Sunday Chronicles: Returns

Investment Piece: Fall Party

After the holiday season- the gift gifting and the sale shopping comes a season of returns. None of us give with the intention that our gifts won’t hit the mark (and few of us shopping thinking it won’t work out), but sometimes, returning a gift (or purchase) is the best thing. I know this. I’ll be the first to tell you that if something doesn’t fit or hit the mark, that you should return it- and of course then I will tell you to get things that do hit the mark and fit! If I feel this way, if I can acknowledge that returns are a part of shopping, why do I sometimes have a hard time with returns?

(And I’m really hoping I’m not the only one!)

When we talk about returns, a lot that is difficult to deal with is the actual process. Going to the store, or mailing it in, waiting for a refund or a replacement item. At times returns are annoying at best, and a major inconvenience at worst. This article by Amanda Mull in The Atlantic breaks down the return process, history, etc much better than I could. And I have to say, unfortunately, I have no advice or tips for dealing with that side of returns.

However, I do have thoughts about the feeling side of returns, because I do refuse to believe I’m not the only one who sometimes over-thinks or feels the simple return. There are times when I can make the choice to return, not think about it, and get it done. Then there are times when I find myself trying way too hard to make purchases work, feeling as if I have to over explain my return reasoning to the store clerk (and anyone who asks), or worse- keeping something I know is not right for me.

Sometimes it’s the embarrassment of ordering the wrong size. Which I know is dumb- especially as there is no standard sizing, that no one cares, that a number on a tag doesn’t define me. Like many women, I’m a ton of different sizes and most of the time I’m ok with it. But. There are times when the wrong size is a reason I delay returns. This is very similar, but times when a piece doesn’t work for me I can also get a bit dejected (I’m not 100% sure that this is the word I’m looking for, but we’ll go with it!) and put off returning it. I can get very in my head about being a “fashion blogger” and how that must mean that I could make any outfit work- and the reality is, that’s just not possible. From style to body type to sometimes outfits just don’t work. And as much as I can tell you that, when things don’t work for me, there are times I can take it personal.

And sometimes, the feelings and hesitation to return something is a bit more complicated. Maybe it’s something you really wanted to love, or something that meant something to someone you love. There are things that we return that can rub our loved ones the wrong way, as they take it as a comment on them or their gift giving. Returning, with all of its frustrations, leaves you without something, and sometimes that’s more difficult than we expect it to be.

Reasons returns are hard can be varied, and I know most of the time the answer is simply to just do the return. The store or clerk isn’t judging you, and if something isn’t for you, it just means that something better is out there. But when I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around those ideas these tips are how I get myself to suck it up and make the return:
-I bribe myself. Be it what other thing I’ll buy with the return funds, a coffee out, or making a day of fun errands after the return. I’m not debating if you should bribe yourself, just letting you know it works for me.
-I wear an outfit that makes me feel good. If you’re making a return of an item that didn’t make you feel great about yourself, there’s no better balm than an outfit that makes you look amazing. Fantastic lipstick (under a mask even!) can also help!
-I ask a friend to go with me. It makes the process a bit less painful and it can lead to a really fun day.

How do you feel about returns? I know we all have things we just return, but the things that are difficult to return- how do you do it? What are your tips in general for returns? I would love to hear about them all!

And it is currently Mercury Retrograde so if you have things returning to you (people, etc), I recommend discernment, and I would love to hear about all of those returns too! 😉

Wishing us all a week of good returns and amazing shoes! XO RA

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Actress, avid shopper, and a lover of fashion. Hoping to make the world a better place one pair of shoes at a time.

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