Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Boots That Got Away

The other day I was hanging out with my friends Laila and Lydia (yes, I get their names mixed up too), chatting about the beautiful metropolis of Vancouver. Suddenly Lydia clutched her heart and an inconscient look spread across her face.

Was she having a stroke? No. She was thinking of the boots that got away.

"Have you heard about the boots?" Laila asked.

"They were perfect buttery leather," said Lydia, "knee high, made in Italy, and sold at this random little shop in BC. Why oh why didn't I understand the meaning of 'investment piece'?"

"They've haunted her ever since," Laila explained.

"My god," I said softly. "How long has it been?"

"Six years," said Lydia. "Six years."

In the cliched words of Carrie Bradshaw: I couldn't help but wonder...how many of us have similar stories of missed shopportunities, or lost shoes, or a favorite blouse stained beyond recognition? I know I'm still yearning for the most perfect little black shorts I misplaced in 7th grade, and I have a hunch the red Fendi jacket I passed up at Goodwill last week (stupid! stupid! stupid!) is something that will make me clutch my heart and gaze dreamily into the distance as I reminisce about it six long years from now.

What about you? What is your greatest shopping regret? Your most missed piece of clothing?

p.s. The comment with the most heartfelt story wins a small gift and letter of condolence from me. For serious. So clutch your heart and share some feelings, damnit!

61 comments:

Emma Lilly said...

Mine was this fabulous David Bowie (my favorite singer) shirt straight from the eighties. with a neon pink print of his head. I wore it with shorts, heels, jeans skirts everything. When all else failed I put on my Bowie shirt. *sigh* But it was lost almost a year ago and I can't find it.

Emma Lilly said...

Oh and I got it for only $3 at Savers an amazing steal. I had been looking for one for two years that I liked. And then one day I was just browsing and thought what if I found a David Bowie shirt? And I did, I didn't lose my power like the guy on Surf Ninjas just my shirt. it makes me sad to think of it.

Angie Panic said...

It's funny you should mention boots, as just a few days ago I was again lusting after/regretting the most amazing boots ever. I wear a 6.5 wide to double-wide shoe, so it's really hard to find ones that fit well. The last 2 pairs of these boots I could find on the entire internet were a size 10, and a size 6, and I spent so long trying to figure out if I could stretch a 6 regular into a 6.5 W that somebody else bought them first. I kept a picture of them (hope it works):

http://www.6pm.com/images/717/7175471/1733-159714-d.jpg

I'm still sad. I've even considered trying to make some, but they'd probably end up looking like a drunk wombat went at them with an embroidery needle, so I haven't gone that route.

Kim said...

It's not really a shopping regret, but similar: my grandmother was a very fashionable woman in the 60s and 70s and owned a lot of designer dresses and even multiple Chanel bags. Somehow they all went away; when she moved to a smaller home, when my mother lost a box full of them... it can make me sad just thinking about all the vintage designer dresses (and bags, oh, the bags!) that have disappeared over the years and that she might've given me!

Evie said...

I saw a dress, in a hideously over priced shop, that was so beautiful (black with white japanese crane print with dark forest green leaves and red crests on the cranes...so you undertsand how BEAUTIFUL it was) it was after hours, so couldn't check price or size. Then remembered, hideously over priced...let it go, but oh dear god it haunted me.

Then reading an article about Nigella Lawson, it showed a shopfront. There in that window, was MY dress. This was two months later, I had been yearning, convinced that every occasion was perfect for the dress. So I took a two hour lunch break, trekked across London, tried on a different version and ordered it! Yeah, not REALLY a yearning story...

But wait...having spend hideous money on my dress, I was chilling out for a weekend in Brighton, wandering around, turned a corner, and was confronted with another shopfront. Stuffed full of black crane patterned dresses, skirts, bags, aprons, cushions, oven mitts, you name it. I had been told this fabric was imported and only available through the designer I bought it from. She lied.

I am happy there is more crane beauty to go round, but damn pissed off that everyone in South east England will be wearing it.

So pissed off I had a double vodka.

At 11am.

So...yeah. Not a yearning or regret story, but this dress had led me through the whole gamut of emotions. Right on in to alcoholism.

CB said...

Mine (the latest/last) was a houndstooth print knee-length HOODED structured coat from Esprit...My dream coat (umm if i actually lived in sub-zero temperatures).
I might have eaten it if the salesgirl wasn't around, but yeah, two things stopped me; one being that the only way to wear it where I live is on a rainy day in December, provided I'm in an AC ATM kiosk and completely naked underneath. The other was its price. Of course we all know that the second reason was the real problem here.
Once upon a time I was quite willing to hand out my hard-earned cash to stop "all the ones" from getting away. This was immediately followed by immense regret and fashion blog searches titled " how to wear "latest impulse/regretted buy"....
I guess I'm a bit wiser now, so thats what really matters! Not that beautiful beautiful coat that got away...

Princess Poochie said...

