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Oops! … I did it again.
I played with my (bank) cards.
Got lost in the shop. (River Island)
Oh, panic, panic. (mounting debts)
Y’see, I get confused when I get paid. I never did business in school, I really only understood the mechanics of an Overdraft a few years ago (charges eh?) and when I see money in my bank account, I presume it’s for me. To spend. On whatever I like.
I mosey into River Island this afternoon, perhaps with the vague intention of buying a pair of slacks, but I literally pick up about 46 items, ranging from alpine jumpers to cocktail dresses to handbags to patterned Henry Holland for Pretty Polly tights (swish). My self-edit mode is distinguishing between what looks good on me and what doesn’t; nothing to do with what I can and can’t afford. I just don’t forecast my budget like that. (WHAT BUDGET?) It’s so limiting on my creative aura y’know?
So I got me some slacks – nipped in at the ankle, tuxedo style, pretty slick. It has a detachable bow, which I like, as I’m not sure the bow is for me. Trousers kindly modelled by my office chair, who is quite happy with a change of scenery to be honest. I then HAD to have this skirt because a) it was 14e and b) its kinda hideous and c) it was 14e. I love cheap and hideous. Logic see?
Finally I purchased this beaut. Some may say it looks like a well-groomed, but nonethless, dead sheepdog and I’m inclined to agree, but I thought: hey – what the hell? It’s not like I can’t afford to look like a dead sheepdog right?
So after my previous rant about heart V head with my wedding shoesies, I was still unable to decide.
I was then off doing the Focus Ireland Four Peaks Challenge for four days (enormous rant to come about how some people look glamorous in outrageous weather conditions while hiking) and while struggling through dense fog on Carrintowgal, debated the issue in my head and decided to be sensible and purchase within my budget. When I returned yesterday I clicked on mywardrobe.com to do so and saw that their sale had begun!!! Read the rest of this entry »
Reduced from €155.20 to €23.99 – Cheaper than Top-shop.
They are marshmellow pink and not so short or tight you could count my cellulite bumps. Also to echo my Mother, the quality of the material is just outstanding. They will be parading down Washington street in Cork this weekend teamed with my new ghetto gold gladiators from Pennys and a crisp white tee-shirt.
Don’t you just love shopping days like these………………………..
It’s almost gotten to the point where I wouldn’t understand how to pay full price for an item of clothing. Not that I’m a hustler baby. It’s just that I instinctively walk to the sale rail in a shop, I purposefully ignore ‘just in’ signage and 90% of my handbags come from charideeeeee shops. Below are a few of my latest steals.
are butterflies naff? at €3 who cares?
Yesterday I was involved in a Herculean Fashion Battle. I was the Samson in Samson V Goliath, I was the Chelsea in the Chelsea V AC Milan, I was the Scratchy in Itchy V Scratchy. What was this unholy clash? It was Jennie V TK Max. Previously I have discussed the hair-raising, nail-biting, loveless, joyless, rollercoaster that is the Pennys Binge (or PB as I shall now refer to it). But nothing could have prepared me for the TK Max experience.
I was at the tail-end of a modest (almost polite) shopping trip with the Mother in Arklow’s Bridgewater Shopping Centre. It is widely acknowledged that Arklow is not the fashion capital of Ireland, never mind Wicklow, and it was only an ambling, sociable excursion with the prime goal being some eatin’ and some chattin’ on a homeward-bound detour.
That was until the luminous, vibrating TK Max sign bathed us in its holy, reddish glow. After a few conflicted seconds, physically weighing up the bloated shopping bags in our hands and the deflating cash balances in our minds, we greedily ‘nipped’ inside, like the guilty bingers that we were. And what befell our eyes? Nothing. If anyone has ever stepped inside a TK Max you will agree that it is a very anti-climactic moment. It is a gaping, white canyon with bare metal rails abandoned in disregard across the floor. A few half-hearted displays shout about ‘serious bargains’ or ‘xxx-treme discount’, but ultimately it’s like the ravaged skeletons of buildings you see in end-of-the-world films*.
