Before every major trip, I have a moment of self-talk that goes, now don't buy stupidly. I re-live mistakes of trips past.
My errors fall into these categories:
1. An item so trendy or idiosyncratic to the place I've visited that when I returned home, it was unwearable except to a costume party. Many apply the Would I Wear This in Paris? rule, but one should also apply the Will I Wear This at Home? corollary.
Shopping Slip: Heavy, neck-numbing crystal shoulder-duster earrings suitable only for 80s disco party
2. Something a traveling companion loved, and urged on me, to which, in a moment of girlfriend solidarity, I succombed. Or vice-versa: It suited her so well, I wanted one too.
Shopping Slip: Agnes b. tees, too skimpy on me.
3. Purchase made after too much wine for lunch.
Shopping Slip (or should I say Sip?): A vendeuse in a lingerie boutique sold me an exquisite lace bra so out of my size range that I wonder how I even tried it on. Or maybe she wrapped the wrong size, or whashhh happened?
4. Oh no, I'm leaving!
I mentally review the purchases I made last fall in Paris and assess their wisdom. Only one clunker: a Monoprix tote that looked funky in Paris and now, just cheap. I bought it on my last day, which is a dangerous shopping zone. You're thinking of the bills arriving, you're bereft leaving Paris. Beware "Just one more tiny thing".
Of course my pockets are never as deep as I'd wish, but even a one-euro art postcard gives pleasure, and the caw of a raven waking me, in this apartment in the Quartier Latin, is an abiding joy.