Find your signature style: shop smarter. We’ve been following the RealSimple article, Define Your Signature Style. You can find Parts 1-3 here, here and here. We’ve found our favorite items, analyzed our mistakes, and identified the missing pieces. Today, we Shop Smarter! (Never too late for smarter, right? I didn’t marry my dream man till I was 46, so I may be late out of the gate but I get there.)
Here’s the article:
Take your lists of likes, dislikes, and needs and head to the mall [my note: preferably the thrifts, or Etsy, or Poshmark] . But before opening your wallet, run through this checklist to determine whether a piece will last the long haul. This may seem tedious, but if it prevents pricey mistakes, it’s worth the effort, right? After a while, you’ll automatically ask yourself these questions. The more an item costs, the more seriously you want to consider these factors.
- Will it work with your lifestyle?
- Where will you wear it? Ideally, this is a place you go every week or month.
- Does it coordinate with at least three other pieces in your wardrobe?
- Can you wear it year-round? Imagine it with tights, a sweater, or open-toe shoes.
- Can you picture yourself wearing it next season? Next year? In five years?
- Will the effort of hand washing or dry-cleaning prevent you from wearing it regularly?
- Is it good quality?
So I’ve identified the silhouettes, colors and fabrics that work best for me. I know my shopping blind spots (I think!). I want to shop smarter, have fewer wardrobe mistakes, and enjoy every piece in the closet. This last step is about the financial aspect of wardrobing.
Budget-wise, the key question for me is not “can I afford it?”; usually I can because I shop in reasonable marketplaces. It’s more “Is it worth it?”. I don’t mind experimenting with fun pieces for a few dollars, then re-cycling them to family or thrifts. Most skirts, accessories and casual tops fall into this category.
But for Big Stuff, like shoes, boots, signature dresses, “real” jewelry, good leather bags, I try to answer the above questions. My wardrobe needed a cashmere pullover, so I went through the steps and finally bought one like this:
This sweater is a big yes to the questions above (I can wear it year-round once we start going back to NYC). I could have bought several lesser-quality sweaters, and that’s what I did for decades. I would like but not love them, and they would often pill or pull or fade. So I made, for moi, a Shop Smarter decision.
What say you all? Do you have any interest in investment-dressing, cost-per-wear, Shop Smarter philosophies? Do you segregate your purchases, like I do, into Small Stuff and Big Stuff?
Over to you: Love to hear from you about this. And I hope you’ve enjoyed this series, just for the pure fun of playing in our closets!
Stay fabulous, xo
Wear what you love, always. Here are some goodies to browse:
Please be aware that links to vendors may be affiliate links. I may benefit from your purchases through the links on the blog. Header photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash.
How do you like the Quince clothing? I haven’t ordered anything from them and am thinking of doing so. If returns have to be made – are they easy and free?
Hi Amy! I love, love Quince clothing. I have several silk skirts, tanks, linen pants, and these heavy cotton sweaters. The quality has always been top-notch and the fit is true to size for me. I haven’t returned anything! so I don’t know about the ease of returns. Thanks for coming over and have a wonderful day, xx.
Seems like the pandemic has helped me narrow down what really works for me. Thinking ahead to 5 years is a great idea. It’s easy to fall victim to accepting less than quality in order just to get the look right now. I don’t end up keeping those things. Love those red boots. I just bought a pair from Vionic!
Hi Joni and thanks for your comments! Oh, congrats on your new red boots – wear them with a smile : > Have a great weekend, xx.
Identifying the holes in my wardrobe was the hardest thing–which is probably good. I could use a jacket to polish some of my outfits. Not a blazer, exactly, I’d have to do some looking for a style. I could also use a non-denim skirt (lol!). I tend to “invest” in long sleeve tops–I. recently got a Farm Rio one for Christmas–as they tend to get worn to death!
One piece of advice I’d give to denim wearers is to every so often buy a new cut of jeans. I recently got a distressed, stove pipe leg with cuff (they were on sale in a brand I know fits well) and they make all of my tops feel more updated.
Hi Kimberly, good to see you. You have some fun shopping ahead, and your new jeans sound cool – I love a cuffed hem. Have a beautiful day, xx.
Great advice thank you. Rodin is one of my favorite artists and his depiction of Dante as the thinker is always such a lovely reminder of his talent. I am still in the browsing stage and very much appreciate your goody site for just right lovely stylish fun suggestions. I really like that blue fog Nordstrom sweater this post.
Good morning Joan and thanks for coming over. I love that description “blue fog”. Have a wonderful day, xx.
cashmere sweaters and ankle boots seem to be the backbone of my wardrobe, at least for Fall and Winter.
Hi Darby! That’s a good backbone, imho. : > Stay well, xx.