Fashion (My Style) · Shopping · Wardrobe Remix

[The Closet Chronicles] Step Four: Let’s Shop! WOOHOO!

I mentioned in the previous blog post, that as a new mom, I’ve found it difficult to blog regularly. Now you all are going to think I’m a complete liar and fraud because I’m coming out with two posts in three days. *GASP*

Maybe I am a liar…or maybe I’m just a working mom who, by a gracious act of God, has found some time to vent her otherwise overly pressurized creative side before being able to move on in life. I’ll leave it to you all to decide.

You may have noticed that this blog has begun to take on a…one-dimensional feel. Every blog post since June 11, 2014 (that’s a total of 12 posts, folks) have been about this.

Can you really blame me? He’s so stinkin’ cute!!

But…it’s not really fair to my readership (the few left out there, anyway) to give them the same tidbit of blogging fare, no matter how tasty, post after post until His kingdom comes. So I decided to dust off an old, neglected blog draft that has been sitting in my blog post list and attempt to finish it off (inundated with parentheses, because my mind tends to run off in tangents so much more these days…oops!…there’s one now).

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I would like to state a disclaimer before I begin that I have not been able to really think about this particular aspect of my life. The fashion/shopping-mania that had been one of the cornerstones of this blog was set aside as my belly grew and my desire to play around with outfits dwindled. I guess I could have done some pregnancy style posts…but I have been more or less preoccupied by growing and then sustaining this new life, in utero and postpartum, and looking cute was the last thing on my mind. So please bear with me, as I try to restart the fashion-minded portion of my brain.

In Part Three of the “Closet Chronicles,” we had just discussed (in a very one-way conversational manner) the importance of creating a detailed list of items to “fill in the gaps” and make the closet more versatile. Making a list is well and good (and NECESSARY!!), but a list alone will not a wardrobe make.

Nope…no new clothes appearing…

So…we have to go shopping! (Oh, shucks…well, if you insist…)

However, it is so easy to fall into the trap of “whim shopping” (as in buying the same non-essential types you recently purged from your closet “on a whim”)…even WITH a list. I try to counteract my tendencies to “whim” by following these tips I have gathered from other wise fashion bloggers as well as through my own trial and error experiences.

1) As Kendi Everyday would say, “Shop MORE, not less!” This doesn’t mean buy more…just browse more, looking for the items you know you need/want. Pull piles of stuff off the racks/shelves! Spend time in as many dressing rooms as possible to compare fits, lengths, etc. to see what works best for you. Go into stores that have the styles you are looking for and go to town! But DON’T open your wallet and break out the credit cards until you find that gem that you KNOW was simply MADE for YOU!

This is why women who know fashion tend to take longer and shop more often. They are not necessarily PURCHASING more. They are simply taking time to make a more informed decision. You wouldn’t go out and buy a car without checking out and test driving a bunch of them to see which one suits your needs (and appeals to your senses) best, right? Take that same mentality to clothing.

Took us months of “shopping” to find this one…

2) Stick to the list!! – as much as possible, don’t stray from the shopping list!  After the extensive work you did (with surgical precision) on your closet/wardrobe, you know what it needs.  So FEED THE NEED, and not just what appeals at the moment.  Not limiting yourself to your list is what leads to closet clutter…and do we REALLY want to deal with all THAT nonsense again? I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t!

If you are one who are unable to control spending habits (as I was at the beginning of my fashion journey), make a shopping schedule – identify one or two days per month that you will limit all clothes shopping to…keeping in mind possible special events that may mean you need to buy something special for the occasion. You can also schedule a friend or family member (in my case, the hubby) to help curb the spending. However, pick your shopping buddies wisely! Don’t take your best friend who likes to spend money as much as, if not MORE, than you do!! Take the person who knows how to budget and spend wisely.

…or take one of these to limit your “spending” time!

3) If you DO see something not on your list you just cannot take your eyes off/imagine leaving the store without, make sure the item fits into your wardrobe (meaning you can use the item in at least a handful of different ways with the items you already have).

With such items, I have come up with a trick that always works well for me. I will pick up the item from the rack, and then force myself to walk around with it on my arm for at least 15 to 20 minutes around the store.  Usually, this gives me enough time to process whether I really need (or even like) the item.  90% of the time, I return the item back to the rack and leave the store without.  If I REALLY love it afterwards, and can’t stop thinking about it, I will return within the next week and purchase – if it’s gone, it’s not meant to be…if it’s still there, I repeat the process.” Always ask yourself – “Do I LOVE this? No…like REALLY LOVE this?” If I can only answer “maybe” or “kind of”…it goes back on the rack/shelf! I have saved myself from purchasing unnecessary items this way. If I end up dreaming about the item with a strong urge to purchase, I can always go back and get it. And if it’s not there anymore…well, it wasn’t meant to be.

4) Look for a few quality pieces you LOVE instead of many cheaper pieces you will only wear once or twice! (Another tip from Kendi Everyday.) The quality piece will usually be a better deal because, if it’s something you absolutely LOVE and wear ALL THE TIME, it will decrease the cost per wear!! It’s never a “deal” to grab a cheaper, less quality item, and then let it hang in your closet because you don’t like the look of it quite like the pricier version (i.e. the Target boots I wore MAYBE three times, and ended up giving away, versus the Hunter boots I probably wore at least three times a week during the fall/winter/spring months of 2013-2014 before my legs became too big for them…#pregnancyissues).

Most I’ve spent on footwear…EVER!!

5) Stick to a budget! There’s no need to buy everything on your list in one go!  Buy the one or two items you absolutely need and can afford within the amount of money you have set aside for that shopping trip. Who knows!  By not buying one of your classic items in one store today, you’ll find something even better/closer to what you were REALLY looking for the next shopping trip!

6) Remember…there’s always NEXT TIME!  Retailers who stay in business do NOT stop making clothing items…EVER! Maybe you’ll find your perfect black pants or spring dress next month/season?  It’s okay to leave items on your shopping list for another time!

[Next on The Closet Chronicles

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