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Millennial Burnout Is Real & These Unreturned Purchases Are Proof

Olivia Harrison

We planned on returning that dress that wasn't flattering or the lamp that didn't look quite right in its designated spot, but we just never got around to taking it back. Perhaps it was because we forgot or because of good old-fashion millennial burnout. Whatever the reason, the items still haunt us, especially because they put dents in our bank accounts and now never get used. It sounds embarrassing, but ask around with your friend group and you'll quickly find you're not the only one with a failed return story. And, that's why we asked other women to share the most expensive purchases they planned on returning but didn't in 2019.

Ahead, eight women explain the purchases in question, the price, why they didn't return them, and how they feel about them now. Hopefully, by confessing these purchases, we can move past the shame and make a pact to do better next year.

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Theory Coat

Name: Emily
Age: 32
How much did the most expensive purchase you didn't return in 2019 cost?
$600 or $700
Why didn't you return this purchase?
I had buyer's remorse about a week after I bought this coat and then couldn't find the receipt.
Do you feel guilty that you didn't return this purchase?
It IS a nice coat, and I have been purposefully wearing it as often as I can so I feel less guilty about how much I spent on it.

Theory Double-Faced Overlay Coat, $, available at Theory






ASOS Snakeskin Booties

Name: Lizzie
Age: 23
How much did the most expensive purchase you didn't return in 2019 cost?
There are A LOT of purchases I became too lazy to return, but they all weren't exactly expensive — they ended up being expensive altogether. But probably the single most expensive thing I didn't bother to return was a pair of $70 snakeskin booties from ASOS. I ordered two pairs of shoes from the same brand on ASOS — one black and one snakeskin — because I liked the shape. I was sent TWO snakeskin versions instead, so now I am the proud owner of two pairs of the exact same pair of shoes.
Why didn't you return this purchase?
Honestly? I was too lazy and ended up forgetting about it until it was too late.
Do you feel guilty that you didn't return this purchase?
Yes, but also... what can you do? Maybe I can give the shoes as a gift this holiday season.

ASOS DESIGN Rescue Leather Block Heel Boots In Snake, $, available at ASOS






Aritzia Leather Pants

Name: Samantha
Age: 24
How much did the most expensive purchase you didn't return in 2019 cost?
$161
Why didn't you return this purchase?
I honestly 100% thought that I would love them and wear them every day. I was bored of my clothes and wanted to try something new. They fit okay, but it just wasn't something I could put into my rotation so I left them in my closet thinking I can always just wear them when I feel like it. Then I thought, I probably won't wear them again so I should return them and then I thought No no no I'll wear them so yeah, I ended up missing the return window
Do you feel guilty that you didn't return this purchase?
Yes, I've never spent that much money on clothing so it still hurts.

Le Fou Wilfred Super high-rise faux leather pants, $, available at Aritzia






Versace Bathrobe

Name: Melissa
Age: 31
How much did the most expensive purchase you didn't return in 2019 cost?
$495
Why didn't you return this purchase?
I purchased it when I was vacationing in Italy and couldn't return it to the Versace location in NYC.
Do you feel guilty that you didn't return this purchase?
Yes! Especially since I've never worn it.

Versace I ♡ Baroque Bathrobe, $, available at Versace






Sleeper Baked Milk Loungewear Dress

Name: Mirel
Age: 32
How much did the most expensive purchase you didn't return in 2019 cost?
$150-ish on sale
Why didn't you return this purchase?
I kept thinking I could make it work. But IT IS TOTALLY SHEER. It is like 90% sheer. I am fine with semi-sheer clothing, but this... You could literally see the outline of my nipples — through my nipple pasties — through this stupid dress. I actually wrote to the company to say, surely this was a defective dress! But no, she said. They're all sheer. The pics online DO NOT make that clear, nor do the tagged photos on Instagram. It could be a swimsuit coverup, but I wanted to wear it as a dress.
Do you feel guilty that you didn't return this purchase?
I bought it final sale from Goop so it could not be returned. I feel guilty because I had been so excited about it, and I didn't wear it once this summer. I plan to get a lining sewn in so I can wear it this coming summer. I will make it work.

Sleeper Baked Milk Loungewear Dress, $, available at Sleeper






NY Home Decor Kitchen Sink

Name: Heather
Age: 35
How much did the most expensive purchase you didn't return in 2019 cost?
$500
Why didn't you return this purchase?
It's extremely heavy — too heavy to lift myself. I assumed shipping it back would be costly. Also, there is a 30-day return policy. I was too lazy to drive into Brooklyn from Jersey.
Do you feel guilty that you didn't return this purchase?
Yes, it was part of a home renovation, and I tried to keep costs down by doing a lot of sourcing work myself. I haven't been able to sell it on Facebook marketplace, so it’s taking up space in my guest room. My husband complains/chastises me frequently, so I close the door and pretend it isn’t there.

BOCCHI Sotto Fireclay 27 in. Single Bowl Kitchen Sink, $, available at NY Home Decor






Everlane Dress

Name: Megan
Age: 28
How much did the most expensive purchase you didn't return in 2019 cost?
$60
Why didn't you return this purchase?
I was too lazy to put it in the mail.
Do you feel guilty that you didn't return this purchase?
At first, I did, but I ended up loving the dress and wearing it a lot. I think I made it work since I didn't return it.

Everlane The Japanese GoWeave Picnic Dress, $, available at Everlane






Prada Chelsea Boots

Name: Sue
Age: 28
How much did the most expensive purchase you didn't return in 2019 cost?
With tax, I got them for $692.15 from Italist.com
Why didn't you return this purchase?
Most of Italist's designer items were at an overall discount, my boots were about ~$150 off retail, but annoyingly their shipping and returns policies are the downside — you have to pay for your own return shipping, return the item fully, and wait for the refund to process to buy another size.
Do you feel guilty that you didn't return this purchase?
Sort of (Mostly yes). They snugly fit— just a bit narrow, so I'm hoping I can get a boot stretcher and make them more comfortable.

Chelsea Boots, $, available at






SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

Name: Kitty
Age: 21
How much did the most expensive purchase you didn't return in 2019 cost?
I had too many bottomless mimosas at brunch, stumbled into Sephora, and decided to splurge $185 + tax :(
Why didn't you return this purchase?
I probably should have, but when I sobered up I was like, Oh well, I already have it, I might as well try it.
Do you feel guilty that you didn't return this purchase?
No, it feels amazing on my skin, my only regret is that now I know how good it is, but I can't get another one.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (Pitera Essence) - 5.4 oz, $, available at Sephora





Nordstrom Rack Palazzo Pants

Name: Rachel
Age: 32
How much did the most expensive purchase you didn't return in 2019 cost?
$35
Why didn't you return this purchase?
Just didn't get around to it and then it was too late.
Do you feel guilty that you didn't return this purchase?
Yes

City Chic Stripe Printed Palazzo Pants (Plus Size), $, available at Nordstrom Rack






Art Auction Print

Name: Kate
Age: 22
How much did the most expensive purchase you didn't return in 2019 cost?
I was on a cruise and accidentally raised my hand during the art auction. I "won" a piece of print art for $300. I was stuck with it and now it just sits in a tube.
Why didn't you return this purchase?
I could not return it after the auction. I prayed someone would bid slightly higher, but no one did.
Do you feel guilty that you didn't return this purchase?
I wish I could have returned it! I feel guilty I rose my hand at all.

Ellepol Cesar XXe Siecle no. 16 Lithograph, 1961, $, available at 1st Dibs




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