How to shop successfully…
How to approach the new season…
My usual blogs will give you ideas of styles to buy but it is really worth thinking about what you actually need/want before you start the shopping process. When the new season’s collections hit down in store it can be all too tempting to rush in and get buying. However, that approach often leads to buying pieces that stand alone and don’t necessarily work with your existing wardrobe, never mind the duplication with similar items you already own.
So to combat this, here is my guide to successfully navigating your way through the seasonal temptation!
Start with what you already have
Before you even think about going to the shops or browsing online, look at what you have. Do an edit to remove the pieces that aren’t right either from a shape/proportion/colour/style/lifestyle point of view.
Think about the previous season – what did you love wearing then and can these be adapted to the new season ie layering up your dresses with knits and pairing with different outerwear or footwear.
Or do you have gaps – for example did you love wearing wide leg trousers but don’t have any that fit the bill for the winter or perhaps you don’t have the footwear to go with them…
It is important that you actually try on your pieces in this process and create outfits rather than thinking about the items individually.
Draw up a list
The work you do with your own wardrobe will help you to identify what you are missing and I cannot stress enough how important it is to always relate your wardrobe back to your life(style). It may sound boring but what is the point of having a wardrobe full of pieces that you don’t wear – that is not good for your wallet or your body!
This list will then form your shopping plan and you really need to try to stick to it…
When you do go to the shops ask yourself these questions
Does it fit/flatter – do not buy pieces that are too big/small/uncomfortable etc as you will simply not wear these. There are obviously some exceptions: alterations like shortening trousers because if they fit everywhere else then a quick trip to the tailor will be money well spent.
What do I have in my wardrobe that already does this job? Of course you can have more than one of items but the goal is to create variety in a wardrobe and not have it stocked full of one style of trouser, one style of top etc.
Do I love it? The chances are that if you buy something and want to wear it immediately then you have made a good purchase. If you don’t, then it is less likely to end up being worn. I have had on my shopping list for a couple of years a pair of tan tight fitting ankle boots with a heel I can walk in (specific I know but something I also know I would wear) because I haven’t found the right one that ticks all the boxes and possibly never will! But don’t settle for second best.
Then you need to always keep in mind the Rule of Three (and to be honest it should be more than 3 but use this as your starting point).
- Which 3 different occasions am I going to wear this for? Ie is this something for the weekend? is it for work etc?
- What items can I put with this that I ALREADY own to make 3 different outfits? This is key as this will really make you think about outfits rather than individual items. This will also mean what you buy should work hard which is sensible ‘fashion maths’ as your cost per wear will be low. I am a huge advocate for having clothes work hard for you and the only way they can do this is by being versatile – asking yourself this question forces you to really consider how versatile a piece really is.
- The final question is the cherry on the cake – can you wear this across 3 different seasons? By changing outerwear/footwear etc often a piece of clothing can work very well throughout the year. Secondly if you consider our climate, it is useful to think of ensuring that the majority of your wardrobe is trans-seasonal and can be worn year round. Obviously not everything will fall into this category but it is another helpful way to create a hard working, versatile wardrobe.
Hopefully this will help you to navigate the shops this season in a more mindful and ultimately successful way. x