Surprisingly, this is the exact ploy that hooks you. I was overwhelmed by the sheer apathy of the environment and I had made my mind up that I would not be a TK Max customer. I casually strolled up to the ‘Absolute Last Clearance Super Discount Below Cost Price’ rail and started flicking. And then I saw a top for €4. And then another one. And then a DKNY top for €7. And here was a Nike Sports Bra for €3 – and this was only the Casual Top rail. I suddenly spied the Evening Top rail, The Day Dress rail, the Evening Dress Rail, Casual Jackets, Activewear, Jeans, Trousers…it was endless. The system was all making sense – I felt like I had just discovered Pi on a broken abacus. So I grabbed a trolley (I was wondering why they had trollies in TK Max – I thought it was a little undignified…but the penny finally dropped) and started ripping things off hangers and dumping into the trolley. Ooh yes, I’ll have that cropped jacket please. Yes I already have a few cropped jackets, yes it’s white and sequinned, but it’s only €9. I could wear it with the black jumpsuit, with the pink bubble dress, I could wear it on the date on Friday, I could wear it for lunch with the girls tomorrow. And what about this dress? It’s actually hideous, but maybe hideous in a good way? In an ironic way? It is Calvin Klein after all and it’s only €15 and in fact, I could wear it with the cropped white sequinned jacket, so I should probably buy it, just in case I can’t find anything to wear with my white jacket. And a parka – I should probably get a parka. I don’t need one, I don’t particularly want one, but it’s only €40.
And on and on this vicious merry-go-round. Maybe I should get these tracksuit bottoms. I have loads, but you can never have enough right? And what about a cap? A Billabong cap? I don’t wear caps, but it could be good for jogging? And the beach? I mean Billabong is all about the beach and if they have a whole section devoted to caps, I should probably have one. And they have reduced yoga mats and skipping ropes. In fact, they have a whole discounted sports equipment section. I am training to be a personal trainer…maybe I should just buy an entire home-gym now? I mean, look at those savings. It’s almost irresponsible not to buy these resistance bands and ergonomic ladies dumbbells.
In a fit of panic, I start accessing this most incoherent shopping bounty in my trolley and realise that I cannot afford all this. So I try to locate my mother for some straight-talking. And then I spot her. She too, looked drugged, and was brandishing a clutch of skirts, bikinis, underwear and…resistance bands. A yelp doesn’t even begin to cover what came out of my mouth. So with unprecedented strength of mind, I abandoned the trolley and walked straight toward her. ‘ I need out’. I’d like to say she frogmarched me right outta there, but nope, I was left in charge of buying someone a present and told we’d be on our way ‘in a few minutes’. I thought if I had a specific goal it might lessen the evil TK Max grasp. That was not to be the case. This time I drifted back to my mother with an even more extensive array of tops and dresses, and because I had passed the previously unseen underwear section on the way, I was also laden down with an arsenal of briefs. Most entirely unsuitable, but in the spirit of massive discounts, all were considered fair game. Then we started to queue and I spotted the kitchen utensils.
Two hours later we departed TK Max. I had acquired a slightly-too-big sports top (only €4!), a(nother) lace top, a garlic crusher and a fairly innocuous bra. My mother had claimed resistance bands, a nautical dress for the youngest sister, a t-shirt, a bikini (that we debated for ages. Was it really worth €12? Would you buy it if it wasn’t discounted? Is the bikini even necessary? All futile questions. The decision was made once the massive red discount sticker was spotted) and some slightly suspect Tommy Hilfiger swimming shorts for my father. Slightly suspect in that they were a) probably too small, b) looked like boxers, c) were suspiciously similar to a pair my father already owns, and d) above the threshold of what we considered a discount.
This may seem like a harmless bounty, but I must stress that I am BROKE. We had already purchased a few things beforehand and our mission was simply to find food. Two hours later TK Max chewed us up and spat us out. And I had to exert more self control than I ever had in my life. I don’t need a second lace top, a bra, a sports top or a garlic crusher. It was just TK’s way of asserting his dominance in the Extraordinary League of Shopping.
