How To Shop Outside Your Comfort Zone


Sales are the perfect time to experiment with clothing outside your comfort zone. Try new colors, shapes, suppliers. (Suppliers? What do we call the places we buy? Vendors? Dang, I really have gone back to the corporate world.)

For example, what do you think of this little red peplumed Moschino number from Yoox? Techno-fabric, zippers, motorcycle cuffs. $232.00 down to $79. Over a ladylike pencil skirt, maybe in apricot? With gray yoga pants, on a weekend? One never knows until one tries. At $79, trying is feasible.

Or give Brooks Brothers a go. The talented designer on their bag team is a fairly well-kept secret. If you want to branch out with a pastel for spring color blocking, perforated aqua leather seems quite the thing. Down from $298 to $119.20. If the patent trim strikes you as too-too, they’ve got classics on sale as well.

Brooks Brothers Aqua Bag

Jewelry lovers are not left out of the fun. Alexis Bittar, my favorite non-precious metal guy, has a big sale on now. Just in case you were dreaming of bronze Lucite danglers. Don’t we all want to participate in the Steven Tyler-induced feather trend? Down from $295 to $147.50. Black tee, black pants, and you’re surprising all kinds of people.

Because everyone has an imagination, even the Sturdy. Maybe especially the Sturdy. Have you found anything thrilling in the winter sales?

27 Comments

  • 01/23/12
    6:33 am

    Reply

    Karena said...

    Lisa I usually add great earrings and scarves to break out a bit. I really love that peplum jacket though!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

  • 01/23/12
    6:45 am

    Reply

    Mouse said...

    YOU MUST HAVE THAT JACKET.

    01/23/12
    8:12 am
    Sheryl said...

    Seconded! That is phenomenally gorgeous.

  • 01/23/12
    7:13 am

    Reply

    Cathy said...

    I try to buy all of my trendy pieces on sale if possible. I think you need the jacket, and I need the purse. Ready, set, SHOP!

  • 01/23/12
    7:19 am

    Reply

    kathy said...

    I have only bought one or two things on sale in my whole life. My grandmother always told said “If you don’t want it at retail, don’t buy it just because it’s on sale, you’ll never love it.” In my case, that’s proven to be true. Although the few items I did buy were a great “savings” they turned out to actually be a waste of money, because I never really loved them.
    That being said, the entire retail industry has changed since my grandmother’s time, and great things are on sale all the time – not just “losers.”
    So, perhaps it’s time for me to “re-think” this policy that I’ve stuck by?
    I do like the peplum jacket, but I also know of other things you have in mind to purchase, so perhaps the money is better spent going towards one of those items?

    01/23/12
    7:21 am
    kathy said...

    I wish I could correct on the post, but I have a huge grammatical error on my post. I meant to say, “My grandmother told us” (her granddaughters),
    not “told said.”

  • 01/23/12
    8:13 am

    Reply

    Louise said...

    You must be reading my mind. I’ve been trolling the web for motorcycle-inspired jackets and Spring 2012 “It” color, orange. The latter is definitely outside my comfort zone. The former, since I ride, less so.

    I’d snatch up that peplummed beauty in a heartbeat if there were any left in my size…

  • 01/23/12
    9:50 am

    Reply

    quintessence said...

    Yes, great advice!! Sales are indeed the perfect time to stretch your fashion repertoire! While I am not a peplum girl, I think that first jacket could be a great little piece.

  • 01/23/12
    10:52 am

    Reply

    metscan said...

    I hate going to a store, when there is a sale. My reptile ballerinas were on sale – online though. No regrets so far ; ).
    But, I don´t want to get off my comfort zone, even for stuff handed me free.

  • 01/23/12
    10:53 am

    Reply

    Jessica said...

    Your experiment with sale items strategy is a wonderful idea, it makes being brave a little less risky.
    The little jacket has an air of ‘vintage’ Anthro to it…it cute, and I do love the bag…the color is so pretty. I never knew Brooks Bros. had such nice bags.
    xo J~

  • 01/23/12
    10:57 am

    Reply

    Duchesse said...

    I used sales to stock up, but you have opened my eyes… and possibly emptied my wallet.

  • 01/23/12
    11:34 am

    Reply

    mary jo said...

    Peplumes are so big for 2012, so great that you spotted that on sale!

    xo Mary Jo

  • 01/23/12
    11:56 am

    Reply

    mary anne said...

