It’s that moment– when you buy something that you thought was the most perfect skirt/top/dress in the world, and when you wore it, it wasn’t the most flattering.
Maybe the colour looked different, the sleeves were uncomfortable– there’s a host of things that a mannequin can make look good. And because we all are different from the mannequins in different ways, there’s understandably a host of things that can make an item of clothing fail your expectations.
I’ve been there more often than not. And I think it’s time we made a conscious effort to not buy things that we’ll end up never wearing. It happens more often with impulse buys– I used to buy on-trend pieces for the sake of, until I realised what a large part of my wardrobe started to be pieces I couldn’t/wouldn’t wear. Not only are you wasting space, you are also more likely to say “I have nothing to wear!”, while facing a stuffed wardrobe. Not the best situation.
So here are my five rules to follow when you want to buy something, which will ensure that you never regret another purchase.
1. Know what you want
The internet gave us the gift of online shopping, and catalogues. Almost all brands have an online outlet, or are sold through other retailers. So figure out what you want before you go shopping, by scouring online shopping websites, and looking through catalogues— catalogues have styled the outfit, which will give you an idea of how it fits, and inspiration for how to wear it. Not to mention, if you look at catalogues of high-end brands, you can try to search for affordable alternatives to stuff you really like.
Knowing what you want to buy saves you a lot of time, and effort. I know shopping can be relaxing, but it can also be annoying when you feel like buying something but don’t know what you want to buy. Save yourself the trouble, and do your research
2. Try it on
Photo from Pinterest
This is the most important rule there is. Even if you have been a dedicated customer of a brand, there is absolutely no guarantee that every item of clothing will fit the way you want it to, even if it is your size. Maybe you would have to size up or down. Clothing comes in so many different styles these days— asymmetrical, cropped, a-line— which makes the construction of each garment different. So there’s a slim chance of everything fitting the way you want.
Case in point, I wanted a white eyelet top. I saw one at H&M. Picked up my size, and was about to bill it, when I decided to try it on. Surprise, the arm holes were digging into my body, and it was a nightmare to try on.
Not only can you run into sizing problems, there may also be problems of fit, like I have mentioned previously. The sleeves may be longer than you thought, the waistline might not hit your waist, the neckline could be too deep… don’t get me started. You can never guess the fit without trying it on.
Basically, try it on so that you don’t waste money on something you’ll never wear. You have to love it 100%.
ALSO, IT HAS TO FIT! I cannot emphasise enough on the stupidity of buying something that you have to lose weight to fit into. Buy it if it fits at this moment, not as an inspirational purchase. We both know that it doesn’t work that way. Never, ever do this. Even if you don’t follow anything else I’ve said, please follow this rule.
3. Take pictures & get feedback
Snapchat was made for this, as was WhatsApp & Instagram direct. Everyone has a camera phone. Put yours to good use by taking a picture of what you’re wearing, and send it to your sibling, best friend, cousin, whoever you trust has great taste in clothes, and will be honest with you about how it looks. Bonus, you can also ask them to help you choose between two pieces you like! May the 3G be with you.
4. See if you can wear it three different ways with clothing you already own
Picture from puttingmetogether.com, via Pinterest
This rule has withstood the test of time, and applies particularly to impulse buys. When you see something you like in a store, see if you can wear it in three different ways with clothing you already own. For example, if you are going to buy a printed skirt, you should ideally have three different top (+ jacket) combinations in your head, so that you don’t have to make another shopping trip to buy something that goes with it.
It might be difficult to remember all of what you own, but as you follow this rule more often, it will start to click in your head.
5. Think about it
First GIF on the blog, hehe
You are spending money on this addition to your wardrobe. Maybe it’s an expensive addition. A little introspection never hurts. Ask yourself these questions:
— Do you love it ONLY because it’s on sale? Maybe it’s because it’s a two-for-one deal, or it’s a Zara top, and there’s some brand appeal? You’re better off not buying it, because you are buying for the sake of, and not because you love it.
— Do you know where you’ll wear it? If you don’t frequent parties, that sequin body-con dress will not see the light of day. Only pieces that you can wear on a relatively regular basis deserve a place in your closet.
And do you love it with all your heart? Save your money for something else if not.
Hope you guys found this post helpful! Here’s to taking shopping into our control. Have a great week!