Thursday, July 19, 2012

Back on the Ban - Ethically?

 Tank - Ann Taylor, thrifted NWT
Capri jeans - William Rast for Target, thrifted, hemmed
Army Flats - Trippen
Necklace - gift from Lynne
Star Earrings - vintage shop

I'm usually a good saver. I'm also an impulse buyer. Those two things are contradictory, but true. It's been nearly 2 weeks since I last went thrifting or shopping. In that time I've been digging through my closet, ebaying stuff that hasn't been worn or pulling things to put into the garage sale my in-laws are planning. I've been crafting up a storm for both online sales and the booth coming up. I've got three things on my wishlist for the next 6-8 months.

First on my goal list is the Trippen boots I've been lusting after since I discovered the brand via Nubby Twiglet (it's all her fault). I lost my head the last time I was saving for them and got these flats from Ped Shoes instead. (Totally consider these one of my best purchases ever) But I've had actual dreams about those boots, as outrageous as they are, despite the price, etc. Even knowing I might have trouble with the platform. I want these boots.

I also have to figure out the logistics of ordering them from Canada and how customs/duty works. (Anyone care to explain that? I've never purchased anything more than the import limit before, I'm afraid of getting hit with big fees after ordering.)

I've put up a counter in my sidebar so I can keep a visual reminder of what I'm saving for until I meet each goal. You can also check the wishlist to see what I'm saving for next. The end-of-summer sales will be tempting, but I've got willpower and a plan to save.

Hello, I am the outrageously expensive boots

Have you ever saved up for something special? Was it worth it? 

"Worth it" It's usually the last thing on our mind as we browse through the fast fashion shops filled with rock bottom deals. I've been reading up a lot on 'ethical' buying thanks to Terri (@RagsMachine). I have generally felt good thrifting almost all of my clothing or swapping, and buying shoes from trusted brands. However I've been just as frivolous with my thrifted stuff. Thinking oh I only paid this or that, and re-donating.

I also want to take my own advice of voting with my wallet, and spend money with companies and indie designers who produce things I like. This conversation is really too big for me. I highly suggest checking out this post with the Thrifted Shift and this one at The 6 Items Challenge. This is a difficult topic to face as a fashion blogger, as a consumer, as a poor college kid. But it's got to start somewhere.

**As always, links are love, not profit. I will never receive kick back for you clicking on a link. I only make profit off the things I sell personally.**


  1. I've unsubscribed from all of my sale emails, to keep them from tempting me. I am not saving for anything specific, but I just don't need more clothes right no.

    1. That's a good idea. I have unsub'd from the very few I still had left on from my last ban.

  2. Yes, I did what Rebecca did too on my last shopping ban and unsubscribed from a ton of emails. It helped big time. I'm currently on a "no more summer" type shopping ban, but really I am just avoiding shopping all together right now. I like the idea of making a list of what you truly want/need to try to keep you in check a bit more!

    And I've read that article on ethical buying from Thrifted Shift and I am definitely thinking about it more and more. It's a big subject and I know it's going to take time, so I'm working at it slowly!

    I saved for my iPhone and my Macbook - both were very worthwhile. And probably more practical than anything else I've ever saved for before!

  3. I love that top on you. You are so tiny and it fits you perfectly.:)

    There is something very satisfying about saving up for an item you really want and it also gives you the time to make sure you really want it and it's worth shelling out the cash for. Yes, I buy impulsively at times, but I think my best purchases are when I really think through what I need to add to my current wardrobe to give it some extra mileage or excitement! And sometimes I regret my impulse purchases thinking I really could have gotten more for my money.

  4. The top is so pretty, and it looks great on you.

    Yes, for the right item, I will definitely save. In fact, I should go ahead and find something pricey to lust after; it's always good for me to have a goal in line to stop the impulse-buying. (To be fair, my impulses are almost always found on clearance racks or in thrifts, so I'm not, you know, impulsively buying diamonds.) I think it just might be an All Saints biker jacket for my saving-up project. I loooove them, but whoa, expensive, and they never seem to go on serious sale.

  5. Go girl! I know you can do it, but I totally know how hard it can be. I've all but given up on my shopping ban I put into place in November. I think these boots rock and you will rock in them!

  6. You do look adorable in that top - love the star earrings too.

    As you know, I've done various bans and shopping/clothing challenges to help me understand my own shopping habits. I do try to buy ethically when possible, and not be tempted by the cheap made in China mall crap/fast fashion. I just avoid the mall. Stopping online shopping has never been an issue, as I've only ever bought a couple of t-shirts (not worth it) and two pairs of Fluevogs (totally worth it).

    Re: the boots. I had thought about offering to buy them for you, then ship them to you, but I'm really not comfortable with that (not that I don't trust you! but shipping large/expensive items is a pain). Customs and duty are just basically taxes on the items, and you could end up paying a substantial amount on top of the cost, most likely - could be up to $100+, but it's usually a % based on the declared value.

    What I would suggest is finding a store that sells the boots and having them to ship to you. Gravity Pope is a solid, well-known retailer up here (and I see that they carry the boots on their website, for $395.00 CAD). They ship to the US! or Shipping is $20, but they do note that customs may delay your package, and that you'll have to pay duty/customs charges.

    I used to work for a store that shipped to the US all the time; I have a little bit of experience with this. :)

    1. Thanks Sheila! Yeah I planned on ordering from Gravity Pope. I kind of trust doing that versus ordering them from Germany. I definitely plan on saving up past the retail cost and setting aside for customs/duty, but I just have no idea on the ballpark I might be facing. There was a US based site selling them in black, but they're no longer on the webpage. I'd wind up paying duty anyway if I ordered them straight from Trippen, but I think it might still wind up cheaper ordering from Gravity Pope anyhow. Plus I know they have my size/color.

