Make Your List and Check it Twice!


Christmas may be over, but now it’s time to give yourself a gift.  This time of year (now through late January) is amazing for scoring deals.  But wait!  If you’re like most women, you’re going to plunge right into the sales whole hog and snap up items you’d never even consider at full price.  This will result in an overstuffed closet and an empty wallet – but the worst part is that you aren’t doing anything to build your wardrobe!  In fact, you’re actually making it harder to get dressed every day.  Can you believe it?

Many of my clients come to me with a closet filled with clothes, yet no plan.  Year after year they add to their wardrobes without any real thought on how all the pieces will fit together.  They spend hundreds and thousands of dollars, but come away from their closet feeling desperate and depressed.  This, of course, leads to more shopping, which really only exacerbates the problem.  An once the mega clearance sales start, they’re tempted to snap up something for all the wrong reasons, out of desperation to have something new.  So how to you get off the wardrobe hamster wheel?  Start a list.  Here’s how:

1/ Take stock

No matter how busy you are, carve out some time whether it’s a few minutes each day for a week or a few hours one evening.  This is your uninterrupted time to get up close and personal with your wardrobe.  Go through each item and assess whether or not to keep it.  Does it fit?  Does it flatter?  Do you love it?  If the answer is no, then purge it from your closet immediately.

2/ The Replacements

If it turns out that a well-loved favorite is now pilled, has stains or no longer fits you, ditch it and begin to look for a replacement.  These will be some of the first items to put on your list, and chances are some of the most worn.  Buy the best you can afford because these will be some of your go-to staples.  If you feel inclined, buy two.

3/ The Staples

What core items are you missing?  If you don’t have a favorite pair of jeans, are in need of some cardigans to layer, or a few separates to stretch your work wardrobe would make a difference for you, put these on your list.  You want to choose items that go with at least 3 items you already own.

4/ The Spice

Now, ask yourself what you really want to wear.  This could be anything from the latest boost to a beautiful bracelet or a pretty top.  Think of items that bring your look current and you can’t wait to wear.  This is the fun stuff, and if it’s trendy, you’ll most definitely catch a great bargain over the holidays.

5/ What’s Now, What’s Next

As you make your list, ask yourself what items will work for you now, and what will work for you in the spring.  A little planning and strategizing now will make a big difference for you in the coming months, and will also help you to view your wardrobe as a unified whole that will take you in and out of seasons for the next few years.

So make your own shopping list, and check it twice.  Go back to it as often as needed, and add to it what you desire.  This ‘work in progress’ is something that you can keep going continually so that you always know what you need, and to get a better handle on how to take advantage of some of the rock-bottom crazy sales happening now. After all, a bargain is not a bargain unless it’s something you’d pay full price for.  And when you have your eye on the prize, even though it’s worth it to pay full price, it’s so much sweeter when you get a bargain!

Need help?  If you’re not sure what your style is, or where to even start, we’d love to help you.  Join us for our next Secrets of Style MASTERCLASS: Look Fabulous for Less, or let our  StyleFinder Stylista’s help you get to the essence of your style and dress in a way that makes you feel more like you, whether you’re a corporate executive or a stay at home mom.  Email us at admin@ShopStyleFinder.com or give us a call at 919-454-3068.  


  1. Kenya

    What a great idea! I have never been a good shopper. Ill go spend all this money and then still feel like I have nothing to wear. Only to ended up ditching stuff i bought after wearing it once or even at all.

    1. Mary Michele

      Hope these tips will help you, Kenya!

  2. Laura

    I love these tips about being thoughtful about our clothes purchasing. I need to take inventory of my closet!

    1. Mary Michele

      Yes, Laura, taking inventory of your closet is KEY! That’s where it all starts. From there you can begin to craft your perfect wardrobe!

  3. Traci

    I love this! The rule you share about purchasing pieces that go with at least 3 things you already own is KEY – I learned it a couple years ago and it has totally changed the way I shop. Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Leah @ The Frugal South

    These are great tips! I totally inventoried my wardrobe last year and it was eye-opening!

  5. Beth Hutchens

    Mary Michele,

    What makeup line are you recommending now?

    1. Mary Michele

      Hi Beth, Happy New year! To be honest, there isn’t just one that I personally use or recommend. There are so many great ones! One of my faves though, is Afterglow Cosmetics (https://www.afterglowcosmetics.com/). It’s created by a local woman, but sold globally. It’s organic and very good for your skin. Take a peek! Hope all is well!

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