Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Friday, May 2, 2008

"But it's only ten dollars!!"

So I got my hair cut & colored yesterday.....and I absolutely LOVE it. It's a huge change, but it looks good. I might have to wait until I get back to post a picture though - I forgot my camera cable and my cell phone isn't letting me email a picture to myself (maybe that feature doesn't work abroad??).

In other news, I also did a bit of shopping today and treated myself a new Coach purse and a really cool Vera Wang black spring jacket. I'd like to get a dress too for my friend's wedding, but I think that will be it for shopping this time around. I'm trying to get away from buying stuff just because it's cheap, and move towards buying a few high-quality pieces that will last me a while. I've been here a week, and I haven't even been to Target yet - can you believe it? I'll probably post more about it later, but I'm just growing tired of this whole mega-consumer culture, where everything is so cheap and disposable. Everyone just has so much crap everywhere and since it's so cheap, anytime something breaks, people just throw it out and buy a new one. We're filling up landfills like nobody's business.

My friend Yuri sent me a link to "The Story of Stuff" a while back, and it really resonated with me. If you've got twenty minutes or so, check it out here.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Alison said...

I haven't watched The Story Of Stuff, but I am certainly aware of it. I'll watch it one of these days.

You have to admit, though that the French are just as much consumers as Americans. Think of places like Mille Stock and Gifi and La Foir'Fouille.

May 2, 2008 at 7:08 AM  
Blogger Leesa said...

Hi Sam,

We just dropped a ton at the market today... just picking up stuff we can't get in France... and some Jose Quervo, Margharita mix, and Vanilla Kahlua! I think Target is GREAT for the household products that usually cost a ton in France... and stuff you can't get over there... Anyhow.. We are now working on our additional "third" baggage... and each of us brought and access of 8 kgs in one of our valises! We are MEGA shoppers!!!
I would like to invite you over to make some cupcakes with me!!! --Take care and enjoy your shopping!! Congrats on your purchases... You deserve the BEST!!
Hugs, Leesa

May 2, 2008 at 7:21 AM  
Blogger Alisa said...

Before I read the last paragraph I was like, 'If she hasn't already seen that video, this is kind of spooky...' lol
Anyway, I completely agree. The only problem for me (and I'm assuming others) is that sometimes it's not possible to buy only high-quality things... I really don't have the income to buy anything more than the cheapy stuff :( Hopefully that will change soon though...
Also, I just found out my cousin is doing a 'green' wedding and everything on their registry they're asking for used - meaning from your house, from thrift stores, second-hand stores, etc. for the same reasons you just mentioned. Isn't that a great idea? (Though a bit different from a Coach purse *g*)

May 2, 2008 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger Patricia said...

Hi Sam,
I totally agree. I have learned over the years to purchase only good, quality classic clothing and it will last for years - instead of throwing away trendy, cheap clothing every year. You can always accessorise with fun items. Do they sell Coach in France? We bought my mother-in-law a Coach bag and she knew what it was because I have one, but said she has never seen them in France - but then again, she does not pay much attention to brands. She didn't even know what Longchamp was and I couldn't believe it because it seems like they are all over France.
I also try to get rid of something or give something away if I buy something new, which I think is a good idea. If you keep buying and not getting rid of "stuff" it all just becomes a bunch of clutter.
Take care!

May 2, 2008 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger parisiannewyorker said...

Yay! Shopping! My favorite activity!

Glad you went out and splurged on some high quality goods. Of course, considering that I work in fashion (and am therefore by default materialistic, egotistical, selfish, and very self-absorbed), I am all about buying pretty much only a few major pieces, although from time to time, I like to go to the Gap and/or H&M. (The quality is actually really good!)

I always believe that the key is to buy a few very expensive but classic pieces that are not trendy, like a Marc Jacobs sweater, or a Prada dress. I also don't believe so much in buying It Bags - I literally shudder when I see a certain friend of mine in France STILL carrying a Dior Saddle Bag from like, 2000. I have to fight a strong urge to go up to her and be like, "Oh, honey, that bag needs to go into the closet for another 15 years before you use it again!"

