labor day sales are not laborious

This year I decided to take advantage of Labor Day clothing sales to break open the lists of coveted clothing I’d accumulated.  Armed with my list of fall essentials (as well as some things that I just wanted), I went about it as if I was buying groceries instead of clothes to wear grocery shopping.

A quick comparison: When I go grocery shopping, I go with a list.  I only hit the aisles I need food from, and I go in the same order every week.  I plan out my meals (or a general ingredient list for my meals) on Sundays and that’s when I shop.  I’m a creature of habit when it comes to almost everything but clothing shopping.  I never go shopping for clothes knowing exactly what I want, but this time, I really wanted to.

My list:
  • Black long sleeve top (on my original essentials list)
  • Black and white striped top (my fall list)
  • Boyfriend cut jeans
  • Loose plaid button down
  • Leopard flats (for my JCrew inspired outfit)
  • Red handbag (also for my JCrew inspired outfit)
  • Skinny grey dress pants (if budget allowed)

I gave myself $100 to spend, but I had a caveat: I’d gotten a $50 Express giftcard for free (E-Rewards, it’s a beautiful thing).  If I went to Express and used any or all of my giftcard, I wouldn’t count that towards my budget because I hadn’t actually had to put out any money.  I think that’s fair, your mind may differ.  At the same time, I really planned on making this shopping trip the only clothes I purchased in September.  With a vacation coming up and my usual expenses, I wanted to one-and-done it to scrimp a little bit.  This is the first month I have a real clothing budget (yes, another one of my many “Starting September First” goals), and I wanted to stick to it.

My Labor Day Weekend Haul

(Plaid shirt, jeans and striped top from American Eagle. Black shirt and white shirt from Uniqlo. Handbag, flats and earrings from Express.)

Rather than boring you with the minutia of my shopping experiences, I’ll sum it up in one word: Wow.  I figured that by going on Friday night I’d be able to avoid some of the crazy tourist crowds in the always busy SoHo area, and I was 100% spot on.  I knew what I wanted, I got in and out (and tried on clothes) at three separate stores in an hour!   I got everything on my list except for the grey pants, but I also bought two things that weren’t on my list at all.  My grand total (including the Express gift card) was only $138 bucks, which was technically $12 under my budget!

And then I came home and got rid of twenty things from my closet/dresser. About half were old enough that they just needed to be thrown out, but the rest were donated this morning.  What a productive evening and end to the week, phew!

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