Monday, December 13, 2010

The Shopping Zone

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between prosperity and poverty, between functionality and frivolity, and it lies between the base of woman's desires and the summit of her credit card limit. This is the dimension of acquisition. It is an area which we call...
...The Shopping Zone.

Respectfully submitted for your disapproval:

This is a photo of my room a few days ago. No, I did not just move into my apartment; those are boxes from,, and

This is a photo of the second closet I had to buy after squeezing the absolute maximum number of hangers into my slanted NYC closet.

It's not pretty, but this is important background information if you're going to give me good advice here. The take-home point: I buy a LOT of stuff. A LOT. I have a lot of stuff. I really don't NEED any more stuff. Also, I spend a fair amount of money and I need to be somewhat discriminating if I don't want to become a pro se (i.e., "for myself") bankruptcy lawyer when I graduate law school. At the same time, I'll be working at a law firm next year that allows business casual-type clothing, and can you ever have too many versatile work-to-play pieces? Good, solid pieces will be put to use for years to come.

With that in mind, I am waffling about whether to return three recent purchases. What do you think, reader? Are these worth the money?

Item Number 1: Anthropologie Tria Sweater Skirt ($70)

Relevant info: This is more than I would ordinarily pay for a skirt. Generally, my upper bounds is $40, with a few rare exceptions at $50. This would be quite a departure for me...but it's winter, I only have one other sweater skirt (and not in this color). In general, the color/shape/style is unique in my wardrobe. In fact, I forewent buying this grey skirt at the Leifsdottir sample sale because I already had the Tria skirt and liked it better. However, I'm concerned that the size small I have may be a bit too clingy and tight. I did try a size medium but it felt too big and shapeless.

(Close-up of the ruffle detail)

Item Number 2: Seychelles Tied Scutes Flats ($60)
Background: This is slightly more than I typically pay for flat shoes, but is within the range I would pay for something unique and interesting. These definitely fit that bill. I do have silvery flats (these guys), but I don't have silvery flats + brown leather accents + big bows (i.e., material that covers some of the top of my foot). They are comfortable and I can wear socks with them, but I don't know if I NEED them (see first photo of boxes-on-bed-disaster). For what it's worth, I wouldn't think twice about keeping these if they got a second cut for $30.

Item #3: Anthropologie Tweedy Leaves Dress ($80, now mostly sold out)

Relevant info: Unlike the previous two items, $80 is not out of the question for a nice dress like this one that could go from [work]day to evening. However, also unlike the previous two items, this dress has a slight fit issue. I absolutely love the feel of the material and the cut of the dress, but there seems to be a bit too much extra material in the top. It seems like it bulges in the bust in a slightly weird, hungry-for-more-bust kind of way...but I can't tell whether the overall look is nice enough to ignore the behavior of the top. I tried on a smaller size and the bulging was a bit better in the chest...but a bit worse in other places, if you get my drift.

I tried to capture the bulging here (right below the bust).

Help needed! Which do I keep? If any of these items are reduced again (I'm looking at you, shoes and dress), would your opinion change?

Bear in mind that I don't have one of these:


Mandy said...

I'm a big fan of those Tied Scutes Flats! They're adorable plus they show off your fab legs!!!!! If it were me, I'd keep the shoes, totally.

As for the Tria skirt, I ordered the small and like you found it to be clingy. I felt bootylicious and wasn't comfortable wearing it so I sent it back in search of better fare. I adored the detail though.

I love the shape of the skirt on the Tweedy Leaves Dress on you but the top is def. too big - if you love love love the dress, could you look into having it altered? The colors are so beautiful on you, I must say!!

If I had to pick one, I'd say the shoes are the winners. :P

missy said...

The Tria skirt seems ill-fitting, I take your word for it that the tweedy dress is ill-fitting, and I think the shoes are a little over the top.

I would take it all back. My new shopping mantra is that if doesn't look fantastic and I don't love it, it doesn't come home or stay home with me (unless it is something basic, that helps me get more mileage out of my closet - like a black cardigan over a spring dress to winterize it - you get the idea). Like you, I have a ton of clothes already and don't really 'need' anything. I couldn't possibly wear the clothes I have and have been giving away a ton of clothes. I think the money could go to better use.

Thirteenlbs said...

Wow, that bag in the first pic is scrumptious.

My thoughts: skip the tria, keep the tweedy and the shoes. The dress looks great on you, and is only about a $7 fix at your local tailor.

I am a new reader of your blog and love it! Kudos on the weight loss and running.

LittleMissSeamstress said...

