the bargain effect

it happens to me all the time: i save up and get a chunk of money ready to go shopping, and I decide I’ll be good and buy one nice thing rather than waste it on the little fripperies it’s too easy to dribble it away on.

and then…I spot something from a fancy brand, a dress maybe, at some crazy sale price that’s still more than I should be spending, in just my size, and it must be fate. so I try it on, and it looks so ‘different’ in the mirror when I try it on, and it fits perfectly.

and then…i buy it. i take it home. i wear it the next day, because i always wear new clothes the day after i’ve bought them.

and then…i never wear it again.

that’s what I call the “bargain effect”: it’s s much harder to make a sensible choice when the price tag is bothering you. it happens almost every time, and that’s why 90% of my regular wardrobe is made of cheap clothes I buy in bulk.

and then… I put together an outfit in the morning, and sooner or later, I end up thinking: “I can’t wear that, it was $12”. and I feel guilty wearing that item, all day long.

i don’t know how to fix it, but lately here are some strategies that have been helping:

  • actively researching the pricey items that would work with my wardrobe. that way, next time i feel like splurging i’ll have a list of options to go to, rather than casting around for inspiration.
  • avoiding wasting my money on fripperies, so there’s more in the bank and less pressure to go for bargains when I do go shopping.
  • experimenting with new ways to work my wardrobe so i can get some use out of those splash-out items. otherwise what’s the point?

here’s my wishlist at the moment:


a gorgeous watch (this month The Fifth is donating part of their profits to charity, so i might even splurge on this one)


a pair of edgy, high-high-high heeled boots to fix up any outfit i have the slightest problems with


comfortable trousers that aren’t jeans. i haven’t met the right ones yet. these are pretty close but i have to build up my confidence first…


and a nice black or grey skirt that isn’t long enough to be frumpy, but isn’t short enough to raise eyebrows

and then… maybe I’ll have learned my lesson.

now which to buy first…


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