What’s new (and slightly less new) in retail

“The rules of hair care are simple and finite. Any Cosmo girl would have known.”

The same could be said about shopping. From one Elle’s advice to the next, here are some of my retail rules, illustrated by my recent exploits:

Shopping Fact – If it’s Kate Spade, and it’s on sale, you must try it on. (Too bad none were in my size…)

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(Okay, these shoes were my size, but they were still over $100 on sale at Nordstrom Rack)

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Shopping Fiction – If it zips, it fits. (This Kate Spade dress zipped, but it sure as hell didn’t fit.)

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Cardinal Rule #1 – Never buy anything you have to lose weight to wear. (Unless it’s really really pretty and makes you look super skinny if only it would zip all the way in the back…. yeah, I’m toast.)

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Shopping Fact – Never pay full price for fabulous. Thanks Marshall’s for that one. (Polka dot dress by Calvin Klein  – originally $119, bought for $29 at TJ Maxx)


Cardinal Rule #2 – Look expensive with cheap accessories + nice basics, or quality accessories + cheap basics. (Here are my two cheap $10 accessories, both from H&M.)

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Cardinal Rule #3 – Beware the RCF. RCF is a term my sisters and I made up that stands for “Relative Cuteness Factor.” The trap of RCF usually occurs when you’re stuck in a less-than-desirable shopping situation, and you start to want something on the rack because, relative to everything else around it, it’s cute. Taken out of its inhospitable fashion environment, it’s probably something you’d never wear. Ever. (IE, the time I got trapped in the DFW airport for six hours and began to think that, next to a ton of Brighton, Vera Bradley was starting to look appealing.)


New Cardinal Rule – Never pay $50 for a friggin’ candle. Even if it smells like heaven and looks like a giant cheese wheel. (Thank you, Anthropologie)


Shopping Fiction – If something is out of your price range, don’t even try it on because it will make you want it more. FALSE. You should always TRY IT ON ANYWAYS. How else will you know what size to get when, after months of watching it online, it *finally* goes on sale?

Cardinal Rule #4 – If it’s something that doesn’t usually go on sale, take a picture, make a note, and add it to your (OCD, impeccably curated) birthday list. (Again, thank you Anthro.)


I think that’s enough for today’s lesson. Godspeed and happy hunting!

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