You are walking around in your favorite clothing store – maybe it is Nordstrom, maybe a boutique, maybe it is the Gap. You see an article of clothing you like. You try it on and you still like it. Time to ask yourself some questions before leaving the store with said item. Why? To limit the amount of clothing you purchase each year. Why? To save money, to help the environment (by limiting the amount of crap being made), to keep your closet from getting overcrowded and lastly to avoid wearing mediocre things that dull your fabulous self.
1) Can you afford it?
This question can get a little tricky. If you have any kind of revolving credit card debt the answer is no, you can’t.
2) Is the fit perfect?
If the answer is no then you need to ask yourself if it could be altered easily? If you are not sure: buy it and take it to a trusted tailor and ask them if what you want done could be done easily. If they say no then return it.
3) Does it flatter your figure?
Be sure to look at it from as many angles as you can before deciding this.
4) Will this item date quickly?
If it won’t survive more than a year skip it – unless you are getting it specifically to experiment with a trendy trend.
5) Do you already have the shoes, jacket, and accessories that will compliment it?
You want to ask yourself this to avoid buying even more stuff.
6) How many different occasions can you wear it?
You want your clothing working as hard as Oprah. You don’t want to buy a dress that can be worn to work on Fridays and no where else. You want a dress that can work for the office, dates and even parties. Ideally each item of your clothing should be able to move into the different circles of your life or at the very least can be paired with multiple items of one category.
7) How often will you wear this?
I am a huge believer in price per wear. Spending $700 on a jacket you wear constantly is an awesome deal whereas paying $30 for a jacket you wore once is like being robbed. Try to picture this item in your life. Will this be a go-to clothing item for you? If you already have something similar that you wear and love, no need to get another one (unless the one you already have is wearing out or being worn “too often”)
8) Is this a quality garment?
Does it look or feel cheap? I don’t care if you are paying $5 or $500 for something, take a look at the seams and the lining. Tug at the seams and make sure they stay put. Make sure the fabric feels good on your skin and doesn’t scream cheapy. Sometimes items don’t look cheap, but has some telltale signs like loose buttons or seams. If that’s the case go ahead and get them reinforced and/or buy two, but if there are real construction issues do NOT buy it.
9) Do you love it/need it?
When you look at it do you get excited. Is this something you have been looking for or wanting for awhile. Is this going to complete a couple different outfits you have at home. Do you have an event coming up with nothing to wear and this is the item that will work? Will this make your life better?
If you answer yes to all of these questions – then my god go ahead and buy the sucker. But if you have said no to any of these questions then move on. There are items out there that will be a yes to all nine questions.