Helping me see the light

It took me (us really) all day to get these pictures taken, and now that I take a closer look, I see that perhaps I should capture myself when I’m a little more put-together, or not looking so tired. I also noticed that so far this week I’ve been wearing a white top with a solid skirt. Really, I wasn’t trying to, but it is an easy outfit to put together during these hot summer days.

anthropologie casement drapes blouse
american eagle knit skirt
target wakana strappy wedge
Now I want to take some time to reflect on yesterday’s post and everyone’s really helpful responses. Thank you guys for chiming in to share with me your thoughts and rationale for how to decide on when to go all the way with purchasing something at fp or waiting out for a sale. The thing about it for me is this: this is money that I earn and work hard for. I am given responsibility on how to spend it and whatever I decide, I need to feel good about that decision. So I think this is the underlying reason for addressing this topic – for a while there have been some purchases that I haven’t felt good about and that’s what really bugs me. On certain occassions I returned some of the items, but the rest I kept because I liked so much, even though there was no need for them or I wasn’t spending my money the smartest way. The simple decisions of buying at the pretty-looking store, surrounded by the beauty, distract me from the lessons my parents instilled in me on the value of money and its importance for providing me stability. And I feel so torn right then and there: do I want to enjoy my present, my now, with pretty things that help me enjoy life, or do I overlook pretty today for stability tomorrow and the day after that?
To put it in perspective with my personal life, I’m a full-time student and part-time researcher at the university. I have student loans that hover over my head even though I wish they didn’t exist. Since I can’t POOF! make them disappear, I have to exercise decisions that will keep me happy now but also make me feel like I made the right decisions for myself. Really, who knew shopping could become so complicated?? One of the main reasons I decided to start this blog is because I really wanted to catalog different looks with the items I already owned and genuinely wanted (still do) to make the most of what I have so that I’m not always tempted for something new. I also confess that I can outgrow my love for certain pieces quite easily, and that’s okay, but I need to replace, rather than accumulate. I believe Cat’s mantra is that for every new item that is introduced to the wardrobe, one item must say goodbye. I think I can live with that!

14 thoughts on “Helping me see the light

  1. I love your white shirt and skirt summer uniform – the same thing works for me!!Also, I really appreciate your post and honesty about spending and sales v. fp. I almost always wait until sale but once in a blue moon will bite the bullet. Feeling satisfied and not conflicted though is crucial.

  2. Each one of us has different priorities and values. That being said, I think you are very wise to incorporate the old with the new. You never know what tomorrow is going to bring. With that in mind, I say that if you can feel comfortable with your purchases while still thinking about the future than that is all that matters.Love the blue, white and yellow together! Have a great evening, Dea!

  3. Dea – I always shop with this in my head – "will i regret buying or not buying?". Usually I end up feeling like I would end up regretting making the purchase mostly because of a price tag. The times when my answer is the other way around, I still have to make the decision based on what my budget is. If i simply can't afford that item FP, then I grudgingly wait out a sale but end up happier in the end šŸ™‚

  4. I agree with Loraine in that everyone has different priorities and values. I think that as a person, you just have to live your life the best you can and in a way you can be proud. I try not to let petty things to get to me, and I try to be the person I want to be. I come from a very poor immigrant family and to think of what my mother would say to me for buying a dozen eggs that cost $7.50 sometimes breaks my heart. But I know those eggs come from chickens raised on the pasture, where they eat grass and grub and have sun and aren't cooped up. That makes me feel that the $7.50 isn't necessarily spending money to spend it, but because it's an choice I make from my own ethical standpoint. I'm trying to pay my student loans off. My spending has decreased. I imagine a future where I'm not bound by debt and bills, where I can live freely doing what makes me happy. That's enough to stop me from desiring an additional article of clothing I don't need.

  5. Oh, and I wanted to say that I read your blog because I love your style and even if you just wear the same pieces over and over, I will still read your blog. It's your style, not the article of clothing you own, that brings me back.

