Reading: Happiest Mom’s Thoughts on Shopping For Yourself


4563972000_65d70f6da6_mThere are few blogs that I read religiously.  The Happiest Mom is one of them. The Happiest Mom, aka Meagan, is the mom of five (and therefore qualifies as an expert).  I find her blog filled with some of the most well-written, thoughtful, and insightful articles I've read in years.  She manages to capture and convey the essence of motherhood without relying on old stereotypes or cliches.  Her voice is unique, yet I think you'll find it familiar.  She articulately puts to words so many of the things I feel, issues I struggle with.  I find her inspiring.  

So you can imagine my delight when she recently blogged about a topic we cover extensively on Ain't No Mom Jeans:  Shopping!  Meagan was recently in New York, and used some of her time there to do a little shopping.  Her shopping habits, as she describes in her article, Shopping, Showers and Self-Sacrifice, the Lesson of the Blue Dress, are probably familiar to many of us: 

Lately I’ve been thinking about how illogical my shopping habits have
been. I don’t actually save money in the long haul when I buy cheap,
unflattering things. I’d been confusing frugality with some twisted,
frumpy sense of virtuosity.
I realized that the most value-conscious
choice is to buy things that are well-made, that will last…and that I

Frequent readers of ANMJ will notice that M and I often oscillate back and forth between featuring budget-friendly fashion, and drop-dead gorgeous and expensive (albeit still mom-friendly) stuff.  I do this, in part, because my priorities have shifted, and also in part because of the grim budget realities after kids.  So yeah – I'm conflicted. 

But I think the theme here is balance.  Like our readers Amy and Nicole pointed out in the comments section of our post, What Target Does Best, the key to balance is judicious buying.  Judicious buying – whether it's done at Old Navy or Barney's New York, is what will help keep us moms looking (and more importantly – feeling) amazing, without sacrificing our new-found "mom priorities".  

I, for one, need to stop looking at just the price tag.  Calculating price-per-wear, is a much more effective way of assessing value.  For example:  My beloved Frye boots.  They cost me (gulp)…$400 two winters ago.  I have worn them almost daily from October – March for two years.  That's $1.30 per wear.  And I know I will be wearing them for years to come. 

Contrast that price-per-wear with the J.Crew Cashmere V-neck sweater I bought because it was on sale for $60.  It wasn't a great fit, the color wasn't my best…but only $60!  For cashmere!  I've worn it 4 times.  And it's days are numbered.  Price-per-wear?  $15.  Ugh. 

Think of it this way:  Would you pay someone $15 so you can wear an unflattering sweater/tank/t-shirt?  Ummmmm….no.  No way.

So here at Ain't No Mom Jeans, we'll continue to try and focus on judicious buying — whether we're covering Target or DVF.  And check out Meagan's blog.  You're in for a treat.



ps.  Anyone else have a great price-per-wear buy?  Or a horrible one?  Spill!


  1. Thank you for the shout-out, I’m flattered!
    Your formula for determining price-per-wear makes a lot of sense. I almost choked on the price tag the first time I bought a pair of good, sturdy winter boots. But, uh, I live in Michigan–if I’m going to splurge a bit, shouldn’t BOOTS be one of the places to do so? And I find that when my feet and calves are really warm, winter is that much more enjoyable. I’m comfortable and ready to go out instead of shivering in my chintzy shoes.

  2. Great post & great blog – I will have to add her to my blogroll!
    I have used “price per wear” calculations since my friend and colleague helped me assemble my first work wardrobe many years ago. Good shoes and handbags are a must (would rather have 2 really awesome ones than 10 cheapo ones – even trendy – I have been carrying the same Orla Kiely bag for nearly a year and still love it, but know I would have ditched a Target or Old Navy bag by now – even if it was bright and cute too)
    I also like to buy nice tees, usually at boden – yes, they cost double a gap tee but I wear them so much more, and for years longer, too.

  3. Meagan – I didn’t realize you read this blog. (blush) I’m a bit starstruck, LOL!
    Robin – Nice point on the t-shirts. I often find myself falling into the trap of finding cheap “basics”….but basics are the pieces I wear most often. And quality does matter.

  4. I bought Old Navy’s foldover yoga pant after having little H, thinking they are cheap and comfy and I’m always covered in spit up. My MIL bought me a pair from Lulu Lemon. The Old Navy pair have a price per wear of less than a penny, BUT they are frayed, tattered and look worn out. My Lulu lemons on the other hand still look and feel like new and have a price per wear of less than $5 and still going.

  5. Oooo…workout pants. That’s a good one! You are so right, of course. All of my cheap ones look, well, cheap. Slightly desperate. And my nice ones always look nice. Funny how that happens.
    So why do I keep buying cheap lounge pants? I must be seduced by the low price. I need to stop.

  6. A pair of Adriano Goldschmied “stilt” jeans bought 3 years ago, which fit beautifully pre-baby, and which are the only jeans that flatter my current “buttless” nursing body. I seriously wear them every weekend. Can’t remember how much I paid ($200 on sale?) but other denim (Gap, Citizens, It) have come and gone while my AG’s still look hot!

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