What to do Before Going Shopping

Three things you should do before you buy new clothes

If you want to put together your clothes in new ways or create new outfits, your first reaction may be to go shopping. However, shopping tends to create more of the same problem – decision fatigue, a closet full of items you have only worn once, or a closet full of “multiples.” Don’t just run out the door to go shopping without a plan. And remember shopping less and doing more with what you have is part of sustainable style.

What to do before going shopping:

Your first reaction may be to buy more clothes to update your wardrobe when you feel like you have “nothing to wear.” Shopping should be the last step in the styling process.

Here are three things to do before going shopping…

  1. Write down what you think you “need.” Now go through your closet and confirm you don’t already have it. I know this sounds silly, but TRUST ME when I say that I have seen clients with clothing and shoes in the “Donate” box that I determine are what they need for their style. Or they have that great black blazer in the back of the closet collecting dust. My point – I give it a greater than 50% chance that you already have what you are looking for, you just forgot about it.
  2. Will it work? Determine if what you want will enhance and go with many of the things you already own OR is it something you want because you are bored (or want some retail therapy)? If you are bored, the new item won’t fix a thing. It will just add to the overwhelm. Make sure you don’t buy anything unless you know you will wear it with at least three other items AND you will wear it at least 30 times.
  3. Make a list and sit on it for two to four weeks. So much of what we buy is because we have stopped being creative in our own closets and shopping offers a quick fix and that elevated feeling from retail therapy. I had a pair of maroon jeans on my list for about 3 years, and I finally found the perfect pair last fall. It was worth it. I have a few other pairs of pants that I bought (secondhand, so I don’t feel too guilty) that weren’t EXACTLY what I was looking for and guess what, they are going to back to be re-consigned. Sound familiar? Make the list and stick to it. If you still need the item(s), then buy it (them). Read my post on breaking out of fashion habits.
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