Okay, this might sound a little weird, but I’ve been singing M.C. Hammer’s song “Can’t Touch This” in my head all week as I admonish myself to be vigilant during the Black Friday furor. Whenever I see a tempting sweater or coat in a Black Friday Sale email, I’ve been humming a bit of the melody of Hammer’s song in my head, and saying: “Nope. Don’t need that.”

I know! Where the heck did that come from?

Let me explain. Back in 2020 when schools were closed and we were all social distancing and staying at home, my former colleagues at John McCrae Secondary School made a video, based on M.C. Hammer’s song “Can’t Touch This.” With teachers and staff lip-synching the words to the song and dancing, it was intended to cheer up the school community. Staff danced in their own homes, on their decks, in the woods, with their kids, and even with their pets. I remember grinning as I watched it. I still smile when I think of it. Which I have been this week.

Ever since I saw a Tik Tok post from Allison Bornstein. A kind of Black Friday support for her followers, and for herself too she admits, in which she says, “I have something to tell you. You don’t need to buy that. Whatever you just frantically added to your cart, whatever you just swiped up on, I promise you, you don’t need it.”

Oldies from my closet.

Thank you Allison for that timely reminder that we do not need to succumb to the buy, buy, buy pressure during the Black Friday frenzy. When we’re bombarded with images of cosy sweaters and beautiful coats at “a fraction of the regular price,” we should tell ourselves we don’t need that. Whatever “that” is. Because we probably don’t.

All week, every time I saw an email from some brand, or a blogger, or a newsletter to which I subscribe touting Black Friday finds, I sang in my head… “Nope. Don’t need that.”

Gap sweater, Aritzia cargoes, Max Mara coat, Cole Haan boots.

I am a sucker for a cosy sweater: chunky wool or cashmere crew-neck sweaters or turtlenecks or even mock-neck sweaters. And when I see one I love in a store or online, I am always tempted. I was tempted this week by an email from Aritzia about their Black Friday Sale. In particular, by this blue, chunky wool sweater with a quarter zip and lots of gorgeous cabling. I mean, I don’t have a sweater in that particular colour, or style. And wouldn’t it be great with a tee shirt underneath, and my jeans and boots?

But, I asked myself, “Do I need a new sweater?”

“Nope. Don’t need that,” I sang.

Besides, I have a lovely chunky blue sweater that I bought in Fredericton last year, and wrote about in this post. And lots of other sweaters that I need to wear more often. I sensed a closet rummage coming on.

Should I add a scarf? Nah.

So yesterday I dug through my storage drawers, and my one and only sweater drawer, and reorganized, pulling out sweaters which have not been worn enough in the last two years. Including the cream wool, mock-neck sweater I’m wearing in the photos. I bought this sweater from Gap in 2014. So it owes me nothing. It has come close to going in my yearly closet edit a couple of times. But it’s such a timeless style and such a neutral shade, I always pull it out of the consign/donate pile at the last minute. And now that I have white hair, I like the cream colour on me even more than I did before.

I also rescued from the storage drawer a purple, hand-knit sweater I made back in the nineties and which I had completely forgotten about until I unearthed it from a storage trunk a few years ago. I love this sweater; it took me forever to finish knitting back in the day. I wore it to our virtual pub night back in 2021. That was a fun night, even if it was fictitious. But I guess I’d better start wearing my sweater for real before it goes out of style. Again. Ha.

I had to make some decisions during my reorganization. My closet and drawer space is very limited. So I packed away the rest of my spring-summer sweaters that I’d hoped to wear before the snow flies, and all but two of my short-sleeved tee shirts to make room for the “new arrivals.” I folded all my heavy sweaters like Emma Hill does so they now stand vertically in the drawer and I can see them more easily when I am deciding what to wear. I hang my light cashmere sweaters in my closet. I know we’re not supposed to hang sweaters, but they are so light they don’t stretch, and they also don’t wrinkle like they do when folded in a drawer.

