I'm fascinated by embellished and decorated jeans, yet also horrified that anyone would think they were (1) appropriate to create, (2) appropriate to sell, or (3) appropriate to wear.
Thrift stores often have embellished jeans mixed in among all the Levi's and Lee's, but they're usually like the premium denim -- you might find one or two pairs on a rack of a hundred pairs of jeans. Yesterday, though, I found 3 pairs in a row, all in my size (not that I would wear them!). Check out these denim gems:
While the pair on the right is relatively understated as embellished jeans go, the pair on the left is about as embellished as you can get. The football theme starts with the "yard lines" around the pockets and continues past the football players down to the goal post at the ankle. The middle pair, with its Hawaiian theme, is my least favorite kind of embellished jeans: the painted jeans. Painted jeans almost always wind up looking like someone got bored in art class and started doodling away on their pants, instead of like an intentional fashion statement.
But no matter how funny I find these jeans to be, I swear I never wear anything like these!
I'm not the only frugal shopper in my family; in fact, while we all have varying tolerances for shopping, we all love to get a good deal. Take, for example, the Salvation Army expedition I went on with my sister (center), my mom (not pictured), and my grandmother (on right) this summer. We all left with multiple bags of goodies! (That box in my arms was a brand new bathroom cabinet.)
I'm also not the only thrift store fan. My husband likes them because he figures if I'm going to shop all the time, at least it's inexpensive. But my dog Toby is probably the biggest fan of all—he loves the way thrift store clothes smell when I bring them home! Something similar to this scene happens every time I bring home a thrift store haul:
I guess frugality just runs in our blood!
Today I lost a bet. A stupid bet. And now, for the month of September, I'm banned from shopping.
Since moving to our new house, my husband and I have been planning to buy a new TV for our living room, as our 4+ year old one is not quite up to par anymore. Of course, that meant that my husband wanted to get an even bigger TV.
TV shopping is one of the few shopping experiences I let my husband handle; to me, they all pretty much look the same, and they're all pretty much way too big. He had picked out a 55" Vizio from Wal-Mart and debated for a few days with our friend Chris whether the box containing the TV would actually fit in our car.
I told them that they were being ridiculous; of course it would fit. I was so sure of the stowing capacity of my car (which has moved me in and out of college dorms, carted bookshelves and Rubbermaid bins, and can fit our dog's crate) that I promised it would fit... and if it didn't, I wouldn't go shopping for a month. So I told him to get a move on and buy the darn TV already.
Today, we went to buy the TV. Man, that box was massive. They let us wheel it out to the car on a heavy duty stock room cart (with which William ran over my toe, breaking my toenail).
It didn't fit.
We had to put the box in an empty parking spot next to us, unpack it, and then load the TV, styrofoam, and flattened box into the car separately... and it still didn't fit. The flattened box was still slightly too long for the car, so I had to go back into Wal-Mart, purchase a package of bungee cords, and then figure out how to hook them onto my car such that they would hold the trunk shut. All while receiving tips, "That happened to us, too!" comments, and weird looks from the other customers in the parking lot. (I hope we don't wind up on People of Wal-Mart.)
Suffice it to say William was quickly claiming bet victory, and now I won't be shopping again for the month.
Luckily for all of you, I managed to squeeze in a trip to Borders, which has entered the final days of its liquidation, before the ban went into effect. I'll be posting that haul soon. For the rest of the month, I'll be posting pre-blog hauls that haven't been documented yet, freebies, deals, tips, confessions, and peeks into my wardrobe, as well as updating the site with recommended TV shows, additions to the book shelf, background on my 3 fellow Fernandes family frugalistas, and other goodies. So don't stop visiting just because I've stopped shopping!
P.S. - Don't tell my husband I said this, but it never hurts to take a break from the spending, anyway. After all, we are trying to be frugal!
Because I tend to purchase, then try, then return if necessary, I wind up returning items... a lot.
I always make my returns within the given 90 days, at least 95% of the time I have the original receipt, and I almost always keep more from any given transaction than I return. Still, any time I have to return more than just one item, I get uncomfortably anxious.
For years now, I've feared that stores keep track of who returns what — they do make you print and sign your name, at the very least, and sometimes even require an address or phone number. Because of my propensity to act now, decide later, I irrationally fear that I'm on some "heavy hitters" list of returners, just one item away from being banned from making returns.
I'll stand at the register, waiting for the return to go through, and worrying in my head, "What if I can never return anything ever again? I guess I'll have to try everything on in the store... Oh no, then I'd need to bring William [my husband] along to get his opinions on everything before purchasing..."
Luckily, I don't think they maintain any list or ban people from returning things. (And if they did, let me tell you, they'd have banned me.) But everytime I walk up to a register with a bag of items and a receipt in my hand, a part of me worries... just a little bit.
I first heard of Old Navy a few years after it was founded, probably around 1998. One of my teen magazines had an editorial on where to find cute but inexpensive clothes, and one of the featured outfits was from Old Navy.
Not being near any Old Navy outposts or even having heard of the young store, I had no point of reference for the Gap offshoot, but I did have extensive experience visiting army/navy surplus stores and US Navy bases. So, my 12-year-old self assumed that Old Navy was not a new chain clothing store, but instead an army/navy surplus store of some kind.
I was quite confused as to why my magazine would be shopping at army/navy surplus stores in the first place, let alone including pieces from them in a national publication, since most surplus stores are fairly local.
It was probably a few more years before I saw my first Old Navy store, and another year or two after that before I finally made the connection. (Having gotten it in my mind that the featured outfit was from a surplus store, I quickly forgot the name of the store listed and remembered only that it was an army/navy store.)
Now, I shop at Old Navy fairly frequently — there's one in each of the malls and shopping plazas I go to — and I can't believe how I ever made such a funny mistake. At least no one else knows about it!