I would def. keep the Tria skirt and do not size up! I tried Small and Medium myself too, but the fit was awful(and it might stretch!) I will wait for another round of markdown for the pair of flats!


Jewish Girl said...

I think I may just tally votes and decide things that way! There are great reasons for keeping (and returning) pretty much everything. Sigh, dilemmas.

Mandy: LOL @ being "bootylicious." I sometimes wish I had just an enormous, unmitigated badonkadonk, but alas that's not how I was built. I think I will try the Tria skirt on again...I agree that I don't want to spend money to be self-conscious about my VPL all day. You're right about the dress...I love the colors too, just not sure how committed I am to the enterprise (especially since I don't have a tailor I trust). I feel like I may need the most encouragement with the shoes, so an extra thanks for that!

Missy: I hear you on the over-the-top-ness of the shoes. The bows feel a little overwhelming. I'm just a sucker for unique-looking things, and I don't think I'd find a pair of shoes quite like this anywhere else. Of course, that's a bad reason for buying something...these are unique too but I probably should not buy them: Your mantra is a good one, of my friends said the same thing the other day. It's so easy to get caught up in the "but it's on SALE" that I forget that money is still money.

Thirteen: Thanks!!! It's my new favorite bag; got it on sale at the Michael Kors outlet in Woodbury Commons. (similar here:, or google "Michael Kors harness tote grab bag" no quotes) I love it because it fits my 13" laptop and a textbook, but it also has two snaps that can connect and pull inwards to look like a smaller bag. I'm really glad you found the blog. I hope that after final exams settle down there will be more running/health posts and fewer "I am sitting in front of my computer online shopping and eating butter cookies" posts. :-)

Jin: I'm with you on not sizing up with the Tria. The medium was arguably more comfortable, but it lost a little of its magic :-( Seems like stretching with use is a definite possibility. I will be keeping my eyes peeled for second cuts this week...a little bit off the shoes and the dress would make this a much easier decision!

Brittany said...

molissa what a cute blog! i want my life to be cupcakes and cashmere instead of a law student. maybe i should start a blog.

i think you should keep the dress. it looks really good on you and is work appropriate while being fun/unique. i wonder if the top is supposed to be a bit flowy like that - i have a dress sort of like that and it's on purpose. but if you don't like it, it would probably only cost $10 to get it fixed. or just wear a long chain necklace with it that will keep the flowiness pressed down.

my firm is really casual but i don't think i could get away with those shoes, and sadly the number of days left when we can wear whatever we want is limited so that's what i would take back and put the money toward more new heels.

Jewish Girl said...

Haha, Brittany, seconds before reading your comment I thought to myself how I wish I could just get a law firm-scale paycheck to do nothing but buy clothes and wear them around. Clearly I missed my true calling as a kept woman.

The top is supposed to be unstructured, but I don't think it falls the right way on me. I wasn't able to photograph it very well. Do you know a good tailor in our neighborhood? I'm reluctant to take it to someone without a solid recommendation.

You make a good point about the shoes; I think they'd be too much in my office, too.

Laurie said...

ditch the sweater skirt, keep the flats, don't see the bulge in the dress, but I love it. take a better picture before you have it altered...LJL

Jewish Girl said...

Aw, mom, this is exactly the opposite of what I was thinking of doing!

Mich said...

I like the skirt a lot. I think the fit might be too tight for a law firm, but for casual wear or class it's adorable. The shoes are also lots of fun. I think you can get a better dress for the money, though, and it sounds like you're not in love with it. And don't worry about the pile of boxes, mine is way worse. It's about time for me to fill up the recycling bin.

Kathleen said...

My vote: Take shoes and skirt back, talk to the tailor about altering the dress. BTW, I just found and love your blog. :-)

Jewish Girl said...

Mich: Wah, I hadn't thought about the tightness=/=work appropriateness factor. I think I'd be a lot more enthusiastic about the dress if I didn't have to tailor it. I have sort of an irrational fear of tailors messing up my stuff. And thanks for the reassurance with the boxes! Sometimes I feel like they are monuments to my irresponsibility.

Kathleen: I'm glad you found me! I think I agree with you at this point about the shoes...pretty sure I'm going to take those back in an hour or two (funny how I could still only be "pretty sure"). Something about the skirt I just calling my name, though...I don't know why I like it so much! Still undecided there. I might try on the dress in a smaller size again and see if it's really that bad.

Eric said...

I just purchased some Anthropologie stock with the expectation that your daily visits and dollar drops there will trickle down into my pocket.

Jewish Girl said...

I wish Anthro stock came with some kind of discount on the merchandise.

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