Wednesday, August 4, 2010

QUALITY VS QUANTITY

I have a lot clothes. Even though, for the past few months, I've been weeding through my closet and getting rid (Plato's closet and Goodwill) of the things I don't love/want/need/fit anymore - the fact remains that I still have a lot of clothes. I've been doing a lot of thinking about why I have these items -
The validation of a full closet? The connection to the person who gave them to me? A really good sale?
I am going to explain my QUANTITY versus QUALITY issue in relation to a black dress but it really can be applied to any item - here we go!

I didn't have a black dress, I didn't really need a black dress but still I didn't have one and I might need it at the drop of a hat for some random black-dress-wearing occasion (I never did). So into Forever 21 I went and I found exactly one (yes one) black dress, so I bought it without even trying it on because, well, if that was all F21 had then that was what I was getting (silly me didn't even think to try any other stores back then). I bought it, brought it home, didn't try it on and it sat in my closet for many months until I wore it here. I didn't really like the style - it tied behind my back and made it uncomfortable to sit, the fabric - it was a hair magnet and clung to everything, or the cut - it was super low on the chest so I couldn't really wear it without something underneath. To say the least, I was a bit unsatisfied. But I rationalized that it wasn't THAT bad, it had been cheap, and I was sure I'd get lots of wear out of it because, after all, it IS a black dress. Hmpf ... uh, no. I haven't worn it since then.

(Fast forward five months and the addition many, many more clothes that I didn't need or love but that were bough simply because they were cheap.)

Enter American Apparel. They have lot of really basic pieces that go with pretty much everything, they aren't super expensive but they aren't F21 cheap either. I stalked the le sac dress and a few other seemingly super versatile items online for a while but never purchased anything (probably because I already had a black dress and didn't need another one, haha).

Enter HauteLook. I had been a member for a few months but hadn't bought anything because why buy it on discount from HauteLook when I could get it even cheaper at F21 (uh, duh?). Nevertheless, I enjoyed looking at all the pretty items on deep discount at HauteLook.

Enter a sale on HauteLook for American Apparel. To make a long story (a little) shorter, I found the black AA Cotton/Spandex/ Jersey Bandeau Dress for $20 (I had paid $16 for the F21 one that I never wore), I purchased it, received it two weeks later and I adore it. It is infinitely more comfortable and flattering than the one that I replaced, not to mention that the quality of the garment and fabric is so much better.

Going back to the reason that I hoarded so many cheap, unflattering, or uncomfortable clothes - I think I was just lazy. I knew I could get something acceptable at F21 for cheap and that was all that mattered. I didn't want to take the time or effort to search for something that I wanted, I just wanted to walk into a store and walk out. In the past few months I've learned that I can spend my money more wisely if I just am patient (not a strong point) and take the time to shop around. I'm sure I'll still check out F21 (and stores of the like) for trendy items, but as for the basics that I can get a lot of wear out of - I am slowing down and taking my time in order to get the best quality within my budget.

So the moral of the story is that while I had tons of clothes, I didn't really love the look or feel of many of them. I am going to continue to weed my closet of the unwanted, cheap basics that I don't love and replace them with ones that I do. The End. =)

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Dress: AA Bandeau Dress / HauteLook
Hat: D&Y / TJMaxx
Shoes: Yellow Box

8 comments:

Melissa said...

Well...that dress is PERFECT on you.

I'm in the same boat...I'd rather go for quantity. I had a $50 gift card to Macy's and HAD to find at least two things (if not more) on clearance, I couldn't be okay with splurging on just one good $50 item.

Hopefully we can both get into investing some time and money in good quality pieces.

Louise said...

I learned this lesson too late in my life! It's an ongoing process. <3

Lifebegins@thirty said...

Great post, my wardrobe is exactly the same...full..but half of it I don't wear because of the poor quality. I find I wear my vintage piece's more, they may be a few years (some decades!) older but the quality is so much better : )

Emily Kennedy said...

Now that's a great black dress. You are totally going to get SO much use out of it. I'm stoked you finally found the one.

Snappy-Q said...

Spot on! This is totally what I have been feeling about clothes lately.
So much so that I am not buying anything new (or thrifted even) until I have weeded out all the stuff I don't wear.
And that AA dress is awesome on you!

alya said...

This dress is beautiful on you!

Natasha the whimsical nerd said...

you look great in the dress! I like a lot of AA's clothes, and I like their ethical standards, but gosh darn it, their stupid ads piss me off.

Kyla said...

i'm totally with you on the quality over quantity thing. i'm discovering that it really is possible to have too many clothes - and actually makes it harder to get dressed!

i love this look - that dress is sure to get a ton of wear!

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