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avoiding shopping temptation?

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Several months ago I was impulsive. I booked a trip to Egypt and then when my friend asked me if I wanted to go to the Oktoberfest in Munich. Within the next two months, I’ll have been on two trips. Both of these are things that I can afford to do, just about. But I can’t afford to go wild.

The only trouble is that in my experience there are all sorts of sundry expenses with travelling, and they’ve just started - I’ve split my jeans.

I don’t have a huge wardrobe of clothes and tend to wear a sort of uniform outfit almost all the time. On work days I wear a suit and a v-neck or scoop neck top. On casual days I wear jeans, a fitted t-shirt and normally a fitted lightweight fleece. I have few other days, but have a black tie outfit, a funeral outfit and a couple of skirts and things to fill in any gaps.

I know I’ve said it before, but I find it extremely difficult to find certain types of clothes. I’m 5 foot tall, and wear about a British size 12-14. (My, now dead, Gap jeans were US size 10). I have normal length legs for my height, but of course I’m so short, that my legs are too short even for *short people’s clothes*. This makes it hard to find trousers - including jeans – so I only ever have one or two pairs at a time, leaving me with no non-split jeans.

My jeans are dead and I definitely need to replace them. Ideally, by dress down Friday, but definitely before I go to Oktoberfest (bizarrely at the end of September). Which means that I need to go shopping.

This is the beginning of a slippery slope. If I’m going to go shopping, I’m thinking that I may as well work out what else I need to buy. And then there’s the clothes and shoes that ask you to buy them as you walk past. Not to mention the horrors of shopping for jeans.

To add insult to injury, Gap, my former staple jeans shop no longer does really short jeans. I had a quick scout around last night on the way home from work and found that River Island have a vast selection of shorter length jeans at £40 a pair (~$75-$80). Those might well do – short people can’t be too choosy when it comes to clothes that fit.

I will plough onwards and upwards undaunted, and definitely either go shopping on Thursday night and only buy jeans, or go on the weekend, make a short list, and stick to it.

For other people that struggle with clothes shopping – either with temptation, or the difficulty of it or, like me, both – have you got any hints, tips or tricks? Let me know in the comments.

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16 comments for “avoiding shopping temptation?”

  1. I have to say that I love River Island jeans - they come in three different lengths and are really good value at around £30-£40 a pair.

    When I’m going shopping for a particular item, I keep my head down and head straight for the right section in the store. Otherwise, as soon as I start admiring all the bright, pretty things I want them all! I also find it helpful to take my boyfriend shopping with me, as his boredom and complaining takes the fun out of it so I don’t linger and waste time!

    Posted by FruGal | September 2, 2008, 1:35 pm
  2. How long do your gap jeans last? I find that Gap clothing is poorly made and not worth it. I would spend extra for something that is going to last me longer… So maybe go for the River Island jeans.

    If you are very concerned about overspending, you could just take only the cash you need for the jeans, and then you can’t buy anything else. :)

    Posted by deepali | September 2, 2008, 3:04 pm
  3. Oh the temptation! I’m terrible when it comes to clothes shopping. I love clothes. I, too, am in the market for some new jeans. I’ve actually been avoiding the stores for fear that I’ll walk out with a lot more than jeans.

    My plan is to figure out how much I can afford to spend on clothes and just try really hard to stick to that amount. If I can find jeans and have a little left over for something else, great. If not, I need to stick to jeans only. Good luck!

    By the way, I’m so jealous that you’re going to Egypt. It’s one of my dream destinations!

    Posted by Kristen | September 2, 2008, 3:13 pm
  4. Hello, why don’t you look on Ebay to replace the Gap jeans you loved? There should be a tag on the inside of the jeans with the style name. Since you already know what size you are, hopefully it won’t be too hard to find them. I would look on Ebay’s US site for more availability than in the UK.

