in pursuit of perfect

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “perfect” pieces. Probably because I’m tired of gazing listlessly into my closet for (what feels like) hours on end, being overwhelmed by a sea of “fine” – rows of options that are overplayed, uninspiring, or just not quite right for one reason or another.

This year, I’m making a conscious effort to reprogram myself. I want to be a person who buys less, even if that means spending more. I’m willing myself to actually buy that perfect dress at full price, instead of buying 4 not-quite-perfect-but-they-were-on-sale stand-ins. Because after all, doesn’t a closet filled with pieces you love, and can’t wait to wear, sound pretty divine?

And yet. Something always stops me with the splurge-y pieces, especially when they’re a smidge outside my comfort zone. Remember that alice + olivia skirt I mentioned a while back? A friend told me she spotted it on the street recently and it was as divine as I thought it would be. Still, I can’t quite take the plunge. And then, there’s this dress:

helmut lang sonar wool dress, perfect dress, best black dress, little black dress, best LBD, helmut lang black dress

 Sonar Wool Dress, Helmut Lang

I’ve had the web page for this dress open on my desktop for nearly a month. It’s not flashy, but that’s the beauty of it. Simple, elegant, but just unexpected enough to be interesting – and that cut makes it look exponentially more expensive than it is. I’m betting it would do some seriously impressive things for just about every body type.

Still, I’m talking myself out of it at every juncture. “I’ll wait for it to go on sale” (seriously, I think I’m allergic to paying full price), “I don’t really have anywhere to wear it”, and so on.

So, is it just me? Tell me, can you take the plunge when you find a “perfect” piece? Or do you talk yourself down?

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9 comments on “in pursuit of perfect

  1. Marci

    I feel the same way! I get so temped by sales and rationalize that I am saving money by buying something that is close enough to what I really want. I am NOT going to buy anymore low end copies or on sale facsimiles of classics pieces or pieces that are truly “my style” and that want to wear everyday. I am still not talking about spending $2500 for a designer it bag (I don’t need to announce my style with an overpriced bag), but I am willing to pay a fair amount for something that is classic, well made and that I truly love.

    So go ahead and spring for the dress! It is sexy, classic, fantastic and you LOVE it!

  2. A

    I am still pining for a deep blue silk jersey dress that I saw at Max Mara in February of 2010. It was way too expensive but I would have worn it so many times by now. If you keep coming back to it after a month, it may be time…

  3. Roxy from Wholesome Hedonist

    I’m atthe same kind of style crossroads. Being on mat leave for #2 means Iwear a lot of lulus and wash and wear, but it also gives me an opportunity to examine my closet of work clothes in a distanced and objective way. I find my style is going through a bit of an evolution – more understated, elegant and classic than before. so the old buy-sale-items-on-impulse strategy isn’t working as well as it used to. I definitely want to buy fewer, better (I have a Rachel roy signature dress like the Helmut Lang one, and I wear the heck out of it!) but I’m not sure where my style is headed, yet. Also – like you – I have a VERY hard time paying full price (having a mother who works in retail will do that to you.) I think I will still buy on sale – just better qaulity/designer items, and only ones that fit my style. My solution is to spend the next few months reflecting and analysing – listing the style descriptors I want, pinning the looks I like, and (most importantly!) buying for my lifestyle, not what looks great on the style bloggers. It’s a long process, but so far it’s going pretty well…we’ll see where I net out!

  4. shoppingsmycardio Post author

    A: Hubs told me I should just buy it, because there’s a 95% chance I’ll end up returning it, and then it will be over. So, there’s that. Also, I still regret your not buying that Max Mara too.

    Roxy: I’m with you 100%. And maternity leave sounds like the perfect time to step back and take a look at your style and the way you want to present yourself to the world. Great opportunity to make a big change!

  5. Vanessa

    It’s all about price per wear. If I think I’ll wear it a ton, I’ll pay full price. I’ve always regretted it when I didn’t buy the great piece and regretted when I buy the sale and it just doesn’t do anything for me. In the end the expensive pieces I wear all the time end up being cheaper than a ehh piece I don’t wear much.

  6. eye4style

    That dress is stunning, and I can’t even tell you how much I relate to this post. I’m in the process of trying to pare down, but it’s hard to tear myself away from having so many “options.”

  7. Stella

    I totally agree with the cost per wear philosophy, although admittedly I’m a sale junkie. I’m trying to change my ways, however, and only purchase items that are “perfect” and that I’ll wear to death.

  8. Pingback: fall trends: a sartorial pickle (also, welcome back!) - shopping's my cardio

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