Monday, March 23, 2009


So I had a lovely visit from my friend Miss Jody this past weekend, and it involved some retailing, bien sûr. Some very successful retailing, I might add. Once again, Style Spy's shopping karma rubbed off on her companion and my friend went home with even more bargains than she had planned on. Style Spy herself also benefited:

It's hard to tell from this photo, but trust me when I tell you this top is adorable. It's a heavy black knit, hits me just below the hip, and has two zippered slash pockets on the front as well as the nifty exposed zipper on the back. It's very basic, but still interesting, and worn with a narrow cropped pant, it's so very Jean Seberg, which is a look I'm loving right now.

The definition of "gamine."

Anyhoodle, I've seen this top every time I've cruised through the Neiman Marcus outlet here in Austin for the last several months, and always thought, "Oh, goodness, that's so cute but I wish it weren't black." Because I'm trying to go with less black -- I prefer color in general, and as I've said before, I feel like as I get older black is awfully harsh against my face. So I've tried on the top a couple of times, but always backed off, trying to stick to my Less Black Rule.

But when I was out with Miss Jody this weekend we hit the Saks outlet in San Marcos and they were having a delightful sale event -- everything that was marked down to final clearance was an additional 40% off. Now, this is a pretty significant discount, and final markdown prices at the Saks outlet are already pretty low. And there, hanging on the rack, insouciantly whistling a Serge Gainsbourg tune, was my little black Jean Seberg top. And it was kah-razy on sale. So on sale that I got over my Less Black Rule. This top started off its life as a $300 item of clothing, but Saturday, after it was all said & done, it came home with me for less than 25 bucks. So I felt pretty good about that.

Got home with the top, and took it into the A closet to hang it up. When I discovered that I'd already bought it.

Yep. Apparently, I'd had the very same conversation with myself about the very same top and come to the very same conclusion a while back, only I had it in the Neiman Marcus outlet. According to the sticker, the impetus price point had been almost exactly the same.

Well, you can't say I'm not consistent.

Even more hilariously, Jody and I had earlier that afternoon had a fairly involved conversation about this very phenomenon, which each of us has observed in herself -- the tendency to buy the same kind of garment, and occasionally the very same actual garment, over & over.

In one way, I think this behavior signifies that I know my own style and it's consistent and identifiable. On the other hand -- one would think a person could remember what hangs in her own closet, for pete's sake.

I do sometimes do this on purpose, of course. I have a few items that I've loved so much upon acquiring them that it's pretty clear they're going to become go-to items that I'm going to get tons of use from and when I wear them out I'm going to feel pretty bereft, so I've bought a back-up. (My tortoise patent Cole Haan driving mocs, for example -- I bought two pairs of those.)

This, however, was not one of those times. This? Just plain old boneheadedness. Well, at least it was boneheaded at a bargain price.

How about you guys? Anyone else ever done this? What item have you bought multiples of, either intentionally or not?

Photos: Style Spy,

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Duchesse said...

I intentionally buy multiples for trips, like 2 pair of black techno jeans and 2 cashmere tees for a trip to Paris. More often I keep buying black jersey pieces, especially pants and no one can tell which are new and which are 2 years old, even me.

Bonjour Madame said...

I've never done it with clothes, but I am known to buy the same issue of a magazine more than once. At least it's only a few bucks.

You are the queen of the bargain hunt for high end items. I am consistently amazed at how you find great clothes for way less than retail. And then to find the same shirt, both for a lot less. You are consistent and smart!

materfamilias said...

A year or so, I misplaced a brand new pair of pants I'd just picked up from having hemmed. I phoned the restaurant I thought I'd left them at and was assured they weren't there, I waited several weeks, fretting, phoning various places trying to think where I might have left them. Finally, I decided I'd loved them enough I was going to buy a new pair (actually, my husband urged this solution, probably tired of the weeping and gnashing of teeth). You might guess that not until after I had the new pair hemmed did I get home to a voicemail message from aforementioned restaurant with sincere apologies for the error, but they had discovered the pants after all! I got a very nice bottle of wine with our next meal there, and a good friend of mine got a free pair of pants!