Cream and black cloth bag purchased in Porto, Portugal.

It seems that Black Friday frenzy and my attempts to resist the temptation of shopping almost always result in a closet rummage. I come away from a closet reorganization, even a partial one like the one I did yesterday, with a renewed appreciation for the pieces I already own, a resolution to do them justice by wearing them more frequently. And a strengthened determination not to shop.

I kind of chuckled earlier this week when a style newsletter to which I subscribe purported to talk about the use of “restraint” in coping with the onslaught of ads during Black Friday season. The article went on to describe what the author had purchased, the great deals she found, and the wonderful pieces she’d added to her wardrobe. So many pieces. Seriously, this woman needed to apply Allison Bornstein’s “Seven Questions To Ask Yourself When You Are Shopping.” And follow Allison’s advice in waiting at least 24 hours before purchasing. I mean, even if a black sweater is amazing, even if the sale price is great… how many black sweaters can one woman wear? I think that the word “restraint” must mean different things to different people.

I should say that I am rarely tempted by price alone. The frantic, hyperbolic nature of sales often leaves me cold. I have succumbed to pieces in the Nordstrom Anniversary sale in the past, but usually only when my friend Liz, who worked there, spied something I might like. And the pieces I bought were always marked way down and always filled a niche in my closet. I’m thinking of my burgundy Paul Greene loafers here.

I’m not saying that I am immune to temptation. Not at all. My green Max Mara coat, bought as an impulsive splurge last fall, is testament to that. But, you know, I have not for a moment regretted that purchase. Quite the contrary. I love that darned coat, and couldn’t wait to haul it out of the closet this year.

When the Black Friday emails were coming thick and fast this past week, I checked out my usual brands to see if my “closet basics” were on sale. Short-sleeved tees at Everlane and Vince, crew-neck cashmere at Everlane and Uniqlo, and sweatshirts at Uniqlo and Artizia. But the colours and prices did not tempt me. And I decided that I didn’t really need a new sweatshirt, or a new cashmere crew sweater, or even new tee shirts.

Then I was sidetracked by that blue, quarter-zip sweater at Aritzia. It was only marked down by 10%, not much of a saving. And as I said above… I really don’t need a new sweater. I’m glad that I resisted that purchase. If I check back in a few days, I’m sure the colour or my size will be sold out, and the temptation will be no more.

But, if the price is cut even more, and my size is available, and I’m still dreaming of possible outfit combinations… well… I guess I’ll have to gird my loins and make a decision. Ha. I love that expression. Reminds me of that scene in The Devil Wears Prada, when Miranda’s imminent arrival prompts Nigel (Stanley Tucci) to shout, “Alright everyone, gird your loins.”

I like this very, very simple look.

In her Tik Tok video, Allison goes on the share her seven shopping questions you should ask yourself before you buy. I’ve been a fan of Allison’s closet editing methods, and the personal style wisdom she imparts for years. Especially the idea that one must always having a wish list. I’m a big fan of lists. You can watch Allison’s video here.

Walking attire. Sunshine was glorious if one was bundled up.

After my closet rummage and the taking of photos yesterday, I headed out for my walk. This is what I wore, above. The cold crisp air and sunshine were so rejuvenating. I’m not yet walking as far nor as fast as I usually do. But even a half hour walk does wonders for my mood.

I’m three weeks into my Covid journey and not feeling anywhere close to normal. But as I said in an IG post last week. Feeling not terrible feels great… by comparison.

So how about you my friends? Do you have a Black Friday strategy? Do you love the excitement and hype of a big sale? Do you judiciously shop around for deals? Or do you simply ignore the whole thing.

P.S. Hubby just yelled to me that an American news channel said this year’s Black Friday sales numbers in the States set a record. Hmm. Wonder what that’s all about.


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47 thoughts on “Black Friday: Don’t Need That.”

