jetsetgreen

Monday, September 19, 2011

Painful Shopping Regrets

Do you remember that Marc Jacobs bag I passed up more than a year ago? WELL, I DO.


I walked into TJMaxx and there it was: a sapphire blue Marc Jacobs bag in python. It was gorgeous. The blue was captivating and the leather so perfectly shined. I ran my finger over the nameplate, tracing the M-A-R-C; the hardware gleamed. I carefully turned over the price tag and breathed in sharply: $159.00. I’ve never spent that much on a purse in my life (although I had definitely wanted to.) I’d had ambitions before: many years before, I’d thought for a week about a pearl embossed Italian leather designer tote for $179. When I made up my mind to go back and get it, it was gone. Just as well, I assuaged myself.

But this Marc Jacobs was different. Oh, so beautiful. I knew that the price tag (cha-ching cha-ching) meant choosing between groceries for the kids that week and looking put together for the rest of my life.

I didn’t buy that purse...

It’s been years and I still think about them: shopping regrets! I could tell the story of my life through all my shopping regrets. The black and white coat I didn’t buy at Express. I looked for it on eBay for the next five months until it popped up in my size. The original giraffe pattern Kate Spade in that consignment shop, a bargain just out of reach. The grey and blue round toe mary janes from Nine West that I dog-eared in my Vogue that early Spring day on the university campus. The cognac leather boots at Nordstrom. The matching designer luggage that would have made every trip on time and first class.

As recently as six months ago, those Gucci sunglasses on clearance at The Rack for $89 (marked down from north of $300.) My Puritan ancestors, not to mention the bare facts of my bank account, wouldn’t allow me to purchase them. I actually dreamed about them that night. I awoke and stared at the moon; me and those sunglasses under the same white orb. Cue Fievel. I wished them well and blessed them with a happy home.

So yes, I still think about that Marc Jacobs, along with all the other shopping regrets of my past.

And you?

19 comments:

Amelia Merritt said...

When I was a single mom and broke I had to get really good at what I called "Catch and Release". I would imagine the joy I was giving another person by not buying said item. I started thinking of it like I was actually giving it to another person. Once at DI I did actually give over a pair of ankle boots to a hipster girl that I knew would rock them better than I would. It brings down the regret factor about 8 notches.

But once I lost a great pair of jeans to a co-worker and that was 16 years ago and I still remember it.

Melanie Jacobson said...

Coats. OH, THE COATS. Our weather rarely requires more than a sweater, maybe a sweater jacket, and I've had to pass on so many beautiful trenches. I've got black, coral, and green as it is and if I use each once a year it's a miracle.

The Glamorous Housewife said...

I remember a pair of Prada shoes I saw about 15 years ago that had cherries on it. It was way out of my price range, so I walked away. Ive regretted that decision ever since.

Thanks doll,
The Glamorous Housewife

Emily said...

I have a feeling I'm going to regret not buying a buttery yellow leather hobo bag from Lucky Brand I saw at TJ Maxx. It was $99 and I just couldn't do it. But then this weekend my husband gave me his blessing to purchase a Coach bag from the Las Vegas outlet store. At 40% off and then another 30% off, it was too good--and too delicious a berry color--to pass up. My regret over the Lucky bag? Still there but not nearly as painful...

Delirious said...

I have an identical story. I was shopping for purses and started at TJMaxx. I found the PERFECT purse in a peacock/ robin egg sort of blue. It was real leather and everything I wanted in a purse. And it was $150. I just couldn't justify it. I went to JC Penney and found a light turquoise purse that was $50, but was on sale 50% off. And I had a $10 coupon. I'll be honest, I don't like it even half as much as the expensive one. I think about that purse all the time. :(

the emily said...

The dress in Paris that was so me that I'll never see again.

The black pencil skirt from Banana Republic 10 years ago. No, all pencil skirts are not created equal and I will never find one this perfect again.

The red Kate Spade purse. Full price. Still regret it.

Bek said...

Carina. I have that Kate Spade bag -- it's a tote. It has been my faithful diaper bag with 4 kids. Want to do a swap? :-) or is it helplessly out of date? I don't shop that often and don't have too many regrets... But I tend to buy classics ( back when i had an extra income and fewer kids) at full price and use them forever. No I just don't shop. :-). I have never been to TJ Maxx.. But I hear about it all the time. There must not be one very near to me. I'm jealous of all the finds people seem to get there. :-)

Hilary said...

