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11 Things to Put on Your Revenge Shopping List

Make up for lost time at the mall by splurging on an item (or two)


spinner image A woman walking on a street while carrying shopping bags over her shoulder
wundervisuals/E+/Getty Images

A soar in spring shopping has retailers doing a happy dance. Seems like women age 50 and over have had it up to here with deprivation. Armed with COVID vaccines they're trading meditation and yoga for the serious retail therapy known as revenge shopping. Unfortunately, this can blow your budget. However, there's an easy way to revenge shop responsibly — and have fun, too. Just watch the price (as usual) but this time buy what you crave, not what you need, for a controlled splurge. It may be one spectacular pair of diamond hoop earrings, a pair of candy-color pool sandals or simply a bottle of luxury-brand nail polish. Here are 11 things to get you started. Have a spring fling:

spinner image Eloquii Square Neck Midi Dress in Orange; Scoop Women’s Long Sleeve Midi Dress with Ruffle Hem in Passion Pink Wallpaper Floral; City Chic Plus Serene Floral Wrap Front Dress
(Left to right) Eloquii Square Neck Midi Dress in Orange; Scoop Women’s Long Sleeve Midi Dress with Ruffle Hem in Passion Pink Wallpaper Floral; City Chic Plus Serene Floral Wrap Front Dress
Eloquii; Walmart; Nordstrom

1. A makes-me-feel-pretty dress

Tired of joggers, sweatshirts and sneakers? Fed up with a closet of old work clothes? Not fitting into your pre-COVID jeans? You've hit the dress jackpot. This spring there are plenty of floaty florals and midi dresses in loose body-friendly styles to lure you out of your rut. Look for features like tiers, puffy sleeves or ruffles like the Eloquii Square Neck Midi Dress in Orange ($110, eloquii.com), Scoop Women's Long Sleeve Midi Dress with Ruffle Hem in Passion Pink Wallpaper Floral ($38, walmart.com) or the City Chic Plus Serene Floral Wrap Front Dress ($99, nordstrom.com). No worries about shapewear, pantyhose, belly bloat or weight gain either. A dress is ideal for any situation, just pull on, add sandals and dance out the door.

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spinner image Ray-Ban RB4347; J.Crew Cape Sunglasses in Pecan Tort; Prada Women's Square Sunglasses in Black/Smoke; Coach 0HC8276 500211 56 in black
(Clockwise from left) Ray-Ban RB4347; J.Crew Cape Sunglasses in Pecan Tort; Prada Women's Square Sunglasses in Black/Smoke; Coach 0HC8276 500211 56 in black
Sunglass Hut; J.Crew; Bloomingdale's; LensCrafters

2. Updated designer sunglasses

Last year's sunglasses may still be great but who can't use extra glam? It's the bigger and bolder the better now with square shapes like the J.Crew Cape Sunglasses in Pecan Tort ($65, jcrew.com) and Ray-Ban RB4347 ($140, sunglasshut.com/us) topping the most-wanted list, followed by cat-eye styles like the Coach 0HC8276 500211 56 in black ($173, lenscrafters.com). Still secretly covet a logo-laden frame? Treat your peepers to the Prada Women's Square Sunglasses in Black/Smoke ($272, bloomingdales.com) and make protecting them from UV rays a stylish priority.

spinner image Steven New York Link Slide Sandal in black; Vince Camuto Cannetta Sandal in black; Lauren Ralph Lauren Whitni Scallop Sandal in Nude; Faryl by Farylrobin Pamela x The New Nude Collection in Camel Nappa Leather
(Clockwise from top left) Steven New York Link Slide Sandal in black; Vince Camuto Cannetta Sandal in black; Lauren Ralph Lauren Whitni Scallop Sandal in Nude; Faryl by Farylrobin Pamela x The New Nude Collection in Camel Nappa Leather
DSW (2); Zappos (2)

3. Happy Hour shoes

Even if the only drink you're having is iced tea, the idea of wearing some sort of heeled sandal — even a small kitten one — is reason enough to shave your legs and do a pedicure ASAP. Low- and medium-heeled slides in black and nude skin-tone shades have replaced pumps and high heel sandals for elevation and dressiness. Try a pair of sophisticated slides like the Lauren Ralph Lauren Whitni Scallop Sandal in Nude ($110, zappos.com) with scalloped straps, the Steven New York Link Slide Sandal in black ($119, dsw.com/en/us), an elegant thong style like the Vince Camuto Cannetta Sandal in black ($89, dsw.com/en/us) with a kitten heel or Faryl by Farylrobin Pamela x The New Nude Collection in Camel Nappa Leather ($85, zappos.com) with a block heel. The latter comes in five skin-tone shades for the leggiest look.

