Friday, 31 January 2014

The Shopping Rules

Inspired by my new-found simplistic approach to life, I decided to share some of my sensible-shopping-related wisdom.
(Note: I had briefly discussed my favorite ways of "shopping" here, and the simplicity/quality over quantity philosophy here and here.)

sleeveless turtleneck top: second hand

Here's my simple golden rule: only buy items you really, really like, want, and need. Not one or two of the above, all three conditions should be met in order to prevent a misguided purchase.

Don't get the three confused:
- Like means the item is pleasing to your eyes.
- Want means the item is something you would wear.
- Need means the item is of use to you.

faux leather jacket (men's): Zara

You may like an item, but if it doesn't fit your personal style, you probably don't want (to wear) it. Similarly, you may want something (a black turtleneck, for example), but you don't really need it if you have several of those already (unless you wear them on a daily basis). However, if the item in question is significantly better than the one(s) you've got at home, you may want to consider getting it anyway (and this is the only exception to the like-want-need system I can think of at the moment). In case you end up buying the item despite owning one or more of its kind already, immediately arrange to sell, give away, swap, or rework the old item(s) that have now become redundant (and set the plan into motion right away).

Don't forget the same golden rule applies to sales and all kinds of discounts. The fact that a potential purchase wouldn't set you back that much doesn't grant it impunity from like-want-need.

split front skirt: ASOS

When buying, always ask yourself if the item meets your demands and fits your lifestyle. For example, if you really want a jacket that fastens all the way up to the chin so you can avoid wearing a scarf when it's really cold, don't settle for a jacket that's missing this key feature (unless it is so perfect in all the other aspects that you won't mind wearing a scarf when necessary).

Focus on quality, not quantity. It's always a better idea to bring home one wonderful item you definitely like, want, and need, rather than amassing several items you thought you liked, but probably didn't really want and most certainly didn't need.

straight-leg pants: Dorothy Perkins, second hand

Do a quick cost-benefit analysis in your head. While I generally prefer to shop cheap, I don't mind spending some more occasionally (if an item really speaks to me and meets my general criteria described above).

If you are still undecided, try to imagine at least three different combinations with the item in question and items from your existing wardrobe. If you find it difficult to come up with them, that might be a clue against purchasing this item (or might your wardrobe be out of control and needs to be reduced?).

Sometimes an item may seem perfect, but wearing it just doesn't feel that good and leaves you with a feeling that something's off. When this happens, I strongly suggest you go with your gut and leave the item in the shop.

funnel collar dress: Zara

P. S. The items shown here are my winter sale purchases. The most expensive item cost 35 euro and the least expensive item less than 2 euro.

P. P. S. Notice the wrinkles on the clothes? This bothered me at first, but then I realized it was totally natural and harmless (after all, these clothes are meant to be worn, not put in a museum). Learn to find beauty in imperfection instead of striving for impractical, unattainable ideals.


Sarah Iracheni said...

Gorgeous items! In love with the turtleneck. It's always a must!

Jelena Djordjevic said...

Damn, I don't really need anything, my closet is pretty full of everything. Can I focus on just two rules? ;)

cyeoms said...

i was once a terribly impulsive shopper, but during these recession times i've had lots of time to think about my purchases, this is a great guide for shopping for lasting pieces

Stefanie Grant-Cassel said...

I like your rules! In the past I used to just buy everything I liked, and now I've got a closet full of clothes that aren't really meeting my needs. Now I'm thinking things through much more thoroughly!

MeowNEKI NEKO said...

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