Deprivation and the delights of mix 'n' match

Yesterday I went on another clothes shopping jaunt -- definitely my last for the summer. I went to my local Target, which almost literally throws out clothes at this time of year. Clothes were discounted up to 60 per cent, and dresses and other items from one of the designer lines were selling for as little as $19, down from over $100 in some cases.

Two things emerged out of my little trip.

More and more I'm coming to embrace, rather than just accept feelings of deprivation as part of the Inspired Shopping experience. When I'm choosing what to try on and, in the changeroom, what to buy, there will be some items that my emotions or rational mind tell me I should buy but my intuition doesn't.

The Yeojin Bae dresses for instance. One of them, a simple black shift with V-neck, short sleeves and made of a satin-like material, seemed too good not to buy. And at under $20, what did I have to lose? But I knew I wouldn't wear it more than once or twice, and I'm just not prepared to buy clothes that fit into that category (unless for a once-off super special occasion). Plus (and I'm afraid this is a secondary consideration, but it's still a valid one) there was no doubt someone would come along who would get a hell of a lot more wear out of it than I would -- in other words, it had someone else's name on it.

So, in making even my initial choices, I frequently feel a sense of loss. I don't want to minimise this. It's very difficult, when you're good at spotting bargains, to hold back when there are shoppers around you wielding carts and dumping multiples of cut-price clothes into them (some of the clothes, no doubt, destined for eBay). But these feelings are actually fine, because they tell me I'm working the process properly, and practising discrimination. Yesterday I ended up taking five items to the changeroom and buying only two of them, a short-sleeved emerald green cardigan for $15.50, and a drawstring cap sleeve casual top, in a royal blue that really suited me, for $6.50. Not a bad morning's work!

However, my sense of deprivation continued in the changeroom, when my intuition said no to a pair of $11 jeans. And there was the $10 jacket, down from about $80, with just a button missing and very cute, large lapels -- OK, so it was two sizes too big and I work from home so don't need such office wear, but again, hard to part with. 'Someone is really going to appreciate this find', I thought as I put it back on the hanger.

The fact is, I don't need to know why my intuition -- my deepest self -- sometimes 'rejects' the things that my conscious self thinks are OK. Often I can guess of course, but I'm happy just to trust the process.

The other thing I realised is that I definitely have enough clothes for the rest of summer. The urge for new things can sometimes be a refusal, on my part, to look at new ways to pair up the clothes I have. Sometimes I can wear something only a few times and find it's already lost its sense of newness. Then I know it's time to pair it with something I haven't tried it with before.

I'll be avoiding the sales for a little while, although I'll pop into my favourite fashion stores to look at the autumn ranges (I really enjoy this browsing aspect of shopping).

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