With all the talk of buyer's remorse this season--unprecedented numbers of shoppers returning items shortly after purchasing them upon realizing they can't shell out whatever they had paid in the first place--I began to contemplate my own recent large purchases and wonder whether or not they were worth it. Recall the Strategies and Tactics coat from Anthro:
O, how I loved this coat. But those beautiful brass buttons kept falling off and drooping like sad little soldiers. And I kept catching them and sewing them back on with my awkward unsteady stitches. Anthropologie has a pretty liberal returns policy, so I called a couple weeks ago, after perhaps button #4 had met its demise, and they assured me I could return it. I didn't. Instead, I waited it out a few weeks. I continued to rescue buttons with shaky sewing. I had a fiery debate with myself as to whether or not I should bring it back. I loved the shape and the epaulletes. I admired the ease with which the piece melded into my wardrobe, and even appreciated the slight Sgt. Peppers undertones when I paired it with my favorite sunglasses. Alas, I lost one button and was without any more substitutes. I know I could have replaced all of them, but I paid enough money for herringbone cotton as it was--not even all that warm. And where I'm from, warm truly does factor into coat purchases.
It's an interesting phenomenon by which I tortured myself with the debate regarding whether or not I should have brought the coat back. It was as though I was personally affronted that the coat did not live up to my expectations. Why do we (and I use the term we loosely, mostly in hopes that I'm not the only weirdo who does this) invest so many emotions in a piece of fabric? I suppose this is the pinnacle of successful marketing: to make the consumer feel as though what they are buying is not just an item devoid of personal meaning, but rather a piece of a certain lifestyle or approach to seeing the world. Maybe this is the source of the Wal-Mart tramplings and hysteria--corporations have led people to believe that the items they desire play such an essential role in their lives that the threat of not having them brings with it anger and desperation. Maybe that's how AIG felt when they had to cancel their next big bash. . .
Back to the coat. . .
Determination to rid myself of this source of frustration, I marched into Anthro yesterday, receipt in hand, returned it, and swiftly experienced a feeling of relief--in part due to having my money back, but mostly because I felt like, as a consumer, I had made the right decision. How silly to assume that Goliath gives a shit about David's emotional musings. And then I promptly spent the same amount on the Just-Right Ruffled Coat. . . this time, fully-lined wool. And I concur that with a teeny bit of ruffle, it is just right:
Edited to include: After reading this, courtesy of the fabulous enc, I have decided to cut the Anthro cord. I'm not drinking the kool-aid anymore. The above coat, #2, has gone back from whence it came. I just can't get down with a store who's too good to be perceived as a place where one can secure a bargain. No sir. No ma'am. See our comments for more of my thoughts.