It has taken me a couple of decades to formulate a loose set of rules through which I try to filter and regulate my clothes buying habits. I don’t mean to be prescriptive or to offer them as a universal panacea for closets stuffed with inappropriate, unsuitable or unworn clothes; they are just a personal set of guidelines that have helped me avoid mindless random purchases. I am sure you have your own clothes-buying rules; here are mine.
At the beginning of the year I make a list of gaps that need to be filled in my closet, if I am exceedingly honest when writing this list, it is minuscule.
I resist the temptation to buy on impulse. If I feel I am about to utter that oh so dangerous familiar phrase ‘I’ll take it’, I walk away, even if it is just to have a coffee, I find that space for reflection is often enough to dissuade me from purchasing. I can always go back in a few days to have another look if it’s something that has really caught my imagination.
I don’t buy a piece without being able to answer yes to the following questions: does the item suit me, suit my lifestyle and have I got at least three other items that I can pair it with?
The next question is; is it worth it? A very subjective judgment but I bear in mind that a blouse costing €15o could turn out to better value than a dress costing €100 depending on the amount of times it’s worn.
On the subject of an item’s worth, I never buy designer items at full prices, as I feel that they are mostly priced at a level that the market will bear and not at a level closer to their intrinsic worth. Most of my clothes are from the High Street with the odd high-end pieces that I acquired in the sales or at an outlet. .
I don’t buy items that don’t fit me. This may seem obvious but it has taken me more years than I care to remember to stop myself from buying, in the sales, things that would only fit if I lost a bit of weight, or that need to be taken in (taken up is ok) before I can wear them.
I buy mostly neutrals with the odd splash of colour, this may sound unremittingly boring but it least it means I have a selection of separates which I can mix and match.
That’s it but I have to confess that I occasionally bend the rules!