We are seeing the end of a mid season sales period with retailers shifting out their existing stock to make way for new merchandise from the upcoming season. Although it offers more appealing prices for shoppers it also encourages negative spending habits like over buying and feeling regretful.
I’ve put together 6 easy points for you to think about before and whilst shopping to make sure every piece you choose to invest in brings you the value you deserve.
1. Identify the gaps before you spend
Get to know what you already have, this could be by conducting a full blown wardrobe edit or a thoughtful moment to spot wardrobe gaps - is it a loungewear item or a new gym set or a special piece of jewellery? Identify the specific area or item you’d like to look out for. Once you’ve had the physical or mental edit then jot it down.
Add a new note in your phone, grab a pen and paper or make a mental note of the item or items and shop with purpose. This will save you time which is an added bonus if you aren’t one to enjoy browsing.
2. Online shoppers: always read the fabric descriptions
Online shopping is highly convenient, gives you the largest choice with stores and means you don’t have to plan a visit to the shops into your weekly or monthly routine. One of the few draw backs is that you are trusting the images you see on brand’s sites which can be slightly deceiving if they have been manipulated with light or photoshop.
Firstly I recommend to look through every view of the item the brand has shared - maybe there is writing on the back you hadn’t noticed and aren’t keen on. The second thing to do before purchasing is check the fabric description, I have been caught out a few times thinking the piece would look or feel a certain way and on arrival felt let down, having not gotten what I set out to and inconvenienced, arranging a return. Instead now I always check the fabric description to at-least have an idea. It could be; if something has lurex thread it will be shiny and knowing a knitted shirt isn’t going to have same the structure as a woven shirt.
3. Envisage yourself wearing it
You’ve spotted something that wasn’t on the list? Or the item is on the list but you want to be sure? So imagine yourself wearing the item - if it’s something casual then what items from your wardrobe will you mix and match it with? Is it a colour that will go with the rest of your wardrobe rather than make you feel the need to buy even more to match? If it’s more of a going out piece then will you feel comfortable in it? Will it make you feel incredible to wear? Ask yourself if you’d wear the piece again or could you easily recycle the piece - if it’s a silk dress or smart pants can you style them into a casual look afterwards?
If you can easily see yourself wearing the item in a years time or can resell or gift the item then it’s a good marker for the purchase. Don’t get something you don’t truly see yourself wearing.
4. Consider the investment to you personally
With so many options available it is easy to get caught up in the ease of spending. But what is your budget? Outline to yourself how much are you willing to spend overall to fill in the gaps you’ve identified. Once you know this give yourself a rough guide of how much you’re willing to spend on individual items. If you would normally spend $200 on a pair of jeans then consider why you’re now willing to spend $400 because they’re 60% off.
Is it a piece that is wearable and you’d be able to get a great cost per wear out of or is it something of amazing quality that you’ll wear less but it is timeless? Splurging on something which you won’t wear often is OK but understand why you are splurging - will it make you look your best or is it the best fabrication? For something you’ll wear only once, like a bridal party outfit, can you resell or recycle it easily?
Don’t just get something because it has a certain label or it’s on trend, especially if it’s a sale item because labels don’t equal style and trend led sale items are likely going to be ‘out’ by the next season. These items may well go on to sit at the back of your wardrobe for years to come, bringing you no personal value.
5. Consider the investment environmentally
Every item you’re searching for has had an environmental cost in the production stages and will continue to have impacts throughout it’s lifetime (with laundry, treatments and transport etc) and so it’s important to strike a balance between what you need and what are some sustainable shopping habits. If you are purchasing something high end consider items which are hand wash rather than dry clean as each clean will create a lower carbon footprint.
If you’re going to be wearing the item often, like a white shirt, try opting for pieces which are made from natural fibres like organic cotton or linen as opposed to polyester as they’ll be able to bio degrade and won’t become landfill at the end of the product’s life cycle.
6. Walk away and come back
In store? Go for a coffee. Shopping online? Add it to your basket and come back in an hour. It can seem counter intuitive not to snap something up especially from a sale but try not to get caught up in the ‘buy it now’ mentality and put it to the side, for now. Having a brief moment with the piece out of sight tells you if you’re brain is tricking itself into the purchase. If you are still thinking about it after you’ve come away then you’ll know it’s something you actually want.
If you'd like to purchase some new items and aren't sure where to start, I offer a Style Evolution service where I shop with and for you, helping to guide and teach. I also offer a Wardrobe Edit if you'd like to declutter and make use of what you already own.
What are your tips to curb overspending? Let me know in the comment section below
Thanks for reading!
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