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: