Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Buying in Bulk

“There is no bad weather; only bad gear.”- Scottish proverb.
Well I don’t know if it’s officially a Scottish proverb, but it definitely became my dad’s go-to saying while he lived there. Scotland is hands-down one of the most beautiful places on earth, but if you aren’t dressed right, it can be downright miserable.
 I had my first semi-anxiety attack on Sunday when I realized that if we didn’t make it to the outlet mall soon, all of the Scotland appropriate gear would be replaced with Houston spring-wear. Since there won’t be much need for shorts and bathing suits in Scotland, we decided to spend our Sunday at the Houston Premier Outlets.
 One great thing about an assignment in Scotland is that we can ultimately get everything we need while we are there. (Seriously, they have a Wal-Mart.) Unfortunately, things are not only much more expensive there, but goods are taxed at a rate of 20%. Since Jon’s company provides us with an unlimited initial shipment from the U.S. we are trying to anticipate what we’ll need so that we can buy it here and just ship it to Scotland.  
One thing we’ve got to get used to when moving overseas is spending a lot of money upfront. We’ll get a moving bonus, but not until after we’ve arrived. I’ll be keeping a running tally of how much we spend on our shipment in my blog pages, which will include the shopping spree we incurred this weekend. It kind of makes me dizzy to add up the receipts, but I better get used to it.
Jonathan bought double what I did simply because he has to buy both casual and work-appropriate clothing. Since his entire professional career has been spent in Texas, his work wardrobe mainly consists of jeans, polos, and cowboy boots. They’re a bit more formal in Scotland which means we spent a lot of time and money in Banana Republic. And let me tell you, bypassing 40%-off sundresses while waiting 30 minutes for Jon to try on khaki pants was excruciating.
But there’s no need for new sundresses in my closest, no matter how much they are marked down. Same goes for sandals. And skirts. And beach bags. And shorts with cute little anchors embroidered on them. Nope it’s cable knit sweaters and hiking boots for me, at least for the next 2-4 years.
While Jon racked up at Banana, I hit the jackpot at JCrew. Jackpot of course meaning bulky cable knit sweaters, 50% off! I bought one in each color. Score!
I also scored some cold-weather running gear at Columbia and Reebok. I did pass on the Burberry Trench during this shopping trip, but as a substitute, Jon encouraged me to get these Cole Haan flats that are extremely comfortable and will be great for walking the cobblestone streets of Aberdeen.
I’m afraid that 4 inch heels may be an endangered species in my closet, so I’m looking to invest in cute boots and flats.
Unfortunately, we were already too late to score any good coats at the outlet mall, but we both have a few good jackets to get us through the Scottish summer. Jackets in summer; can you imagine? It will be such a welcome change from the scorcher we experienced in Houston this past year. Though I admit I am a bit sad about missing the opportunity to rock a pair of anchor embroidered shorts.  


  1. Sorry, I hate to break it to you, but there is no wal-mart in Scotland or the UK. We have ASDA which is a supermarket which carries George clothes line. Its owned by Wal-mart, but believe me, its no walmart. I'm a Canadian ex-pat by the way. Lived here for almost 10yrs. Also you wont be needing cable knit sweaters all the time... lol, we do have summers which are beautiful... definetaly not sweater weather.

    1. Katie, you are absolutely right! I knew there was a similar store owned by the same company as Walmart, but couldn't remember the name. When my parents lived in Aberdeen, my mom always referred to it as Walmart, so I formed the same habit. I'll have to correct that! I have a feeling there are a lot of things I write/say about Scotland that I'll be putting my foot in my mouth about once I am living there:).
      I'm looking forward to Scottish summers, but as a girl from the Southern USA, I am definitely not prepared for the Winters. Let me know if you have any suggestions on things I should stock up on! I'd love your feedback.