  1. If it is on a gift wish list for my daughter or husband, I might buy an item listed on Black Friday. But to be honest, things have been on sale for a month already. I like reading fashion blogs to see if I already have similar items in my closet and can pull their shown outfit together. Since I have taken up knitting, it is amazing how many sweaters I have made. So I totally do not need any at all. Like you, I have been thinking maybe I need to purge some more. I am not hard on clothes, have always bought classic styles. I live in denim and sweaters. My daughter and I went into little shops in our small town today looking for stocking stuffers. That was loads of fun finding some fun quirky little things and of course, nothing is better than a book for Christmas.

    1. I love to shop in little stores in certain neighbourhoods here in Ottawa in the lead up to Christmas. Even if I’m not buying. The atmosphere, the Christmas music, the lights, the decorations always put me in a good mood. Books and quirky things make the best gifts, I agree.

  2. Ooo, so glad you pulled that sweater out of the donation box. It is looks amazing on you and with those pants, just perfect. I peeked into a few emails, then decided also that I don’t need anything more right now, so when something pops up, I just delete without opening it. I really must organize my winter sweaters to see just what is awaiting me for the next few months, then the scarves, oh my yes, the scarves. Winter dressing can be such fun at the start of the season, not so much by March.
    Glad to hear you have a wee bit more energy, but don’t try to overdo and let your body lead the way.

  3. Margaretanne Clinton

    Sue ,
    I love that sweater !
    You look terrific with the green coat .
    You’re right. Fabulous with your hair colour.
    Sorry you’ve felt bad so long.
    You’re right avoiding the hype.
    Sometimes less is more.

  4. It’s still a relatively new phenomenon here in the UK and I am perplexed by it. Sales have rarely tempted me and I remain immune unless it is something I truly want. And, at heart, I find the relentless drive to buy stuff extremely unpleasant, a lessening experience rather than otherwise. You are right about black jumpers – I have two and, oddly enough, that is plenty.

    1. I saw a chunky black turtleneck the other day, somewhat cropped in length, that I loved. But then I remembered that what I wanted to wear with it I can wear with other black sweaters, and I already have a grey sweater in the same style…. and so I talked myself out of buying it. Phew!

  5. Les stoïciens assuraient que le bonheur était l’absence de douleur !Ce qui confirme votre analyse .
    Pour moi le Black friday est passé inaperçu parce que toutes les marques font des réductions toute l’année en France .Surtout pour les achats en ligne .
    J’ai une passion pour la mode ,comme vous .
    A la suite de la maladie de mon mari ,j’ai passé une dizaine d’années dans un désert social et affectif absolu .
    La dégénérescence sénile précoce détruit les vies et les familles . Je ne me suis pas occupé de moi .Je n’ai rien acheté.Je ne suis pas sortie .Je m’étais perdue .
    Depuis 2018 je suis libre de ma vie .
    J’ai eu l’impression de me réveiller d’un long sommeil sans rêve .
    Alors j’ai redécouvert la mode ,le plaisir de m’habiller ,d’aller à des concerts et des expositions .
    J’ai fait trop d’achats inconsidérés ,dans une sorte de frénésie absurde ,sans presque me soucier de ce qui me convenait et de ce qui ne me convenait pas .
    C’était un remède contre le deuil et la sensation d’avoir perdu de belles années de vie alors que j’en avais encore peu devant moi .
    J’avais un sentiment profond d’injustice.Tant de lutte pour rien.
    J’avais les mains vides .
    J’ai encore souvent un sentiment d’urgence ,vivre avant que cela ne s’arrête .
    Mais j’achète moins et avec plus de discernement , je suis vos conseils ,je coordonne ce que je possède déjà .Je ne fonctionne plus en terme de tenues ,tel pull allant avec tel pantalon , mais je joue avec l’ensemble de ce qui est dans mon placard .
    Je suis arrivée à une forme de sérénité .Mais l’endroit qui m’apaise est mon dressing .Mon armure se trouve dans les vêtements suspendus .
    Et dans les livres …Mais c’est une autre histoire …
    Le problème c’est que mon dressing occupe une pièce entière !!!!!Hihihi
    Mais c’est bientôt plein !!!!
    Je vais être sauvée !
    J’aime votre humour et votre style .Merci de partager vos pensées avec nous .