I have several missed shoe opportunities, including my most recent - these purple and pink satin lovelies - http://shoedaydreams.blogspot.com/2007/10/one-that-got-away.html

But none haunt me as much as the pair of Viktor & Rolf red glitter platform pumps. This was from their Spring/Summer 2004 collection and I had seen them on Net-a-Porter. Candy apple red glitter, platform, curvy heel.

But the smallest size was a six and they were pricey so I didn't risk it. What a fool! I should have bought them and stuffed the toes or something. I still daydream about these almost every day.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3011/2679284707_fed64a7606_o.jpg

Never ever pass up a pair of shoes you adore, especially red glitter. They may never pass your way again.

Ashe Mischief said...

There are several great regrets when it comes to shoes, but for me, the biggest one is the Manolos...

It was after Hurricane Katrina and I had just moved in to Bloomington. I was working full time at U.O., and making more than before. The beau & I had our rent covered by FEMA, were splitting our bills, and it was pretty much the ONLY time in my life we'd been living cushy.

Then I saw them. The most beautiful Manolos I'd ever seen. D'Orsay style, chocolate brown suede with light turquoise patent leather and a beautiful fleur-esque design on them. They were beautiful. They were $750. I wavered. I felt guilty to buy myself something so extravagent after what I and so many others had just been through. I called my mother. I showed them to her. She described them as the shoe you built an outfit around.

I decided to do it. I waited too long.
They sold out, and I've never been able to find them since.

Sal said...

My perfect gray leather handbag appeared last fall, but it was WAY out of my price range. I waited for sales, but it sold out before I could snap one up. I've been scouring eBay ever since ...

Hammy said...

Ah...I remember my sailor dress. I got it from topshop ages back for £50 (which is a lot in my book! starvingly poor studentdom and all that). It was pure silk and so so soft and navy blue with a peter pan collar and little white buttons and frills and my god it was wonderful.
But I wore it to a party and some drunken *insert un-blog friendly word here* spilt their cocktail down my back. It must have been one of those ridiculous sugary cream ones because it just wouldn't come out.
So I ended up paying £10 to have it dry cleaned. yep, the stain went, but so did half the stitches in the back, so now, literally, the back is holding together by about 3 threads (I exaggarate, but you get my point!).
I'm actually too terrified to wear it incase it falls apart so it sits in my wardrobe, mocking me.

Ah yes, and one time I found a mint condition vintage velvet cocktail dress. Black and form fitting and slinky and gorgeous. AND 5 QUID. 5! But I figured I didn't have anywhere to wear it and left it. Realised 3 hours later that I in fact, needed that dress to complete me, but it had gone! I could've sat on the floor of the shop and wept. I didn't, but i was SO close to it.

Kristen said...

Ahh, are you prepared for my horrifying tale? I used to work at a designer shoe store, and at the end of summer all the summer shoes would go on sale - as in, 99% off kind of on sale, with our staff discount on top of that. I scored a pair of Giuseppe Zanotti platforms for $18, and Escada pumps for $9, a Gucci wallet for $20. Now, I'd been looking at this pair of pointy toed Cavalli stilettos for months. I wanted them when they were $500, so it should make sense that I would buy them when they were on for $18 right? Apparently not. For some reason, either because I didn't have time on my break or because I thought I wouldn't wear them (stupid! stupid!) I didn't end up getting them.

WORST FASHION MISTAKE OF MY LIFE. Every time I have an outfit that would match, I curse my own stupidity at not getting them. I even went back to the store the day after, the final day of the sale, and they were still there..and AGAIN I didn't buy them! I have no explanation for my stupidity. I think my brain exploded or something. I still don't remember my reasoning for not getting them. Ugh.

And the worst part? After the final day of the sale, and I'm sure they didn't sell, the store donates all the leftover shoes to the homeless. So basically my dream shoes were probably given away at a women's shelter. Which is a good cause, but...siiiigh.

When I go downtown I may or may not check all the homeless people's feet....

Amanda M. said...

I actually sent you a "Dear Daddy Likey" email about the boots that got away a while ago. Let me dig it up... Ah, here we are (I apologize for length. It was an email, after all):

"My Channukah gift that year was a shopping spree in the store where my stepmom worked. I got a ton of cute clothes, and I tried on this pair of boots, but it was summer, they were expensive and I didn’t want to pressure my stepmom, so I left it alone.

Then a few months passed, and I was still thinking about those boots. They were functional, they tie up the front – no zipper. They were funky and cute, red and black technical look. They were real, waterproof boots. And best of all, they were made of recycled materials!

And in my shopping religion, if you walk away from something, but keep thinking about it for months afterward, it was meant to be and you should go back and buy a pair in every color and wear them constantly… or something like that.

So I searched online, and to my pleasant surprise, they were on sale. Like, REALLY on sale. Like, they went from “just expensive enough to make me think twice” down to “holy shit, are you kidding me? Buy two pairs, quick!” So my lovely mother bought a pair for me. And I danced and sang and rejoiced and waited for them to arrive, and when they did I ripped the packaging open like it was Christmas morning. I tried one on (and noticed that the soles had pictures of maps on them, which was just increased their cool factor), and showed it to my mom, exclaiming I never needed any footwear again, these boots would go with everything – yes EVERYTHING even ball gowns – and I would never take them off, not even in the shower. As my mother rolled her eyes I went to put on the second one, and in my excitement I must have summoned hulk-like strength because somehow, I broke them. The little metal hook you hook the shoelace around snapped off. I was devastated. My mom said ‘maybe they’re not such a quality product after all’ and I told her not to blaspheme in the house, and we went online to exchange for another pair, and off they went. In the mail. Back to whence they came. I didn’t even get to wear them out of the house.

