Friday, September 15, 2006

How Much Is Too Much to Spend?

I have fallen into a forbidden love. I’ve been looking for a winter/fall coat lately, one that is stylish and doesn’t make me look like a preteen. All the coats I’ve owned lately make me look 14 years old, which is funny, because when I was 14, I wore coats that made me look like a 40-year-old housewife. Anyhoo, I know coats are pricey, so I expected to pay anywhere up to $250 (which is the absolute upper limit, right?) I was at the mall, casually browsing, when I stumbled upon, basically, the perfect coat. I mean, my ideal coat. I don’t know any fashion lingo, so I don’t know how to describe it. I think it was…wool? It has a hood, which is rare in that type of coat, but which is something I always look for in a coat. I mean, for goodness sake, I live in Seattle. I hate umbrellas, so I pretty much have to have a hood to keep from getting my hair soaked. In deciding to get a new, stylish jacket, I resigned myself to the fact that I would not be able to have a hood and that I would have to carry an umbrella from now on. And then I find my dream coat, and guess what? It has a hood. The coat is pinkish, brownish, tannish (I think?). I tried to find a picture online, but neither the store nor the brand has it listed on their website.

Anyway, it was beautiful and cute and oh-so-me. And $325. Do I take it as a sign that it was not meant to be? Or do I suck it up and take it like a woman? Because, let’s face it, there are quite a few women out there who wouldn’t hesitate to drop that much money (and more!) for a pair of strappy heels they’ll wear maybe twice in their life. So, if I did buy this coat, I wouldn’t be the least-sensical woman in the world, right? I’d be in good company. Well, lots of company, at least. I mean, I am not the type of girl who spends money for a label. I’d rather shop at J.C. Penney than Abercrombie or Hollister. I avoid overspending whenever possible. I’d generally buy the cheaper version of a product, even if it’s uglier or more boring. So don’t I deserve a little indulgence, especially if it’s on something that I’ll wear for at least two seasons? And that’s another thing! I’m not one to change my wardrobe every season or every year or even every five years. So it’s not like I’m going to be buying a whole new coat next winter. I’ll likely continue wearing this one for a few years, whereas if I buy a cheaper one that I don’t adore as much, I may end up being tired of it in a year. I’ll have to buy another cheaper coat that I don’t love, and I’ll get tired of that quickly, and then I’ll have to buy another and another. In the end, I’ll spend more money overall and on coats that don’t suit me as well. It would be financially irresponsible not to buy this coat.

Furthermore, some of the coats I've seen, uglier, more boring coats, have been over five hundred dollars, so it could be worse, right? In comparison, $325 isn't so bad!

There. I feel I have justified myself in case I do cave in and buy it. And I probably will, just as soon as I get my first paycheck. I was planning on buying myself a first-paycheck gift, anyway (though I wasn’t planning on it being over three hundred dollars).

The weather turned completely sour yesterday, what with intermittent rain and temperatures dropping thirty degrees from Tuesday, and this provided me with ample opportunity to imagine myself wearing my dream coat. Someone mentioned that this was likely to be a big snow year, and my first thought wasn’t of Christmas or skiing or walks in the snow at night, but of me in that jacket, being warm and snuggly. It has invaded my psyche. I must go see it again and make sure I wasn’t just romanticizing it, that it really is perfect and wonderful.

Do stores still do layaway?


  1. I'm totally with Jody on this one. Buy the coat.

  2. I say spend the $3c on something else and let you mother buy the coat as an early Christmas present :)

    Let me know? I would LOVE to buy it for you!

  3. Ah, Layaway, I LOVE LAYAWAY! Maybe I will do some layaway stuff for the BABY! Do you know how hard it is to type layaway so many times????