Impulse Buy

Short over long proportions
The Seventies called; they want their outfit back. 😉

I almost never go onto those flash sale websites anymore. I used to check them out a few years ago when they began proliferating, because who doesn’t like a bargain? I rarely saw anything that I wanted even with deep discounts, and lost interest. But a few weeks ago I received a notice that Gilt Groupe would be featuring Eileen Fisher items, and figured with my affinity for the brand it would be worth checking out.

Most of what I saw were either items similar to others already in my wardrobe, or pieces that aren’t in my wheelhouse. I was somehow drawn to this top even though I had a feeling it wasn’t “good on paper” for me (cropped, boxy) and wouldn’t flatter my shape. I carefully checked the return policy before purchasing too. When I opened the package and held it up, first thought was “no way.” But I tried it on anyway, and immediately liked what it adds in terms of texture and proportion even if it isn’t conventionally flattering.

Cropped sweater over longer top

Vintage Hermès cuff, textured sweater

Earrings: Argento Vivo, similar in silver // Cropped Sweater: Eileen Fisher, similar // Angled Top: Eileen Fisher // Cuff: Vintage Hermès from Beladora, another option // Jeans: AG “Angelina” // Boots: Gentle Souls

Do you shop on flash sale sites? Any great finds? Do you sometimes ignore conventional figure flattery rules if you really like an item?

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  1. I have very occasionally ignored traditional figure flattering strictures and purchased a lovely piece that I just loved. Sadly, the piece usually sits in my closet after many try ons–because it is not flattering! I’m thinking of a drop dead gorgeous EF mohair type sweater from a few years ago. It is gorgeous–but not on me. Maybe if I lost 30 lbs, it would look better on me, or maybe not. I think I have learned a lesson.

  2. I do occasionally make purchases on the flash sites, mostly Gilt and Rue La La, but limit my purchases to brands I know. This way, I know what size to buy and have a good idea of what I’ll be receiving and whether worth the price.

    I find that a lot of Eileen Fisher looks pretty blah and lifeless on the hanger; you really need to try it on.

  3. Love it, the texture, the short over long layering. It’s taken me a long time to figure out the styles and silhouettes that look best on me. Where I’d be more likely to take a risk is with color or pattern. I haven’t shopped flash sales – yet.

    1. Hi, Just wanted to say that I enjoy your work very much. I am an internet “stalker”. I never comment, don’t subscribe, don’t follow. I bookmark pages I like and come back to them weekly – reading like a magazine, rather than daily. I wonder if people like me show up in your hits based on the time we spend reading? Anyway, I bet there are lots of us and thanks from me is overdue.

  4. The top is gorgeous. In spite of my self-proclaimed frugality, the mere thought of flash sales fills me with stress. I think I signed up for one a while ago and then unsubscribed almost immediately.

    OT: didn’t you buy the EF harem pants last year? How are those working out? I still see a lot of bloggers writing about them. Would love a report.

  5. I see this is the second time in recent days you’ve used these amazing jeans in you post. They are so flattering! Do you happen to know of any more moderately priced jeans with a similar size/cut leg?

    1. Hi Jan, I think I’ve included some in the widget at the bottom but if not, I know a lot of people like the Gap’s bootcuts. They have two different styles here.

  6. A good reminder that sometimes we should try things outside our comfort zone and outside what we think we ‘know’ works for us. Strange things can happen when clothes move from hanger to body. Love the look on you!

  7. This is very pretty. It looks of excellent quality and has a hand knit appeal. I do look through the deep discounts. The dress in my last post was $25 and I think fits my style. Sometimes those not obvious picks can become my favorites.

    blue hue wonderland

  8. This is a favorite looks for sure. I think the moderate boot cut jean is more flattering than “skinnies”. Im trying the short over long look on top as well.

