Do you ever peer into your closet and wonder how on earth you ended up with such a mish-mash of clothes? Clothes that you’ve spent countless hours and dollars amassing, yet feel as if you never have anything to wear? I know from personal experience that many women do every day, and I want to shed some light on how this happens so you can resolve never to do it again. Here’s how it happens:
1/ You don’t LIKE shopping, so you avoid it like the plague.
When you walk into a store, you simply get overwhelmed and have no idea what you need. But you know you need something, so you grab the first thing you see – often another pair of black pants – and head to the cash register. As you leave the store, you wonder why it has to be so difficult. This behavior becomes a pattern, and the cycle is hard to break, leaving you feeling helpless and desperate. Help!
Note: You truly don’t have to love shopping to make it a regular part of your life. Think of it as an essential task, much like going to the dentist or having the oil changed in your car. It’s regular maintenance that helps to keep your wardrobe running smoothly. You may not love it, but when you make a point to go regularly, you will reap the benefits and avoid unnecessary pain and expense. You’re so worth it!
2/ You wait until the LAST minute.
Your cousin’s wedding. A big meeting with the boss. A plum speaking engagement. You’ve known about an upcoming event for at least several months, yet you wait until the very last minute to decide what to wear. As you pull out your old standby, you realize that it’s a size too small and has a big rip in the seam. In a panic, you hit the mall, and as you’re overcome with a quiet desperation, you consider clothing you would never wear otherwise. Panic clouds your senses and leaves you to settle for something that isn’t completely right for you. Plus, waiting until the last minute leaves no time for alterations or to find the perfect accessories.
Note: Waiting until the last minute to decide what to wear is NEVER a good idea. Force yourself to schedule time on your calendar for shopping. You will thank yourself for being proactive, and you’ll save money every time!
3/ You don’t keep your wardrobe current.
Trends come and go, yet because you don’t consider yourself a trendy kind of girl you ignore them. You continue wearing your well-loved ‘classics’, not realizing that many of them are nearing expiration. When it comes time to replace them, you buy the same thing. This cycle keeps you in the frumpy zone, rather than boosting your style. Although you are spending plenty of money on clothes, your look never reflects your efforts to look polished. It’s enough to make you want to simply give up.
Note: Classic pieces are a beautiful way to build the foundation of your wardrobe, yet you want to take fit and style into consideration. When replacing your old faves, ask yourself what tweaks you can make to put together a more chic, figure-flattering look. Choose updated, modern versions of your old favorites that have tailoring, darts, and a better fit to flatter your figure.
4/ You ONLY buy things that are on sale.
While this isn’t such a mortal sin in and of itself, what can happen is that you may be tempted to compromise fit, style or how well something flatters you. Letting the price dictate what you buy, regardless of whether it works for you, is a recipe for disaster.
5/ You buy ALL your clothes at budget stores.
Now don’t get me wrong. There are many great items to be had from discount stores. But what happens when you buy your entire wardrobe ‘on the cheap’ is that you are buying a disposable wardrobe that has a very short shelf life and that will continually need replacing. This adds up to spending more money in the long run, but never really having anything to show for it.
Note: Cheaper isn’t always better. Treat your wardrobe as an investment and make wise decisions about your purchases.
Understanding your habits and how you shop will help you to get clear on how you’re part of the problem – or part of the solution. Only then can you take steps to begin building a wardrobe that supports your life, your dreams, and your future. It doesn’t have to be hard, but it does take some attention. How cool is that?
* This article is part of a series on how to Look Fabulous for Less. Want to learn more? Join us at StyleFinder Boutique for our monthly master class, Secrets of Style, where our topic will be Look Fabulous for Less.