    1. I am so happy you have come “back to life” Celia. I remember my mum took a long while to see things positively when my stepfather died. And he did not have a long illness which I can imagine is much more difficult.
      P.S. I envy you your dressing “room.”

  6. We do have Black Friday sales here and I do have a look at them and like you, see no real justification for buying much. Since retirement I find I don’t need so many of the clothes I have. I seem to live in jean’s and jumpers or shorts and tees. I’ve never been harsh on clothes so have perfectly good items which I scarcely wear. Time for a good clear out I think.
    Like you I am stunned by the number of items of clothing some bloggers purchase. How many pairs of jeans can one person need? They must have entire rooms full of clothing. During sales I often just delete some of the blogs as the gross consumerism leaves me cold.
    Glad you are recovering from covid. Just don’t overdue it as this latest variant seems to take a while to get over.

    1. I have unsubscribed to blogs and newsletters after being bombarded with “shopping guides and edits.” Although I feel a bit churlish saying that knowing that lots of “content creators” make their living through their blogs or newsletters. Plus I do add shopping links to some of my blog posts too. So I feel a bit hypocritical. I guess we all like to read what we like. And I’d rather read about styling choices than shopping choices.

  7. I keep a list of clothing staples that need re-stocking, and buy those on sale. If it’s in the “Yet Another…” category, I don’t buy or even virtual window-shop.

    In reply to your husband, this is driven by the inflationary increases in all consumer goods. From electronics to clothing, people are trying to get more for their money. Also, there is still some “revenge spending” after 2+ years of covid constraints and supply-chain disruption.

    1. Actually, that was me asking the question. 🙂 I meant to convey my dismay that, despite the fact people say they are hurting because of high prices, collectively they are spending more than ever before. At least that’s what the US numbers are saying. Maybe the people who are hurting are not the same ones who are driving up the sales figures. I haven’t seen the Canadian figures for this year, but last year at this time prognosticators were saying that, what with inflation, shoppers would be making more judicious choices, and buying less… and that didn’t happen.

  8. I’m late here , been so busy Black Friday shopping 🤣 – just joking . It’s a non event to me . I guess there are bargains I’m missing but I hate feeling manipulated to buy more stuff . I’m happily unpacking my old cold weather gear now , as the temp here is just 1c & it’s quite nippy . Take care of yourself till you’re fighting fit again .

    1. Thanks, Wendy. I am trying to imagine how many gilets/ jerkins/ vests you are unpacking. To extend the synonym list… can any of your jerkins be classified as a waistcoat… or a doublet. I like the sound of a doublet. Might start calling my down vest a down doublet. Ha.

  9. I’ve mostly detached from shopping in recent years, so Black Friday makes me feel sad more than it tempts me. One walk through the shops and the overall quality and mass market feel tend to deter me from buying. I’m not immune to the occasional impulse buy, and I still buy things I view as necessities, although in recent years I’ve moved towards making things or having things made by people I know and from materials I can trace. It’s not an anti-fashion stance, but rather simply where I’ve grown to in my own life and what feels meaningful to me. I also have hung onto my MM pieces from the past as they were always a favourite brand.

    I like that cream outfit on you quite a lot! And the purple gansey from the 1990s is terrific with the trousers. I kept knitting through the decades, so I have a series of sweaters in drawers from different periods that I do wear from time to time. Nineties styles are having a style moment! It looks as though you did a nice job on that sweater and the colour is great on you.

