Conspicuous Consumption: Shopping Sites

I've fallen off the wagon and am currently enjoying a glass of chai even though I didn't wake up with a headache. But I did make another resolution I mean to keep for the near future--no more shopping which I've been doing a lot of lately.

Which is weird since I'm not a big shopper. Of my sisters' closets (even my mom's), mine is the most boring. What's worse, I buy in bulk. If I find a pair of pants I like, I'll get a couple of pairs, same goes for shirts and sweaters. I just don't want to think about it which means you can tell I don't put a lot of thought into my clothes. That's changed, slightly, as I've realized even I'm bored of what I usually wear. So I'm off the t-shirts and looking for pretty cotton blouses, more careful in my choice of jeans and have succumbed the family jacket bug.

I'm spending August chained to my desk, getting my third novel in shape to turn into my editor and looking forward to a very busy fall where what I wear might matter beyond just shielding my body from the elements and stares of my neighbors. So it's with this in mind that I'm trolling shopping sites I wish I could afford to shop at like they were oldnavy.com.

Net-a-Porter: Only (some) of the characters in my books could afford to shop at this site. Here's a place you could find an gala worthy dress if you can afford the price and fit into the sizes, which are designer specific. So a size six Banana Republic sheath dress would be closer to a size 8 or even a 10 and half the mortgage payment. But still, its worth visiting just to see the clothes put together with the shoes and accessories and to dream. It's very fashioney but not so much that I feel like a complete dork for visiting it. Now if it were an actual physical store, I'd be a lot less inclined to wander in and browse, but I'm sure they know that and being online they can tolerate the lookie-loo traffic from people like me.


Topshop: If I lived in London, I'd be all over this store. (There is one in New York, of course, and I plan to make a pilgrimage during my next trip there.) I could buy stuff online and have it shipped but considering how dismal the rate of dollars to pounds is, that would just be stupid. They carry an ever changing selection of cute dresses and tops that make me salivate. When the husband was traveling to London on a regular basis, I would have him try and find me a specific dress or top, but he could never manage it. After a while I realized this was cruel of me, especially after I had him try to hunt down OB minis only to be told that they don't carry that size in England. And I made him go to three different places to make sure.

Shopbop This is a great site to find out what the latest trends are and decide which to ignore. I'm not big on buying a trend from the original source since it tends to be an investment for something you won't be able to wear (with a straight face) after it dies down. (Remember those sweater shrugs that only covered your arms and a sliver of your back?) Stores like Forever 21 and H&M are great places to buy trend inspired knock offs for a fraction of the cost. But I digress. Shopbop has loads of cute, casual clothes that fit right in with the whole LA lifestyle even though they're based in Wisconsin.

Noisette: I love this site because of the paper doll you can use to navigate to different sections. I was a huge paper doll player when I was a kid. They carry also accessible styles mixed in with more daring pieces that aren't too outrageously priced. Actually, what I really love about this place is that it inspires me to break out my sewing machine and get cracking on making my own dresses and shirts--not pants. I'm not insane enough to attempt pants. Or long sleeves. Zippers are also an issue. As it is my tendency to take short cuts that end up bitting me in the butt in the end, my past sewing projects have been less than sucessful. But sewing is one activity, besides working out and reading, that takes my mind off writing and is a nice break from the keyboard.

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