Sometimes I feel like I’m constantly editing my wardrobe. Which is a good thing, I guess, because you definitely should keep tabs on what is in your closet, eliminating things as they lose value in your life to avoid a cluttered space, and filling your wardrobe with things that you love and feel confident in. But I have to wonder, in all of my closet-editing, how I got to the point where I owned so many pieces of clothing I didn’t genuinely love to begin with.
A lot can happen under the fluorescent lighting of a shopping mall, and when it comes down to it, you might be making the very shopping mistakes I’ve made in the past that leave you with a closet full of junk, and a perpetual “nothing to wear” feeling.
As I’ve gone though and thought more about the things I could do to make my shopping experience (and subsequently, the process of dressing myself each day) easier and more natural, I identified six shopping habits I’ve had in the past that led to my feeling unsatisfied with my own collection of clothes.
Here are six things you might be doing while shopping that are making you hate your wardrobe — and how you can stop doing them and curate a collection of clothing that you seriously love wearing.
1. You’re thinking “quantity” over “quality.”
If you walk into a store with a certain budget in mind and the goal to get as many articles of clothing as possible while keeping within that budget, you’re doing it wrong. The goal shouldn’t be to have a stack of new tee shirts — it should be to have the amount you’ll need of tee shirts that you’ll actually wear. If you’re gonna spend $100 at the mall, you’re better off getting 2-3 good-quality sweaters than ten cheap, disposable ones.
2. You’re thinking “quality” over everything else.
Conversely, justifying purchases that are not affordable for you, and don’t fit comfortably in your budget on the basis that quality is most important is not a good thing. If you can’t afford to spend the amount of money it costs to get a high-quality sweater, but you need a sweater, get the one that is in-budget for you. A lot of advice you’ll see on the internet (see above) will tell you quality is the most important thing. And it is important, but it is not always accessible — and let us not forget, people without a lot of money are cold too, and also need sweaters.
3. You’re only shopping the sale.
Sale sections are awesome, and I always feel the gravitational pull towards the red-sticker section the second I step into a store. But sometimes, the sale items are on sale for a reason — they’re often off-season (meaning you won’t find what you’re looking for/what you really need in there) and sometimes shoved into sale because they weren’t big sellers for whatever reason — maybe the material is itchy, or the fit is universally unflattering.
This is not to say that you can’t find awesome stuff in the sale section sometimes — but sometimes, it’ll be a bust, and you’ll end up buying three clearance tank-tops even though winter is coming and you initially went shopping to stock up on warmer clothes.
4. You’re not using coupons/discount codes.
A good thing to do instead of relying only on the sale section in a store is to search for coupons and discount codes for the stores you like to shop — more often than not, you’ll find some sort of deal or code that will help you save on full-priced, in-season clothing. Also, most stores have different deals going on than their online counterparts — Banana Republic, for example, often has a 40% off code online, but doesn’t advertise it in-store. However, if you ask an employee, they’ll often honor the online codes and give you the discount. (Yasss!)
You’ll love your favorite clothing items so much more if you know you got an amazing deal on them.
5. You’re saying “good enough” in order to save a few bucks.
Picture this: you need a new pair of boots, and the ones you really love and want to buy are $150. Unwilling to pull the trigger, you buy a less-expensive, $75 pair. A few weeks later, you’re still lusting after the $150 pair you loved, and wondering why you wasted $75 on a pair that was just okay when you could have just paid the slightly-higher price and gotten the pair that didn’t leave you dying for a new pair a week later.
If it is in your budget to buy the thing you want and you can’t find a less-expensive option that you love as much as the pricey one you’re dying to buy, just spend the little extra bit. It is good to be careful about how you’re spending your money, but denying yourself the thing you love in favor of a slightly less-expensive version that makes you go “eh” when you see it isn’t worth it. Chances are, if you’re still thinking about those boots in a few weeks, you’re going to buy them too, and end up regretting wasting your money on the cheaper pair in the first place.
6. You’re picking up what you like impulsively, but not what you need to fill wardrobe gaps.
I love knitwear and tee shirts, so when I walk into a store, my eyes dart around the room and stop only when they’ve found the knitwear and tee shirts I desire. However, when I’m on a shopping mission, I sometimes totally forget about what I’m at the store for, and ignore it in favor of buying new versions of the same-old shit I already have. News flash, Mary: you don’t need more sweaters, but you do need a coat. So stop leaving the store with a new sweater and forgetting about the coat entirely.
Image via Unsplash