    1. I have a series of sweaters from the past too, although several of them, knit back in the eighties, are too small for me now. Sigh. I can’t part with them though. So much effort went into their creation. I wish I had a niece who is smaller than me who could wear them.

  10. I believe I have that cream Gap sweater, with the dropped shoulder seams! Perfectly classic and cozy. I don’t need any more sweaters. I need to wear the ones I have! I pulled out a sweater to wear yesterday to meet a friend for lunch. I had purchased it during Covid, and it still had the price tag attached.

    Black Friday is supposed to be about buying gifts for others for the holidays, isn’t it? My husband and I feel a bit overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” we have accumulated, and really don’t need anything more.

  11. Love the green coat as well as the column of cream with that gorgeous sweater. Time for me to pass along some sweaters that don’t fit as well as I would like or that I can’t seem to make into outfits I like. But please, how does Emma Hill fold sweaters? And how do you keep sweaters in drawers with minimal wrinkling? Thanks for keeping things real and down to earth!

    1. Emma Hill folds her sweaters into envelope-shaped packages and stands them up in her drawers, Marie Kondo-style. That way they can be riffled through like file folders. I started doing this with tee shirts and jeans I don’t wear often. Now I’ve given my whole bottom drawer over to sweaters folded this way, all standing on end. Looks lovely and organized, although sometimes the lighter-weight ones need to be ironed before wearing.

  12. Ah, I have to admit I am a sucker for the Black Friday Sales. Well, maybe looking at them but not necessarily buying anything. I did buy a few sweaters but have not received them yet so the verdict is not in on them. I will probably only keep one of 3 sweaters I bought. Since I live in a very hot climate (Florida) I really don’t need a lot of winter clothes. I marvel how you keep your clothes for years. I have gained weight so a lot of older clothes have been donated. My time for buying is summer since I live in tee shirts and shorts 9 months of the year! I did look at that half zip sweater you are wanting, but it’s a definite no go for me since it is wool. It is very attractive however. We here have not had COVID. we are still wearing masks since my husband has health issues, and we are fully vacinnated. I hope you are feeling better soon.

    1. I always look for my “basics” in the Black Friday sales… but rarely find them on sale. But I do admit to being tempted to window shop on-line though.

  13. What used to be a day called Black Friday is now Black Friday Month. And today I see, what used to be Cyber Monday is now Cyber Monday Week. I feel prices have no real relation to anything, anyway, so what’s marked down today will be marked down again sometime — and interestingly, the one item I thought I might buy on Black Friday — a food processor — was “marked down” to $50 MORE than it was 6 months ago. LOL. I need nothing!

  14. Loved your adaptation of the MC Hammer song. No Black Friday purchases for me. Not tempted to venture to the stores…too crowded…or to do more than look online. I’ve become skilled at talking myself out of more stuff. I live in the desert Southwest so there’s very little need for that lovely third piece, or the gorgeous cashmere when I seldom wear the ones I have. My retirement life and the casual place I live means my always-in-fashion jeans, t-shirt and accessories combo works for me. Your choices from your magical closet are always wonderfully inspiring. Also your hair is fabulous!

  15. I don’t like crowds, so I typically avoid malls/stores during busy times. I did buy my husband a pair of black pants but I went early when the store first opened. An in and out affair.
    I’m trying to not buy more. I don’t need more clothes so staying out of stores means I’m not tempted.

    1. Me either. Once I am feeling up to it, I hope to visit some stores and one mall to look for things I intended to buy when we came home from Portugal. But I don’t want to do this once the Christmas shopping rush starts.