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spinner image Mugler Angel Nova Eau de Parfum; Versace Dylan Turquoise Eau de Toilette; Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum Spray
(Clockwise from top left) Mugler Angel Nova Eau de Parfum; Versace Dylan Turquoise Eau de Toilette; Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum Spray
Macy's; Sephora (2)

4. A fabulous perfume

After months of diffusers, candles and face masks we're back into wearing and sniffing perfume. Since online shopping or even scent strips are not as compelling as a real-life whiff, this is your big chance to start over. If you've been curious about a best-selling scent, a new designer fragrance or just want to indulge in a new bottle of your favorite, do it guilt-free. Try a new fruity floral like Mugler Angel Nova Eau de Parfum ($75 for 1 ounce, macys.com), a light beachy citrusy scent like Versace Dylan Turquoise Eau de Toilette ($84 for 1.7 ounces, nordstrom.com) or the power-floral Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum Spray ($85, sephora.com).

spinner image Lauren Ralph Lauren Print-Scarf Debby Drawstring Bag in Vanilla/Lauren Navy; DKNY Maria Shopper in White/Lemon; Michael Kors Aria Large Shoulder in Optic White
(Left to right) Lauren Ralph Lauren Print-Scarf Debby Drawstring Bag in Vanilla/Lauren Navy; DKNY Maria Shopper in White/Lemon; Michael Kors Aria Large Shoulder in Optic White
Macy's (2); Zappos

5. A wear-all-summer white bag

A sharp white leather bag has the same go-with-anything versatility as black, so for once go for it and don't worry about stains! Choose a neat shoulder tote or drawstring style roomy enough for essentials plus extra sunglasses, water and sunscreen in white leather or straw. A style with a secure closure and or inner pockets, like the Lauren Ralph Lauren Print-Scarf Debby Drawstring Bag in Vanilla/Lauren Navy ($193, macys.com), the DKNY Maria Shopper in White/Lemon ($139, macys.com) or the Michael Kors Aria Large Shoulder in Optic White ($198, zappos.com) can accommodate all and keep your ID, phone, wallet and cards secure.

spinner image Eloquii Off the Shoulder Ruffle Top in Jelly Bean; Who What Wear Women's Puff 3/4 Sleeve Smocked Peplum Top in Green; CeCe Off-the-Shoulder Floral Chain Embroidered Blouse in Golden Hour
(Left to right) Eloquii Off the Shoulder Ruffle Top in Jelly Bean; Who What Wear Women's Puff 3/4 Sleeve Smocked Peplum Top in Green; CeCe Off-the-Shoulder Floral Chain Embroidered Blouse in Golden Hour
Eloquii; Target; Zappos

6. A super-romantic blouse

Is this an item you need? Probably not. But who cares if it'll elevate your jeans and make you feel like the heroine in a PBS drama. Instead of a stack of tees or a classic button-down, start dressing to frill in standout tops. Choose one with puff sleeves and a square neck like the Who What Wear Women's Puff 3/4 Sleeve Smocked Peplum Top in Green ($30, target.com), or some off-the-shoulder tops for sultry days or nights like the Eloquii Off the Shoulder Ruffle Top in Jelly Bean or On Fire ($55, eloquii.com) or the CeCe Off-the-Shoulder Floral Chain Embroidered Blouse in Golden Hour ($99, zappos.com). Practical, frivolous and fun!

spinner image Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte's Magic Cream; Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream; Creme de la Mer Moisturizing Cream
(Left to right) Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte's Magic Cream; Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream; Creme de la Mer Moisturizing Cream
Nordstrom (3)

7. A cult-favorite skin cream

After years of drugstore moisturizers — good, bad and pretty darn fantastic — we're still wondering if those big-ticket items are any better. Our beauty bucket list has a few fantasies — like getting the best haircut of our lives or having our old brows microbladed back — but this dream can come true right now. Opt for the smallest size available if you're on the fence (it is a test run!) and invest in a classic like Creme de la Mer Moisturizing Cream ($95 for 0.5 oz., nordstrom.com) or the newest cult favorites Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream ($170 for 1 oz., nordstrom.com) or the Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte's Magic Cream ($29 for 0.5 oz., $64 for 1 oz., nordstrom.com). Then cross them off your wish list.

spinner image J.Crew Wide-Leg Linen Pants in Pale Cypress; Pure Jill Linen & Cotton Straight Full-Leg Crops in Deep Blue/White; A New Day Women's Plus High-Rise Relaxed Fit Pull-On Ankle Pants in Olive Green
(Left to right) J.Crew Wide-Leg Linen Pants in Pale Cypress; Pure Jill Linen & Cotton Straight Full-Leg Crops in Deep Blue/White; A New Day Women's Plus High-Rise Relaxed Fit Pull-On Ankle Pants in Olive Green
J.Crew; J.Jill; Target

