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Why did I buy that?

7 years ago by

I consider myself a smart shopper…

I try really hard to stick to my Altfit mantra and only buy things I’m actually going to wear. But every once in a while, I slip up.

The other day, I found myself standing in front of my closet thinking “what the #@$!?” as I pulled out an oversize basketball jersey dress with a sequined #87 on the front and a never worn (okay maybe once worn) red Liberty print Supreme hat that I bid like a mad woman for on eBay (Mary Kate can pull it off, why can’t I?).

Did I have a total loss of self (and consciousness) at the time of those purchases? Do I think I’m really that cool that I can wear a basketball jersey as a dress? Was that Supreme hat really worth the bidding war (I won’t even tell you what I paid for it…)? 

Do you ever make these kinds of not really you at all purchases, where at the time you can totally justify it and you envision yourself wearing it all the time?

PS: Full disclosure- I did wear that basketball jersey dress to a party and out to a bar one night. And listen here single ladies: guys love jerseys and they love dresses. They assume that you are an encyclopedia of sports knowledge and that you want nothing more than to discuss the Stanley Cup with them (yeah, it’s a basketball jersey but they don’t care, they just love sports!). So I will recommend jersey dressing for nights where you’re in the mood for a little harmless flirting. Just try not to bring up Tim Riggins…he doesn’t count. 


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  • Been there! I have a particular weakness for thrift shop blazers – about half of them in my closet I’ve never worn, or maybe once. It’s a sickness, it really is! ;-)

  • i think it happened to everybody, at least 100 times :)


  • Poor Alex! I used to but things that I wouldn’t wear, I don’t anymore.
    My trick? I only shop Every two months so that when i spent an entire month without shopping, i only go for the essential pieces I really want. Works every time!

    Paris-New York Fashion Blog
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    Xoxo Cory

  • Léopoldine August, 13 2013, 12:23 / Reply


  • Ahah! Oui, ça met arrivé assez souvent. Maintenant, je fais très attention lorsque j’essai un vêtement et si j’ai un mini-doute et je fais la face de la fille qui n’est pas trop sûr je le remet sur le support et je ne l’achète pas. J’essai de penser le plus vite possible comment et avec quoi je porterai ce vêtement/souliers. Ce n’est pas parce que j’aime un truc qui se doit d’être acheté. :)

  • Je suis contente de pouvoir dire que ce genre d’achat ne m’est pas arrivé depuis longtemps, mais je vois tout à fait de quoi tu parles!


  • Je m’en suis rendue compte le jour ou j’ai commence a vider mes placards !

  • moi pour être sûre que ça ne m’arrive plus, quand j’ai un doute, je fais un test très efficace : je sors du magasin, et je me dis “si j’y repense encore dans 3 jours, je reviendrai me l’acheter”… et c’est très rare que je revienne 3 jours après ;-)
    et sinon, OUI on veut voir la photo !!

  • We ALL do it! The thing is to forgive ourselves, regardless the cost, and send the misbegotten items off to charity for a new life with someone who might be able to rock the dress or hat (god forbid AND :-)).

    Then it opens space in our closets for the new, sumptuous thing that fits and make us beautiful and happy.

  • Just right, Nora!

  • GUILTY! I totally feel your pain, a few weeks ago I was cleaning my wardrobe and I found some old pieces that I couldn’t believe I actually had bought that by myself (and it was a FREE choice!) haha anyways, I think that will always happen as it’s all part of growing up! Naturally with time we change our taste and that is reflected on clothes as well :)

  • It is interesting …. Great day.


  • Very rarely, but I’m at least 15 years older than you ;-) xxx

  • this is why i read the blog everyday! It seams as if you read my mind at least once a week. “why dia i buy that” is a thought that has been haunting me since yesterday. Nope… can’t return it!

  • Sounds so familiar! Sometimes you just see someone rocking an item and want too it no matter what. After 2 years (or months) the trend and fixation is over and you come to the conclusion it looks horrible on you or isn’t your style at all. Sometimes I wished I was more like my guy. He buys a shirt, it’s okay and wears it forever. So easy! Why can’t woman be more like that! xx


  • Haha, I actually bought an oversized (okay let’s say: ridiculously oversized) varsity hoodie/dress/whatever a few weeks ago. But I won my consciousness back at home and brought it back. I think everybody has this, just sell it to a person who will actually like it at the next flea market :)

    Lisa – AT LEAST BLOG

  • Been there, done that. I suppose it is a process as to getting mature and finding what really suits you?