  16. This is something I need to keep saying to myself. It seems I always see something on someone in a blog and feel that I might need it. But I have to say to myself. “Don’t need that.” Thanks for the reminder. Although I love that green coat!!💚

  17. When I left Portugal in mid-October for a 3-week vacation/cruise, it was still summer, and my entire trip was summer weather, so coming home to damp, chilly fall temps on 8 November had me leaping into full rummage mode. I pulled everything out of my six deep underbed drawers and had at it: sorting sweaters by weight, the long-sleeved t-shirts by social vs workout, and the jeans by what I want to wear now. The drawers are now beautifully organized (let’s see how long that lasts!), and I’m inspired by what’s in there. Which means no shopping for me, even though Sezane has a blue half-zip I’m kind of lusting after. Like so many of you, I’m deleting every single “guide to Black Friday” email I receive, unopened. As a bonus, I’ve got a pretty solid plan for this week’s Christmas Markets trip. Sue, thanks for the reinforcement that I’m on the right track!

  18. Hi Sue … you were a great help to me yesterday when I was in White Company to buy a couple of Christmas presents and was tempted by a cashmere roll neck.
    It looked lovely, very classic and in a shade that I don’t already have and that would suit me lol Described as Mid Taupe … sort of pale oatmeal I think. As much as I loved everything about it I reminded myself that there’s only so many Winter days to wear roll necks and I really do have enough already. Plus once indoors I find roll necks too warm.
    So I walked away smiling … happier than if I’d bought it I think 😂
    I’m glad your cream sweater was retrieved from your donate pile … you look lovely in it and as it’s ageless you’ll probably wear it for years. The sweater that you knit is lovely too … such a pretty shade.
    I’m so sorry Covid is lingering on … it’s so frustrating but you seem to be doing all the right things … I hope you soon feel much better, but it’s good you’re home and can pace yourself as necessary.
    Take care xxx
    ps your green Max Mara coat was the perfect impulse buy lol … not only does it look good … it feels good too! ( and can be worn with so many things … smart or casual)

    1. You’re welcome. I am a sucker for anything pink or burgundy these days. But like you with your roll-necks, I just have to be strict with myself. That green coat is such a mood booster. I’m so glad I bought it.

  19. I’m glad that you are feeling much better! Your coat is beautiful,always!
    I wear oatmeal cord trousers(again in fashion), same colour v-neck and brown leather jacket
    Black Friday is a very new (couple of years old) concept here and “sconti” are not so big. It makes me nervous,such a pressure…so,usually I don’t shop
    From early days of shopping in Trieste,I always have lists….if I found (or need) something-it’s fine,if not-it’s fine as well. But, I, from time to time love “love at first sight” purchases,once in a decade 🙂
    Nevertheless,I plan buying perfumes or make up and wait for some discount weekends,if possible,and if something from my wishlist was discounted,I like it,naturally
    I love, love those silver or gold coated skirts and trousers,but,as Rosie said,how many times would I wear them? Two…or three? So, they look good…on others 🙂

    1. My heart leapt for joy when I saw “Trieste” in your post 🙂

      By the way, I bought a silver leather skirt a few years ago and it’s my most worn skirt. Go for it!

    2. I love those silver trousers and skirts too. As long as they are dressed down with knits and boots. I can see you in silver bottoms. 🙂 Sometimes I think I’ve been so strict with myself for so long, I need a splurge. When that happens I buy green coats, apparently. Ha.

  20. I love your green coat and covet your beautiful hair. Mine is still half grey, half weak tea, so now I just shave my head when my buzz cut looks sad.
    Black Friday wasn’t a thing here until five years ago, but it has become a disease.

    That being said, I bought another Max Mara Teddy in a happy color (reduced) and two jumpers (full price). Did I need them? Obviously not, but I live in coats and jumpers from November to March and wear them all.

  21. On Black Friday, if it’s something I’d already planned to purchase I’ll buy it, but other than that, no. A question I’ve been asking myself is do I already have something I like as well. Most of the time the answer is yes. For the most part, for the last fifteen years, I’ve found clothes shopping very frustrating.

    1. That’s a good plan, Robyn. I used to make my fall “want to buy” list just before the July Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in case I saw one of the pieces I wanted in the sale. Maybe I should do the same for Black Friday.

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