Then, something terrible happened (again). My mom got her money back. We checked online, and it turns out, these things were flying off the shelves, and they sold the last pair in my size just as our defective pair got back to the factory, so they were all out. And I’m not talking about one store – I mean, the entire internet was sold out of these things. I’ve checked everywhere since, they’re gone forever. My miracle boots."

They were called 'Rocky' and they were by J-41. They have 'New Rocky,' but they have a zipper up the side, which ruins them unforgivably.

Erin said...

My story is particularly tragic, because I had a fantastic garment, and then lost it.

I scored this awesome sweater at TJ Maxx a few years ago in college. It was wool, but not itchy. Casual, but chic. It had large funky buttons. It was the most gorgeous chocolate brown and coffee colors (coffee was the main body of it, with chocolate brown trim). It even had this really cool military-style detail at the top, with a button-up collar. I know, it sounds totally rad and improbable, right?

I had this thing for like two months, and my new husband decided he'd be a sweetheart and do the laundry. He Washed. And Dried. My. Wool. Sweater.

As he was folding the laundry, I saw a hint of chocolate brown and couldn't believe that what I thought might have happened had happened. He. Shrunk. My. Sweater. If I had a Kid Sister doll, it would have fit her. (Remember Kid Sister? It was the girl alternative to My Buddy.)

That was our first fight, even though he didn't do it on purpose.

Rebekah said...

When I was 15, I snagged a camel-colored, kitten-soft microsuede coat at St. Vincent's for $7. It was knee-length with a broad notched collar, princess seams, and hidden pockets.

Funky yet sleek, this coat somehow suggested both Hip 70's Babe and Demure Debutante. Wearing my coat, I stood a little taller.

One happy day, I danced across a mall parking lot, twirling and singing of my love for this amazing monochromatic dream coat. A dork in love.

What went wrong, you asked?

In an overzealous cleaning fit, I shoved the camel coat into a bag of old clothes and gave the whole lot to Samantha, a girl from my church. After all, I told myself, it didn't really MATCH anything I owned, and shouldn't I dress more like the other girls in town?

That Sunday, Samantha sauntered into church wearing the beautiful camel-colored coat. Instantly, I realized I'd been a fool. That was MY coat, we BELONGED together.

I couldn't bring myself to beg for its return, and so for months I saw my coat attending dances and parties on Samantha's arm. She might as well have been holding my lover. In the following years, I would see the coat handed down through her family, never losing its swingy softness.

I had no one to blame but myself.

Almost ten years have passed, and I've had many other coats. None of them could make me sing.

Sometimes I can still feel my arms slipping into those cool, satin-lined sleeves.

teacherclothes said...

Okay. This is a painful exercise, but in the spirit of catharsis and community and getting the hell over it already, I'm going to share. And probably cry.

My mom owns a tiny little adorable vintage clothing boutique. I have to pass on most of her finds because vintage clothes are tiny, and my decidedly non-vintage boobies won't fit in a 26-inch bust. But oh the accessories. Swanky hats and fancy handbags abound. But because I'm a good daughter and want my mother to make money, I usually pass on her offers and let her sell these fine vintage wares.

Excepting, of course, one perfect item: a plaid umbrella, with a curved wooden handle that once belonged to a woman named Edna who lived on a Mulberry Street. It was the most beautiful umbrella ever to be created. It was made of fabric, not vinyl. The most beautiful Burberry-inspired brown and red and pumpkin plaid. The pole and handle were both this softly worn wood--I could see where Edna's tiny hands had left their mark on the crook of the handle, and when I carried this beauty of an umbrella, I had hopes that I too would one day be stylish and graceful like Edna. I even considered changing my name, just to honor her umbrella. I prayed for rain just so I could carry this umbrella. All other umbrellas bowed to Edna's umbrella, wishing they could be as marvelous as the one I carried.

You know what's coming next. It is the fate of all umbrellas to be left behind, forgotten about, only to be picked up by someone that surely cannot appreciate the beauty of a vintage plaid fabric umbrella with a curved handle that once belonged to Edna of Mullberry Street. I searched for days for Edna's umbrella. I asked every lost and found office on campus, even ones in buildings I never enter. Alas, Edna's umbrella is lost to me forever.

And now? I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about this umbrella. I've devloped a neurosis about lost umbrellas. Every time I see an abandoned one, I pick up and take it home. I have about 30 umbrellas now. Black ones, red and white ones, monogrammed ones, ones that were promotional offers with magazine subscripstions nobody ever really wanted in the first place, ones with rusted handles and broken springs, but none of them are Edna's umbrella. None of them are even made of fabric and wood, and none are even plaid. It's been almost a year since I, in a moment I'll regret for the rest of my life, walked away from Edna's umbrella, but I look for it everywhere I go.

