She Who Hestitates….

It got away

Despite my reputation as something of an impulse-buying, immediate gratification kind of girl, I am actually fairly deliberate in my purchases.  Especially when it comes to more expensive items, I am far more likely stalk the coveted item online, visit in a store if possible, and assess the potential for long-term love by seeing if a little time makes me love it just as much as I did at first sight.  Through the years this has left me with some good near misses and a few pretty sizeable regrets.

For example while I love the Louis Vuitton Theda bag, after years of seeing dozens of knockoffs I am very glad I passed on the Multicolore craze.  Ditto at least one pair of shoes every season.  You know the ones – so achingly gorgeous and a dead cert to be just plain aching as well.  Or that one trendy piece that is so in style everyone has one and the specialness is gone before the stores do their first markdowns.  These I look back on and then smugly congratulate my own self-control. 

On the regret side, well most are relatively minor.  The pricey silk maxi dress in the wild print – as fab as it was it wouldn’t have gotten all that much wear so I think I will get over it.  And that gorgeous and dramatic black top I resisted, I have several black tops so the regret faded easily.  But others are a bit tougher – those fabulous Jimmy Choo mid-heel sandals this season, for example.  I am always on the hunt for really great mid-heels but they seemed a bit extravagant when I started my spring/summer shopping and I held off.  By the time I decided I really would get a lot of wear out of them, they were gone; snapped up by wiser shoppers than I, so much for self-righteous frugality.    

But there are the BIG regrets that rather annoyingly stick around.  For example, two timeless evening bags have slipped my grasp and I rue the day I let them pass by.  The first, a silver Chanel mini flap bag I stumbled upon in the downtown Portland, Oregon Nordstrom’s Chanel boutique of all places, featured in a case in the doorway.  I was  killing a few hours before a flight at the time and thought “I LOVE that, but this is a silly time to buy it, I can get it when I get home” – idiot!  And even more regrettable was passing up the Louboutin black mink ball bag from two years ago – that I regret even more because I happened upon one at Saks on sale and I had a momentary lapse of frugality and passed it up. Every time I start planning an evening outfit I think of those bags.  Foolish foolish girl. 

For the deliberate among us the post-crash retail world is treacherous.  Hesitation is going to lead to disappointment more times than not. Retailers are keeping their inventories low – so low that if you delay you run a really good risk of missing out!  Remember the good old days when you would find something you really loved in a store but thought “It’s a bit too expensive, I will just wait until it goes on sale”?  Well, those days are long gone!  And if something does go on sale you had better be there the first day.  I was at a recent end of season “event” and the disappointment factor on what was left was really high.  What a bunch of junk, in un-wearable sizes and unbearable colors.

Even on pre-season sales one needs to get in on the first days.  I got a pretty frustrating lesson in this recently.  I stole a few minutes to hit the Nordstrom Anniversary sale preview on their website opening day.  I found a few good items for myself, and more importantly a pair of shoes that would be perfect for my bridesmaids – a good color, right style and unbelievably reasonable price.  But I really wanted to check with the B-maids to see if they were going to work.  So I did, which since I have been so busy took a few days.  Sadly, when I returned to the site to buy them – they were down to size 5’s and size 11’s.  Worse yet, Nordys isn’t planning on doing a reorder.  Drat drat and double drat. Yes, I know, with their great return policy I really should have just ordered them on the spot and returned them later, but its such a nuisance.  What WAS I thinking?

So now I am scouring online for a good replacement and trying not to ponder not only how perfect those would have been, but those darned Jimmy Choo’s as well.  Lessons learned and next time I have an “ah ha” I make sure that coveted item doesn’t become yet another “one that got away”!

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