Love What You Wear: Five Shopping Mistakes to Avoid

Love What You Wear: Five Shopping Mistakes to Avoid

I have always loved this dress in theory, but in reality I almost never wear it.

One of the most appealing ideas behind the capsule wardrobe is the ability to limit your wardrobe to only items that you love and feel awesome wearing. And it’s a great idea. You can probably think of at least one outfit or article of clothing in your closet that you can’t wait to wear every rotation. What if everything you wore felt like that? That's the revolutionary idea that drew a lot of us into the idea of trying a capsule wardrobe. Which begs the question, why are so many of us buying, wearing, and hanging on to clothes that we don’t actually like?

Once I stopped to think about it, I noticed several faulty shopping mindsets that led me to buy clothes that I never really loved in the first place. 

1. I was shopping with someone else in mind. Instead of knowing myself and feeling confident in my style, I had an image in my head of a girl whose style I admired, and the piece reminded me of something she might wear. Building a capsule wardrobe helps you to get a sense of your own personal style when you examine the clothes in your wardrobe that you really love and pay attention to common characteristics. You’ll also notice trends in the clothes that you think you’ll like, but never end up wearing. For example: I discovered that I liked the idea of and style associated with long, really flowy tops, but when I pulled the tops that I actually felt great in, they were all much more structured and shorter cut. I learned that I could find ways to incorporate other laid-back bohemian elements into my style while sticking to a more tailored fit that flatters my 5’ 1” frame better.

2. I chose a piece that reflected a trend of the season because I wanted to keep up with trends, but I didn’t know whether it flattered me or reflected my personal style. Similarly to the last example, trying out new trends is fine. And fun! But it is important to know your body type and personal style before you hit purchase. Flared jeans may be making a comeback, but due to my aforementioned petite stature, I’ll be sticking to skinnies for at least another season. I am, however, enjoying the high-waisted jean trend, because they actually make my legs look longer and do a great job at hiding my mommy tummy.

3. I was cramming for a specific event. As in, there was a party/wedding/interview the next day and I had nothing to wear to it. Most times that I have bought an outfit or article of clothing with only one specific event in mind, I don’t end up wearing it very much because I didn’t keep the bigger picture of my overall lifestyle in mind when I bought it.  I settled for something that felt appropriate for that event without considering whether or not it complimented my everyday style or coordinated anything else in my wardrobe. I was essentially buying a costume for a specific role.

4. It was on sale. It wasn’t that cute, but spending less than $10 on a single article of clothing feels, somehow, like I’m earning money rather than spending it. Sometimes it just takes analyzing your habits to realize how crazy they are.

5. It was on sale. And cute. So even though it wasn’t exactly the right size, I thought the positives would surely outweigh the negatives and I could make it work. But clothes that don’t fit right are never going to make it to feel-awesome-every-day capsule status.

What are shopping pitfalls that have lead you to buy clothes you don’t love?

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