LallaLydia said...

I'm clutching my heart right now! If ANYONE knows the name of that little shoe shop at the start of Commercial Drive and Broadway (by the Skytrain terminal) in Vancouver, PLEASE tell Winona! They were cordovan redish-brown and like buttah. I could shmear them on my morning bagel and sleep on them in lieu of a pillow at night. They were that good! *sigh*

WendyB said...

My story isn't heartfelt but since SATC came up -- I've been coveting the Sonia Rykiel striped top with the big flower that Carrie wore in a Paris episode of SATC.

Still hunting it on eBay.

Erin said...

i just fell in love with the word "shopportunity". i swooned and i got a tingle in inappropriate places.

Alpha Monkey said...

I am working on the story, but I have to keep stopping because YOU LEFT THE RED FENDI JACKET AND BOUGHT THE USA SWEATER? NOna, NOna, NOna. (That's my head shaking.)

Michelle said...

My story isn't quite as heart-wrenching as everyone elses' is. But a while ago, there was this skirt/petticoat on eBay. It was the perfect cream/off-white color (er, it was naturally that way, not stained from use or anything), had black lace edging and bows...it was a little cutesy, but SO gorgeous. Also my size + vintage = hard to find ('cause you know, my waist will never be 26"!). Perfectly ballerina-esque, super cute, great condition...and my size! I watched it for a week and there were no bids but mine. Then in about the last 30 minutes of the damn auction, there was a massive bidding war between another bidder and I. Ugh. They won it in the last THIRTY SECONDS. That was at least six months ago, maybe more like a year, and it still pains me to think about it. I haven't seen another skirt like it on eBay or elsewhere, and I've been watching. Since it's vintage, I have this terrible theory that it was the only one like it. Siiiigh.

Loraine said...

Well my boyfriend had quite the saga this winter finding himself some decent man-boots. He found a great pair with a great name (who honestly knows brand names for men's shoes? Then again, he has a bigger shoe fetish than I do. He also does bath oils. Don't worry, I ask the same questions your mind is asking right now.) and they were even on sale (for more than all the shoes in my closet cost combined), but they were two sizes too small. He nearly had an aneurism. He finally bought a different pair, decent and all, but I believe the indecent irony of the 'lost boots' still haunts him.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/11270918@N06/3925851131/in/photostream/

Trixie said...

Chanel shoes for $20. Perfect, unique looking and my size. Why? Why?

Also too many vintage items to even list

Lindsay said...

ITTY BITTY TEENY WEENY YELLOW POLKA DOT BIKINI (that floated away..)

So a few years ago, I'm like 14, I'm out at Hagg Lake with a friend of mine who is visiting from Oklahoma, and her dad, his girlfriend and her little brother. We decide that the water is warm enough to swim so we get on our life jackets and begin to swim across the lake.

About halfway across my friend, Jenna, and I stop because we're tired. I'm showing her my brand new yellow bikini with white polka dots (absolutely fantastic). We showed off our bikinis for awhile and girl talked about what would happen if a stergen came along and tried to eat us (I was terrified and kept eying the water). We started swimming again to catch up with everyone else when Jenna's foot got caught in the side of my bikini (which I hadn't tied very well). She accidentally untied the bottoms of my itty bitty teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini and I didn't notice until I looked down (checking for sharks and giant) and saw my bottoms sinking to the bottom of the lake. I tried to get them but because of the life jackets keeping me afloat, it was impossible.

I had to go the rest of the day with a life jacket and towel wrapped around my waist.. And the rest of the summer with only a bikini top.

Caitríona said...

I'm still in mourning for the beautiful khaki green with gold zip jacket from urban outfitters that I got on a holiday to Boston with my mom. Spent more than a hundred dollars on it, went with everything, and I thought we would be together forever...then a few short weeks later I left it on a train in Cork (southernmost part of Ireland) never to be seen again. No jacket will ever be the same.

crispybenfranklin said...

When I was about 15, I went to Seattle to visit my brother and his family. To keep me entertained, one day we checked out some antique stores and I found the most perfect vintage cocktail dress that has ever existed.

It was from the early 60s--a silk cocktail wiggle dress in the most beautiful emerald green color. It was sleeveless with a square neckline. The skirt was kind of a faux-wrap that gathered at the waist, which was adorned by a fabric rosette. This dress has a similar effect, but keep in mind that my dress makes this dress look like a fat sack of crap:

http://cgi.ebay.com/VTG-1960s-Black-majenta-roses-Satin-Wiggle-Dress-XL_W0QQitemZ280368175591QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_CSA_WC_Dresses?hash=item41473ed9e7&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

Most of my vintage clothes up to that point had been polyester wonders circa 1970 that could be had for $2 from Salvation Army, so the $15 price tag was a little more than I was used to paying for clothes someone may have died in. It was definitely worth it. I wore it every chance I got. I was complimented on it everywhere I went and people always asked me where I bought it.

