How I Avoid Buying Items I Won’t Wear

I joke that I sometimes have an internal struggle when it comes to shopping. Although there is some truth to that, I have learned how  to be more conscious of my purchases. Additionally, my style has evolved over the years. I now pay more attention to what works for me.

And that’s what we are Mixing Up in this post.

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Here was the usual scenario, I had a stressful day or I’m tired. So, I would stop by a Target, Old Navy, or TJ Maxx (these were stores on my way home). Then I would just mindlessly buy items. Clothes, bags, shoes, and maybe even scarves were tossed my shopping cart as I walked down the aisles. I was into these items but not excited about every single one.

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Once I got home, I hung the items and maybe tried them on. What would inevitably happen is that some items didn’t fit, stayed in the closet since I didn’t have something to match, or I just changed my mind. So, then I would have to head back to return them.  A pretty unproductive cycle.

I decided to revamp my style when I hit about seven years into my career as a school psychologist. I was in a new relationship as well so it was the perfect time. As with most things I do, I  began to research style.

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I ended picking up some books Lucky Guide to Mastering Your Style , The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own and How to Have Style.

These books made me reflect on what I was buying and what I was actually wearing.  I noticed a pattern:  I was wearing only certain pieces in my closet repeatedly.  I was drawn to pieces in certain styles and colors. I was wearing the pieces that were the most comfortable and that made me feel good.

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I was wearing only certain pieces in my closet repeatedly.

It took some trial and error (and one other book that I highly recommend: The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style And Building Your Dream Wardrobe ).  Eventually, I came up with some questions that I ask myself before I purchase an item.

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1. Does it fit me? I try on most items before I buy them. I know it can be annoying but it really does pay off. For instance, I have tried on items that I thought would be perfect to find that they weren’t the right fit. There also has been items that I wasn’t sure about that were perfect for me. I almost always take a picture of myself when I try on the item. That way I can see what it really looks like. Plus, if I’m not sure, I have a picture to look at to think about it.

That’s what I did with this dress (ignore my Adidas).

 

2. Can I wear it to work and the weekend? I follow that up with thinking of when I will do that. I really try to stick to practical items for most of my wardrobe.  If I can wear something in multiple ways for the weekend, that works too.

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3.  If I can’t wear it to work, will I wear it on the weekend a lot OR do I just feel dynamite in this piece? Okay, so not every item has to pass the work/weekend test. Some items make the cut because they make me feel fabulous! We need those items in our lives sometimes for a little pick me up! I just don’t buy too many of these items.

4. Will I love this item in a few months or is too trendy? Trends come and go so I don’t spend much money on them. I may try some trends as long as they work for me.

5. Do the colors match my current wardrobe. Color is just as important as fit in my book! I feel like color bring so much life to an outfit. I have colors in my palette that I enjoy wearing. You will see me in red, black and white prints, pops of  blue, white and yellow. You won’t see me in brown, wine, and purple.

I can answer all five questions for this Target Who What Wear dress. The fit is comfortable and flattering. I can wear it to work and the weekend. It’s not too trendy either.

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What I’m wearing:  Who What Wear Dress Size XXL Here,  Plus || What Wear Purse Similar  || Target A New Day Heels Similar 

 

… Because getting dressed (and living life) should feel good!

-Vivian

 

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