Shopping Confession: Retail Therapy Is The Best Cure.

I’m not going to lie – last week was…rough. By the weekend I was more than a little worse for wear and in need of a pick-me-up. Since I’d been keeping true to my resolution to shop more conscientiously for a while, I decided I deserved to treat myself to an afternoon of shopping. So I put my walkin’ boots on and headed to the BPOE, the MOA.

I mentally gave myself a budget of (approximately) $200 to get a jump start on adding spring pieces to my wardrobe. For me, this trip was about quantity over quality. While I don’t mind investing in a beautiful, timeless bag, I’m not one to drop $180 on a pair of trendy colored jeans or any other fad that’s likely to last no more than one to two seasons.

Naturally, my first stop was H&M. About an hour later, I walked out with a white and navy striped blazer, a comfy tee, basic flowy tank, and two pairs of colored pants for just over $100.

I got these H&M pants ($24.95) in green and pink, but they come in a variety of colors  including bright orange, yellow, and even snake print (pictured below).

As a note of caution, don’t assume that the fit between the different pant colors will be consistent based on sizing. Although I bought both pairs of pants in the same size, the green pair fits snugly while the pink are baggier to the point of being unflattering and so will be going back (bringing my H&M total to about $80).

My second and final purchase occurred at Lola, a store that I’d never before noticed despite having been in the mall for over a year. Located on the second level toward the center of the Nordstrom wing, I was walking by on my way out when I spotted numerous adorable dresses and blouses in the window display, causing me to turn around and head in to browse. I’m glad I did, as I was pleasantly surprised to find that all of the pieces were as cute as those I’d seen in the display and at prices similar to H&M and Francesca’s with pieces generally between $30-$45. I ended up walking out of Lola with 3 dresses and a blouse for about $140 and it’s officially on my favorite stores list.

In case you’re wondering, Lola has a limited number of locations. Other than the MOA, you can find it in only a handful of places (see the full store listing at http://www.lola.com/), and there’s no online shopping available. If you can, we recommend you check it out if you’re into girlier styles. Just be prepared to fall in love with everything you see.

By the time I left the mall I was feeling light as a feather – it’s a good thing I had those bags to keep my grounded.

— Maureen

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