I joke that I sometimes have an internal struggle when it comes to shopping. Although there is some truth to that, I have learned how to be more conscious of my purchases. Additionally, my style has evolved over the years. I now pay more attention to what works for me.
Here was the usual scenario, I had a stressful day or I’m tired. So, I would stop by a Target, Old Navy, or TJ Maxx (these were stores on my way home). Then I would just mindlessly buy items. Clothes, bags, shoes, and maybe even scarves were tossed my shopping cart as I walked down the aisles. I was into these items but not excited about every single one.
Once I got home, I hung the items and maybe tried them on. What would inevitably happen is that some items didn’t fit, stayed in the closet since I didn’t have something to match, or I just changed my mind. So, then I would have to head back to return them. A pretty unproductive cycle.
I decided to revamp my style when I hit about seven years into my career as a school psychologist. I was in a new relationship as well so it was the perfect time. As with most things I do, I began to research style.
I ended picking up some books Lucky Guide to Mastering Your Style , The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own and How to Have Style.
These books made me reflect on what I was buying and what I was actually wearing. I noticed a pattern: I was wearing only certain pieces in my closet repeatedly. I was drawn to pieces in certain styles and colors. I was wearing the pieces that were the most comfortable and that made me feel good.
I was wearing only certain pieces in my closet repeatedly.
It took some trial and error (and one other book that I highly recommend: The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style And Building Your Dream Wardrobe ). Eventually, I came up with some questions that I ask myself before I purchase an item.
1. Does it fit me? I try on most items before I buy them. I know it can be annoying but it really does pay off. For instance, I have tried on items that I thought would be perfect to find that they weren’t the right fit. There also has been items that I wasn’t sure about that were perfect for me. I almost always take a picture of myself when I try on the item. That way I can see what it really looks like. Plus, if I’m not sure, I have a picture to look at to think about it.
That’s what I did with this dress (ignore my Adidas).
2. Can I wear it to work and the weekend? I follow that up with thinking of when I will do that. I really try to stick to practical items for most of my wardrobe. If I can wear something in multiple ways for the weekend, that works too.
3. If I can’t wear it to work, will I wear it on the weekend a lot OR do I just feel dynamite in this piece? Okay, so not every item has to pass the work/weekend test. Some items make the cut because they make me feel fabulous! We need those items in our lives sometimes for a little pick me up! I just don’t buy too many of these items.
4. Will I love this item in a few months or is too trendy? Trends come and go so I don’t spend much money on them. I may try some trends as long as they work for me.
5. Do the colors match my current wardrobe. Color is just as important as fit in my book! I feel like color bring so much life to an outfit. I have colors in my palette that I enjoy wearing. You will see me in red, black and white prints, pops of blue, white and yellow. You won’t see me in brown, wine, and purple.
I can answer all five questions for this Target Who What Wear dress. The fit is comfortable and flattering. I can wear it to work and the weekend. It’s not too trendy either.
Here is video clip of this outfit from my IGTV
… Because getting dressed (and living life) should feel good!
Rather listen to this post instead of reading it? Check out the “How I Avoid Buying Items I Won’t Wear” episode of the Don’t Mix In podcast. Join me as I dive into the topics on this post. Don’t Mix In can be found on Apple Podcasts and pretty much anywhere you find your podcasts! If you are into what you hear, be sure to subscribe and leave me a review.