Yeah, so I'm obsessively frugal. Whether this is a matter of nature or of nurture, I do not know. The other child in my family is obsessively NOT frugal, which does not settle the matter one way or the other.
It is a sad truth that every time I TRY to splurge or even depart so slightly from the frugal path, I am thwarted. Two recent examples serve to reinforce this truth.
Jeans: I love thrift stores because I can test drive items or brands that I would not otherwise. I just got my first pair of Not Your Daughter's Jeans, a brand aimed at the middle-aged. The previous owner had cut out all labels (ERGHHHH. Hate that), but I knew the brand from the embossed button and they seemed to fit OK, though perhaps a bit big. When I got home, Mr. FS (who seldom notices anything I have on) said Those look nice. Are they new?
A few days later, the elegant and witty blogger Deja Pseu wrote in praise of these jeans.
I decided I wanted some straight legs too, so I hightailed a half-mile downtown to a local boutique that carries the brand. I rationalized: I am helping a local business. Blahblahblah.
I tried on several styles and several of the same size within each style--and NOTHING fit as well as my thrift store model, which is not--obviously--of the current season. Even jeans of the same style and the same size fit differently. Perhaps the quality control is not so good? Farewell to the $100.00 jean.
ELM Design: This is an Icelandic line praised by the elegant Metscan of Finland. Amazingly, my favorite liquidation store, the super chic United Apparel Liquidator, sent me an email announcing a shipment of this very line. Also, amazing, my fashion consultant (my daughter) had just gotten home from her summer job, so we hightailed the 1 1/2 miles to the local outlet.
Anything you buy from UAL is technically frugal, because the prices range from a few dollars to way up there, but all is about 75% off retail--before further markdowns. We spied the ELM rack. The clothes are absolutely beautiful. They are made--so they say--for the over-40 woman. And they looked abysmal on me. Every last thing. So bad that I felt tears of horror in my eyes: who is that ungainly being in the mirror?
All was not lost, however. We found another Scandinavian line--Odyn jeans. My daughter had bought some a few months ago; they are long enough for her almost 5'11" height. The few remaining pairs were marked down to $2.50. So she bought some. Perhaps frugality is her destiny too.