shopping: a dissection*

I'm still thinking about shopping habits, and thought one of my outfits this week nicely illustrated what I thought.


Here, I'm wearing a shirt, cardigan, jeans, loafers, and a watch. More accurately, I am wearing a microcosm of my shopping habits, each item illustrating a particular frame of mind when I buy something.

The no-brainer: The cardigan
It's about six years old, and one of those basics with serious legs (even though it's missing a button), more than I could have ever imagined whenI shrugged it on, found that it checked all the right boxes, and bought it, in maybe 10 minutes. I didn't have to think about buying it, and never once did I ever question the purchase. This is the perfect example of trusting your instincts and knowing when something is genuinely a good buy.

The carefully-considered investment: The watch
For years, I chewed the cud over which was the perfect design, how much I should spend on it, and set aside some cash from time to time until finances and opportunity crossed paths, and I finally bought it to mark a significant occasion. This was a painstakingly considered purchase but not an agonising one; if you're buying something you want to wear for life, what's a little time?

The emotionally-charged impulse: The jeans
It was a bad day, I was shopping my feelings. Fortunately, in this case, it worked out - I actually like these very much and wear them frequently. Unlike certain things I ended up giving away.

The gamble: The loafers
This was when loafers were still an occasion thing, rather than a staple - at that point I wasn't actually sure if I could stylistically work them into my wardrobe on an everyday basis. Now, I consider them a necessity. I guess I made the right bet. I've made plenty of wrong bets though.

The "variations on a theme": The shirt
Shirts are a staple, and I knew I wanted a couple more casual-ish ones that I could wear any day of the week. When I saw this, I knew this was the perfect addition to my family of blue shirts. These buys are meant to be slightly different versions of the same thing to keep my uniform from becoming boring. Once I hit a happy balance of variety and consistency, I'm content.

How would you categorise your purchases?

* - I know it seems like I have nothing better to do then to think about shopping, but once I start on a train of thought, I have to get it out. Hence this post. I assure anyone reading this I'm actually a gainfully employed person with a healthy social life and don't shop all that much.


Kate said…
I know these categories very well - in some cases more than I'd care to admit. I really like how you've classified the different kinds of purchase. It would be useful to think, when shopping, what category your prospective purchase comes under. Great post.
Jade said…
i love the analysis of your style. it shows you have insight into your shopping behavior, which is important because shopping is not free! also, i am impressed by your ability to think over purchases and exercise restraint. impulse is a tough demon to conquer, especially when you are a style lover, as i am!
Joy said…
Haha I feel ya right there. The thing I don't like about being a "fashion blogger" is that it makes us all seem like wanton materialistic bloodsuckers when that is only one small small facet of our real personalities. Though that may not be true for all of the bloggers out there I think discussing about fashion intelligently helps make me feel a bit better talking about clothes :P So I agree with you and your purchases and you shouldn't feel too guilty!
miss sophie said…
hehe i totally get what you mean about the different types of purchases. the best purchase really is like your cardigan - i've gotten a lot better at honing in on those and snapping them up quickly and without any regrets! :)
yanqin said…
kate: thanks! i can think of a few sub-categories but ran out of steam...

jade: thanks. i think everyone eventually finds a comfort zone, i'm 27, it's about time i figured out my spending habits!

joy: sometimes i look through my posts and realise how obsessive it all sounds, haha. but this is and has always been a space to think about these things for me, so what else is there to put here, if not my ramblings..

miss sophie: i still remember the way you sorted out your shopping lists, that was really organised! i love it when i make confident purchases, and the more of those i make, the easier it is to trust my gut.
Ellinor Forje said…
I like the simplicity of your outfit, yet it could be worn anywhere, office, and with some heels on, to the cocktail hour. Thanks for sharing the images and feel free to drop by me too, soon.
yanqin said…
ellinor forje: thanks!
Pret a Porter P said…
An excellent post. I'm too lazy to think about what categories things fall into for me. I used to be guilty of those pick me up purchases. And I've learned to push aside those "I've been trying on clothes all day and I'm frustrated that nothing fits me and I'm hungry so f* it I'm going to buy the 1st thing that kind of fits." LOL! Sometimes I get in an over-thinking mode and others were snap decisions. I rarely buy things the 1st time I see them. A quote from one of Bazaar's style books that has stuck with me is: "Feel good about what you spend your money on." Even if something only cost 10 bucks if I'm not feeling good about it, it has to go back.
Anonymous said…
Thank you for breaking this down for me. I guess these categories of purchases do go through my mind subconsciously but you did a great job in spelling them out.

It funny how I never wore a watch after having children. But a cartier is a great investment.
yanqin said…
Pret a Porter P: I 100% identify with some of what you said. And I used to not understand what that Bazaar quote meant until I really thought about it and realised that clothes that give me a sinking feeling of guilt when I hand over money for it usually come to no good end. $10 or $1,000, a good buy makes you feel good.

justeileen: I think like a lot of people I have a whole spectrum of feelings about shopping, and my outfit just seem encapsulate quite a few!

About the watch that's quite interesting! I would have thought keeping time would be essential to staying organised as a mum, but maybe the opposite effect is that it makes you slow down and savour time spent with loved ones rather than checking the time for the next thing to do?
Alice said…
hhaahah that last sentence is the best. i just started blogging and i'm having trouble coming to terms with the fact that i'm apparently obsessed with clothes enough to write posts and posts about them.

the way you described cardigan was perfect

what watch do you have? i have a nixon time teller and it definitely "spoke" to me when i saw it.
lin said…
Alice: It's a Cartier Tank Solo - I've always liked the style and it isn't too flashy. I've worn it almost every day since I got it so it's definitely been a very worthwhile buy.

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