  9. This looks great on you! I’ve picked up a couple of sweaters that surprised me when I tried them on, both that wider, shorter, but slouch/drapier silhouette. As you say, “on paper” that shouldn’t work for me, but I’m really liking it. As for the impulse/sales, I’m trying not to lately, but occasionally . . . . not generally online, though. I just know how unlikely I am to find the time and energy to process a return.

  10. I used to get those flash sales in my in box but I have unsubscribed. No need to be tempted as I am easily seduced! Like this top for example. I would love to have it! Not that I need it but it looks great and it is EF so what’s not to love? You look fabulous and I love that it is in grey.
    Enjoy wearing it….

  11. I like this top on you too! Your whole outfit looks great and thank you for showing us Eileen Fisher on a real body. I have a number of EF items–included a cotton open front loosely woven sweater I am wearing today. I bought this one on sale at the end of last summer. It’s a light gray and I can start wearing it now! It was a good buy.

  12. I don’t buy from the internet unless I know the size and brand. I picked an unstructured knit fabric jacket off the shelf in Jigsaw the other day. Usually it wasn’t something I would have bothered to try but the assistant whisked it into the fitting room so I though why not. I loved it, just not me but I loved it and so bought it.

    I have a similar top to the one you are wearing, it is great. It looks very good on you and I think you should get a lot of wear out of it.

  13. Je recherchais des blogs en français car ma langue me manque et je n’ai personne ici avec qui parler, et j’ai trouvé le votre, mais vous parlez en anglais… si la photo est de vous, votre tenue est relax et doit être confortable. J’aime bien tricoter et ce gilet devrait se tricoter vite.
    Et maintenant je vois “dites mois vos pensées” donc vous parlez français?

  14. I no longer buy any item that is not figure-flattering and not in my best color palette. It is very tempting sometimes and I struggle to resist (especially during some of the fashion seasons where the offerings run counter to what works for me)…. In the past few years, I’ve gone through a major purge of my closets and drawers to get rid of all the items I bought which were never/rarely worn because they were not flattering in shape, fabric type or color. (The sheer quantity of wasteful expenditures was shocking,) I’m much happier now that everything I own looks good on me (and it’s much easier for me to choose an ensemble!)

  15. It looks great because of the way you’ve styled it with a simple lean black ensemble underneath. Well done. I bought a suit vest this summer that was an impulse buy and I knew it was not my shape. It hangs there as a reminder not to be so foolish as to think I can get away with breaking the rules…

  16. That’s just my kind of top. I love big chunky knits.
    In warmer weather I’d layer it over a dark colored tank, not black but purple or green, maybe even white.

  17. Susan you look great in your new purchase! Your intuition worked for you. You do a fabulous job of piecing outfits together and I’ve learned a great deal from you and have tried different ‘lines’ of clothing because of your postings. I don’t do flash sales because I feel too pressured. I think you did well to carefully read the return policy–very savvy.
    I like the new direction you’re taking with jeans too! The bootcut jeans and toothpick (or straight) jeans are quite flattering and timeless. Sally

  18. This looks great on you! You took a risk and it paid off. I just recently bought some skinny jeans against my better judgment. sigh. Will be returning those. Your boot cuts remind me why I need to stick with that silhouette. Happy spring to you!

  19. I do flash sales occasionally. I agree with Cathy in that I stick to brands I know & love well. I love that grey EF sweater in general, & on you in particular. It does have a chainmaille effect that appeals to me. I wish I’d seen it as well as I’m transitioning from dyed hair to whatever surprises spring forth from my scalp. My palette is changing, & I’m moving towards the cool & silvery & away from my default golden hues.

