Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Confessions of a catalog shopper

Tis the catalog season
I'd like to say it's the glossy pages or the stylish clothing or the unusual stuff, but the truth is, I don't know why I love catalogs. I just do.

This time of year, the great fall migration, most of them fly right into my mailbox and take up residence. I thumb through the slick pages, imagining what I'd do with a pair of leather boots that top my knees or a gift-wrapped tower of fruit or this year's version of a denim shirt. I imagine myself looking thin, blonde, and jetting across continents in my new versatile travel wardrobe. I wonder how many bathrobes a person truly needs, then I remember I own two.

I'm drawn to the dark jewel tones of fall - the midnight blues, the burnt umbers, the hidden lakes. I ponder the strategic placement of darts and ruffles, of beading and buttons. I wonder how to get my comfy body into the tailored-looking pieces I'm drawn to. I worry about clothing looking too young or too old. I worry if people can tell I buy separates on clearance and hope they will match something, sometime, somewhere.

Pages with fleece entice me to linger. Fleece is a special weakness of mine. Gotta have it. Socks, shirts, pants, gloves, jackets, robes, scarves, coats. I love to buy it for myself and as gifts. I can't tell you how excited I was to procure my infant grandson's first fleece jacket!

Back in the days of fulltime employment, I turned to catalogs for Christmas. With a list of sizes and color favs, I knocked out my extended family list in a couple of hours, and that was before the ease of internet shopping.

When I began writing, I cut out catalog people and saved them as characters in my books. That tough looking guy in a Rolex ad? Supreme bad guy. That funky gal in cowboy boots sitting in a giant martini glass? A lost fairy godmother.

Catalogs - they're the gifts that keep on giving.

Have a favorite catalog story? Please share!

Maggie Toussaint
Catalog shopper and sometimes writer


  1. My granddaughter handed me a makeup catalog the other day, and the layout was gorgeous. I must not be buying enough, cause most of my catalogues are either hunting related (the dh) or men's clothing (the kid).

    But I agree, they are great for photos of characters.

  2. I don't get makeup catalogs either. Some friends brought a gift wrap catalog to our girls' lunch today and I loved all the adorable wrap. One had really great looking cats and dogs.

    Thanks for stopping in Donna!

  3. Hi Maggie, we receive a lot of catalogues every day. To be honest, I don't even glance at them. It's my DH who cuts a coupon here or there. For me nothing replaces the actual personal shopping in a store. I can spend hours and days without getting bored. My mother used to say she breathes better in a store.I think I'm just the same.

  4. I recently apologized to the young woman mail carrier for the huge stack of catalogs she carried to my porch. She said "no worries, " that I might help keep the US Postal Service (and her) in business!

    I get so many that I had to create a system to regularly recycle previous editions. I love catalog shopping.


  5. Mona,

    I have a sister who loves to shop. I must have been born into the wrong family! I start getting twitchy after 2 hours of fluorescent lighting and have to leave the store to take a full breath. When the kids were little we'd have to shop for one thing at a time, i.e., swimsuit shopping, because I had to get the heck out of there.

    That's probably why I enjoy the catalogs so much. And in my fav catalogs, I know what size I am. That's not always true in a store where sizes run amuk.

    Lucky us, we don't have to choose one or the other!

  6. I know what you mean about the new arrivals, Sue. Seems like I get new ones from my fav places every few weeks this time of year. They'll send the general catalog, then the one for women or men, then the special one for kids, and the Home catalog. I like to look at the pictures, but unless I'm really keen on a particular something, thoses "nonessential" catalogs get recycled right away.

    My catalog basket stays full. When it looks like I'm overflowing, I reach in and grab the ones from the bottom and get rid of them.

    Thanks for dropping in!

  7. Maggie, I'm with you! I love catalog shopping. I buy quite a few of my clothes (T-shirts, sweaters, nightgowns) from catalogs. I also do most of my Christmas shopping this way, because it's so convenient and a lot of online stores offer free shipping and great sales around this time of year.

  8. Maggie, I used to love catalog shopping, then I stopped for several years. I still don't shop much online, but I love catalogs and magazines for inspiration. I get Better Homes and Gardens, Traditional Home, etc because I love home decorating. Well, I've discovered a wonderful thing, and it will save money. The Pottery Barn catalog. It's fantastic. So when it's time to renew my subscriptions for my magazines, sorry...I'll just take the free Pottery Barn catalog. Just as inspiring...and if I want to order, I can.

  9. Hi Catherine,

    One of the things I like about catalog shopping is that its easier for me to stay on task. I take the catalog to my closet and check to see if that teal colored blouse would go with the tweed jacket and taupe slacks I already have.

    Plus, I can shop in my jammies!

    Nice to meet another catalog junkie!

  10. Hi Anita,

    I was unaware of the delights of the Pottery Barn catalog, until my grandson's nursery set came from there. After my purchase, I came to be on their mailing list and have been enjoying their fine catalog ever since - its even in my catalog pic with the post. I'm not so big on decorating, but I do enjoy browsing, especially during the 2nd or 3rd football game of the day...

  11. Hi Maggie,
    Fun posts. Darts even huh? *G* I love finding new characters in them, things they'd own, rooms they'd live in. I love having a picture to write from. :)
    I'm so proud of you. You're such an amazing an inspiring person. Take care and I wish you continued success! *Hugs*

  12. Hi Diana! There's nothing like a strategic dart or two to make something fit really well. Thanks for your wonderful comment and friendship. Maggie

  13. Maggie, Thanks for bringing a smile to my face with your catalogs. I have a couple of catalogs that I keep in the bathroom but I really don't get into them. I will order from Wolferman's during the Christmas seasons for my friends.


  14. Hey Steph!
    Wolfermans? I need to check that one out, although I need a new catalog like a hole in my head. Ah well, tis the season, right? Thanks for stopping in. I know how gobsmacked you are. Maggie


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