Since the day I learned to dress myself, my style M.O. was to “look fashionable”. This was not always the case because there was a very unfortunate time when I would wear velvet overalls in baby blue and army green. As I get older I like to think I have my style down to a tee but that isn’t always the case. However I don’t want to shop just to buy something, I want to add clothes that will give a purpose to my wardrobe. Because of this I follow some (what I think are) full-proof rules.
Did it make the list?
Since this shopping ban I have really thought not only about the clothes I should buy, but the money I’m wasting on my “reward pieces”. You know the clothes you get because you made it through another work week or you got into a fight with your boyfriend and came home with a $100 in garbage from Bath & Body Works. So now I am making lists, lists of things that I need and want. Whether they are more classic pieces or just for the here and now don’t buy something unless it’s so important it makes “The List”. For example the only things I really want are a pair of high waisted skinnies, a camo jacket from Banana (that I can’t afford) and a pair of moto boots. I might add a few sweaters to replace the older ones I have but that’s really all I want and need. So make a list and don’t forget to save!
What is it made of?
Pre-shopping ban I purchased quite a few shirts from Gap, all under $10 each. Well thinking they were all cotton I washed my tees like I normally would. I typically read the wash instructions like I read nutrition labels but an assumption lead me to t-shirts that could fit a toddler. First lesson learned this is why Gap is going out of business and second make sure you spend your money on shirts that are going to make it through a few wash cycles. On the other side, take care of your clothes, cashmere is dry cleaned and so is wool. Don’t throw leather boots around because they’ll scuff. Take care of the good quality clothes you buy and I promise they will last. As the old saying goes “you get what you pay for”.
Cost Per Wear (CPW)
If someone handed me $100 five years ago to go shopping I would slightly resemble a contestant on Super Market Sweep. I used to shop like I was being timed. Instead I don’t mind spending $100 on one item. I, like most, am on a budget so I have to work for my spending money. I know the value of a dollar and I also know how far it can go. My mom would always compare the price to how much you actually wear it. For you numbers people out there if I buy a $20 clearance tee and wear it twice that’s $10 CPW or I buy a pair of jeans for $125 and wear them 50, that’s under $3, jeans win. Like the Antropologie dress I spent an entire paycheck on is my favorite thing I ever owned and I will wear holes in it before I get rid of it and even then I’ll still keep it.
Does it fit?
Not to be confused with “Oh I can button it!”. I don’t believe that only certain body types can wear certain clothes but I do believe clothes should fit. It doesn’t matter your size or shape, if the fit is off it’s going to cheapen your entire look. Buttons shouldn’t pull and jeans shouldn’t look like a second set of skin. After many years of trial and error I seem to have an idea of what looks good on my body and what does not work. Lastly there is the concept of feeling comfortable in the clothes you wear. There are many styles that others might say look good on me but if I don’t feel comfortable my confidence will not shine through.
Does it fit in with the others?
Do your clothes play nice? When you buy a trendy piece sometimes they need an equally trendy partner to join them in your closet. I’m all about branching out of you comfort zone but sometimes you just really fall in love with the way the girl working at Madewell is rocking that jean jumpsuit and well… you don’t wear jean jumpsuits. See rule 1, just because the mannequin is killing an outfit doesn’t mean that you need it. Think about it first and see if you really want to bring her home. Plus there might be other stores who make a cuter version.
Lastly, if you love it wear it! Don’t let outdated fashion rules stop you from rocking outfits that you love. I have said it time and time again, confidence is key. People constantly wear clothes that I am envious of but I could never put them together. So remember buy only clothes that you really want and don’t be afraid to spend a little more on quality. Until next time lovers!