So why is this a tragedy? In my house, my dad did the laundry. Accustomed as he was to washing my polyester wonders, his own off-brand jeans, and my mom's ever-increasing collection of White Stag tank tops, he thought nothing of throwing this beauty in with the dregs of our wardrobe. It emerged, falling apart and discolored.

The man fed and clothed me for a good many years. I owe my very existence to him. But some things--some things are simply unforgivable.

lisa said...

I tend to block missed shopportunities from my mind--too traumatic.

Kaume'alani said...

Great post topic Winona!

Mine would be something that I don't even know why I wanted, but it was a purple Nike tee that said 'Nike' on it several times in different neon colors. Sooo... not my style, but almost everyone morning I think of a way I could wear it that day and cry a little inside that I don't have one.

Seriously, a purple Nike neon tee with my black tutu? Or a purple Nike neon tee with my jeggings and piles of necklaces? Adorbz. I'm so disappointed in myself.

Ariel said...

mine is also shoes. for my 11th birthday my dad took me shopping (because he forgot my birthday), and i was just getting into clothes and fashion. this was back in the days of the hight of spice girl popularity. i found the most amazing high heeled, red shoes the earth has ever known. they were so incredible i was sure ginger (thats right, the spice girl) would have worn them in concert. i tried them on, and they were too small, but i didnt care. i made my dad buy them for me. i wore them around all day and they made my feet bleed because they didnt fit. so my mom took them when i wasnt home and gave them to my 6 year old cousin for her birthday to play dress up with so i would avoid having future foot problems and also "looking like a prostitute at the age of 11". i only wore them once, but still, 11 years later, i know that those shoes and i were meant to be together. and i weep a litte every time i see red pumps.

Paige T said...

Mine was a stunning BCBG dress that apparently was just a figment of my imagination, because I can't find even a mention of it anywhere. And I've been scouring the internet for the past four years. It was a black and gold ballerina A-line dress, falling to just the right length above the knee. The top was black, tight, and a halter cut-- perfect for my no-boobs physique. The bottom then flared out (sort of like Carrie Bradshaw's dress in the Russian-in-Paris episode, before Big comes to erscue her) in a really spectacular soft shimmery gold. It was "too expensive," and I had "no place to wear it." Dumb, dumb! I'd post a pic, but in almost half a decade of searching, I have never found one.

Reeca said...

I had the perfect pair of jeans. They looked good with everything, fit pefectly, and were so comfortable I could sleep in them. Even better-- they were Ernest Sewn, orignally priced at 180$, and I bought them for 45$. I wore them for almost three years straight (I mean, ok, I washed them occasionally), and was thrilled to own a pair of jeans that were so soft and flattering. I owned like one other pair of jeans (literally) because these were all I needed.

BUT. (This is where it becomes a horror story-- where you notice the zombie in the background of the happy lovers.) Jeans that soft weren't meant to last very long, I guess, and last year I started noticing little holes all over. First the jeans split at the knee, so people started making the trademark "I bet you paid for those to look all ripped like that" comment. Then, a small but persistent hole formed on the butt. I didn't care-- I started wearing blue underwear as a decoy(you could still totally tell it was underwear though). And finally, tragically, I bent over in the jeans, which produced maybe the most indecent rip ever seen on a pair of pants. There was no saving them.
I sort of don't know how to move on....

Chocoholic said...

I had this most awesome, Rockabilly looking dress from Hot Topic. It was black with a cherry print and had a little bit of tulle at the bottom to make it stick out just the perfect amount and it disappeared! Right around the time a friend bought me a pair of cherry earring to wear with it. :(

I also regret not buying this awesome 80's Chicago Bears windbreaker my friend had in her shop when she sold vintage & gently used clothes. *sigh* Sadly, their shop was flooded when there was a storm that ripped the roof of the building. Just think of all those lovely clothes, ruined.

Rosie Unknown said...

I haven't had one absolutely tragic one yet. Just lots of paris of jeans that I wore until they literally fell apart.

fromsneakerstostilettos said...

When I was in 2nd grade, my mom purchased me a beautiful sweater. It was black and had bright pink and purple bows as the pattern. This was a very special sweater for two reasons: I am the youngest of 5 children and rarely got an article of clothing that wasn't a hand me down. And purple was my favorite color and this was the most awesome sweater I have ever owned. I wore this sweater everywhere. I loved it. So, when we went on vacation from Ohio to Williamsburg, VA, I obviously took the sweater with me. I wore it every morning when it was still chilly on that vacation. And one afternoon we went to this maze made of hedges. While trying to find our way out, I got hot and took my sweater off. I tied my sweater around my waist and kept going. Again, being the youngest I was kinda forced to keep moving by my older siblings. Later that day, we realized my sweater was missing. We looked all over Colonial Williamsburg and did not find my sweater. I remember a lot of crying on my part. I remember the rest of my elementary and middle schools longing to have that sweater once again be a part of my wardrobe. I have one picture of me in the sweater and I cherish this picture. If I were ever to find this sweater at a Goodwill or other thrift store, I would snatch it up in a minute. Nevermind that it would not fit me, it was a perfect sweater. Now, I live about 2 hours or so from Colonial Williamsburg and whenever I hear about that town, my heart yearns for my purple and pink bow sweater.

