Out and about at the outlet mall

Oops, I did it again. Okay, it’s such a cliché but that’s the song that ran through my head when I bought new clothes for the second time since starting this project. 

Can I just say that even with the angst I mentioned in my previous post, I’m finding this shopping business pretty fun? Having a set budget sure beats walking around with the nebulous command "spend as little as possible" in my head.  

This time I was shopping in the U.S., at an outlet mall near my father's home. I used to shop there all the time (especially for my kids’ clothes and shoes), but I called it quits when the Canadian dollar tanked. Now, with my new policy of shopping for things I love, rather than just the cheapest option, I figured it was worth a trip. 

As any savvy outlet shopper knows, the best finds are on those crazy mash-up racks of unsold or out-of-season items sent over from a brand's regular retail stores, not the tidy displays of seasonally appropriate outfits made especially for the outlet. 

Combing through that chaos takes time, especially in the change room, because there’s often a good reason something didn’t sell. (It doesn’t fit true to size or has a weird cut that doesn’t flatter anyone, for example.)  At Saks Off Fifth, where the racks were full of designer labels at impressive discounts, I spent about 30 minutes filling a cart with items to try on, and another 30 minutes in the change room, where only three or four of the 20-odd pieces I’d picked looked remotely appealing on me. After all that, I headed to the cash register with exactly one item – this Saks-brand sleeveless sweater with buckle detailing. 

I had more luck at a much smaller store, Barbour, where I couldn’t stop admiring a v-neck sweater that reminded me of a hockey jersey. (Just don't ask me what team.)  

Then I tried on the softest black silk shirt I’d ever seen and was sold by the grey lining on the collar and cuffs. On my way out of the shop, I bought some cords. Nothing too thrilling, but they were on super-sale and seemed like they’d be a practical addition to my insanely neglected “clothes to wear on the weekend” collection. (I'll be putting up a gallery of my buys at the end of the month.)

Total cost for the day (not including my ritual stop for Godiva dark chocolate ice-cream, which is the other reason I like going to this mall): $250, which with my theatre purchase earlier this month put my spending at $450. 

But that was before I went back the next day for shoes...