I went through a period when I first moved to Boulder in 2008 when I was more or less over shopping. I decided that new stuff doesn’t really make you happy. You do feel a rush, but its fleeting, and then when it subsides all you want is more stuff, and it happens all over again. I think this is true. Mostly.
Here is some background on how I got to this philosophy- When I say I was over shopping, I mean broke. What had happened, in a nutshell, was I really wanted to move to here. I wanted to move here so badly I cooked up a little plan and made it happen even though I didn’t really have a solid job or know anyone except a guy I had made friends with on vacation and not really kept in touch with, who was married with two children, and there was also my college roommate and one time BFF, except she was tucked up in the mountains, about an hour away, on an ashram… With a couple of sort of friends and a sort of job waiting for me, I packed up my Jetta and came out.
The job fell through entirely. I met Dan. I was crazy about him (still am), he was crazy about me (still is, I think). I had no choice but to stay. My income was, let us say, not steady. My spending habits on the other hand were pretty robust. The concept of waiting for something I needed (well if I wanted it, I needed it, right?) was not one with which I was familiar. Also, I (falsely) assumed I would get things right soon enough. Except I didn’t. But then I was in a pickle… Because any number of full-time cool jobs in my profession were available in abundance… everywhere but within a 50 mile radius of me. And my sweetie was right here. My only choice: Let Dan show me how to use Excel, make a budget, and use it. And so the era of Pam Starts to Spend Money More Wisely was born. Random cute hats in the sale bin at Sports Authority were a thing of the past. Shiny lip glosses that I had to buy because they were in a basket by the register and and had the vanilla scent I craved were no longer. Every espresso drink was now purchased (if purchased at all) with some forethought. I didn’t pop into any cute boutique just because I happened to be walking by. We all know how innocent browsing can turn into dropping $200 in the blink of an eye. And suddenly, my finances weren’t looking so bad. Even better, instead of my money being some amorphous blob, I was in control of it! I knew how much I had, where it came from, and how and where I was spending it. Where I’d previously thought planning out my money would only be a burden, the opposite became true; I was liberated by being conscious about my money. Who would have thought!? And ps, don’t blame my parents for the fact that I did not learn this earlier. When I was in the second grade, all I wanted was a pair of gray suede boots with fringes. My mom thought they were unnecessary so she made me save up my allowance. I still remember how awesome it felt to stand at the counter at Sears (the one in Pawtucket that everyone still uses as a landmark even though it hasn’t been there for over 20 years), after waiting what felt like forever, and hand the clerk my twenty dollars, in single dollar bills, one at a time. He had to come around and stand next to me because I was too short to hand him the money over the counter. So it’s not like I didn’t know how good it felt to save up for something, I just re-priortized when I had enough money to not have to wait. And then I had a hard time making the shift when my job fell apart.
But anyway, that really isn’t the point of this post. The point is, I have to admit it, even though I am liberated and conscious, and all that stuff, I do love me some shopping!! I do, I really do! There, I said it. And again, I find myself in a pickle. (Oh why is my life so HARD. ha ha.) The situation is I am going to Las Vegas to celebrate the last of my dear little sister’s days as a single woman. But I am 32 and my “going out” clothes, if you can even call them that are “Boulder going out clothes” which if you live here, you know what I mean. The thing is, up to last night, I had NOTHING to wear that would be considered appropriate Las Vegas Party Attire. Ok, not nothing. I had so much fun a couple months ago using a gift card at Nieman Marcus.. Someone (no one you know, don’t ask who) got us something (just something, ok. not relevant to the story) from that store for our wedding and it had to be returned… Unfortunately there was nothing there Dan would have liked so I had to spend the store credit on… ME! And I ended up with the hottest purple backless dress from Alice and Olivia, which is apparently some fancy designer that I was not aware of until my fashionista BFF (not the one on the ashram, a different one, and anyone who says you can’t have more than one best friend, I say you are wrong because I have three) got all hyper when she heard about it and then said “I hate you!” which is the highest compliment in this scenario. Ok so to restate, I had exactly one thing to wear for partying in Vegas, but we would be there for three nights. You don’t need an Excel spreadsheet to know this was not enough. Oh and ps, I haven’t used the word “party” as a verb seriously in like ten years. So I took my good friend and trusted fashion advisor on an expedition to Forever 21. And no I don’t have a problem with shopping at Forever 21, even though its been eleven years since I was 21, although the music in there is kind of loud for me. If I had my druthers we would have gone to Anthroplogie but, lets face it, I would have only been able to afford one thing there.
We (I) made an unbelievable mini-landfill sized mountain of clothes on the dressing room floor, but when all was said and done, I got some great new Vegas-worthy stuff. And it should not interfere with my drinks/entertainment budget:) Does it interfere with my thoughts on buying stuff that was made in China? Yes a little. But not enough to not buy it. You can see this zebra print dress on me, below. You can’t tell from the photo but it is scandalously short. And comfortable! I know because I tried it on for Dan last night but then I didn’t want to take it off so I ended up just
prancing around in it wearing it for the rest of the night.
I also got a cute black one shoulder top:
This will go with my new short black shorts (not pictured) and heels OR jeggings and heels. It’s hard to tell how cute and flouncy the little flower applique on the shoulder is here, but it is very cute.
Also, this was not for Vegas, but I loved it. I imagine I will wear it to brunch on the patio at The Kitchen this spring. Or else to work (more likely).
This one is hard to photograph, but maybe you get the idea? The skirt is knee length and kind of flirty. It has a little sash, too. Also, the pink top I am wearing in the top pic is something I also could not resist even though its not for Vegas.
And so concludes my first online fashion show. We will return to the usual tales of running, biking, swimming, and generally stupid/weird things I’ve done/that happen to me next time.