Fun story: I stared a new part-time job this weekend as a BEER SAMPLER at Wegmans! How cool, right?! I worked a tasting event for Guinness Blonde, handing out samples and educating customers about the beer :)
It was SO MUCH FUN. I can't even describe how fitting this job is for me- talking about beer all day?! (okay, for a 2.5 hour shift) YES PLEASE. Only bummer is that I wasn't allowed to try the beer. How can you accurately describe something when you aren't allowed to try it?!?!
But I guess it turned out okay because I sold out the store of Guinness Blonde. SOLD OUT. How crazy is that?! haha. I'm not sure how often I'll be doing this, but hopefully I can pick up a few shifts every once in awhile! It's really nice to do something NOT behind a computer for a change.
So anyway, backing up to last week... the dress code for this job is a black collared shirt, black pants, and black shoes. I had the shoes and pants, but the black collared shirt was a problem... definitely didn't have one of those. I couldn't order it online because a) I realized this requirement only a few days before my event so I don't think anything would have been shipped in time, plus b) I didn't really want to buy something like that online because collared shirts can be tricky so I wanted to be able to try it on before buying.
So I did something that I almost NEVER do...
I took myself shopping with no expectation of how long it would take, what stores I would go to, and how much I would spend (okay this is kind of a silly one because you know me, I'm not going to go spend any more than like, $50 on a shirt, haha). Basically, I wanted to do whatever was necessary until I found what I was looking for.
I know this isn't tactic isn't possible for everyone (my super flexible work schedule obviously makes this a bit easier for me) BUT it really was life changing for me + my shopping habits and I think you should try it if you can.
Shopping without limitations rocks because:
1. I didn't feel stressed while shopping. Stress often leads me to buy something that I only halfway like just so I can finish the shopping and get the heck out of the store... and then I'm stuck with something I don't even like.
2. I now know what types of black collared shirts all my favorite stores offer, and I am 100% sure that the one I picked out is the best one for me. That cuts down on the 'regret' factor of shopping-- I'll never regret buying that shirt because I know it's the best one for me! (remember: regret is the worst thing you can do for your budget)
3. Have you ever bought something and then just as soon as you take the tags off, you see that another store has the same thing (or better) for cheaper? Yeah. Letting myself check out all my usual stores (TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Target, and Kohls) ensures that I got the best shirt at the cheapest price.
4. The reason I don't usually enjoy shopping is because it's a double whammy of pain-- I'm spending money AND I'm doing something I don't like (I really hate trying clothes on). But giving myself plenty of time to shop and casually stroll around stores made it sooo much more enjoyable that I almost-- dare I say it-- enjoyed the trip?! (what is happening to me??)
5. When shopping at stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls, a LOT of the 'work' of the trip is searching through the billions of racks of clothing. Giving myself ample time to shop meant that I could look through rack after rack instead of giving up after 3 minutes like I usually do.
So how did it go?
As luck would have it, I found the shirt at the first store I tried-- TJ Maxx-- but then went to 3 others just to make sure there wasn't anything better out there :) And it was only $24.99, winnnnn!
This is a rather terrible picture of it... who knew photographing a black shirt would be so difficult?
Two big caveats with this method...
You have to know what you're going shopping for. Giving yourself the go-ahead to shop all day, go to 15 stores, buy any item that looks good, spend as much money as you want... that is a recipe for disaster. Instead, do this only if you have one specific item to get. Maybe two.
Also, you know yourself best in regards to setting a budget. I know that I'm probably almost never going to spend anything over ~$50 for a shirt. So the "no budget" for me really wasn't a big deal. But if you know that you would easily buy a $100 shirt, then set a budget for yourself!
PS-- Thank you SO MUCH for your comments + emails on Friday's post about how to wake up earlier! I am happy to report that this morning I DID wake up at my alarm-- win!!! I'll try a few of your tips and see what works best for me, then write an update post in a few weeks :)