I should mention this was 20 years ago.

TheSundayBest said...

First of all you should come to Vancouver and visit. You just should.

Biggest shopping regret by far - tuxedo I saw in Williamsburg, custom-made in Japan. We all know Japan makes the coolest things ever--robots, square watermelons, robots--and this was no exception. Plus, because it was made in the land of the small, the suit fit me. Perfectly.

And for some reason I didn't buy it.

What makes this story even more ludicrous is the fact that it cost...$38. Yeah, I am a brilliant shopping tactician.

The moral of the story - buy custom-made, $38 tuxedos from Japan.

Annie Spandex said...

There is a vintage maxi dress that HAUNTS ME!!!! ever since I let it get away. I don't even like maxi dresses but this one was amazing and beautiful. It had a large print with blue(!) pretty girls with long hair all over it. Normal-looking except for the fact that they were blue (they did not look like smurfs, lol). They were printed all upside down and right side up and there was a 20's-looking floral garden background to the print as well. It was amazing... The shop owner's daughter was watching the store and wouldn't play haggle with me over the $40 price, so I waited and came back the next day to buy it from her mother. The rest is obvious. It was gone! :'''''''''''( I don't think I'll ever find another like it.

Bethany said...

I had the perfect pair of black shoes. They had a pointed toe, an ankle strap that somehow actually made my legs look longer! And they had a three and a half inch heel, and were magically comfortable to walk around in all day. I know this because I once wore them forgetting it was the day that we were touring the Spurs stadium (locker rooms and all) and I must have walked two miles in those bad boys without a blister or hurt toe is sight! They went with everything, and I wore them almost every day.

The heel eventually started to wear down, and the leather tore on one of the toes, but I didn't take them to the repair shop, becuase I wanted to wear them still! When I finally took them in, the old shoe repair guy shook his head and told me it was too late. They were beyond repair... I still have them. They sit in my closet as a reminder to take care of what I have!

Anna said...

The dress was Pucci.

Knee-length, swingy, covered in Technicolor ice-cream swirls of hot pink, chartreuse, and yellow. Long sleeves that belled out just a bit and the kind of neckline every busty girl dreams about: shows no cleavage, yet doesn't make you look like a mad grapefruit smuggler.

It was the summer of 2001, and I was switching from a cow-manure-and-locker-meth lab-strewn public high school to a private high school known more for its liberal kookiness than its sartorial achievements. Still, my mother had always despaired of my Robert Smith Goes to Woodstock hippiegoth style, and she took the new school's dress code as an opportunity to correct these failings.

We saw the dress at a tiny boutique in New York City. You know, the kind of place that actually sells high-quality vintage clothing instead of moth-eaten Urban Outfitters cast-offs from three years ago. It was in the window, winking at me from atop a pair of white go-go boots. My mother saw the entrancement in my eyes, and without a word she bumped me into the door.

On me, the dress was so many things. It was a swirly sugar pop art orgasm. It was a figure-flattering, unwrinkleable piece that could go from day to evening. It was way more awesome than anything anyone in my backwoods hometown owned.

It was almost two thousand dollars.

Pulling it over my head and sadly arranging it back on the hanger was the most painful experience of my young life. Postpartum. Such a pain of separation. The loss...I don't know if I have the strength to go on. Putting that dress back sucked balls, okay?

As my mother and sadly exited the store, dragging our feet, I looked back for a tiny second. There was the salesgirl, wrestling my dress- MY DRESS- back onto the mannequin. Its sleeve hung down, now empty of fashion promises, and swung back and forth slowly, sadly, as if bidding me farewell.

It's been eight years, and the pain is still palpable.

hanabi said...

Mine was a bangle.

This summer, I graduated from university and took off to India, for a 4 week backpacking trip. It was just the thing to do.

One day when I had nothing else to do, I went shopping with a french girl I had met. She told me about this little arts and crafts shop she had discovered the day before and wanted to go back there. So we went.
Oh the wonders of that litte shop! Silk and cashmir wraps, colorful tunics, gorgeous silk carpets, ... I wandered along the racks, my eyes as big as saucers, when I stumbled into the jewellery section. Whrer I laid eyes on the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. A handmade, delicate silver bangle, set with huge emeralds and rubies. Oh boy. I had never seen anything like it. The shopowner let me try it on and I knew it was ment for me. I felt like a princess from arabian nights, yet it had a modern, sophisticated look to it.
But surely I could never afford such a precious thing? Alas, it was only about 75 dollars. The gems were real, but they weren´t the superiour, clear quality that sells for thousands of dollars, the clerk told me.

Well, I talked myself out of it, because that is a lot of money for me. But oh do I regret it! I´ve been looking for something comparable ever since, but I have little hopes. I had never seem something like it, I doubt I can ever find it.

Joanna said...