8. Wide-leg pants

Had it with skintight leggings and skinny jeans? No need to explain to your closet, wallet or anyone else. Jumping into a pair of breezy loose pants is just about the most comforting and empowering thing you can do for your body this season. A pair of lightweight elastic-waist pants like the A New Day Women's Plus High-Rise Relaxed Fit Pull-On Ankle Pants in Olive Green ($25, target.com) cropped at the ankles works with any top, tee or tunic for a chic, polished look that eliminates sweat and squeeze. Or try a pair in linen like the Pure Jill Linen & Cotton Straight Full-Leg Crops in Branch/Cream, Deep Blue/White ($89, jjill.com) or the J.Crew Wide-Leg Linen Pants in Pale Cypress, Navy ($88, jcrew.com) for a more polished effect with the same ease.

spinner image Blue Nile Petite Diamond Huggie Hoop Earrings in 14k Yellow Gold; Ross-Simons .10 Carat T.W. Diamond Sea Life Hoop Earrings; Unbranded 1/2 Carat T. W. Diamond Inside-Out Hoop Earrings
(Clockwise from bottom left) Blue Nile Petite Diamond Huggie Hoop Earrings in 14k Yellow Gold; Ross-Simons .10 Carat T.W. Diamond Sea Life Hoop Earrings; Unbranded 1/2 Carat T. W. Diamond Inside-Out Hoop Earrings
Blue Nile; Ross-Simons; Kohl's

9. Diamond hoop earrings

You've been eyeing these for a while but know that diamonds really are a “forever” accessory. Instead of predictable studs, try hoops for a more extravagant look. Know that huggies and hoops with bar closure styles are lighter on the lobes and more secure than posts. Try a small hoop like Blue Nile Petite Diamond Huggie Hoop Earrings in 14k Yellow Gold ($475, bluenile.com), a classic medium hoop like the Unbranded 1/2 Carat T. W. Diamond Inside-Out Hoop Earrings ($245, kohls.com) or a distinctive embellished hoop like the Ross-Simons .10 Carat T.W. Diamond Sea Life Hoop Earrings ($120, ross-simons.com) and just glow.

spinner image Circus by Sam Edelman Women's Jaylee Translucent Pool Slides in Razzberry; Melissa Babe Slide Sandal in Red; Steve Madden Women's Soulful Quilted Pool Slides in Neon Pink
(Clockwise from bottom left) Circus by Sam Edelman Women's Jaylee Translucent Pool Slides in Razzberry; Melissa Babe Slide Sandal in Red; Steve Madden Women's Soulful Quilted Pool Slides in Neon Pink
Macy's (2); Nordstrom

10. Fancy pink pool slides

Time to toss the old flip-flops and dive for waterproof beach/pool sandals in statement color like pink or red or blue. Sounds crazy but even big-name designers like Gucci, Burberry and Balenciaga are doing $300+ versions for big-spenders. Make a splash with the Circus by Sam Edelman Women's Jaylee Translucent Pool Slides in Razzberry or Cashmere Blue ($32, macys.com), the Steve Madden Women's Soulful Quilted Pool Slides in Neon Pink ($34, macys.com) or the Melissa Babe Slide Sandal in Red ($55, nordstrom.com), infused with a fruity scent! And don't just wear them to pep up any swimsuit or coverup — these sandals are great for gardening or walking the dog on a rainy day.

spinner image Chanel Le Vernis Longera Nail Colour in 506 Camèlia; Slip Silk Pillowcase in Gold; Dior Vernis Gel Shine & Long Wear Nail Lacquer in Massai; Surratt Beauty Relevée Eye Lash Curler
(Clockwise from left) Chanel Le Vernis Longera Nail Colour in 506 Camèlia; Slip Silk Pillowcase in Gold; Dior Vernis Gel Shine & Long Wear Nail Lacquer in Massai; Surratt Beauty Relevée Eye Lash Curler
Bloomingdale's (2); Saks Fifth Avenue; Nordstrom

11. A small indulgence beauty splurge

Not that there's anything wrong with inexpensive tools and products but even one upgrade can empower your daily routine with feel-good, look-better vibes. Go for items that solve your pet peeve, such as a higher quality eyelash curler like the Surratt Beauty Relevée Eye Lash Curler ($34, bloomingdales.com), ergonomically shaped to not pinch or crimp, or a silk pillowcase like the Slip Silk Pillowcase in Gold ($89, saksfifthavenue.com), said to minimize hair frizz and face wrinkles. Or splurge on a luxury nail polish like a bottle of fiery red Dior Vernis Gel Shine & Long Wear Nail Lacquer in Massai ($28, nordstrom.com) or hot pink Chanel Le Vernis Longera Nail Colour in 506 Camèlia ($28, nordstrom.com). Yes, it's what you'd spend on a salon mani-pedi but your hands and nails will be wearing couture!

Lois Joy Johnson is a beauty and style editor who focuses on women 50 and older. She was the beauty and style editor at Ladies’ Home Journal and a founding editor of More magazine. She has written three books: The Makeup Wakeup, The Wardrobe Wakeup and The Woman's Wakeup.

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