You see, my theme for 2013- in all areas of my life, not just shopping- is to "elevate." I'm going to apply this theme to everything I do- from work to my social life to my hobbies to my home life- everything! From now on, everything I do will be a notch above what it used to be. I don't have to reach the sky in everything, just elevate a little, but do it across the board. So there it is: elevate.
The idea came from that period last year when I felt no desire to purchase anything for myself. I still loved shopping, but I had no reason to buy. I was perfectly content with the contents of my wardrobe. After living through that period, I was able to reflect back on it and realize that my feelings of contentment came from knowing that I had great pieces in my closet, great accessories to match with them and great shoes to finish it all off. I'd stopped spending my money on cheap junk. It was a bit of an epiphany for me.
It's so easy to get caught up in bargain shopping that we often end up spending money on cheap junk that doesn't last, either because it's a silly fad or because it's so poorly made that it only survives a few washes before you have to toss it. Once I realized this, I resolved to only purchase quality pieces from now on. My logic is simple: spend a little more for a higher quality piece, and in the long run save money because I'm buying fewer pieces. However, "elevating" doesn't always mean spending more. At consignment shops, sample sales or just really great store sales, I can find high end pieces at bargain prices. As long as the items themselves are quality, that's all that matters.
My Kate Spade bag is a perfect example of this. It's a classic color and style and the quality is good enough that I won't have to buy another brown handbag for quite a while. And while I bought it for about $200, it would normally retail for closer to $500. I've already gotten several months use out of it and it still looks and feels brand new. I purged my handbag collection a while ago and only kept the best ones- the real leather, the high-end designers, the classic ones that will last for years.
On my recent shopping spree, I kept my "elevate" theme in mind. I knew I needed a new sweater or two, so I decided to only consider cashmere. And as for the boots, well, that's a whole other story that has little to do with my "elevate" theme and more to do with luck. I'd tried them on at TJ Maxx several months ago, when they were about $100. Typical retail price is closer to $200, so they felt like a decent deal at the time. However, I passed on them because I had just bought a couple pair of boots, and even though these were really nice ones, I just didn't need them. Well, the other day on my shopping spree, I stopped into a Marshalls and saw them for $48. I tried them on and they were a little too big- my foot was wiggling around inside them. Again, I passed. Even at $48, they're not a deal if they'll be too uncomfortable to wear. On my way home, I popped into TJ Maxx and there I found not only a gorgeous Cynthia Rowley cashmere sweater, but the same boots for just $39 and they were my size! It was kismet!
So, now that I've give you the world's longest description and shopping explanation, here's my outfit with the sweater and boots:
I should have taken a shot of just the boots while I had the on. Fail. Instead, I have this terrible photo, but at least you can see the cool details:
I love how the heel and toe have the darker shading on them and I also love the buckles. The heel is a little high for work. I had to switch to flats about half-way through the day, but maybe once they're broken in I'll be able to last a little longer. We'll see.