BTW, I have never seen Coach in France.

And yay! for the Vera Wang jacket. What I love about US fashion is that it's actually really up there and I find it much more innovative and wearable than the French brands - and much better price points, too, even for runway collections. One of the places I worked at when I was in Paris used to put out really high quality lingerie from time to time - but it was like, 900 euros for a bra. (90 euros with the employee sales, but still, that's a lot for a bra).

You have to post a pic of your purchases!!!!

May 2, 2008 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger Samantha said...

I don't know Ali, I don't think the French are nearly as big of "stuff" buyers as we are. I think a lot of this came from the fact that I just had to sort through my entire life & all of my possessions. And I realized that everything I had was just that - stuff. And that it didn't make me any happier to have it. My mother is the queen of buying things she doesn't need "just because they are on sale", and I'm really trying to make a conscious effort to get away from that.

So I took what I would've spent on a bunch of small cheap things and just bought a few nice things instead. I'll be living in a shoe box in Paris, so it's not like I'll have room for anything more than my clothes anyways!

Leesa - I know the feeling! This will be the first time I won't go back to the US with my suitcases bursting!

Alisa - the green wedding idea is really cool. (And I wasn't planning on getting a Coach purse - I just wanted a really nice, decent-sized leather purse that zipped up since I'll be taking the Paris metro a lot, and it was the only one that fit the bill!!)

Patricia - I don't know if they have Coach in France, I'm not a huge brand follower either. But PNY would know, so if she's no, that it's no! I like your idea of giving something away every time you buy something.

PNY- unless I can find someone with the same camera cable, the pics will have to wait til I get back. I would like to find the perfect LBD while I'm here though!!

May 2, 2008 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger misschris said...

I watched that video a few months ago and it´s great. We are on the buy less wagon too. It seems to be a trend now amongst everyone we know which is wonderful.

I have to say that the French definitely buy less and are less competitive about owning things. It´s like TSOS videos says, maybe that's because there´s less advertisement on tv for stuff. We only do the "stuff" shopping in North America on vacation and we´re doing less and less now.

That said I love Coach bags! They are really well made and they lsst forever. You deserve a splurge.

May 2, 2008 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger La Belette Rouge said...

New hair, new clothes and a new shopping motto of not settling on lower quality--you so deserve some goodies and a fresh start.
I went to Target yesterday and I bought a Isaac dress at Target yesterday for $53- with tax. And, I love it as if it cost $153-.

May 2, 2008 at 5:36 PM  
Blogger Patricia said...

Hi Sam,
Just watched the "stuff" video. Very interesting. I have an aunt like your mother who buys so much stuff because she got "such a good bargain". She is in her 70's and shops all the time looking for bargains. She told me she goes shopping every weekend looking for bargains. I lover her dearly, but at that age, I can't imagine still shopping and shopping. I'd hope I would have other intersts like travelling, gardening, reading a good book, cooking, etc. I would rather buy good quality, spend a little more (although in the long run it will probably be less) and have more free time than running to the mall all the time. I do think Americans are a lot more materialistic than the Fench are - especially with houses and cars. Although, the French seem more concerned with the latest fashions. When I was just in France I had a pair of rubber boots on (it was in the north of France so I wore them almost every day!) and my husband's cousin said to me, "Oh, are those in style in the U.S. this year? They were in style here about two years ago." I thought - I don't care if they are "in style" they are rubber boots and I will probably be wearing them ten years from now when it is a dreary, rainy day! Funny!

May 2, 2008 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger emaleejayne said...

I kind of went through the same thing when I left France - I had so much stuff here in storage and after living in France with hardly anything it really amazed me how much I had accumulated here in the states but didn't need. I went through everything and got rid of a lot (donated to Goodwill etc). I don't buy things I don't need anymore. Living in France definitely taught me that!

May 2, 2008 at 9:26 PM  

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