A few years ago, I owned THE perfect pair of chocolate brown trousers. They fit like a dream, and they were casual enough to wear with a t-shirt (which happened often enough), but somehow, when I paired them with a dress shirt, they miraculously became dressy and classy enough for any occasion.
One day, I was (foolishly!) doing laundry in The Pants, and I spilled a some of bleach on one of the legs. I didn't notice until a few hours later, when it was too late. The Pants could not be salvaged. RIP.

echidna girl said...

Anthropologie coat. It was too expensive so I didn't buy it. Of course, it would have lasted for years...

Tess said...

I have so many regrets and sad wardrobe stories. From leaving my mad cool orange plaid double breasted polyester trench on a train to an ex getting rid of nearly all my clothing.

Most things I have forgotten or moved on. The shredded lemony yellow beaded gown my friend gave me eases the pain of my perfect white gunne saxx dress that I had for 10 years, or the big red rose print sundress I sewed.

The one thing I know will be impossible to replace was this 50's vintage black lace cocktail dress that my work was selling. Gigantic puffy fluffy knee length skirt, strapless bodice. Zipper in good condition. The lace was fragile and gorgeous but didn't have any dry rot. I tried it on once and decided it was super amazing but gosh, would I really wear it that often? Even though it made my boobs look huge and my waist look like a pencil? So I put it back on the rack.

For 5 days I looked at it and admired it and thought to myself, "It's really only 26 bucks and with your 30% discount....that's only like 18 bucks or so..And it looks so good..."

So after 5 days I tried it on again and sure enough it still looked super amazing so I put my name on it and left it on the TEMPORARY hold rack. Key word here being temporary. Normally it's fine to leave things there over night especially if third floor is alarmed, which is were the employee hold rack is. The day after I did this was the day my manager decided to crack down on improper holds and yada yada and when I got in later that day the dress had been put back on the rack and sold.

It's been almost a year and I stalk the vintage section of the store like a crazy woman waiting for something just as perfect to come through but alas, it probably never will.

futurelint said...

Hmm, is it terrible I don't have one? Does that mean I buy every little thing my heart desires? No... I guess my only regret involves art not clothing. For MONTHS I was looking at all of Kurt Vonnegut's screenprinted, signed prints on his website. I couldn't decide which one to get... I loved like 10 of them. Then, he died. The price quadrupled. They went from "eh, I can swing it if I'm cheap for a month" to "noooooooooooooo" I am ridiculously heartbroken, but one day, oh yes, one day one will be mine!

Alana's Bookshelves said...

I was 17, and it was a sporty tank top with built in sportsbra. It was black, and hugged me in all the right places - its perfect spandex material held me in and made me feel very svelte.

The first day of a regatta I was wearing it and got the worst sunburn of my life. I ended up wearing it every day after that because it was the only thing that didn't hurt.

That week I was a flirty, free 17 year old having the time of my life - away from parents, hanging out with my friends and rowing. Life was very very good.

I made it home from the regatta, but the tank top did not. It stayed with me in the way of tan lines for a few months, but to this day, six years later, every time I go to work out I think "man. I wish I hadn't lost that shirt."

Tania said...

perfect fitting pair of jeans. first year university. montreal hotel room. crawled into one of the double beds with a boy, my roommate crawled alone into the other bed. pants came off & were never found again.

Catherine said...

Five years ago I got the most beautiful dress I have ever seen! It was white and I wore it for my confirmation and I felt like a fairy in it. I didn't want to take it off when I got it but I reluctantly did and hung it up in my closet. Well, time for dry cleaning time. So there were two piles in my room of which to put in the dry cleaning and the other to give to Goodwill. Guess which pile my dad put my dress in? I was so angry and drove 2 hours to the main Goodwill place to find my dress but sadly it wasn't there... I still miss that great dress!

Lorraine said...

Red--not slutty red, gorgeous, tasteful, Catherine Deneuve red--knee-high boots with a generous cuff and a nice heel, spotted in a boutique across from our hotel in Bergamot. I was pregnant, had larger-than-usual feet and didn't go into the shop. That was 7 years ago. I think about those boots all the time. Actually, I MOURN those boots.

milliebunny said...

Rome. September 2005. A little shop near the train station. Doors were locked, but the windows were wide open for me to look through. And inside, perched elegantly--sumptuously--was a dark purple (waaay before dark purple was in, might i add) suede Francesco Biasa purse. Out of my budget? perhaps. (But not if you consider that i spent all that money to fly to rome, and heck what's a few more hundred euro at that point, right?) i'd meant to go back the next morning before my train left. but i forgot. yet, alas! i shall never forget...

Sophie Holt said...
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Sophie Holt said...

Mine isn't so much a story of boots getting away; but I still remember them none the less. I was only about 12 at the time which is the reason I didn't buy them (or rather the reason my mum wouldn't let me buy them) - but they were knee length, suede, deep Cadbury's purple platform boots with the chunkiest heel ever, I loved them so. I saw them in a shop window and immediately thought if I bought them I'd pretty much *be in* the Spice Girls. Well, obviously my mum said no. It's been 12 years and I still think about those damn boots.

saturdayjane said...

This is a little bit late in the game, yes, but I feel like I still do need to share this.

Here goes.

