Why Do We Buy Things We Have A Hard Time Justifying?

Let me start this post by saying: I DON'T KNOW WHY. Why do we? Does anyone have the answer to this question?

I have no doubt that there is a scientific answer to my question but I haven't gotten around to being in the zone where I really want to dive into it, most probably because I know the answer isn't going to produce a tagline that will promote positivity in life. Rather the contrary, I'm sure.

It has been important for me to be as mindful as possible about purchasing clothing items and accessories but honestly, I don't succeed doing so with every single item.

Nothing you see in this particular outfit — which I will touch on later — is in the "mindless" purchasing category, but the white leather mules I'm wearing here (and really love) reminded me of a pair of white leather slingbacks I almost bought recently.

I can picture the slingbacks clearly: chic blocked heels, cool worn-leather material, high V-shape cut at the top that I see a lot of cool Fashion Week-goers wear. Honestly, when I tried them on in-store and gazed at myself in the mirror I felt like I could look as cool as those street-stylers.

This is not even a question of "why we buy things we do not need", because case in point: I definitely don't need more than one pair of sneakers, but sneakers are so versatile, comfy and legitimately what I wear ALL the time, so I understand justifying wanting or "needing" a diverse collection of sneakers.

But me buying shoes with heels on them? Guys, I don't even like wearing heels. Nu-uh. Heels and I do not mix well. Sure, I own a few, but I can't remember the last time I even wore my old ones.

So why couldn't I resist those white leather HEELED slingbacks, that I would have definitely bought if the store had them in my size? Who knows?

Note: But maybe this person who wrote this article can help shed some light on my predicament. It says that, basically, all purchases I ever made = emotionally driven. So one way to explain my emotional want of those slingbacks:  so I could...look as cool as those street-stylers...?
(Maybe I got it right the first time around.)

•     •     •     •     •     •     •

On to this outfit, as someone with a penchant for Beetlejuice-like fashion + statement sleeves, I can definitely justify getting this black-and-white striped top with pouffy sleeves. I may not need it, but I will get plenty of wears out of it! I paired the top with these flat white mules and my one and only high-waisted black pants, which reminds me: these 5-year-old pants are losing their sheen and I need another pair of high-waisted black pants, guys.

Wearing: Topshop striped top  |  H&M high-waisted pants  |  Zara leather mules  |  Topshop chain bag



  1. Yup, driven by emotion. An emotional payoff is a primary influence, catalyst, motivator for all of our behavior. Also, fear is perhaps the one emotion that generates the bulk of our behaviors.
    I read recently that continuing to purchase "stuff" also makes us feel we are postponing death, that we will continue to thrive and enjoy what we've collected, what we own, another representation of our being.
    So... not particularly uplifting eh? Now we need MORE retail therapy!
    Love, Jude

    1. I completely agree, shopping is just one of the many things driven by our emotions.

      And yikes, postponing death? That certainly does NOT sound uplifting at all but I have to say, the points that go with that argument could very well be valid.

      Honestly, it would be very interesting to read the many theories on why we shop far more than we need to...

  2. Ooooh girl I know the feeling. For me it's while thrifting which is the bulk of my shopping. If I find something unique and incredible there, even if it's not likely I'll wear it much, or it just slightly doesn't fit... I tell myself, BUT ITS A THRIFT SHOP, I may NEVER find this again! So, that doesn't help much. I have found that holding onto something while I walk around the rest of the shop, then reconsidering how I'd wear the item, really helps.

    ps. you already look like a cool street-styler, ;)

    1. I know this is not going to sound like the best argument, but that thought of "I may never find this again!" occurs to many, MANY people I'm sure (I certainly experience that still), and these people are better off thrifting in vintage/secondhand shops rather than having those thoughts in, say, a fast-fashion store, wouldn't you say? Like I said, not the best argument, but it's still a better option in my opinion. (Besides, your thrifting finds are all SO GORGEOUS.)

      That trick of holding on to something, I actually HAVE done that, but I didn't really even think of it as a trick to shop mindfully, but how true that is! I'm going to remember that - consciously - from now on, because that did help me put things back on the rack in the past.

      PS: OMG thank you for that kind, kind compliment, Katia <3

  3. Hehehe, this was very interesting to read. I have read somewhere before that women do impulse buys when they're ovulating or about to. I don't see why you have to justify anything for your purchases though as you are a fashion queen bee! I get that you might want to approach it mindfully but then, approaching it organically could do too? Unless you're burdened by these acts of shopping, I say, don't overthink. Love your outfit bee tee dubs, especially how very sassy and bold you held your poses. Urghhh! I missed coming here to gape and I am always inspired. Thanks darling! <3 I hate heels and prefer wearing something with a moderate height wedge but that's it. :D x

    1. I have never heard about the ovulating/shopping theory, that sounds like a very interesting read. I feel like my shopping impulses are too constant to be tied to my cycle but nevertheless, it's a theory I think worth exploring still.

      I suppose my trying to justify shopping has to do a lot with the guilt of wanting to shop often even when it's not a necessity, with the guilt more apparent ever since I was exposed to the concept of sustainability. Also because I read that the fashion industry is the most polluting industry in the world - which I then found out was never proven, but it's still undeniably polluting. I felt guilty about contributing to it, so I've been trying to cut down on shopping ever since.

      But this is also good for my wallet, so I'm going to try do better anyway!

      I'd love seeing wedges on you, and also others (Kate Middleton has a good collection) but I personally still prefer my sneakers and mules!

      Thank you for your compliments Shanaz, sweet as always <3


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Hi, I'm Liyana

I'm a style & lifestyle blogger based in sunny (and ever humid) Malaysia. On The Good Weekender, you can find typed journals of my evolving modest personal style, travel adventures, skincare/beauty updates, home decor things, and stories of other bits and pieces of my everyday life. I hope you'll enjoy flipping through these pages of my virtual book!