Thursday, November 14, 2013

Clothing Triage

One of my favorite words is triage. I like the way it sounds. Whenever I see it, I imagine a jungle hospital in Vietnam because I first happened upon its definition while reading about the Vietnam War. I'd like to take its traditional definition as "the determination of priorities for action in an emergency" and apply that to shopping. 

Let me explain. 

As much as I like to wander through department stores and touch every item of clothing as though each is an animal in a petting zoo, I'm a very rational shopper. I keep an ongoing list of things I'd like to buy, and I go back to the list every couple of weeks to see if I still want each item on it. I never buy something without having imagined the different ways it can be worn. In a way, I perform clothing triage. I determine the necessity of clothes that I want and prioritize my purchases accordingly. 

I'm faced with a pretty serious shopping crisis to triage this week. Isabel Marant for H&M is available today, and the proximity of my office to the H&M at Herald Square presents me with a really great lunchtime shopping expedition. But, there is also a Tibi sample sale happening in SoHo and a Steven Alan sample sale in TriBeCa. I've also been really tempted by the plaid shirts and turtleneck sweaters at Uniqlo as well as a pair of booties at Zara, and both of those stores are next to my [work] neighborhood H&M. I only have so much time and so little money so I need to choose my battles wisely. 

Do I need a pair of Isabel Marant Navajo jeans? No. Do I need a plaid shirt if I already have two? No, but a new color scheme would spice things up. And I bet the plaid shirt of my dreams would look kind of cool with Navajo white jeans. Or a turtleneck sweater. And Zara booties. Or that other pair of Zara booties. And oh my god, I don't even know what's on the racks at the Tibi and Steven Alan sample sales right now. The possibilities are endless, and my money supply is not. 

Below: the contents of the crisis.

Zara booties, Uniqlo plaid shirts and turtleneck sweater, Isabel Marant for H&M jeans and sweater 

(Ed note: I went rogue and bought a pair of studded loafers from Zara that I had been coveting since I first saw them after a dentist appointment in September. Weeeee!)

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