* 28 Days Later comes to mind here. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if they used TK Max as one of their locations…
The Outnet is a website that perhaps you might not be familiar with. However, the sister site – Net-a-Porter – has been well established as the go-to destination for female porn fantasies…an online shop of all things designer. Like a voyeur you click through different labels, designers, trends, heart thundering in your chest as you imagine owning and feeling and touching all those glorious clothes. The only issue is the price-tag, for the fantasy allows you to shop through the site right until the check out, when you realise that the Yves Saint Laurent shirt will cost 3 months salary and that perhaps you won’t be buying anything today thank you very much. Well the Outnet is a different beast altogether. This is the discount partner of net-a-porter, the repository for all those dying trends and designer embarrassments that simply are Not Fashionable Anymore. To the socialites and stylists and editors of the world, this site is social suicide – a pair of Balenciaga jodhpurs from 2 seasons ago? Not on your nelly. To all the impoverished and starving fashion-enthusiasts of the world, this site is social salvation. Lanvin and Bottega Veneta and Marc Jacobs and Chloe at a fraction of the price? You can’t afford not to buy. And herein lies the problem. There is an Outnet mail-out once a week – arriving on a Monday morning usually, when the excesses of the weekend are only beginning to shift. It breezes into your inbox stealthily and slyly. It creates a sense of intimacy between you; the reader and it; the nurturing, benevolent fashionable friend. You are on the list aren’t you? For only the most up-to-date, clued-in and with-it women of the world have knowledge of this great site. It then begins to whisper sweet nothings in your ear – look at this beautiful Fendi dress – so pretty! so flattering! and 70% off, oh my! For a mere £888 pounds , you can be one of us, part of the designer gang, separate from the high street swamp. But look, what’s that? There are only 5 in stock and they are selling out fast! And like the concerned older sister that it is, the Outnet posts a discreet but ominous warning sign on your screen that tells you to ‘Hurry Up! Only a few left!’ And then you start to feel the panic rising. Yes, you’ve put it in you basket, you’ve checked your bank account, but the dress is only reserved for half an hour – well the Outnet is nothing if not equitable, somebody else will want it – so you can’t think rationally about the practicality of the dress. When will you wear it? Do you have shoes for it? Is it actually flattering? Will it crease? Will it stain? Will it still be in fashion next month? All of your thoughts collapse into a fevered static, as you move, on autopilot, to type in your credit card details. And then, thank the heavens, you are interrupted by a phone call. At work. And you realise that you are not floating away on a Fendi cloud of social balls and handsome men and sky-high stilettos, but sitting at your desk at work, distracted and sweating slightly. The blurred vision meant that you had less money than you thought in your account and on reflection, that dress is actually quite horrendous, it was just momentarily elevated in a cloud of Fendi. And a sense of sheepish calm restores itself.
Below are a selection of almost-impulse buys from the Outnet. None of them are items I would ordinarily look twice at in a shop, none of them really fit in to my social engagements or reflect my personal style, and none of them really scream designer. But I almost bought them last Friday. Until I realised I had to pay for the gas bill and my car insurance and sundry other mundanities and that the landlord doesn’t really care if I have an Anna Sui dress (4 seasons old) on when I ring for an extension on the rent.
On an entirely unrelated note, we somehow got nominated for a Best Beauty/Fashion blog in the Irish Blog Awards sponsored by spinnakerpro.com. Haven’t a bog how that happened really, but it is so refreshing to know that people other than my mother are reading us.
i already have a leather jacket. i only recently acquired a new pair of ankle boots (worn twice to date). i paid 2000e for laser eye surgery about 4 years ago to banish the heinous spectacles from my life and i think i own about 10 pairs of sunglasses. but i must i must i must. some of the goods were bought at sale price like. that makes it ok right?
tis my first day back in work and something is Not Quite Right. i can’t specify, other than to delete by process of elimination. it’s not that the office is baltic cold and you need thermal underwear to brace the bathroom. it’s not that the holiday period was simply too short and that i feel more stressed than rested. it’s not that my to-do list is already 50 lines long (that’s just my personal one) and i have no diary. it’s something else. something far more sinister. it’s that i have not done any sales shopping. to some, this might seem ridiculous, but to others (me) sales shopping represents the (my) single great revolt against the overwhelming machinations of the fashion industry. for it is here that i duck and dive, pounce and plunder, ripping the beating heart from the giant sartorial monster. i like to sniff out all the clothing pieces paraded around only weeks before at inflated prices and brandish them proudly like a well-heeled robin hood with their slashed tags of 30, 50 and sometimes even 75%. i like to size up the pieces that will work well next year, laughing my way into next season with a bounty of goods. take that Big Fashion Empire, i have outsmarted you once again.
except this time, i haven’t. a combination of festive factors resulted in this sales-free-scenario – not enough time, not enough money, not enough sobriety. and so, here i sit, at work, empty handed, all alone. with my high-speed broadband internet access and a rising feeling of panic, i flick through sites rapidly, only breezily contemplating the discount, the value, the price-per-wear. as we speak, i am trying to convince myself that i need these Ash Brown Thelma Buckle Ankle Boots – reduced from £135 to £94. despite the fact (1) they are not practical for my 20-min walk to work, (2) i just bought a pair of ankle boots and (3) they cost more than i might pay for non-sale shoes, i must have them. do i need the gold lurex bandeau bikini? it is D&G Dolce and Gabbana and i don’t have a D&G bikini, and in fact i don’t have a gold bikini. does it really matter that i have no sun holidays booked? or that when i do, they generally require being covered up in a wetsuit? or what about the Matthew Williamson dress? i don’t really like Matthew Williamson but the Guardian fashion section recommends it as a sales bargain. and it is £397.50 (from £795). and then, those mustard tights in Topshop are only a snip at £1, and those gold bunny ears – £5.00 down from £18.00. what would i do with them? who cares? im beating the system aren’t i? or am i? my sense of perspective has been distorted because i didn’t get my actual january sales hit and now i am contemplating gold lamé bunny ears. there is a moral in there somewhere right?