If you have been following my blog, you know that I am starting to focus on learning how to live with less and shop smart by following a buy better, buy less strategy. To get to a point where you learn how to do this well and for it to become a habit, I think it involves not only going the painstaking process of cleaning out all the extraneous clothing items in your closet that you no longer wear or that don’t really fit your personality (if you haven’t read these posts they are here and here), but also to putting your habits under a microscope so you can better understand how and why you purchase what you own. So, with that in mind, are you a strategic shopper or a impulse buyer?
Certainly there are levels of everything and many shades of gray, but think about your last dozen purchases. Were they items you fell in love with and wore immediately? Did they work with what you already had in your closet? How many items did you return not because of fit issues but because they really didn’t make sense and/or were a style or color that goes with nothing you own? (Or maybe you just really impulse bought, because you hadn’t purchased anything in a while and it was a momentary thrill? Be honest with yourself. I’ve done it before.) Do you know you need a new pair of black pants but buy everything else, because the idea of purchasing them isn’t exciting and frankly not easy (bathing suits, pants, jeans–there are many wardrobe necessities that are great when you get them right but require saintly patience to acquire).
I am pretty good at buying nice wardrobe basics, and my closet consists of various shades of navy, black, white and beige that all work together. Where do I fall down looking towards spring and warmer weather necessities? The more casual basics–I lack a decent core group of go-to black and white t-shirts and everyday sweaters. And shoes–I would rather spend money on something I can’t wear everyday (Bottega Veneta high-heeled slides) than a pair of loafers or sneakers. Hence I have gorgeous shoes that mostly sit in my closet and I pull out the same Stan Smiths borderline too many times.
I am not sure I need to spend a lot of money on the everyday items I need–I have ordered a few things and once I try them out, I will share my thoughts, but if I did, it would be money well spent. That said, unless you have unlimited funds, most of us have to cut corners somewhere. Even if you don’t, I still think it’s a good idea.
I am not suggesting that your wardrobe become basic and boring and that you ignore the fun purchases, but learning what your shopping weaknesses are is helpful in creating a wardrobe that works and is representative of your style.