If you are ever on a game show that requires you to be able to pick out Calvin Klein garments from racks of hundreds of other designers, and you get to phone one friend, call me. I don’t care if it is underwear, yoga pants, a sweater, a dress, a skirt…if there is an item by CK on the rack, there can be thirty other things the exact same color and my hand will reach for it. Fortunately, I am also fairly practical, and though I truly enjoy trying on clothes, I don’t buy a tithe of what I like. So, tonight I did not buy the charcoal gray button down dress (because when I sat down in it, the last button was positioned high enough that you could see whether or not I’d bought the CK underwear), or the black cardigan (because I have something like 147 black cardigans), or the delicious, gorgeous, glorious, orange sweater dress with the gold buttons and gold snakeskin belt (because…well, orange and snakeskin), or the yoga pants (because my Target brand ones are still just fine), or the tangerine sports tank (because they perfectly matched the tangerine trainers I also did not buy.)
Other things I put in my cart, then went around TJ Maxx putting away:
- A baby bliss flat iron (because it was all that was left in my cart, and I wasn’t standing in line to buy a flat iron.)
- A pair of black Merrell slip ons that are exactly like my beloved white ones (because I don’t own black socks, and I’m not wearing white socks with black sneakers.)
- An adorable sleeveless blouse (because I would have to wear a jacket over it at work, and that would cover up the adorable bits. Pointless.)
- A red leather, collarless blazer (because it was a leather blazer and it is not 1983, I don’t have any white Capezios to go with it, and my name is not Nick Rhodes.)
- A faux fur cape (because even though it made me look like a very posh Sherlock Holmes, it’s not a look I’d go for frequently enough to justify the cost.)
- This STUNNING little black dress by Tahari (because I just bought a little black dress and don’t need any more cocktail wear. And I nearly cried because I wanted that one so badly. But it was purposeless.)
- The glorious orange CK sweater dress, which I put in my basket twice (and still did not buy because…orange.)
My best shopping tip (for when you really don’t need to buy) is this: When you think you want something, carry it around the store for fifteen minutes. If you still want it, get it. If you’re really unsure, put it back on a rack (well hidden so no one else finds your treasure in case you do decide you want it) then shop around some more. If you can still picture it clearly in your mind after fifteen minutes, or if you feel actual pain at the idea of leaving without it, go get it.
My best shopping tip for when you need to buy is this: Try on everything. Walk out of the dressing room and look at yourself in the 3 way mirror. If you are embarrassed to walk out of the dressing room, don’t buy it. In places like TJ Maxx, I have noticed a distortion in the dressing room mirrors, so I NEVER buy anything there unless I’ve looked in the 3 way. Or, take a photo of yourself in the mirror and see what you think.
The hard way to learn that photo trick is to buy a dress that looks amazing in person, then see yourself broadcast over stadium sized screens, under television lighting, only to discover that on camera the light plays to ridiculously bad angles. You will see that out of the corner of your eye just in time for the cameraman to capture a close-up of your horrified, stricken expression, before going back to a wide shot.