I am working hard to edit and refine my wardrobe. So I am refining the questions I ask myself before I buy something new.
For many years the questions I would ask myself when shopping were - Does it fit? What is the price? Did I like it? Finding something that fit my body was usually my first, and sometimes, only criteria for purchase. If it was on sale, I might even ignore an ill fitting item. And the question about whether I liked it was often the least important.
Over the years I have been writing this blog, I have shifted a lot of my thinking about what I own. And specifically, how much I own. I want to look 5 years down the line and see a well curated wardrobe, that I LOVE, that fits my style, and my body.
A new item needs to work hard to WIN a place in my wardrobe, so I now ask myself:
- Does it fit my body? An item needs to fit the body I have today or be easily tailored to fit. This second part is important, because clothes are not designed for my body. They are designed for a fit model, who likely has a very different shape than me. A good quality item that answers yes to all the other questions below, is worth having tailored.
- Does it fit my style? An item needs to work with my current style. I am working on better defining that so it is easier to shop. Because my style has always been a bit eclectic I have used that as an excuse to buy a wide range of clothes. I need to edit more carefully. A girlfriend introduced me to the phrase "I love the idea of it, more than the reality of it." Be realistic. For example, it is NOT my style to wear stiletto heels. So I should never buy them, no matter how cute they are in my favourite colour at a super awesome sale price. Because I. Will. Never. Wear. Them.
- Does it fit my wardrobe? The item needs to work with my existing wardrobe. It should be a replacement item, complement many other things in my closet, or fit a gap in my closet. I like things to work with at least 3 different outfits. It should be something that will be well loved over the years. While also not being a duplicate of something else already in my closet. I do NOT need another little black dress. And I shouldn't have to buy other things in order for me to wear it.
- Does it fit my life? Aka is it practical? I am a mother to a 7 year old boy. I work in marketing at a somewhat conservative organization. I go from work to school pick up, to after school activities. I need to be practical. I need to be able to walk, sometimes run, in my shoes. My purse needs to carry all sorts of things.
- Do I LOVE it? And I mean. LOVE. Not just a crush. Or I like it as a friend. I need to LOVE it. Otherwise why should it take up important real estate in my closet. This question NEEDS to be a deal breaker. If you feel "meh" about something. Leave it behind.
Before you say it, I know "Does it fit my budget?" is not on the list. It is an obvious question. And often a deal breaker. But I thought it was a no-brainer so didn't list it.
I used this strategy when I saw a pair of hot pink lace up Doc Martin's in a consignment store window a few months ago. LOVED them. They fit my feet. They fit my eclectic style. They fit my budget. They fit my weekend life. But they did NOT fit my wardrobe. I don't have a lot of things to wear with hot pink boots. Plus, I already have a pair of purple/pinkish suede Doc Martin wedge boots. I did not need another pair of high impact boots. I felt no regret as I left the boots behind.
When I am getting ready to go out, I ask myself a similar set of questions.
- Does it fit my body?
- Does it fit my style?
- Does it fit the occasion?
Do you have questions you ask yourself when shopping?