Saturday, August 2, 2014

My blog, my rules: What not to buy

A couple of months ago I made a post about how I'm able to go shopping so frequently and still maintain a $40 a month clothing budget. For those of you who still need a little help in the shopping department, here is a similar post to keep you stylish and your bank account happy: a post about what you shouldn't buy.

Now, I'm usually pretty opposed to presenting things in the negative. It's basic psychology that people are less likely to listen to "don't" and are more likely to listen to "do". But sometimes, especially in regards to money, you need to be told "no". So in the interest of saving money, tell yourself "no" if you find yourself in these situations.

1. You can't afford it. While some things are worth a splurge, it's always worth it to plan your big purchases and save spontaneity for smaller things. Making even one purchase that you can't afford can lead to a dangerous spiral of more splurges and a diminishing bank account.

2. You're not positively thrilled to have it in your closet. I've seen a lot of purchases that follow the statement, "eh, it'll work". Chances are, if you don't love it, you'll only ever wear it on laundry day. It's not worth buying something that you're not going to want to wear. Wouldn't you rather spend that same money on piece that you absolutely have to have?

3. You already own something exactly like it. Sure, you know you'll wear it... But if you only have one item that can only be distinguished by the brand on its tag, you'll end up with a closet that looks a lot like Little Orphan Annie's. It's worth it to just do an extra load of laundry if you really need to wear your black maxi skirt five days in a row (a dilemma I have personally faced on more than one occasion).

4. It doesn't fit properly. Chances are, you're not going to see this item again until the next time you go through your closet to get rid of things you've outgrown. The fact is, you won't wear something if it's way too small or way too tight. A skirt that's a little too short is one thing; a blouse that visibly stretches to button over your breasts is another. Ditch both and look for something you won't have to fix up.

5. Similarly, if you don't feel comfortable in it. This is one of my main rules of personal style: prioritize wearing what makes you feel comfortable. To some people, this means the physical comfort of sweats and a sports bra. To others, it means feeling attractive in a bodycon dress and cowboy boots. If something you're not physically or mentally comfortable wearing something in the dressing room, you're definitely not going to be comfortable wearing it out in public. You should never have to settle for wearing something that makes you feel self-conscious.

6. It's a trend. Admittedly, I can be pretty quick to jump on-board with certain trends, but one always has to know where to draw the line. For me, that line is my current color obsession: lime-yellow. I've used the color in a pedicure and in plenty of Pinterest posts, but I've abstained from adding it to my closet simply because I know that in a couple of months, I will no longer be obsessed with it. What am I supposed to do with a closet of things that I, along with the general public, don't like anymore? A key to this tip is trying to figure out which trends genuinely match your sense of style and which trends you like simply because they're constantly being pushed in your face. Would you have bought this particular piece one, two, three months ago? If not, chances are you won't wear it one, two, or three months from now.

7. It's not versatile. It's so tempting to spring for that stunning bodysuit or those one-of-a-kind stilettos, but there's nothing more disappointing than having something beautiful in your closet that you never get to wear. If you can afford to shop for every holiday (4th of July apparel, anyone?), formal event, and costume party in your life, all the power to you. If not, stick to buying things that can be worn more than once to really get the bang for your buck.

8. You like it, but... Stop right there. If you see the problem with the piece in the manipulative lighting of the store, you can bet it's all you'll be able to see in the harsher light of reality when you get home. Don't settle for "but"; you can find something you like, no ifs ands or buts!

9. You like it better on the hanger. One thing I always find myself talking about when I'm shopping is the concept of a visual closet. A visual closet is something I came up with to hypothetically store all the clothing that looks beautiful hanging up but terrible on (for me, this display of ornate clothing would consist of: paper-thin tank tops and that one type of a-line dress). Unless you have a visual closet, don't buy things that amaze you on the hanger but only serve to disappoint when put on. What's in your closet is meant to be worn, not simply admired from afar.

10. Its main appeal is its designer label. I'll admit that, especially lately, I've been pretty guilty of desiring any number of items simply because they were made by one of my favorite brands. Again, I'd suggest stepping back and asking yourself if you'd buy the item if it were from, say, Walmart. Buy something for the piece itself, not for the bragging rights that come with a designer label.

No comments :

Post a Comment