  • LOL, i so miss friday night lights and sexy sexy Tim Riggins.

    Hilarious, I have so many of those why did i buy this moments, i just give the clothes away, quickly. As I get older I have less of that happening

  • Ooooohhhh yes… I once bought a Stella McCartney nude jersey dress – have no idea what happened there. Maybe I blame label blindness, or a too efficient sales rep. I am a pale Scandinavian, and not nearly skinny enough to pull off clingy jersey dresses (least of all in nude colour!!!). It looks hideous on me, but I paid a small fortune for it, so I can’t bring myself to give it to charity just yet. I have tried selling it on eBay for some time now, but the people out there seem to have more sense than me… I also have a tendency to buy very cute dresses, the kind that Taylor Swift would rock, but they are not at all my style. I can’t figure out why I keep being drawn to them though…

  • Me oh my, yes! I am addicted to bargain hunting, so If I think something is an amazing steal I will sometimes will myself into liking some ridiculous trend. Oh well that is what bib+tuck (bib+tuck.com) is for.

    Liz – Onehundredfiftyone

  • hihi. was in a sports department store yesterday! Looking at basketball jerseys. Perhaps I´ll take your advice to heart.


  • Do this all the time, but I am getting better!


  • I have made SO MANY mistakes. The coated jeans that were on sale but didn’t fit just right. The printed jeans I insist on wearing even though I know they make my butt look huge. The 1950’s sundress that is adorable but that I’ve worn maybe twice. What can we do? Sometimes I make really good decisions, but generally those decisions look like dark skinny jeans or simple black silk blouses. We can’t be practical and elegant ALL the time, can we? How boring would that be?

  • I recently bought a very bright and bold print blouse from a store and for some reason got the idea in my head I NEEDED the matching skirt, which was way outside my budget. I was on the verge of buying it and my boyfriend called and I told him where I was and what I was about to buy and he was like ‘get out of there right now…I promise you’ll regret buying that’!’ (I am very happy I didn’t buy the skirt) – So dial-a-shopping-alter-ego is my new trick for escaping those crazy moments (except that now I probably won’t answer the phone at those times!)

  • I am in ‘mistake-guilty-group’ as well…My problem is more often not a style that I buy, but the size..I see something I like..really love and they do not have the size that would fit me best, so I opt for smaller size hoping I loose weight (we all are hoping for this, do not we?!). It is so tight in the end that it is either not flattering, or, I can not close the zipper etc..Or, I feel all my extra flabs and muffins are out and that’s the least pleasant.
    I open the closet and see several dresses I even did not wear once!
    What is a remedy? :-)

  • Stephanie August, 14 2013, 1:02 / Reply

    Hi Garance,
    More often then not your posts make me feel so happy to know I am not alone in what we do for fashion and style.

    If it makes you feel better – I got home the other night from work at around 11:20 pm. I start to online shop and found a what at that moment was the most amazing beautiful gold leather skirt and within 10 minutes of seeing it online I bought it! no thoughts just the credit card out asap! I have yet to receive it AND I keep telling myself that I will transform and wear it everyday – BUT – as a constant jeans girl in a small casual town – it will probably sit in my closet for years as something I love too much to give away – but yet will never wear for all sorts of reasons. sigh…. I try to think that sometimes our impulse buys are just our alter egos screaming for attention – someday that gold skirt for every day could (and I hope that) it will be me! someday…

  • On fait des projections sur cette autre femme que l’on aimerait être de temps en temps….et puis non ! :-)

  • Hey Alex,

    I was just confronted with my “slips” the other weekend when i sold two huge cartons of stuff i had never worn on a local fleamarket. When a girl tried on a piece and i assured her how cute she looked (this one was a pencil skirt with a seagull-print) she asked me “so why are you selling it then?” “Cause i can´t pull it off, but you totally can” (it was true but it made her suspicious) It can be hard to resist that fantasy that the Fashion industry creates. Sometimes we want to be a part of it whether it suits us or not.

  • question i ask myself very often


  • Lu un très joli livre à ce sujet :

    “Dressing” de Jane Sautière

    Lecture d’été parfaite, écriture précise et ciselée.


  • A lime green fur bag, what was I thinking?

  • Salut Alex!

    C’est mon premier com sur le blog de Garance, mais j’y suis quasi forcée : Tim Riggins ne compte pas pour du beurre!!!
    Cette série est topissime…

  • I too, have many unworn items: 2 pencil skirts that I thought I needed for work, but can’t drive my car/ walk in them, a short black skirt, a white cocktail dress, a dark blue top, a black jacket that I didn’t like after al…

    I’m going to donate them to charity as well. In September I’m going to do a BIG closet cleaning and then I’ll go shopping. Haha!

  • Donating is always good, I’m not trying to discourage you; but, since you have 3 skirts that don’t work, I wondered if you considered taking them to a tailor and getting panels of contrasting or complementary fabric sewn into the sides or along the hem? I’ve seen a lot of similar skirts in stores recently, so I just thought I’d mention it.

  • I want all your drawings. They are so beautiful!! And good piece of writing, as usual. Pleasure to read! XO


  • Loving the altfit mantra although pretty sure I could never stick to it.

  • Ha ha ha! If guys mistake me as reference book of athletic greats/frustrations, there is no way I will wear a sports jersey dress. I know nothing, and will only get myself caught in a lie. XD


  • I always think I’m going to turn myself into this bad*** chick with rocker tshirts and black boots…and then I always end up going for the same “put together” look I have been doing for years.

    Though sometimes it is nice to force yourself to reinvent your look!

  • TIM. RIGGINS. oui.

  • It certainly must have happened to me as well but I think it is not very often my case. I am very difficult with shopping, takes me ages to decide, so I think I mostly go only for stuff I am pretty sure about. What on the other hand happens very often is that I did not buy something (hmm, I can write a post about that :)), I knew I should have, but of course I come to that conclusion when it is already gone.


  • Je me pose la même question avec ce tout nouveau tee shirt Snoopy… Mais qu’ai je fait ?

  • I am doing this less and less as I get older-ahem, more mature-but I am still guilty of it too often for my liking. Luckily my husband brings me crashing back to earth. The other day I came home on a sales high with a sweatshirt dress with a flared hem made of some kind of poofy neoprene material and my husband took one look at me and said “You look like a marshmallow. Please don’t wear that in front of my friends.” Back it went.

  • Je pense que tu as clairement ete victime des tendances! ahah
    Ca m’arrive souvent de voir sur le net des pieces que j’adoreeeee mais a chaque fois je me dis “Lola, est ce que tu penses vraiment que tu vas porter ca? Est-ce que c’est vraiment ton style?”. Et a partir du moment ou je me pose cette question, je sais qu’il ne faut pas que j’achete, ou du moins en ligne. Apres on peut toujorus aller essayer en magasin et la pour le coup se rendre compte si ca va ou pas!
    Par exemple cette jupe culotte Zara que toutes les filles s’arrachent. Je l’ai essaye et franchement j’ai trouve que ca ne m’allait pas du tout! Alors que pourtant j’avais vraiment flashe dessus sur internet et sur beaucoup de style different! Pour le maillot de basket c’est pareil, j’hesite a m’en prendre un mais je pense que je vais attendre d’en voir un en boutique pour voir si ca convient a mins tyle ou pas!
    Mon copain porte beaucoup de casquette supreme, mais franchement sur les filles moi je ne suis pas fan, sauf pour vraiment un style particulier mais sinon c’est loin d’etre le genre de couvre chef qui convient a tous les styles!

    Si ca t’interesse j’organise un concour spour gagner un pull en cachemire su rmom blog. voila le lien:

    A bientot et fait attention le prochaine fois ;)

  • Haha, it happens to me every (months) year! But I now force myself to think about where I could wear my new dress or something while doing some shopping… !


  • C’est drôle… Mêmes envies, mêmes marques. Moi, j’ai rêvé de ces fringues, le débardeur de sport y a 20 ans… Les US quoi, le sport universitaire, le graphisme, la maille, les couleurs… Hip hop, look, style, gazelle Adidas, casquette, boyfriend, c’était y a 20 ans… Preepy… Et maintenant, j’en ai encore envie. Supreme, c’est autre chose, c’est un emblème d’un art de vivre, NY, LA… J’en ai une aussi, je voulais la Liberty, mais… A NY ou LA, je vais dans la boutique, j’achète quasi rien, mais je reste, je hume… Et je suis heureuse. C’est aussi ça la mode… De l’art, de la culture, une époque…

  • I cant stop thinking about Tim Riggins, the cutest darn football player in the world.