I have been wearing the same coat for seven years.

It's a good coat, granted. It's a red pea-coat with a belted middle that makes me look a little bit like an oompa loompa, maybe, but a SEXY oompa loompa with some SHAPE, so that's good. I received it as a Christmas present from my brother for my sophomore year of highschool.

His girlfriend told him to buy it.

It was somewhere around my sophomore year of college that I began to realize that my Red Coat was fading fast. I had worn it to death, really, and every day its little rips grew larger and it smelled a little bit more like a wet dog. Something had to be done, so I went shopping. I went shopping A LOT. I went shopping for days in a row, hours at a time, scouring Macy's, Penny's, Maurice's, Sears, Ross, Goodwill...think of anywhere in Oregon that sold coats, and I was THERE, my friend, clad in my torn and smelly old coat, ready for change.

It wasn't until my junior year of college that I found IT.

IT was perfect. IT was a black and white houndstooth pea coat, with a row of black buttons down the front and a belt that buckled, rather than knotted. IT was grownup, and sophisticate, and chic, and everything that I felt like I was supposed to be as I neared the end of college IT represented something greater than a coat. IT was a symbol of the life I wanted, the life I was working for.

And IT was too long for me.

I tried IT on for a full two hours. I wore IT around the store, lingering in mirrors, noting the way my figure curved just so and the way the sleeves ended properly at the bone on my thumb, just like Clinton Kelly said it should. If it wasn't for the length...! Curse my hobbit body! IT stretched down to my knees, cutting them awkwardly off and making me look like I was a bizarre torso-person. I couldn't pay eighty dollars for a coat that wasn't perfect. Even if it was so close that it hurt.

I put IT back and went home. That night I complained to my roommates that I had found love and lost it, that it just wasn't meant to be.

"Y'know," my friend Laura said, eating a bowl of reheated macaroni, "you can TAILOR that really easily.

I had literally never considered tailoring.

The next day I had class, and the day after that, and the day after that. During each lecture I sat, tapping my pencil nervously, dreaming of IT hanging there in Macy's, shuddering as I imagined other people picking it up...wearing it...ugh...

On Friday afternoon I jumped in my car and raced to Macy's, but IT was already gone. I asked the salesperson, describing the coat in loving detail.

"Oh, the houndstooth?" she asked. "We had those for so long...we don't carry them anywhere anymore. We were moving them out last weekend."

I may have quietly walked back through Macy's, gotten into my car, and sobbed into the steering wheel.

I'm still wearing my red coat.

Sorry that was so long, but it was A Story That Needed To Be Told! :) At least, I thought so, but maybe I'm just to close to the TRAUMA of it all. :D

the little eastern heretic said...
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the little eastern heretic said...
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the little eastern heretic said...
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the little eastern heretic said...
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the little eastern heretic said...
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the little eastern heretic said...

shopping for secondary school (high school for you) prom in november 2002.

went around shopping for a dress.

tried on this translucent brown chiffon dress. it had ribbon straps, a ruched bust, a ribbon belt to define the waist and an a-line skirt. it looked great on me, even my girlfriend agreed.

but slightly over budget. being the poor student that i was,
i bought a boring black dress instead.

i still wish i hadn't. it was a wondrous dress. 7 years later, still scouring ebay and local forums for it.

i still hope one day we'll be reunited! lol. :)

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,

The Vancouverista said...

we warrant the label metropolis now? whoah

Nicole said...

OH, so many. If I can't stop thinking about something for more than a week, I usually try to buy it. But sometimes it's sold out or just too much money. Last week I tried on a pair of those Ashish for TopShop leopard open-toe wedges, and I knew it would be my only chance to buy them, but I couldn't part with the $300. Before that I was having a variety of problems trying to get my wedding dress online--whenever I'd find something that I thought was 'the one' it would be sold out!

In my blog, I like to refer to these unattained goods as my white whales. Cuz I'm literary. Word.

Jodi Sue said...

Four or five years ago, I was in France w/my now-ex-husband. I found the perfect boots - handmade, Italian leather, exactly what I'd been seeking for years. Like someone had probed the inner reaches of my mind & manufactured exactly what they seen in my thoughts. I had a tattoo that was a year old @that point, & it just so happened to be the logo of the store (I sh*t you not). The only drawback was that they were 350 euros (I'm Canadian...so that was around 600$ at the time, I believe). Now, I HAD the money, but it was in a bank account that I couldn't access until I returned home. It wouldn't have been the most financially responsible thing to do, but it could have been done. My ex, however, decided that it wasn't a good idea & refused to lend me the money until the we got home - a week(despite the fact that he knew I had the money in my bank account). Since then, I have seriously wanted to wear those boots @least three times a week. I hate him. There's a reason we're divorced now.

rubybastille said...

My shopping regrets aren't so much regrets for the items as regrets for a small paycheck. Usually every year I fall in love with some glamorous winter coat at Anthropologie that costs $300. The first one was a beautiful pink and silver brocade, and the second one - the one I still really pine for - was a long brown wool tailored Edwardian/Regency masterpiece with gold buttons everywhere. I miss it every fall.

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