Oh man, this happens to me ALL the time at Costco... and I try not to hate myself.

I try to remind myself that my life would pretty well be exactly the same without the items.

Just a little less happy. :)

Caroline said...

Yes. I am kicking myself that I didn't get the most perfect lamp of all time ever for my girls... because I didn't have the money right then. Except that now it's GONE and I am DYING inside.

And I cried when my feet got too big for my beautiful shoes. I donated them to a sister that I am sure does not appreciate them as she should. I also have not been able to replace the beloveds. *cries*

vanessa said...

these boots in this picture: http://forums.thefashionspot.com/f50/elin-nordegren-1646-4.html
*sigh* I found them on piperlime one day, they were an outrageous amount of money. But I still think about them all the time.

Laura: The Sushi Snob said...

Eight years ago, on an orchestra trip to Los Angeles, Venice Beach was one of our first stops. There was a little shop, and one one of the displays was a beautiful white dress with a sage green sweater over it. It was SO ME! My mom looked into buying it for me (she was a chaperone on that trip), but it was too expensive :(

I still wish we had gotten it *sigh*

whitneyingram said...

Mine are things I have lost. Once when we were up visiting from Southern California, I went with my mom and sisters to some fancy second-hand clothes shop and I found a mint condish JCrew wool coat. I snatched it up for $25. And then somewhere on the lonely 15 between Utah and California, I lost it. It never made it to my closet.

Another one was when my husband bought some fancy name brand maternity pea coat that was the cutest thing on earth. Like a fool, I lent it to a sister in-law and never saw it again. That bitch.

Currently, I am saving up for a pair of Fryes. I have a stash of cash literally in between my mattress and box spring. I have dreams, real live dreams at night about them.

Patty said...

My mom always told us that if you are still thinking about it in the morning you HAVE to go back and get it. Find a way.
You'll be happier.

Heather M said...

I mostly regret the things I DID buy! That Dooney & Bourke purse and wallet (I won't mention the price) when I was a poor college student? Outrageous! Unnecessary! And regrettable, but not until it was far too late to return them!

amy said...

Animal rights activists, don't judge, but several years ago there were some blue ostrich leather cowboy boots up in a shoe store in Jackson, Wy. The toes of the boots were pointed, but not too sharp, just perfectly feminine, a supportive, yet supple foot bed with a little heel, but not too much. the blue color was bright, but not offensive, the leather was as soft as a flower petal. And the stitched designs up the calf, in such bright colors, on a background of a buttery tan leather, were one of a kind. they were on sale, marked down from $1,500 or something to $400 or something. could never afford that. have never wanted cowboy boots before that. have never seen them since. have never forgotten them either. still. love. them.

Celeste said...

it is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.

didn't think it would help, but i had to throw it in here.

Em said...

I'm pretty much a professional at shopping regrets. Like that green Marc Jacobs bag I passed up 4 YEARS AGO at TJ's. Yep, still think about it. And the coat at the Gap, and a shirt a Target... the list varies from $500 wants to $10 "duh" moments. I feel your pain sister.

Jeannie from Atlantic Beachlife said...

I recently rediscovered TJ Maxx (how could I have forgotten about it?) and just the other night snapped up a perfect Latico wallet that is just so great, so expertly designed in rich, smooth leather (mustard-colored, loveee!) for $24.99. And a terrific Michael Kors caramel leather tote for $99. But the shopping regret that pains ms at the moment is the absolutely perfect, lined, with discreet pockets, and the owner's classic monogram: vintage mink stole that I DID NOT BUY (sob) at Goodwill for $24.99. I wore it around the store, had my picture taken in it...and stupidly put it back on the hanger, thinking, "I don't need it.". Don't NEED it?? Of course I don't NEED it. But when you find a perfectly preserved, caramel-colored mink stole at the Goodwill of all places - for $25 bucks, honey, you just effing BUY it. I am heartsick over that one.

beckmarsh said...

Mine was a linen coral A-line skirt--gorgeous, perfect fit--that I actually BOUGHT and then RETURNED so my account wouldn't be overdrawn (poor student days). I still troll eBay looking for that skirt. And then I feel a little guilty about being such a bourgeois First-Worlder.