    Posted by Viviana | September 2, 2008, 3:17 pm
  5. The interwebs- go online to all the places you can think that might have good jeans options. Pick a few styles from their online catalogue. Call a few stores and ask if they have the items you are considering in the sizes you think will work and ask them to hold them for you.
    Go to store; collect and try on only the items set aside for you and purchase only what fits.
    Also if you think Gap has a good fit, why not just get a pair and get them taken up? If you don’t think you could get it done by Friday that wundaweb stuff in extra strong works on denim.
    Of course I have been jean-less for 2 years now because I can’t find a pair that fits- so I may not be the best person to give advice.

    Posted by Looby | September 2, 2008, 3:20 pm
  6. I avoid shopping and therefore avoid the temptations. I only let myself go shopping if I know that I need something specific, and then I go to the store and, like FruGal, just don’t look around me until I get back out of the store.

    Shopping is the worst temptation I fight. I always can think of something else I need for my flat or I see something that would be the perfect Christmas gift for a friend.

    Posted by Maggie | September 2, 2008, 7:12 pm
  7. @Frugal:
    T’is a good idea to bring someone who hates shopping, although I’ve found they usually require bribery.

    Gap clothes in general, I’d say mostly poorly made and not worth the money (not exactly a cheap shop). I’ve found things that are made from sturdy fabric - denim, jersey - lasts longer. When it comes to jeans, I go with what fits over anything else. I think I’ve had these jeans for about a year to eighteen months, and I wear them quite a lot.

    I too have been avoiding shops. A bit annoying when you really need to buy.

    I hadn’t thought of Ebay, I’ll take a look.

    The reason I’m not going to get them long and take them up is that I’m not a big fan of that look on jeans. All my other trousers get bought petite because petite clothes have a different fit than just short/regular and also because I’m really that short I have to take them up anyway.

    Maybe I should get some blinders like they put on horses.

    Posted by plonkee | September 2, 2008, 8:17 pm
  8. Did you try Gap online? I know they carry an expanded size / length selection. I have a friend who is really tall and has to order her jeans online from them. They might have your shorter jeans as well.

    Posted by HisHersMoney | September 3, 2008, 11:25 am
  9. Ha! I like the idea of horse binders. I’ve struggled with overspending on clothes for years. Now, I try to do pretty much what other folks have said: stick to a budget and a list. It sounds like good quality jeans will be a good investment for you. I have an expensive pair that I bought several years ago and still love. I agree with you, though, trying on jeans is rarely my favorite shopping task!

    Posted by Mydailydollars | September 4, 2008, 11:41 am
  10. Luckily I don’t have any clothes shopping problems. In fact, I probably have the opposite problem of never buying clothes even when I really need them. My wife actually needs to buy me clothes when my jeans gets threadbare. It is kind of ridiculous and maybe I should do a little more shopping.

    Posted by Jack | September 5, 2008, 4:11 am
  11. Hope you found what you were looking for!

    I do find it hard to find jeans. When I need new clothes I work out beforehand what I need, i.e. jeans, trousers, 2 shirts etc. I then purchase those only!

    Posted by Frugal Trenches | September 6, 2008, 5:51 pm
  12. Actually, I’ve been trying the opposite tactic: I bring someone who likes the hunt and send them out into the stores. It helps to bring someone who is tall, and focused. My friend is tall enough he can easily spot all the sizes on the racks quickly, grabs everything and brings it to me. I stay away from temptation, concentrating on the budget constraints, and try things on.

    This way, my enthusiastic friend gets to “shop” without paying anything, I get to do nothing but try things on as that’s all the patience I have given the number of items that won’t fit, and we’re through pretty quickly.

    I thought there was a site that allowed you to customize your jeans for a slightly higher price than I’d be willing to pay for jeans, but if they’re good quality, perhaps they’re worth a look? (I think one is mejeans.com, the other is makeyourownjeans.com. I’ve no personal experience with them, I just recall someone had suggested the option.)

    Posted by Revanche | September 10, 2008, 1:08 am
  13. Plonkee, I will also be at Oktoberfest this week. What are your travel dates? Shoot me an email!

    Posted by poetloverrebelspy | September 30, 2008, 6:42 am
  14. I agree with you up to a point - ive started budgeting heavily recently, shopping at Primark and Peacocks - who both have excellent cheap ladies clothes of all types.

    Posted by ladies jeans | October 28, 2008, 12:26 pm

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