I love shopping, which is a shame because I’ve been a shopping idiot for most of my life. I have lots of clothes, shoes, bags, accessories and jewelry. Until recently, though, I was one of those people who never owned any stockings or white cotton T-shirts — yet I had an emerald-colored cocktail dress that matches nothing else in my closet. In the past couple of years, I’ve gotten my closet under control. It’s not more boring, mind you, but I’m at least sticking with a color scheme (navy blue, gold, white, and burgundy) and making sure I have enough basics for layering and matching. Buying plain old cotton shirts isn’t as fun as buying, say, H&M’s bright red bolero from their Garden Collection. But such is life, I guess?
Alas, there’s still more than a few pieces back in the ol’ closet that I’m not sure quite what I was thinking when I bought them. After the jump, allow me to introduce you to the hats, clogs and jackets that don’t match with anything…
- Pink leather clogs with pink maribou trim and wooden soles. Clogs? Really? Why did I buy clogs? I picked them up on sale at a little boutique in my hometown back in ’05 or ’06 and I’ve never worn them. Not even once.
- A fuzzy, white rabbit fur Russian hat: I acquired this doozy at an estate sale at some rich lady’s house in Westport, Connecticut. She had lots of hats to clear out and I went for the one that looks like a giant Q-tip. I’ve never worn it out in public, though. Not because it’s slightly ridiculous-looking — that goes without saying — but because it doesn’t cover my ears. And I am not a happy woman when my ears are cold.
- A white trenchcoat tie-dyed in blue ink. I snagged this coat in Durham, North Carolina, while scoping out UNC-Chapel Hill. And yes, I’ve worn it! Not since, oh, 2002, though.
- Mint green sneakers from H&M. I pulled these sneaks out of the closet earlier in the week, but could not leave the house wearing them with all my dignity intact. Back in shoe storage they go! This may come as a surprise to you, but mint green does not match with many things.
- A gauzy orange dress — kind of a ball gown, really — from Ports 1961. I used to know a guy who worked for the high-end clothing line, Ports 1961, which dresses starlets and advertises in mags like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. When he learned I was taking a vacation, he invited me to come by the Ports studio and pick out something from the closet. I chose a lovely orange dress which is layered with orange gauze, giving it a kind of “jellyfish” effect. I have only wore it once, to a schmancy charity fundraiser — a lady who lunches, I am not.
- A yellow purse with a cowgirl needlepointed on the side, with red sequin detail. I didn’t buy this, actually. My mom gave one each to me and my brother’s girlfriend for Christmas one year. And no, she wasn’t joking.
- A vintage pink sweater with fake pearls sewn into diamond-shape on the front. This sweater actually kicks ass. It makes me look like a 1950′s bobbysoxer! Unfortch, I’ve gotten too chubby to fit into it. Also, I’m not a hipster, so it’s difficult for me to pull off wearing ridiculous-looking clothing.
- Black velveteen pants with fire prints licking up the legs from Hot Topic and dark denim jeans that have been tie-dyed in white from the Delia’s catalog. My Hot Topic fire pants were “me” in high school. I was a very PAY ATTENTION TO ME type of person and, yup, those pants did it! The username I use on Instant Messenger to this day is a reference to those pants. As for the tie-dyed jeans, I never wore them very much; they’re difficult to match. Both of these pants have retired to the “save for posterity” box in my parents’ attic.
- Fake-gold sailboat earrings. I bought these earrings at my friend Kate Goldwater’s clothing shop, AuH20, located in NYC’s East Village. Cute earrings, but once again, hard to match unless you’re going for a nautical theme. Which I am not.
- Wow, it’s hard to pick #10. I will have to go with the entire closet-ful of ugly, ugly, ugly printed ’70s vintage dresses chilling in my brother’s old closet at my parents’ house. Roaming Connecticut estate sales for dead rich ladies’ vintage clothing is my thing — or at least, it used to be my thing until I moved to New Jersey. But one particular estate sale just should have been bombed. There were a couple of single sisters who lived together in this old house and you can kind of understand why they died single after you see the stuff they used to wear in the ’70s. You want examples? One was a pea green shift dress and another was a poop brown mini-dress with a turtleneck collar. So, I purchased these items like a boob, and never wore them because they were too fugly to see the light of day. I believe I thought I’d be able to jazz ‘em up, but it proved impossible. Now they sit in the closet in my big brother’s old closet. One of these days I should just sell them all on eBay. Or burn them.
I’ve told you my biggest WTF purchases, but what were your biggest shopping boo-boos? Tell us in the comments!