Minimal Wardrobe: Tips for Conscious Shopping
Capsule wardrobes, investment pieces, and the minimalist lifestyle seems to be all the rage right now, and, as I've come to realize, it is all for a good reason. After having yet another KonMari-ing session through my closet, I ended up with a total of 2 large bin bags of unwanted clothes. Not faulty, not outdated, just simply unwanted. To make matters even worse, I then laid the contents back on the floor and started recalling how much did each piece cost. As the sum slowly crept over the price of A.P.C.'s Demi-Lune, I decided that it was time to call it a day (and comfort myself with a tub of PB ice cream). The thing is, I could have easily lived on without having bought those items in the first place.
So, for the past couple of months, I've been trying to follow a new, reasonable shopping philosophy in an attempt to create a more curated wardrobe, develop a healthier attitude towards clothing and, hopefully, save some money while I'm at it. The whole thing has been going better than I expected, so today I decided to share a few of my newly adopted tips for conscious shopping.
DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE
Even though this is easier said than done, understanding your personal style is crucial to building a successful wardrobe. For the longest time, I kept trying to force myself into feminine skirts and loud prints, only to realize soon after how uncomfortable (and unconfident) I felt. In the end, I've always come back to the muted color palette and relaxed Scandinavian vibes. Analyze the pieces you're happy and comfortable with, create a Pinterest board for some style inspiration and define the general theme, as well as a colour palette that suits you.
KNOW THE FABRICS
Learning a thing or two about the fabrics will help you create a sustainable and long-lasting wardrobe that fits your lifestyle. This post by Daarboven is a fantastic guide into the world of natural fibers, covering the basics, as well as pros and cons of each material. Before committing to a piece, check the tags - will you be able to fit a hand wash into your schedule or afford the frequent trips to the dry cleaners? Also, if you decide to go the natural route, it is well worth investing in an iron.
There's no doubt that some fashion bloggers have the magical ability to make anyone covet the season's trendiest, yet most unpractical items. Last year, I was desperately trying to hunt down the perfect pair of dungarees (I never thought that I could put the words "perfect" and "dungarees" into a single sentence). Let's be honest here - this purchase would hang in my closet for a season or two, and then we'd part ways during yet another wardrobe cull. While there's nothing wrong with experimenting and stepping out of your comfort zone, be aware of your lifestyle and how a certain piece will fit in it. Instead of opting for a daring "out there" piece, consider broadening your work wardrobe or loungewear collection.
WANTS AND NEEDS
This is something I still struggle with from time to time. The urge to shop on a particularly bad day can be overwhelming, especially if all shops are just a few clicks away. My tip is to create a list of the things you actually need and keep it handy, so when you venture into the shops, at least you're not making irrational impulse buys. Also, when it comes to surviving the sale season, a thought-out wishlist is a true lifesaver, so always remember to create one in advance (and actually stick to it).
IF IT DOESN'T FIT, IT DOESN'T FIT
This is a bit of a no-brainer though there still were times when I felt particularly optimistic about fitting into a certain size, just to realize soon after that the piece would look better if I'd shed a pound or two. Shop for the body you have, not for the one you want. In my experience, a well-fitted piece can make all the difference, so be rational about your choices and, if possible, befriend a tailor.
What are your tips for avoiding regrettable purchases?