When I go out to a bar, a common problem I encounter is indecision over the drink menu. Cabernet, chardonnay, or Campari and soda? (Blame the latter on my mother who has been drinking it since I was old enough to sit at the dinner table.) Once my selection arrives and I take a few sips, I often glance at my Husband, slight frown, and inform him that I should have ordered one of the runners up.
In the drink context this problem is easily cured (finish the cocktail you selected, then order the one you wish you had started with, assuming its happy hour and the drinks are 2 for 1 or some other discount incentive is in place). But in the fashion realm, this quandary can be far murkier (and costly). Yesterday while on the phone with a friend, she was having doubts about a recent purchase she made (full price no less). She liked the sweater, but did she really need it? And what about a pair of cords from J.Crew she also bought, only to come home and realize she had 2 other pairs just like them. Were those to stay or march back to their womb in the sale piles?
Buyer's remorse in retail is a pervasive affliction that can be easily avoided. When I spy a luscious silk blouse calling out to me from the sale rack, the first thing I do is check the signage around the rack. Is there an additional percentage off the sale price? ('POS' as its called in the biz) This factor definitely weighs in favor of purchase. Next, I hold the item out, have a good long look at it to check for defects (an additional 10% off will be granted for any item in need of a slight repair). If the piece were not on sale, would I be likely to snatch it off the full price rack for similar admiration? My entire wardrobe then flashes to mind, and I quickly catalogue all items in the same genre as the item I'm admiring like a rare gem. If it fits in, while at the same time not being duplicative, I'll place the item under my arm and continue through the store while still contemplating my decision to buy. If by the end of my casing the whole store I have yet to develop ambivalence, I head for the register. If, on the other hand, I've begun to think of where I'll actually wear my new find, how those sleeves will really fit under a blazer, or how that shade of teal will look against a range of denim, I will veer back toward the sale rack to return the fallen star back to its friends. (Yesterday at Ann Taylor, I left feeling rather victorious with a silk top, a sweater and a silk dress for a grand total of $53. No regrets thus far.)