I haven’t bought a lot of clothes in a long time. A really, really, REALLY long time. Like back to 2009-ish I’d say. Sartorially speaking, I’ve subsisted entirely on business suits and 1 pair of jeans (re purchased every year) for the last 4 to 5 years. Here’s how that went down.
1) I got my heart broken really badly in 2009. I was extremely depressed but I managed to parlay my frustration with my life and how it was going into studying for the GMAT and then getting into pretty much every business to which I applied (frock yeah, go me). To deal with my depression while being quite productive, I ate everything in sight and gained 40 pounds (I hate that I am admitting this).
2) Before I started business school I lost 20 lbs. So I brought myself down from teetering on the verge of obesity to just being a chunk. I did not want to be a chunk so I only bought sensible things to get me through business school, like business suits for interviewing. I never allowed myself to spend on business casual clothes for the size I was at when I started business school.
3) I stayed at the same weight until late 2011, almost right after I got hired (with an extremely huge bonus) by an international pharma company. The bonus and the prospect of a new job and life outside of school sort of propelled me into taking my health more seriously and I lost 15 more pounds. This basically put me right back where I was in 2009 and I started to fit into all my old clothes. But hey, it turns out that trends change and bootcut jeans had given way to skinny jeans.
4) In early 2012 I start working on my own company. I raised some VC, moved to NYC and within 8 months…sold the company. I continue to not purchase clothes because at this point I’ve given up my job-with-a-bonus and I have no money to buy any, so I just rely on old clothes from my lawyer days. The company that bought mine lets me work out of the house so I don’t buy any clothes.
5) We decide to buy a home within 1 year and cut down on almost all discretionary purchases. I continue to not own any clothes.
6) We buy a home. A really good friend of mine invites me to come work for her…outside the home, at a real office. I realize that I need some real clothes again. We start packing up our stuff and B looks at my teeny tiny pile of clothes and says “buy some clothes, you never do anything for yourself.” A couple of weeks ago we bought some new boots so I could walk through the subways comfortably. How things change, readers! Four years ago I would never have deigned to wear anything less than four inches but now that I actually have to walk everywhere, often up and down steep stairs in NYC subways I was like “motorcycle boot me with some flats!”
So here we are. I went on a shopping spree today (40, 50 and 60% of sales everywhere due to Veteran’s Day) and I have more than enough clothes to last me for another 4 years. I must admit that I feel really good about myself in them-even B who is super blunt and will look at me and say “time for us to get back on the treadmill” was like “wow, you look…really nice. Really nice.”
So with Veteran’s Day sales driving my shopping spree I picked up some adorable stuff from Blandana, J Crew and GAP, which paired with older stuff pretty much make up a nice sized professional wardrobe. I might buy a few cheap sweaters here and there but after 4 years of not buying anything I kind of feel like “Holy crap, I have so many clothes!”
I hate to write about stuff like “oh, look at what I bought!” but you have to understand that I have purchased NOTHING, as in literally NOTHING for years now. And we have been so miserly for the last year. Other than going out to see friends, we’ve pretty much done nothing. In fact, we thought 17 times about even taking a honeymoon after we came back from India but we booked a cheap little Mexican getaway sometime in May when it went on ultra discount. I very much promise that this will not descend into a shopping blog!
(oh and not to mention I want to bring back stuff up in Boston. My parents save everything so I KNOW my mom has all those adorable flowy peasant tops from my early 20s stashed somewhere. They are going to look adorable with my new skinny jeans)
The Rise of the Skinny Jean/Riding Boot Combo
I still think boot cut is far more flattering on average, but there is something cute about wearing skinnies tucked into boots. A couple of weeks I lost yet another pair of shoes to age related destruction so when Band I were out at a movie near a mall I bought these boots at DSW. I love love love them. In fact, I dragged out a ripped pair of GAP skinnies (as in, they ripped in the butt, not like, deliberately ripped jeans) from last year and have been wearing them, rips and all, with these boots.
Rounding out my dresses for those days when I have to look a little bit more put together.
I also managed to score 2 more dresses that I think were leftover from the summer season and therefore no longer being shown online. Both are sleeveless, so I can use them with sweaters in winter and transition to spring and summer while shedding some layers. One is kelly green with navy piping and one is mostly black with a block of white at the bottom. Tres cute. I absolutely adore BR’s dresses. I think they pretty much deliver a vintage/sheath shape almost every year since Mad Men came out.
This is one of the places where I’m safest. It’s rare that tops go out of style and even when they do, you’ll find that they can come back in just as fast, or perhaps an older style can be paired with a modern one for a newer look. I invested heavily in the peasant blouse trend of 2001-2003 and you know what? I think they’d look adorbs paired with skinny pants. I really hope my parents still have all of them because I swear 3 years ago I told Mummy to donate them all to Goodwill.
I got 3 tops and tees at J. Crew in royal blue (my favorite color! I even got my wedding lehenga in royal blue), dark maroon and white. It’s rare that I let myself buy from expensive brands like J.Crew for things like tops, because you can get them so cheap at Forever 21. Typically I’m only willing to invest for some quality in dresses, skirts and pants and I get all my sweaters and tops and tshirts at uber cheap places like F21, Target or TJMaxx but hey, an insane sale is an insane sale.
So that’s it for now. It’s funny because when I gained weight and felt unattractive…I almost entirely stopped looking at magazines, going out to malls or perusing what was available online. And my consumption level dropped significantly. But somewhere along the way I stopped the habit of looking at stuff and even though my weight has stabilized again and I feel more attractive, I just lost interest. While I was looking for the pics for today’s post I was like “oooh, that’s cute” but then I thought about all the property tax I am set to pay and closed the browser. I was very financially stable and scrupulous about purchases even in my 20s but in my 30s I just feel like stuff is stuff is stuff. I think I’d rather go on vacation. See a bit of the world.
Till you make enough to have everything you want, you’ve got to pick and choose…so adios to new pants for the next four years.