  • YES! Fantastic post Alex. I too am guilty of a hot pink Lanvin pump purchase that I thought was a must! The only time they spent out on the streets was part of a Halloween I dressed as malibu barbie… they look much more suited for Rupaul.

  • u r so funny…a football jersey is so sexy…today i wore a Alexander Wang blue and black striped dress and i just got a goyard french blue tote I thought is was a bad idea to carry but i did anyway and it was ..i thought people would think i had a thing for blue…so crazy lol ps i was the person who bought a lu lu lemon when i was having a toe operation so i would look more athletic then invalid lol

  • Ah si tu savais combien d’achats inutiles j’ai dans ma penderie…


  • I was wondering who did this illustration, is it Garance or Alex?

  • Depuis deux ans maintenant, budget serré oblige, je me fais des listes d’achats de trucs dont j’ai envie, besoin, et comme ça je peux revenir la corriger, la compléter. Ainsi j’ai toujours avec moi cette liste et je peux shopper plus rapidement et intelligemment. Comme ça j’évite les achats inutiles que l’on regrette. Une seule règle : si un vêtement ou un accessoire reste plus de deux mois dans ma liste, c’est que je peux l’acheter sans risquer regret ou oublie de l’achat deux semaines après :)


  • I envy those who have a singular style and are quite content to stick to it. It makes buying and dressing so much easier.

    Evidently I am not. Like a bipolar person I fancy myself in all kind of trends, boho one month, preppy next, business, laura ashley, industrial, mad man, ethinic, americana, audrey hapburn…..i like them all and would buy pieces when the fancy strikes.

    it’s not supposed to be this way, being almost 50. it’s ok to be lost in styles when one is 20 something, even 30 something but almost 50?! Come on, isn’t it about time to really know what suits me the most and stick to it???

    I am working on it, really seriously working on it.

  • I literally just purchased (and so far only worn once) the Eastpak x Raf Simons new backpack and I’m totally having second thoughts! I like it, but tt’s not as amazing as I thought it would be….

  • I totally do this…. I super wish I could dress in colorful bohemian prints (think anthropologie and free people) but my look is waaaay more classic j crew and banana republic. whenever I do buy something out of my comfort zone, it never gets worn simply because I don’t feel like ME when I wear it. am learning more as I get older to just be true to myself and be ok, with it.

  • For me, at least, if I’m really drawn to something and obsessed with something, I consider it to be “me,” even if it’s outside of my usual style. My fashion regrets are things I bought that didn’t quite fit properly, but I just had to have them, and of course then barely wore them. I find that those “so not me” items work for everyone, you just have to find the specific style or item that works for you. For example, I love baseball hats, but snapbacks look terrible on me so I stick to classic curved-bill baseball caps to complete my urban-chic outfits. I also discovered that they look great with my hair in a low bun but terrible when I leave my hair down.

  • Aha c’est cool de lire les commentaires on se sent moins seule a faire certaines choses !!
    Moi aussi (comme dit plus haut) j’ai une regles avec une copine, si on hesite pour quoi que se soit, on se dit “si j’en rêve cette nuit ou que j’y repense demain et apres demain, alors ça vaut le coup”
    Mais malheureusement on peut toujours se laisser influencer par des filles dans la rue (qui n’ont pas la meme morphologie mais ça on s’en compte apres) ou par des stars ( mary kate for exemple :P) ou des photos de mode etc… Et se retrouver avec des pieces qu’on mettra peut etre jamais !!

    Merci pour le post !

  • I have never met a hat I didn’t like. I try to resist but I often give in. The problem is that I rarely wear them and I think why did I buy that? I live in a small town and so I feel self-conscious wearing them here. My solution is to hang them on the wall as decoration.

  • Mary Beth August, 24 2013, 2:20 / Reply

    YES. For some strange reason, I keep thinking that at some point, I’m going to step on board the Titanic, or that Madame de Rosemonde is going to invite me to her country estate, and I need something nice to wear for when I dine with Valmont. Or that the casting director for Jersey Boys is going to ask me to sub in for the final number, and I’m going to need to provide my own groovy beaded minidress.

  • Like totally! Happens to me 2!

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