  6. HiI regularly read your blog and reading between the lines, would ask you to really search for WHY you buy the clothes that you do.Most of us have seen you in a lot of new Anthro items & assumed you could comfortably afford them.But sometimes, affordability & comfort zone ae 2 different things.One person may earn & save well, the other spend most of what they earn, while yet anothe rindividual saves 90% of what they earn.Each one has a differnt motivation & value system.Buying new clothes to gain attention, feel good, have what another has……these are all signs of a 'soft addiction'.You might have to do some soul searchng to find out which one gives the most 'high' & why.That said, responsibly prioritizing financial liabilities should be the first thing one addresses.This is my personal value system. It is not Ok to spend on non-necessities, while carrying a loan, or being on unemployment or disability.Prioritizing responsibility can fix economic problems and emotional ones at the same time.My advice is to allocate ( permanently till the student loan is paid off) a larger share to the student loan, some to savings & a minimal amount to shopping of any kind.Loving & shopping a brand like Anthro is expensive on any day…..unless you've limited yourself to sale items only….those too at a significant markdown.Try substituting shopping at other retailers with the same principle.You may find y ourself spending way less on your own.BTW, deferred gratification IS a sign of maturity & part of self-reliance.

  7. I think you have enough variety that it's fine if you wear the white top and solid skirt, I did not even notice until you wrote something!!! I think it's interesting that so many bloggers are writing about spending! It's such a touchy subject, but you tackled it with tact and insight!

  8. Dea, you look beautiful today! I'm so glad you touched on the subject of spending! I've been struggling with this same dillema lately! I started my blog for the same reasons – to make the most out of the clothes I have and not buy as many new items, but so far, it seems to have had the opposite effect. I was so sad yesterday because I couldn't afford to buy any of the new sale items! Your post has inspired me to wake up and realize I don't need to accumulate all these things to make myself happy. I need to be content with what I have and enjoy the real important things in life!

  9. Thank you, Dea for sharing this post. I think you're a very responsible spender and won't let yourself go into debt because of pretty clothes. I'm with you, I've made some not so great purchases before, which is why sometimes I spend almost an hour at the Anthro store contemplating whether to buy an item.

  10. I actually have been doing some thinking about this as well. I went through some REALLY bad things and I had lost almost my entire warbrobe. The one I spent my whole life building. Started from scratch. I wanted to make better decisions this time around. But I have to realize that I cannot do in a matter of months what took me years to accomplish. When I look at some of my favorite bloggers (including you), it is not just how many different things they wear that make me admire their style. It is how they can work with all the pieces in their wardrobe in so many ways. I need to do more of that too. šŸ™‚

  11. Love the AE knit skirt on you. The vibrant blue is so my color :). I wish it's still available.Hope you will enter my giveaway of a J Crew pearl bracelet at

  12. I really enjoyed reading your most recent articles btw. I feel your words. Sometimes I've been caught in the same dilemma: To buy or to wait. Having a small and petite frame, making that decision becomes even more difficult because I've very limited choices in size.

  13. i feel your pain on spending on clothing when i also have student loans, like you. i'm a anthro addict too and my bf chastises me for it but in a sweet way (most times).however, i always try to heed his advice that studies always show that people derive the most happiness from experiences rather than material things. when they look back on things at the end of their lives, they probably won't remember that one skirt that they paid $300 for full price on some random day, but they will remember a summer weekend away with loved ones that cost $150 per night (same total value).so just remember what really counts and we'll all be ok:)

  14. DEA: very topical and I noticed a lot of bloggers are addressing this issue. I too have many pretty things and wonder how many pretty things does one need? It is hard, at least for myself, to balance enjoying the fruits of my labor in ways that please me, and saving for the future. Tomorrow is never given nor promised. Again it's about balance and I am trying to gain that in all areas of my life, including work and personal. I applaud you for tackling this head on so openly and honestly.As others have mentioned, we all have different priorities in life and chose to spend our limited resources differently and there's no one person that can its right or wrong, since WE must live with the consequence, good or bad, with our decisions.I think all good advice and viewpoints have been given here. There is good food for thought and I plan to take some of the advice myself and incorporate. Life is about living each day, love and balance with an eye to the future.Love your simple, but elegant outfit……….as always you look great!

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