Does this ever happen to you?
You look at your closet and you have plenty of outfits, your hangers are piled with clothes and your drawers are stuffed to the max… But it takes you forever to get dressed… It takes you forever to find an outfit you really like for a night out. You feel at lost some mornings. Sometimes your clothes don’t fit you in flattering ways, or pieces don’t mix well together or worse you realize you have been going through a craze and all your outfits are basically the same color, or fabric or style.
So you decide you need to go shop for some new looks and head to the mall, you buy a bunch of outfits but a few weeks later you’re staring at your closet with the same problem – yet again.
I’ve been there.
My closet takes up 90% of the space in the apartment, but I take the longest to decide what to wear.
It’s time to start shopping smart for clothes
It’s time to stop shopping and start investing in the clothes we buyI’m not advocating for spending more money on clothes, instead, I’m advocating for being smart about the choices we make when we are in the store. So that we get more use out of our clothes for years. So that we stop wasting so much time getting ready each day because we didn’t shop for our lifestyles.
Honestly, between you and me, I don’t need the latest trend. I don’t need the latest trendy bag or coat. I need pieces that I can wear time and time again. And unless your job involves wearing the latest looks, neither do you.
- I need pieces that can match easily.
- I need a wardrobe that won’t leave me puzzled.
- I need a wardrobe that will help me feel good a year or two years from now
Do these needs strike a chord?
The secret to finding closet happiness is NOT more shopping
I shop too much. I’ll be the first to admit that. I can shop in line at the DMV, I can shop waiting for a meeting to start, heck with good reception I can shop while riding an elevator.
But I’ve realized, clothing does not get me any closer to my goal. In fact it takes me further away.
So, I have been thinking about all this for a while now, and I have an idea I’d like to share with you. The secret is not to buy more stuff; the secret is to spend money on the right stuff. The secret is to get the stuff that sticks, that is wearable time and time again. And yes, the less trendy, less fashion-y pieces, the clothing that sticks.
Prioritize your shopping, Plan ahead
Shopping can be fun, it can be a stress reliever, and it can also be a huge time and money suck. Especially if you’re doing it wrong, like say following trends, or buying something just because your favorite actress wears a certain coat you must have that coat.
Look at the colros that work best for you, spend time figuring out your personal style than build a list of needs based on that. Make sure whatever you put on that list is versatile enough to be worn in multiple settings, and is in colors that work well with your colors. Priority and well-focused shopping is not only a lot of fun, but incredibly satisfying as you get pieces that keep on giving for a long time.
Take the rose-colored shades off
Stores are built to make you buy. The more money you spend, the more they make. In recent years witht he rise of fast fashion, this has meant that stores now churn out as much clothing as possible, as quickly and cheapply as possible. It’s also meant the decline in quality.
When you go to a store what do you see? A bunch of really pretty clothes hanging from each rack, and the more you dig into it, the more you find steals, great deals, and isn’t that dress cute!
That’s because you are at the throes of the store. There is a science to making you shop more, just like how grocery stores might put candy at eye-level for kids to crave, so do stores put the right organization to make you wander in and browse more so you end up spending more.
This is good if you are spending money on the right things. It’s not so good if you are spending money on all the wrong things.
Don’t leave home without a game plan
Otherwise you’ll end up coming back with a sweater, a corset and nothing that you planned to get and some return trips to make. A shopping game plan will keep you focused and on track.
What do you want from your closet? What pieces do you keep wishing you had? And keep meaning to put money into but haven’t gotten yet?
Invest in style not trends
I’m going to go hedge a bet that say you can skip about 75% of the trends that come up each season. The truth is you don’t need to spot all the latest trends plastered on magazines and TV and in style blogs. The bigger the trend the more dated it will look. It may look fashionable this season but trust me that camo pant or plaid dress will seem very dated about a year from now.
If you need any reminder of how trends only last temporarily just think back to the hottest looks of the past 15 years:
- Are bell-bottom and be-jeweled jeans still popular like they were in the early 2000s?
- Are cropped vest tops still popular?
- What about the trusty fedora and geometric earrings?
- What about harem pants?
To be trendy does not equate to having style. To have style is to be able to look good no matter the season.
You can have both, but it’s certainly a bigger investment than focusing on style first then maintaining it with trends. And if you focus on style, you know no matter what trends are in or out you will always look good. Greta style to me is about consistency, confident and beauty. Put those there elements together and you have great style.
To look stylish you have to be smart about what you buy and how you wear it. You also have to understand your own taste and effective ways to execute it. I stand behind this because there are plenty of financially wealthy people that still need stylists to look good.
Now I’m not wealthy, maybe I might be in the future, maybe I may not, but I am smart enough to realize that I don’t want to keep throwing money at pieces that I can’t wear over and over again. I don’t want to spend money on pieces just to impress other fashionable people neither.
At the end of the day, I just want to look good for myself. So to help me stop shopping and start learning about my personal style needs and investing time in finding pieces that meet those needs, I came up with a smart style manifesto. I chant this every time I see a picture of my favorite style celebrities and have an urge to go find a cheaper version of the trend she’s sporting.
The Shopping Smart Manifesto
I am a smart woman who is happy with who she is and what she wants.
I will no longer buy pieces to fit in, or impress others. I will focus on pieces that make me feel good not just today, or tomorrow, not just for one event, but also for several events and situations to come.
I will put quality over quantity. I will appreciate the limits of my body, my taste and my purse. I recognize I have other priorities in my life that trump staying trendy. I know that I do not need fashion or others approval (or enviable glances) to be happy. What I need most of all is self-love, balance, and a closet that reflects all these things.
This is just the beginning.
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Here’s to Style in your looks, Peace in our wallet and Happiness in our closet.