So the jury is in, the results are in and we have our conclusions. Sadly I'm not talking about the Serial podcasts but about my buys in the January sales, which did add up to a lot but I knew half, if not most, would probably be returned.
I generally buy a fair few things online across the month and go high street shopping once or twice, but I return a heck of a lot of buys. If I tried to curb myself from spending, I would want to buy more and those items would seem even more attractive! So if I see anything I like and know I have potential to wear enough times, I order without a second thought and then make my decisions once parcels arrive. I have no qualms in returning anything and do impose the rule that if I have any hesitation with the fit, a button or how easily something creases, it goes straight back to the store. If an item takes a lot of effort to wear, such as ironing, dry cleaning, a certain bra, etc, then you will probably never wear it, and if you have a doubt on the colour, fit, or anything you see in the mirror, you will always choose to wear something else instead. Your mind and heart may be willing you to keep it but willpower means sometimes you must actually reject your instincts and know a week down the line, you won't have given that item a second thought. Or you can simply purchase it again!
So I set out to find some bargains in the sales that I could wear over and over for work or replace items that I currently love that are starting to look a little worn, which is often shoes. As I returned a few things, I spotted some more items too! We are at that 'final sale - 70% offer + a discount + free shipping' stage where every store wants to just clear that stock, so I have my eagle eyes peeled.
River Island - I collected my bag of items in store last night after work. I can't wait until the new Bullring store opens! The changing rooms are quite tatty but I had a good trying-on session before rejecting all of the items but one. I really like River Island's quality but the other items just didn't fit, though I kept the pair of giraffe print trousers and am wearing them right now as I type! They add a cool element to a monochrome look and are perfectly comfortable. £42 £15
Lavish Alice - The culottes haven't actually arrived yet but I have tweeted Lavish Alice to ask. Lavish Al' have reduced the culottes plus everything else in their sale to £10 today but a lot of things have sold out and I still hope these trousers fit! I may be able to find another size on ASOS instead. UPDATE: They never replied to my tweet but the parcel was here when I got home (I started this post on my lunch break!). The culottes fit which is awesome and they do need an iron but I don't think they would crease while wearing. They add a really cool dimension to the standard black trousers of the world and will feel really cool in a subtle way. £48 £23 (£1 discount used) - although now they are £38 off!
Kurt Geiger - The heels I bought are beautifully made and have the hint of gold at the toe, along with that lace up detail I just love. They are slightly more formal than edgy, but the sturdiness should mean they last well and will be a good investment. I am usually between shoe sizes and went with the size up, FYI. I do have my eyes on the snakeskin pair so may see if there are any in store if I pass by, but the want is not great enough to warrant another postal order. £85 £49
Topshop - The Topshop suit I ordered was an impulse and the size 8 just did not fit. The giraffe print trousers in River Island were an 8, but the Topshop pair wouldn't even go up past my thighs! The width of the trousers was minuscule but I do know Arcadia sizing in general is for a girl with slim hips, and my hips definitely don't lie. Returned!
Debenhams - I did keep the Rituals set in the end as it did only come to £7 with my voucher. I had a sniff when I got home and it really does smell like a sensual version of Vicks! This will make for the most heavenly shower and I might save it for my nights out. Just the motions of getting ready for a night out has so many rituals and scents attached to it, from your fake tan to favourite perfume to the whiff of that heavy duty foundation - I'm always in a great mood when a night is about to begin! £17 £7 (£10 Beauty Club Card points used)
Bonus round! I spotted a few more things last night I just had to check out further...
Missguided - I was only my way out for an aforementioned night out a few weeks ago and needed a jacket but didn't want to take one of my coats and risk loosing it. I scrambled around in my wardrobe looking for any jacket or cover-up but my search was fruitless and I resorted in asking my brother, who produced a navy, tartan-lined bomber jacket he was about to send to the charity shop. The large, oversized fit and puffy style actually looked really cool and androgynous over a pencil skirt, and I continued to wear it!
I did leave it at my friend's house on new year's eve but I wanted to scoop up one of my own to wear on nights where I wouldn't just be slinging it on a chair in a bar. I wanted one I could wear once the weather picks up or when I am out shopping or on dates (LOL those are certainly once in a blue moon!). I used Shop Style to have a browse of all of the stores online (I always use this when looking for something specific, this isn't sponsored or anything!) and saw Missguided had a few bombers (can we call them that?) in their sale. I picked up a standard one from their main collection in the end and also a Nicole x Missguided version in a textured mesh with a super cropped fit and puffy arms. I threw a £7 khaki pencil skirt into my basket too to perk up my wardrobe as I have worn everything over Christmas and don't really have any fresh options left at the moment. Here's hoping one of these jackets is a winner! I spotted this khaki version too but my size is sadly sold out. £TBC
Urban Outfitters - After receiving an email, I browsed the further reduced sale in my lunch break to see if any of the gifts were suitable for upcoming birthdays and had a look in store. I spotted a super thick, mosaic patterned scarf which unfortunately isn't online, but they had a bunch at 50% off so I would check out their stores if the temperatures are dropping where you are too! £32 £15