  7. I really go through spurts of self-control shopping and impulse shopping. I started the year off pretty good sticking to my $100 monthly allowance and then I slowly went over a bit here and there and got birthday money and stopped keeping track. And the last week I've been bed/couch ridden and finally gave in to with 3 new pair of shoes on the way. Granted I've been looking at them for months, but still. Uncalled for.

    I also find my impulse purchases rarely get remixed often. I've edited my closet to the smallest I can handle. There are too many items I'm afraid I'll want back if I get rid of them. Arg! I think I've had too much time to sit and think and mull over things and then not be able to get dressed.

    Anyway, did that have anything to do with your post subject? ha! I'm rambling. Love the boots you've chosen and good luck!

    Oh, have you had good luck on eBay? I have a few pair of shoes I want to get rid of but I tried eBay a couple times with no luck selling. Any tips?

  8. I just read Keely's comments and I am the same - I will not shop for a month or two, but once I go to the stores it's hard to stop. Especially with all the end-of-summer sales going on. If I can avoid stores altogether I am good. This is also why I have stopped going to many fashion/style blogs - seeing other people wear new and pretty things makes me want them, even if I need them. That's why I love your blog - you have great unique style that inspires me to put clothes together in different ways, not just go out and buy "x" item.
    p.s. good luck on your savings - those are some cool boots and have "Megan" written all over them!

  9. Terri's posts are helping me too with choosing to spend more ethically. My wardrobe's well over 60% thrifted, and I do try to buy locally or from fair trade sites otherwise. So I'm with you on this.

    The boots look fabulous. For me, I believe I wouldn't ever get a satisfactory cost-per-wear out of them or a similarly priced pair -- and I might well be wrong about that! I'm just so reluctant to spend the big bucks up front. I cheer you on though - after all, I'll plunk down $100 for the occasional NYC dinner with my husband and not even shrug about it : >

    1. Admittedly, I agonized over the cost. I still am. I've never paid out that much for anything. Not even my wedding dress. However I think the boots are bizarre enough to not be "trendy", unique enough that I'll be intrigued by them forever, and quality enough that I would want to repair them versus trash them. I love my first pair of Trippens enough that I can only imagine the comfort and quality to win out. My Trippens are infinitely better made than the pair of Louboutins I once owned.

      It's definitely something I've been mulling over for a long time, and may even change my mind about last minute, but there it is.

      Oh and Trippens have a decent resale rate if I really hate them - which I can't imagine. ;)

  10. I'm struggling with my own shopping ban, and maybe doing well just to get through a weekend without choosing to entertain myself in a thrift store. I give myself props for spending way less than I used to, as I enjoy thrifting more, but still sometimes find myself impulse-shopping. I do wear most of what I buy again and again, but reading other bloggers' and especially following Terri's blog recently has made me more aware that I don't need all of the things I want, and that less really can be more, especially in terms of a well-edited closet. Luckily most of my recent impulse items have been so inexpensive that back-sliding a little hasn't been a major problem.

    I forgot about that necklace - it looks great with that top!

  11. Megan--First thanks for the mention and good luck with your savings goals for the boots. I know early on in my blogging, I splurged on a pair of expensive Frye boots, but haven't worn them enough since to truly warrant what I paid for them. I would say that my wardrobe is 98% thrifted, but I haven't been out shopping much myself this month--I have 2 grandsons visiting, I'm busy grading, and the heat has made shopping prohibitive. If I'm feeling impulsive, a visit to the thrifts usually takes care of that.

  12. Those are some seriously awesome boots!!! good luck on reaching your goal!

    Very thought provoking post.
    My Wardrobe is 90% thrifted and I've been doing a purge lately. Made a list of what i'll NEED for fall and am tring to stick to it as I thrift. So far it's been going pretty good!

  13. who those boots are sickkk


  14. This is an interesting topic to contemplate. I'm on the verge of embracing Pao's decision (Project Minima), which means no shopping for a year or two, only refashioning what I already own. However, I really believe that an extraordinary accessory (and my weakness is boots!!) can elevate an outfit. I'm especially tempted by boots/shoes because I can't make them.

    Those boots are fabulous. There's also something special about saving for them. The last thing I saved for like that was my serger sewing machine, which changed my life!! Keep thrifting, though, and maybe you'll find some boots that fit that slot, and then you'll have all that money left over to get something else.

    1. If I could thrift something even half that awesome, I'd totally sock the saved money into a savings account. However shoes are the one things I have never successfully thrifted. They all fall apart within a wear or two. I'm still looking for alternate options at a lesser price point, but for now I'm giving myself a goal to save towards to keep my eye away from shopping.

  15. Megan I so get it. Saving is really hard. If I had been in USA now I would be so tempted by all the end-of-summer sales and knowing me I would have spent at least $500 on those sales. I am proud to say I haven't shopped in 7 weeks, with the exception of two pairs of sandals I got for a great deal. I have had no need for anything truly and there are so many summer clothes I haven't worn this summer actually. Most of my days are spent at work. I don't get out for fun that much, due to time, trying to save up and also due to this weather. Walking out in this extreme heat is no picnic to me.

    I am looking forward to see all your new purchases. Those boots are cool and unlike any I have seen before. Only you could truly pull those off.

    Have a Great Rest of the Summer!! Try to stay cool (temperature-wise I mean). Ada =)


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