Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Shopping Hiatus Reflections

Earlier Drafts:
I wore this skirt in one of my first blog posts, and Katie has this shirt in a different shade.

eyeglasses (Kate Spade)
black beaded necklace (NY&Co)
teal striped top (H&M)
charcoal pencil skirt (NY&Co)
teal leather Mary Janes (Seychelles via Endless)

Ye proponents of colored shoes, I have finally joined your ranks!  You might recall that one of my back-to-school purchases was a great pair of pale yellow slice wedges, and while those are technically colored and were too versatile to resist, they didn't quell my desire to find a perfect "pop of color wedge."  I had scoured the malls and internet for the perfect pair of brightly colored wedges until I finally found this perfect pair of shoes.  However, the price was outside my comfort zone, and I didn't want to spend a lot of money on something just to satisfy the thrill of the chase. I thought it would be a good idea to take some time away from shopping to consider what my closet really needed most.  During this time, I also thought about how I might incorporate these shoes into my wardrobe. After the thirty day hiatus, I bought them with confidence because I knew that they could serve as a new staple in my wardrobe, which would make them worth the investment.  They're slightly different in appearance than a wedge, so they add a little more variety to my shoe collection than a standard wedge would have.  The placement of the heel makes them feel like a wedge, though, so it was sort of a win-win.  I also think that because they're brightly colored but closed-toe, I can wear them in all four seasons with aplomb, so that adds to their versatility.

In previous posts, I've shared my belief that a great new accessory can help you to re-think your entire wardrobe.  Before I found these shoes, which are described as "teal," I would have told you I didn't own anything teal.  I knew I wanted a pair of shoes in some hue of blue, but it wasn't until I found this specific pair online that I realized how strong my attraction is to this particular color family.

I'm looking forward to finding ways to wear these shoes with items of apparel that I already own.  While I know they'll look great with all these coordinating tops, I'm also hoping to learn to wear them as a contrasting pop of color, too.

Wardrobe Workhorse Week coincided with my shopping hiatus, and I came away from this combined experience with a new appreciation for the items currently hanging in my closet.  There were quite a few things I had on my "wants" list before I stopped shopping, but after thinking critically about my wardrobe for a month, I realized that that was definitely not a "needs" list.  The only thing I plan to purchase in the near future is another pair of skinny jeans.  As I've said, this semester calls for more casual dressing than past ones have, so a new pair of jeans will get enough wear to justify the purchase.  While the advertisers are suggesting there are new items that I "must have" this season, I don't see how any of them will fill an existing void in my wardrobe, so I'm going to pass on buying anything else until I can really conceptualize how it will benefit my closet to add it.

I also enjoyed staying away from shopping websites and stores.  I was visiting these shoes online to make sure they disappeared, but otherwise it was a complete hiatus from shopping, not just from purchasing.  This was timed nicely with the beginning of my semester and kept me from being tempted to waste precious time at online retailers.  I might try something similar at the end of the semester, too.

  • When you want to take a break from shopping, how do you implement this strategy?  Do you limit shopping altogether or do you just limit buying?  Do you enforce a day limit like I did?  Or a dollar limit?  Or do you take a less regimented approach?  I actually broke the shopping hiatus rule one day early to snag the last pair of these shoes in my size, so I wonder if a more flexible hiatus would have been a good idea.  The hiatus had served it's purpose before the 30 days were up, I think.
  • I think we've all experienced buyer's remorse, but have you ever experienced waiter's remorse? I would have hated to see these shoes go after spending a month thinking about how well they'd work in my wardrobe.
  • Have you bought anything this season that is giving new life to the items you already own?  What is it?
  • I love teal/turquoise with navy, so I'm looking forward to that pairing, but it's still not a "contrast."  What colors should I pair these shoes with to really make them stand out?


Iris said...

Some things that you are saying here definately hit home for me. I am attempting not to shop right now which I complete my personal style challenge but, not partaking in an all out hiatus either. If I see something I really like and need I will pick it up but, chances are I don't need it. It has helped me curb my spending and use what I have in ways that I never thought about before, much like you experience with wardrobe workhorse week.

I have experienced waiters remorse but, the more you do it the more you realize that waiting is a good thing. I often find that if I don't jump on somehting when I first see it I will find somethign similar and cheaper later. It's been worth it.

As for those shoes, I would pair them with an outfit that featured red, orange, yellow (generally warm colors) probably gray, definately brown... the possibilities for you are endless :)

Boz said...

Egads, Liz, there is an eerie sort of mirroring going on between our closets these days. We favor similar items. I wore a pair of teal mary-jane heels much like yours for my MA defense two years ago, so obviously I applaud this shoe purchase!

I'd echo Iris in suggesting some warm-color complement pairings, but you can also put some jewel tones together in the fall. I was pretty excited when I put my teal shoes on with purple tights last winter--they were the both pops of color in an outfit otherwise mainly grey and black.

Katie, Interrobangs Anonymous said...

For me, teal functions as a neutral. There's nothing it doesn't go with it - red, brown, grey, yellow, green, purple - it's all fabulous!

Diana said...

I love this entire outfit, but particularly the shoes! Teal is my favorite color, and I can't believe I don't yet have any teal shoes. It goes with practically everything in my book. I particularly like it with more yellowy greens and reddish brown (like on the heels of your shoes). It's also surprisingly nice with tomato or watermelon red, which surprised me a bit when I first tried it because I don't actually like either blue or green with red, but somehow teal works.

Scholar Style Guide said...

I second Katie: what color *doesn't* teal pair well with? So glad these heels were awaiting you after your hiatus!

If you're looking for more contrast, perhaps a monochrome look -- allover black or grey or even winter white, say -- would emphasize your new kicks. The suggestions to pair them with jewel tones are smart, too.

My first pair of black boots definitely breathed new life into my already-have clothing. Suddenly I wanted to wear tights + skits every day! Sometimes all it takes is a single item to make me see my closet with a fresh perspective.


Scholar Style Guide said...

Can't wait to try out your suggestions! I actually don't own any brightly colored tights, but that strikes me as a fun, cheap way to add a little more flair to my winter wardrobe.


Rad_in_Broolyn said...

I really like this outfit! And those shoes are amazing.
I've been not shopping for about 2 1/2 months now (only 9 1/2 left to go). I am still allowed to buy accessories on the GAAD, and I did buy a very reasonably priced scarf in Germany, but I thought of it as more of a souvenir than anything else. Right now, it's been OK but I must admit that I waste time (no, it's a necessary mental break) occasionally lusting after clothes that I won't allow myself to buy. Mostly shoes, actually.
I like teal a lot, but my old roommate always made fun of me for wearing it. I think it goes well with the grey, but I wonder how it might look with brown? Is it too "cool" of a color to go with warm/earthy tones? I think it would look good with a dark chocolate colored skirt/tights. I don't know what else on top. I am no color expert. I just know that I dig those shoes.