As a Certified Personal Stylist my clients hire me to determine whether the clothes that are in their closets actually work for them. Oftentimes we end up with several trash bags filled with clothes that are barely worn. Worse, some are new with the tags still on! 95% of the time those items were purchased only because they were on sale and they were as I often hear, “too good to pass up”.
We all have fallen victims to the “one-day sale”, or buy it “before is gone” marketing techniques. Yes, even I have done that many times. Unfortunately, while buying one item may seem completely innocent, most of us don’t stop at just one. We keep on buying because we may regret it later on or because someone else may take it. As a result, we end up with closets full of clothes that we don’t often need or even worse; they do not fit our own personal style or our bodies and we just hope that one day they will work out. Newsflash; they hardly ever do!
If you can relate to this, here are 5 things you can do to help you shift your mindset, from “It’s on sale so I might as well get it” to "I am buying it because it works for me and it fits my Personal Style".
1. TRY IT ON
I cannot emphasize of the importance of doing this! Many times we buy clothes without trying them because we think we know and can rely on the designer’s sizing. However, sizing varies by retailers, seasons, fabrics, etc. and often times two sizes are not exactly the same. If an item is online, as part of final sale, unless you have tried it, I recommend that you do not buy it.
2. DOES IT FIT?
Ok you tried it on, now let’s make sure it actually fits your body shape and your size. If something is too tight and/or too lose, or simply feels odd in your body, dismiss it immediately.
3. IS IT YOUR STYLE?
So you have tried it and it fits, now let’s determine if it fits your style. Ask yourself, does this item compliment your body type and personality? And would you buy it if wasn’t on sale? If your answered no to any of these questions, that’s a pretty good sign you are only buying it because is on sale, therefore you are not likely to wear it. Put it back on the sale pile/rack immediately!
4. DOES IT GO WITH OTHER ITEMS IN YOUR CLOSET?
You tried it, it fits you and is your style. Now what? Think about items in your wardrobe that can be complimentary to this item. Do you have them or do you have to buy additional items to make it work? If you have to buy other items, think about whether you are able to invest in those pieces and most importantly, think about your budget for those other pieces as well as the space in your closet before you buy it.
5. DO YOU LOVE IT?
You tried it. It fits your body and it is your style. You also determined that you have enough pieces in your wardrobe to make it work and/or you are willing to invest in additional items. Should you just buy it? Well, not just yet. Ask yourself, do I love it? Am I super excited to wear it? Will I wear it often? If the answer to these questions is big resounding YES! then go ahead and treat yourself. However, if you the only feeling you have is “I need to take it before someone else does” or “I can make it work somehow” that’s a sign that you are not really into the item for what it is, and you may be buying it only to prevent someone else from taking it. And that isn’t love. (I am no relationship expert but I think it works like that in that aspect as well). The item is likely to take room in your closet and end up in a trash/donation bag in a few years so I suggest that you walk away from it.
You may be wondering why I did not include needing an item on this list. The answer is simple. Often times when we NEED an item is because we have the pressure to have the item for a special occasion. Perhaps we need a suit for an interview and/or we may need a dress for a weeding or an upcoming especial event. In those instances, we tend to avoid the sale section and we go for the full priced items because most of us believe that we are likely to find what we need there. Well there is a science to buying those items and that will be the subject of a future blog post.
Alright, so you now have 5 simple steps to follow and determine whether you should buy an item that is on sale. If you are struggling with a closet full of clothes as a result of this very common condition, follow the same rules above item by item and purge your closet. And if you feel like this a daunting task -it totally is - then please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I will be happy to help. I offer virtual wardrobe edits so I can help you regardless of geographical location.
Stay happy, healthy & fabulous!