A few nights ago, I went out for a drink with a few friends. At some point, don't exactly remember how, but I mentioned that I had only three or four handbags. One of my friends exclaimed: you have only four bags!? How do you have a fashion blog while having only four bags?! I was taken by surprise by this statement. For a few minutes, I was not sure how to feel. The comment felt like my friend was judging me and my ability to give sound advice about fashion just cause I had a small handbag collection.
After that night, I pondered for a while about my friend's reaction and her implicit statement that more is better when it comes to fashion. I concluded that I strongly disagree with the idea that quantity is necessary when it comes to one's wardrobe. We do not need ten, twenty or more bags to make us stylish. How many items do we end up using/wearing even if we have a dozen of them? Only a few favorite ones! We do not need a dozen jeans, bags or skirts. Stop buying for the sake of carrying around another shopping bag or adding another item to your already overflowing closet. Let's develop some healthy thoughtful shopping habits that will bring lots of benefits to you and your wallet.
Let's be more strategic while shopping. Put in a little bit of time and effort to achieve great results. You can still brag about it on social media and get the attention you crave, I promise (if that's your thing).
One. Ignore the words "I want" in your head. Most likely YOU do not want it -- your social network and ads primed your brain to want it. For a second, think back to when you heard about or where you saw the item you want. Was it a celebrity post or someone's re-post of a promotional photo? Why is it that you want it? Will this item work with your style and wardrobe? I guess that targeted ads found you on social media and then followed you around. After weeks and weeks of "persuasion," your brain gave up and succumbed to persistent ads. Had there be no ads, you would not have wanted the item in the first place.
Two. Think before you buy. Do not grab something just because it looks nice on a hanger. Think! Will this material be flattering on my body. Very thin silky like items highlight every imperfection. Cotton pieces stretch out over time. Knitted clothes can be bulky so do pay attention to underarm and back areas. In addition, anything wool tends to stretch. Also, check out the care tag. Does the item require dry clean? This is an important detail to know. If you are not willing to spend money on dry clean, do not buy an item that requires it. Another aspect to consider is your body type. If you are a seasonal shopper like me, you know exactly what looks good on you and what does not. Do not pretend that you are twenty and can pull off a cropped top.
Three. Be practical. Buy items that work for your lifestyle. If you are a person who dresses casual most of the time, a fancy dress and shoes might not worth the money. Consider renting these items. On the other hand, if you fancy a more polished look, think twice before buying a new pair of jeans or yoga pants. Just because you can afford it, does not mean it makes sense to do so.
Four. If you want to buy a few new items - clean out your closet first. I am all for shopping but clean out the older items. Things you have not worn in a year have to go. Also, fashion changes all the time. Styles and materials do get old and dated. Consider donating items that are outdated and do not go with your style.
Five. Shopping is not an investment; it is an expense. But consider buying a more expensive handbag with a classic, timeless look that is made out of suitable material with excellent craftsmanship. It will last you a long while and look good everytime you pull it out. I have four bags that I rotate or use based on the occasion. White bag, I carry mostly during spring and summer times. Black one I reserve for fall and winter. I have a lovely black clutch that I take with me when I go out. And a lovely blue cross bag for when I feel like an outfit needs a pop of color.
I know this advice might sound boring and not fashion like, but my tips are practical and work for a busy mom. I try very hard to be practical and yet have a stylish wardrobe. How do I have time to shop while having two kids? I have my favorite online stores that offer free shipping. I order at least four items at a time and then try them on after the kids have gone to bed. My rule number one is I HAVE TO love a piece. If I notice a slight hesitation in my heart, I return it. For me, LOVE is the main criteria when it comes to selecting what to buy. And no, I do not love everything I order. I am fortunate to be a picky shopper. If you are not this way, then stick to my outlined rules above. I hope my tips will help you next time you go shopping.