Sale Time (or How to not go crazy during Sale Season)

Acne Star boots

photo via Harper & Harley

It’s sale season on the internet. This is always a trying time, full of angst, open tabs, and reflection on my life and its overall purpose. I once wrote in my “About” section that I live[d] to shop. Terrible. It’s still thrilling to take part in the dance of add-to-cart-oooh-my-card-info-is-saved-place-order, so I’m not sure I’ve overcome my demons.

I’m pretty sure I haven’t actually.

I have, however, learned to quiet them and stay out of their way for the most part; only battling them once the urge REALLY strikes. Oddly enough [sarcasm], I feel those urges most during sale season on the internet. What is a click-happy, reformed binge spender to do???

While I don’t have any surefire answers, I can tell you that the best lines of defense are the following;

  • budget for these moments (boring, but it works)
  • have a plan or idea of what  you generally need want (I keep a list on my phone)
  • don’t settle for things that aren’t quite right even if they are on sale (this takes constant reminding. CONSTANT. REMINDING.)
  • don’t make any high impact purchases of items you only learned about in the last week (more constant reminding)
  • if you find a grail-level item on sale, buy it

That’s it.  Five guidelines to keep the damage as minimal as possible and buyer’s remorse levels low.  You could keep the damage to non-existent by closing the tabs and ignoring all of it, but where is the fun in that? Nowhere. That’s where.

Sales n Stuff:


A roundup of indie boutiques via Garmentory

West End Select Shop (my favorite Portland boutique , also via Garmentory)

The Outnet (extra 30% off)

Barney’s Warehouse

Nasty Gal (extra 40% off)


Nordstrom Annual Sale (starts in July…but, you know…start looking now…for budgeting purposes)


Now, since I add an anecdote to nearly everything, I’ll tell you what led to this whole post to begin with.  I was minding my own business, reading through my feed on Feedly (mistake #1) when I caught wind of the sale at Shopbop (which is sort of a perpetual thing, no?). Anyway, I went to check it out (mistake #2) when right on the first page were the Acne Star boots. If you’ve been around this blog long enough, you’ll recall my knack for finding seasons-past Acne at a generous discount. Anyway, I see the boots and freak out because they’re half off and within acceptable splurge range for the brand, quality and style. Twenty one seconds later (because I’ve gotten really quick at thinking through all of these things), I completed my order and am now awaiting their arrival with hopes that they don’t truly run one size smaller. If they are, back they go.  Because we don’t settle even if things are on sale, right? Right. 

ETA: Verdict? They don’t run small, they run narrow…but I seem to have had success stretching them a bit with a pair of thick socks. HUZZAH!



Looking everywhere but the camera 


This is the same dress as in the last post. It seems that I’m going to get a lot of mileage out of this one. This is the way things should be. Asé.

The weather in Portland is bordering on disrespectfully hot right. Not to worry, it’ll be back to rain in a few days; equally disrespectful. Not one to waste a cloudless sky in the PNW, I wore my favorite shoes that give me blisters but I still insist on making work. They make everything look better.

And isn’t that what life is all about? Trade-offs, right? There are going to be things you have to endure because other things (often in direct conflict or opposition to what you want or is most comfortable) are more important. You can’t really have it all – it’s usually one thing or the other. It’s taken me a long time to learn this. I’m still learning it.

Clothes make for a great starting point to existential and philosophical musings.





Knowing the path vs. walking the path has been difficult for me. I realize now that this is because I’m not very good at being decisive. I read an interesting article on the importance of acknowledging trade-offs (trades-off?) in life and how that can force you into making actual decisions and maybe into some peace of mind. This dovetailed nicely with another video I watched earlier about budgeting and how deciding what you want really guides your focus and steps toward goal accomplishment (this is what I do with my free time, yes).




“Jesus be a closet full of grails and good foundations”

I was talking with D this week about the progress we’ve made (and haven’t made) in curbing our enthusiasm for buying clothes. Lately, it seems we aren’t binge shopping (as was the style between 2009 and 2011) and instead are thoughtfully considering what to add before adding anything.

At first I was excited that we’d finally reached a higher plane of understanding and fiscal responsibility, but then quickly realized it’s because we’ve managed to find and buy most of the things we’ve been pining for for years. And I guess that’s what should happen after searching and failing and searching and buying sub-par versions of things and selling them and finally (FINALLY) finding what you’ve been looking for on eBay one night after crying about your latest bad date or horrible workday and you’ve had just enough wine so you think maybe your eyes are deceiving you, but no, they aren’t and that really IS that pair of Rick Owens thigh high boots/THEE Céline Bam-Bams/that Helmut Lang blazer/insert whatever it is you’ve been looking for since it showed up on (your former fave’s) blog back in 2010…

I mean, yes, once you’ve managed to do that for all your grails, what’s left is to make sure the rest of your stuff is nice and fits well and works with your grails; and that’s how it should be. This is how you know you’ve arrived at closet nirvana and can now move on to dealing with the real issues in your life that you’ve been avoiding by shopping. YAY!

…but that doesn’t actually happen because then you realize that the bath and beauty product world is also a THING and you have a whole new world to explore. In case you were curious, Glossier, Belle Butters and BeeLux reign supreme in my bathroom.  The Lip Bar also makes really nice lipsticks.