it, you already have a lot of skirts.

It's hard, especially when I know I can get the Anthro sweater. We save on so many other things!

But the fact remains that I buy a lot. That fact is always ready to confront me in the form of a little purple notebook in which I record of all my clothing purchases. I write down every. little. thing. By month, I tally number of items and total cost. The facts are there, and since starting this little journal, I feel much more able to make level-headed decisions (trust me, the beauty of this Anthro sweater is enough to make anyone woozy). I've only kept it about six months now. I'm hoping that the same way it's shown me how much I've bought over that time, it will show how little I buy over the next six months. Just in time to justify a spectacular Anthropologie sweater!
Bring it on.

Readers, how do you resolve these internal conflicts?

P.S. Here is a picture of the sweater. I didn't think it would EVER go on sale--it's too nice! The day it did, it sold out of almost every size within 24 hours. Sigh.

Is that the essence of beauty, or what?


Shelley said...

Sorry, if I'm honest, it doesn't do much for me. I do like the knitted detail at the waist and cuffs, mind. I think it is the vibrant tie-dye part that I wouldn't consider putting on me. It might look great on the right person. What it does make me itch a little for -- as does a great deal of the stuff that tempts me like this obviously does you -- is to try to figure out how to make it myself. I would be on cloud 9 if I knew how to make 1% of the the stuff that I drool over (mostly because it looks like I should be able to). But maybe you aren't that way inclined.

Well done you for building those resistance muscles. They will serve you well. As frugal as I am about most things, however, I live in a bigger than I need house and we travel a lot. What are you saving for?

Duchesse said...

"We save on so many other things" is the key comment to me. Saving for the sake of saving is pathological (Sorry Frugual, but you said it first, and you know I say it fondly). Saving so you can sometimes enjoy something that lifts your heart, or does good for someone else, is to me the whole point.

When I am captivated I do sleep on it (there is love and there is infatuation) but sometimes you have to act fast.

Funny about Money said...

Hmmm... I'm with Shelley on the looks of the prize sweater. On the other hand, in my case it may be my age showing: a young woman with a nice figure looks great in things that I'd be scared to put on.

The question is, given its vibrancy, will you still want to wear it in a year or two, or will you be sick of it? A sweater of that quality should last several years. If it does, $80 is a pretty good deal; but it can't be said to "last" if it's worn out its welcome in your closet.

Duchesse said...

She could spend $80 on dinner for two. I would not be so concerned about how long it lasts.

But Frugal and Miss Em, what did you do?

Revanche said...

I absolutely agree about working those resistance muscles, I do it a lot with things that really aren't that important.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Shelley--I wouldn't wear it either! I don't think it would be possible to make this either...Miss Em is very handy, but this would be beyond her. We save for travel and whatever...

@Duchesse--It was gone before Miss Em wrote her section. She had never tried it on; shipping is expensive; she was a bit unsure of what to do...

@Funny- I'm with you. I don't even wear prints. But Miss Em is in the learning stage and is quite a stylish dresser.

@Revanche--That's the key. A sweater isn't that important.