I am a full believer in the phrase “shop around.” If there is something you’ve been looking for and you are like me, that image in your head is the exact thing you want. You should not settle to BUY. You are the only one that can control what comes out of your personal wallet, so do not ever think buying something will make up for what you actually want. I have learned this concept the hard way. Buying a hot new item the first time I see it, even though it is not the exact version and then regret it when I eventually find the real thing. It’s called being impulsive, an impulsive shopper.
The first step is admitting that you have a problem. Boy have I tried this tactic; it hasn’t work yet…but I still try to hold back as much as possible before making a purchase on impulse. These can be the best types of purchases AND the worst types. For instance, I have found some great finds in stores that I clearly did not need but if you asked me today what my favorite top is, it’s that oversized, off-white sweater I found at Calvin Klein that one time I walked in and cannot wear it enough! Some of my other purchases, like that skirt I looked at for months and finally bought at Banana Republic for that year’s Thanksgiving, it still has the tag on it…
Going back to the phrase “shop around,” really works. I have done a study, (within my own head and for my knowledge only), that if you wait to buy something, and weeks go by and you forget about it, or find something better, than it was a good decision to have “shopped around.” I also find that “shopping around” allows you to explore other options you may not have thought of if you already bought it.
I can name a couple of different wardrobe essentials that every woman should have in their closet. These staple pieces are also the most difficult to find each season, let alone, look good once you find it. These pieces include the perfect bathing suit, trench coat, LBD, plain white tee, ballet flats, etc. and how could we forget the #1 item worn in the U.S….DENIM. Blue, black, grey, straight leg, skinny leg, bootleg, mid-rise, high-rise, low-rise denim jeans. Jeans are probably my least favorite thing to shop for, right next to bathing suits, but I recently had a realization. I was looking in the wrong places.
Whenever I need a new pair of jeans, well, I never NEED them but ya know… anyways, when I WANTED to buy another pair of jeans, I always used to go to my favorite brand stores known for their denim like Gap, American Eagle, and J. Crew. All are great brands with great quality, but what I was missing in my pair of jeans was the way they “hugged” my body. I don’t know why but before I found my surprisingly, perfect jean, a pair of jeans from one of the above stores never looked right on me. Whether it was the fit, in the leg area or waist, I never liked wearing them. They would just be hanging off me, not doing anything to help me look good. I never realized this until I found the best jean I have ever worn. Brace yourselves…. Cotton On. Yes, I said Cotton On. An Australian-based brand that has made its way to the U.S., thank god! Not only do these jeans make me feel good, but also I have a completely new take on giving unknown brands a break and trying out all of their products. I now shop the rest of the store and fully support their brand and their mission. To ‘Cotton On’ to something means to understand or discover the potential of a great idea. I think that is very ironic if you ask me!
The ‘magical’ jeans I have fallen in love with are The Skinny Mid-Rise. Now what I think I like about these is the fact that they are mid-rise and not low-rise… this was my AHH HAA moment. Low-rise is NOT for me. High-rise sometimes can be too high, if that is possible. Therefore, mid-rise makes the most sense. The best part…. They are only $30.00 in stores :0. Online, they are $39.95 so go to a store. These jeans, now owning four pairs, have really made me love denim again. I feel great wearing them to work and transitioning them into the night out. These stretchy mid-rise jeans are now my favorite pant to wear. They come in many colors and are a great quality at a great price! See why I love them now?
The moral of this story is to give brands a chance. I never heard of Cotton On before seeing it at a local mall. And to be honest, I was hesitant to buy them from a store I never heard of. Now I know there are such things as hidden treasures or a diamond in the rough. When I go to “shop around,” I will think back to when I walked into a store I never heard of and found a great quality pair of jeans. This can be a life lesson in various areas, but in fashion, everyone and every brand tries to succeed and without us consumers, they will not survive, so walk into that random store the next time you are in the mall, see what they are all about, you may be surprised, like I was.
If you want to see more diamonds in the rough, check out my Instagram page, @FashionNRae, for inspiration and my personal style. I post on the daily and link my photos to the PHOTOS page on this blog as well. Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org for any advice! My closet’s always open, so feel free to browse 🙂