Graduated Learning: Life after College

I got my degree, I got a job…now what?

A trip to the Wrentham Outlets August 3, 2008

So, I may have lived in Boston for almost 6 years, but I have to say, I’ve never been to the Wrentham Outlets.  I’ve been to outlets before, ages ago, but I hadn’t been to the ones that are south of Boston.  Well, I knew that I needed a wardrobe update; my friend Melissa offered to help me with a mini “What Not to Wear” trip.  Except I had to spend my own money.  And I only bought clothes at 2 stores.  And she didn’t make me throw all my old clothes away.  But other than that, it was like the show!  (okay, so maybe it really wasn’t much like the show at all).

I’ve known for a while that my wardrobe needed some improvement.  And now that I’m earning a steady paycheck (I got my first paycheck this week!), I feel a little more comfortable spending money.  Most months, I don’t buy any new clothes/jewelery, and most expenses go towards food, rent, transportation, and the like.  So, I tend not to spend money on extra things for myself, except for dinner out with friends or something like that.  And I also really have an aversion to getting rid of things (what if it fits? what if I need it? I paid for it, I can’t get rid of it!) so, I have a closet full of plenty of free tshirts from dorm events and clothes I’ve had since middle school.  And that’s really not the kind of clothes a 20-something should be wearing on a day to day basis.  Really, I’m just too cheap and lazy to buy new clothes for myself.  And I think I’m so afraid to make any purchase without another person’s opinion.

And so we drove out to the Wrentham Outlets.  So that was a bit of a trek, which meant using up a bit of a tank of gas.  Which is of course counter to saving money.  But I think overall, I managed to buy a lot more for the money I spent.  Overall I spent about $300.  Yeah, that’s a lot.  I spent $200 at Gap on 10 pieces of clothing (khaki slacks, jean skirt, tops), and then another $100 at Ann Taylor Loft for two sweaters and 3 pieces of jewelry.  I guess that means I got things that were an average of $20 apiece.  Could have done better (maybe gone to cheaper stores, but could end up with less quality pieces), could have done worse.  But I think that these are all key pieces for my improved wardrobe.  They’re all relatively solid, basic pieces that can be dressed up a bit with accessories.  My next step is likely to look to see where I can find some cheap but good accessories to pump up the outfits I’ll have.  That and sort out my closet, eliminating (and donating) the clothes that I really should stop wearing.

I’ve come to grips with the fact that I spent quite a bit of money.  But this is because I rarely actually go shopping, and it’s all clothes that I need for work and life as a more mature and put-together looking woman.  I guess the last time I went on a big spending spree for clothes was about a year ago.  Well, looking at my walletproof history, it looks like I’ve spent ~$80 on clothes in a few different months.  But most months in between I spend nothing.  So that’s my justification.  Whether that’s the right thing to be doing, I’m not sure.

How have you all been doing on your budgets?  I know wellheeled was working on cutting out clothing purchases.  And what do you think?  Am I justified in buying all these new clothes?  Or am I a crazy spender like the rest of Americans?

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5 Responses to “A trip to the Wrentham Outlets”

  1. Kim Says:

    Sounds like good deals to me. Finding good pieces for not too much is important. Those are the things that you will be able to use for a long time making it a frugal purchase even if it isn’t the least expensive.

  2. Justine Says:

    Love the Wrentham outlets… but haven’t been in years since it can be a dangerous trip! I say you did good, sure we can always do better when it comes to spending, but if you seriously needed it there is nothing wrong with treating yourself. Plus Gap and ATL gives you decent clothes that will last you awhile… so I’m sure it will be some time before you are telling us again you spent $300 on clothes! LOL

  3. […] go out with my good friend Melissa, who has a keen eye for fashion and what works on someone.  So she and I have gone to the outlets on sale weekends to update my wardrobe.  But on those weekends I end up spending $300 or […]

  4. Erin Says:

    Ha, I know this is a crazy old entry but I just had to comment because I have a deep love for the Wrentham Outlets and it’s so weird to see someone else mentioning them! In the “living healthy” blog circle I’m literally one of the only New Englanders (at least, that I follow, are sure there are many out there)!! The trick with the Gap outlet and Loft outlets are to get on their email lists and only go when they are having sales or have coupons (like right now I think I have a 30% off at Gap outlet coupon)…I have definitely gotten some sick deals there, since I’ve lost just over 50lbs and I keep having to replace my wardrobe, I have to be conscious of making my dollar stretch further.

    • Stephanie Says:

      Believe me, I only go to the outlets if I have all my coupons printed out 🙂
      and there are plenty of “living healthy” people in the Boston area…I think I’m following a bunch of them, now! Congrats on losing all that weight! You inspire me!


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