  20. I love this top on you! I keep scratching my head at folks who sneer at EF — I just don’t get it. I love the simple, architectural style and since I started saving a buying a few of her pieces (as opposed to a greater number of less expensive stuff from mall chains that never really fit into my wardrobe or allowed me to get dressed in the morning), I feel I’m much edgier and less frumpy. I feel chic on the weekends and at work, professional but never corporate or bland. This top is a great example: I really like it, and it looks like it has such interesting depth and texture. I’m into texture more than color lately, really. The way you’ve layered it over the the long asymmetrical shirt works — I could also see it over a long silky white tank with a stretchy pencil skirt (my EF stretchy pencil skirt is serious workhorses in my wardrobe). And the similar version you linked to in the product page, with the gorgeous split back — beautiful. I find the long column of neutrals with the bold pop of the cuff great, too, and exactly what I’m enjoying these days.

    I don’t know, being forever concerned with choosing the conventionally “figure flattering” clothes left me in a place where I felt fussy and blah. Since I transitioned to more of a shape that you’re wearing here, with fabrics I love to touch, I feel more free — swingy, mobile, authentic. That affects my posture and presentation, and becomes more figure flattering than feeling weighed down by “correct” clothing I just don’t like.

    Anyway, I know nothing about flash sales and the couple of times I visited one, I haven’t found anything I like. But glad you made a find. Love your style! And as a glasses wearer since age 4, love how you rock your frames as part of your look! Thank you so much for your blog.

    1. Kat, thanks so much and I love what you said about clothing with movement and feeling more authentic. You’ve really hit on what I like about so much of Eileen Fisher’s clothing.

  21. You have a much better sense of personal style than I do. I do most of my impulse buying in thrift shops, so I don’t feel bad when things don’t work out. The impulse sweater I got on sale most recently from Saks sits in the closet mocking me.

  22. Gorgeous – the shape looks wonderful on you and I like how the colors work together with the open weave. With white in spring it will also be lovely. I used to shop at Gilt but didn’t like their return policy so started shopping at RueLala and love their shipping & returns. I think Gilt has changed since the very early days, so need to take another look! Like you, I shy away from anything boxy. Boxy + busty is a bust for me, but I love how you’ve layered this look to make it work!

    1. Suzanne, you’d be surprised. 😉 I picked it up second-hand a few years ago, for what would now be considered a steal!

  23. This outfit is gorgeous and I love the new top. Conventional flattery is imporant to me.. but not all important:) I love playing with proportions and layering and sometimes it’s enough that I like how something looks. I would have had second thoughts like you about this stop, and I suspect for similar reasons, but deep down I wonder if you actually knew it would work. There are so many elements that would suggest it would be fab for you… and it is.

  24. I think you made the right choice in picking up this sweater and I love it on you. Also, you are the only person I’ve seen wearing a CDC that makes me think I should give that style another look. I tried one on once at the Wall St. store and it was so big I decided it was not for me. The SA said, “It’s too expensive not to wear all the time!” Ha. (So I settled on a Hapi 3MM instead.) XO, Jill

  25. I really like how you styled this sweater. I have been wanting a crop sweater to be worn layered like how you have it here but having found the right fit. They all just make me look too boxy.

    I used to be addicted to these flash sale sites until I keep seeing they are trying to sell the same things over and over just called a different kind of sale and some of the items are in the inventory for a very long time and I can find it cheaper elsewhere.


  26. This outfit looks amazing on you. You look so chic and put together. You certainly did not make a mistake but making this purchase. I think you will be surprised at all the different ways you find to style this top. Connie

  27. You look completely fabulous in this simple outfit … Minimal You! Works so well, and the crop is perfection for you, especially worn this way. Crops are on my list for warmer weather, and some will hit at a discreet place, but others will have a suitable tank-cami beneath. Here too, is a great lesson for me … I bought a large, heavy gold cuff covered with gold bees of various sizes. I love them, but the piece is problematic. I see here how you made it take the stage with your other pieces. I should have thought of the aphorism … “keep it simple, stupid!” as my answer! Thanks for showing me how (again!), Madame Smarty Pants!
    Of course I break the rules. I’d wear nothing but slimming, lengthening tricks, and that could get dull and extremely limited. I don’t always look great, but there’s lots to be said for the occasional dive into “fun over function!”