    Love the blue bag. This whole post is just wonderful. Truly a good way to experiment. My favorite sale purchase is a dark camel cashmere cardigan I found at Macy’s clearance for $7.00 Not outside of my comfort zone, but a wonderful bargain.

  • 01/23/12
    11:59 am

    Reply

    Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

    What a cute bag! I like the jacket, but even though it isn’t in my comfort zone, the style and shape are just not for me. I haven’t found much to be excited about this season. But I like the idea of getting out of our comfort zone a bit. A little stretching does us good.

  • 01/23/12
    12:06 pm

    Reply

    déjà pseu said...

    Great stuff! I’ve been experimenting with color with some cotton cardigans on sale in the $20 range.

  • 01/23/12
    1:44 pm

    Reply

    DaniBP said...

    I’ve been buying red things on sale. And other jewel-tones, all to pair with either camel (spring trip) or black (fall trip). You know I love my color stories, and the sales are a good time to add in while the story lives in the imagination.
    Then I just have to get it to work when it’s married with my other things!

    I’ll always love sales, and it is a good time to try things, and to buy things that were earmarked when they were too expensive but are now affordable.

  • 01/23/12
    1:56 pm

    Reply

    Elsa Louise said...

    How about calling them merchants who carry a stock of merchandise? I find that label more appealing than suppliers in this context.

    Suppliers make me think of widgets.

  • 01/23/12
    3:21 pm

    Reply

    hostessofthehumblebungalow said...

    I have not been doing much shopping, the sales stuff is picked over and so many things are cut weird or are madly patterned. I have purchased quirky things before when they have been on sale and regretted it.

    I do think you could wear your hair up and showcase those sumptuous drop earrings…you’d need to move your head often so they get plenty of well deserved attention :) They would look great with your AB bangle, the one you bought for your brother’s wedding in SF.

  • 01/23/12
    3:55 pm

    Reply

    RoseAG said...

    I’d never seen Alex Bittar until you featured him this year and now it seems like I see his lucite things or knock offs of them all over the place. The knock offs never have the same luminous quality.

  • 01/23/12
    4:51 pm

    Reply

    Mint Juleps and Magnolias said...

    Oh, I’m way into my comfort zone this sales season. I did pick up a pair of Barbie Pink yoga pants, but those aren’t exactly new territory for me… :)

  • 01/23/12
    4:51 pm

    Reply

    Miss Cavendish said...

    I put that jacket in my virtual YOOX shopping bag last week! But I meant to research the sizing of Love Moschino before ordering it, and forgot. Have you had any experience with that label running large or small?

  • 01/23/12
    7:57 pm

    Reply

    Faux Fuschia said...

    Hi, I’ll be not shopping at all come Frugal February. I love shopping outside my comfort zone though- good for the nerves. x

  • 01/23/12
    10:00 pm

    Reply

    Susan Tiner said...

    My wedding outfit, with your help :).

  • 01/24/12
    1:14 am

    Reply

    Sarah (Semi Expat) said...

    Peplum jacket looks fun and the earrings really lovely. Am debating buying a very bright pair of trousers – usually only stick to neutrals but these are turquoise! And love your hair comb thingy – your topknot style up ‘do looks fabulous! Very chic x

  • 01/24/12
    6:55 am

    Reply

    Jan said...

    Why, yes I have – I got a white tank tee with sequins on the front and a hot pink blouse to go over it – with a RUFFLE. Waaaaaaay out of this Sturdy Gal’s comfort zone.

  • 01/24/12
    9:27 am

    Reply

    Pat Compton said...

    A red blazer from Talbots. Conservative cut, but very daring colour for me!

  • 01/24/12
    10:46 am

    Reply

    Patsy said...

    Yes, I bought a Lamborghini.

    Just kidding! Everyone knows the big Lamborghini sale isn’t til August!

  • 01/25/12
    4:33 am

    Reply

    Ida said...

    Definitely the Moschino number…the sleeves and peplum ..which is a good way to disguise a full bottom….are a delight. Not that red colour but maybe a cognac brown.

    Note over here peplums are the ‘in thing’ for Spring.

    Have never liked sales too many ‘pawed over clothes’Ida

  • 01/25/12
    5:57 am

    Reply

    Carla said...

    Shoot! If it weren’t for clearance racks my closet would be empty! It does allow me to buy better quality clothes than my budget would normally allow. I guess because I have been doing that for so long I won’t just buy something because it’s on sale. It has to look good/speak to me.
    Of course, it also helps to know what stores are the best for clearance rack shopping!

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