When I walk into a sale akin to the Neiman Marcus clearance I attended last week, I without fail go through the five stages of bargain hunting: Anticipation, Frenzy, Anger, Negotiation and Rationalization.
Anticipation. I lie in bed at night dreaming of organized racks of curated Band of Outsiders meets Carven marked down to 90% off, empty dressing rooms, water on demand and Manolo Blahnik gift-bags at the door.
Frenzy. As my dreams become distant and I reach a somewhat lucid state of consciousness, my anticipation slowly turns into anxiety (“What if everyone else knows about this magical place and the Manolo Blahnik gift-bags are all gone before I arrive?!”). Upon arrival at the sale (three hours early, no doubt), the immediate sensory overload quickly turns into a full on frenzy (“Who are all of these people? Where did she get that?”) which results in some light stalking of fellow patrons and flying arms while I try to snap up anything within my grasp, regardless of size, like an Australian Sundew plant for fabric.
Anger. After loading myself up with more clothing than a pack mule could carry, I climb over throngs of people to force my way into a dressing room with my bounty and hole myself up in the corner room to pore over my discoveries without interference. I try on my treasure only to find holes in fabric (“But this was the last one!”), lurking zero’s on price tags (“I thought this said fifty dollars”) and sizes that are there for a reason. My rage mounts at each discovery as I become more and more outraged that only 100 of the 500 items I managed to rip from other shoppers hands are even purchasable. What was the point!
Bargaining. As I come off of my bender I remind myself that I couldn’t purchase everything in the room even if I wanted to (credit cards have their limits, after all), and I begin bargaining with myself, the clothing (“Three sizes up is totally fixable, right?”), and my checking account (“If I get the dress and the coat, I promise I won’t do any more shopping this
year month”). Ultimately, I walk out with a few more items than I went in planning to purchase, most of which are in the wrong size and will require some post-sale work… and no gift-bag.
Rationalization. What else is a girl left to do, it was final sale.
Case in point: This dress, which is two sizes too big, was a product of the aforementioned trip to the Neiman Marcus clearance (I also left with a sweater that is three sizes bigger than that which the US sizing chart has designated as mine). With no tailoring and some creative styling (read: just bunching all of the excess fabric in the back), I think I actually managed to do something right for once. Either that, or I am still in stage five. Only time will tell.
– Lynsey Eaton
shirt dress: McQ by Alexander McQueen (similar on sale here; also love this one) / heels: Camilla Skovgaard (old; a CRAZY deal on these, and similar on sale here and here) / earrings: Oscar de la Renta (similar here and here) / clutch: Jennifer Haley (similar here; also adore this one) / sunglasses: Red’s Outfitters c/o Waiting on Martha / watch: c/o Daniel Wellington
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images by SUKILYNN for TKC