Clothes shopping is HARD.
I mean, buying things isn’t hard – not for me, at least. I can almost always find something that I like.
However, I’ve learned over the years that it’s hard to know if clothes are going to work out in my wardrobe.
Have you ever tried something on that looked good, only to wear it and have something about it just not work out well?
Example: about ten years ago, I really wanted a plain black coat. My most recent one (which was also expensive…grr!) had fallen apart, and I needed something that would go with everything but also keep me warm.
I found a great one at an antique store – a great length, warm, and went with everything.
However, after wearing it a couple of times, I realized that the wool collar bugged the hell out of me. It was SO itchy and irritated my neck.
What had turned out to be the perfect coat was not perfect for ME at all.
I feel like this happens to people a lot. We feel like something will work great, but after test driving it out of the store, it turns out to not be a good choice at all.
Because I am a total clothes-horse but I hate having things around that I don’t use, here are some clothes-buying tips that I live by.
It has to make you feel amazing. I LOVE wearing clothes that make me feel beautiful. It’s likely that if you have clothes that make you feel blah, they will turn into clutter.
Even basic staple clothes need to make you feel amazing. They should have the right cut, be the right length, and feel good against your skin. If not, they will sit in your closet and you will avoid them, wasting your precious space and money.
It has to be a color you will wear. Brown is a color that lots of people wear. Brown looks great on a lot of people. I have bought brown things over the years – brown boots, brown mary jane shoes, a brown hooded sweatshirt and a brown dress.
Did I ever stick with wearing any of these brown clothes? No.
Brown is not my color. I don’t like it. It doesn’t look good on me. And that’s okay! I am a black and white kinda girl. Shoe and belt wise, I will always pick black over brown. So why keep buying brown things if they never work?
Stick with colors that you love and look good in. It’s nice to experiment once in a while, of course, but if a color experiment falls flat, don’t be afraid to abandon that color.
It has to be comfortable. Like the wool collar in the coat example above, you gotta feel comfortable in what you’re wearing. Did you buy a dress that feels too short? If you’re not comfortable in it, it’s likely that you will pass over it each day. Anything you have that isn’t comfortable or makes you feel weird shouldn’t be in your shopping cart (or your closet.)
Explore your personal style. I absolutely love having a couple of things that I know I love and can look for in a store: black, white and polka dots with pops of bright colors. Of course, I wear other things, but acknowledging the things that I love gives me a little bit of structure inside a world that is drowning in options.
Hire a professional. If you’re stumped, there are wonderful personal stylists out there who can help you out. In the Seattle area, I am a fan of Style by Wendy and Poplin Style Direction. Check them out!
Fashion and clothes are a big part of my life. Even if they aren’t for you, you still have to get dressed every morning, so allow yourself to feel beautiful and comfortable – it makes a big difference!