How to avoid bad buys

We all have them in our closet. Items we think we need and never wear. I found myself using these guidelines to avoid that problem and thought it useful to share them. So here are my notes to self that ensure that I buy logic, useful additions to my wardrobe which I’m happy about in the long term.

Most woman think they need a lot of items in order to complete an outfit that looks modern and polished. They mostly end up having a closet full of things they don’t wear while also tend to feel like they have nothing to wear. It starts with the fast going fashion industry that always comes with new things.  Most people feel the need to keep up with the latest trends to look good. Well here are the redeeming words. You can stop following those fashion trends! They leave you with a restless feeling that nothing is good enough. Also they are only time bound pieces. The time bound pieces that will really suit you as a person you’ll pick up regardless. You can stop trying to keep up with the latest trends. Avoid bold silhouettes and patterns or outstanding fashion colours unless it’s a particular thing that’s just you. Fashion is fun so only use the latest runway looks as an inspiration and pick out what works for you. Think about your wardrobe as a long term or even a lifetime project. You don’t need to have a complete wardrobe within a single season. Pick up the best items you can get your hands on, spread it over the years. Remember that almost every impulsive buy turns out to be a bad buy. From now on you won’t do that anymore unless you are absolutely sure.

Basics are always useful so if you need to add something to your wardrobe look first at what basics you might miss. It’s nothing new that basics are my thing so here is my talk again about the importance of basics and how expensive looking outfits don’t need to cost you a lot of money. But am I not right? You just need the best basics. Take this camel coat for an example. It suits almost everything I have in my closet. It looks chic. You can dress it up with a pretty dress, red lips and a good pair of heels. You can also wear it casual with sneakers, a simple T and pants as well. You can go for a monochrome look or just combine it with other colours. I personally love to combine this beautiful colour with burgundy, white or simple black on my off day. This one was absolutely a good addition! Basics are useful and if you have the right ones you can make your outfit complete. You can create an appropriate outfit that looks polished for almost every occasion. Be happy to invest in them since they are most certainly your best buys. If you feel like you don’t want to spend as much money to invest in good additions you can find a alternative way in the last chapter of this post. Every time I find a piece that might be a good addition to my wardrobe first I ask myself these four questions:

  1. Do I really love this item?
  2. Can I make at least two complete outfits with the new item and things I already have and love to wear?
  3. When and where will I wear it?
  4. Does it add value to my wardrobe or do I have similar items in my closet?
  1. Do I really love this item?

This sounds obvious, but let’s take for example that a big event is coming up. Insecurities, the sale or other people can influence how you feel about an item at that moment. Make sure you only listen to yourself. Like Marie Kondo said: “Does it give you that spark of joy?” Do I love everything about it? Think of the length, cut, fabric, fit, style and check the labels so you can select on durable and high quality fabrics you won’t regret buying.  Another problem is that most people do not develop their own personal taste and just want to look like someone else. Spend some time developing it and stay open for growing in your personal style by trying new options. Make sure you only buy what suits you and find inspiration from what you like most so you can look for things YOU like. Never try to fully copy an outfit, it’s just inspiration, wear it your own way (visit my Pinterest collections here to see my inspiration as an example). Stay true to what you think that works on you. Stay true to the colours that suit you best and the shapes you look best in. Ask for help from a professional if you have no clue. By having some simple colour and shape/proportion guidelines you will get better in picking out your own stuff.

  1. Can I make at least two complete outfits with the new item and things I already have and love to wear?

Make sure your new item fits in the whole picture and that you already know the way you can wear it. Otherwise you probably won’t wear it. To make the most chic combinations there is a small range of colours that I feel best in and I always stick to those. For me those colours are: Black, white, many shades of grey, nude, sand/beige/camel shades, burgundy, natural pink, navy blue, jeans blue and baby blue. This makes everything mix and match with each other for endless combinations. Find your own range of colours and pick out the right nuance or shade that will work with your eye colour, hair colour and skin tone or use my colour palette as an example.

  1. When and where will I wear it?

This one is simple. If I can find at least two situations it’s worth the money. This can also be a sunday with family, a afternoon with friends, work or just a shopping day. These are actually the situations you wear a item the most.

  1. Does it add value to my wardrobe or do I have similar items in my closet?

Make sure you know what’s in your closet and that everything in your closet fits so it’s useful. Make a list of the things you need so you will know what items to pay attention to. If you have similar items in your closet this means that you fall in love with that style, colour or pattern over and over again. That is a good thing! The problem is that you can’t wear all those things at the same time and you need other items to make an outfit complete. So only buy it if you think the item will be a good addition to your wardrobe. Ask yourself if it’ll work with the things you have and if you can make more outfits out of your wardrobe or if this item is better than what you already own. Maybe you can sell the old items and replace them with new ones.

Do not ever go for something almost right. It’s either the one or nothing. A single bad buy is one too much and a waste of money. When you are thoughtful of where you spent your money on you will find yourself buying less and picking better items which on the long term will save you money. Although a coat will be more of an investment than a basic shirt all your basics are equally important, if you want to have a working wardrobe. With some patience and the right mind-set you can actually get your hands on those (formerly) expensive stuff. And it’ll cost even less money. Keep in mind that for basic pieces almost every brand has some in their collection so there will be plenty of options.

An important part of shopping is not to start looking for sale items when there already is a sale. Make sure you’ve already made a list with favourites when the new items are coming in so you can easily check if those are on sale and you won’t be seduced by the low prices of other items. Don’t go for anything less than what you really want and be patient. Otherwise you are losing the money you could have spent on something you really want and you will be always left with a wardrobe you’re not really happy about. Better have less and wait for the good things. Be picky. In this way you can get the absolute best out of your money.

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