/ 23 June 2016 / Leave a comment
INTENTIONAL SHOPPING: 7 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF IN THE FITTING ROOM
HARD TO SAY NOWith all the trend marketing, social media influencers, flattering lights, skinny mirrors in fitting rooms and proneness to spur of the moment decisions, it can be hard to make a purchasing choice based on your needs and intentions, I would know. Do you fall victim to these traps? Sick of it yet? Want to know how to stop impulse purchases? Then do read on.
So, first things first. Hi, I'm Kat and I'm a self-confessed shopaholic. I'll make a pause here to let you all respond with the obligatory "Hi, Kat." Cool, let's move on.
The pre-capsule wardrobe me was the kind of person that grabs a weird, crazy coloured top and loooves it in the fitting room, and hey, the tag says it's on sale for a fiver! Then at home I'd see it goes with absolutely nothing in my wardrobe.
Or worse: I knew the crazy coloured top would go with nothing in my wardrobe, so, naturally, I had to get a matching skirt. Or pants. Or shoes - whatever.
I cringe just thinking about it. Been there too?
DEVELOPING A SHOPPING STRATEGYThe reason I wanted to change my shopping habits was, truthfully, the money. I would acquire a lot of stuff throughout the course of a year and it felt so wasteful - time, material and money-wise. I did buy most things on sale, but it adds up. I was also pulling a few unworn, tags-on items out of the wardrobe. Yup, that was me.
The first thing I tried and something we capsule wardrobers recommend was writing down a shopping list and sticking to it. It was a first step to add a bit of focus to my shopping, but I would find an easy way to cheat it - if I stumbled upon a shirt I liked I'd put it on the list as a need and so that meant I was allowed to buy it, no?
THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THINGBut actually, to put together a list of things that would benefit your wardrobe in the long term, you need to have a pretty solid idea of your style. Safe to say, this wasn't my case.
I needed a different shopping strategy.
I found the single, most important thing to avoid impulse purchases is to have a cooling off period (duh). I buy hardly anything straight away. If I like something in a shop/online, and if at all possible, I will bide my time. All you need is 24 hours. If I miss the item the next day, I go ahead with the process. If I've forgotten about it, well, that speaks for itself. And let me say that most of the time, I will have forgotten.
THE FITTING ROOM QUESTIONS
- Is the cut flattering? At this point, you have an idea of what does and doesn't work for you. E.g. I won't touch a peplum top, a fitted ribbed tank or low rise jeans. If you're not sure if the cut works, give it the benefit of the doubt. Who knows, it may become your next favourite thing.
- Is the material natural? Natural fibres breathe more, that's a fact. They feel nicer on the skin. I'm not completely opposed to mixed compositions, but there is nothing worse than 100% polyester in the heat.
- Is it in your budget? I won't lie, sometimes I check the price first. If it's not in your budget, don't waste your time. Same if you don't think it's worth what they're asking. What's the cost per wear? To read more on using CPW as a shopping guide, click here. Mine is set to 1$/€/£. Will I wear it at least as many times as it takes to reach that target? Is it well made? i.e. Will it last long enough to reach the CPW target?
- Does it fit well? OR: Do you have to pull and tug and stand just so to look good? Is it comfortable? Can you lift your arms/bend down/squat/move around without limitations?
- Does it need repairs/alterations? Is it a quick fix you can do yourself? If it's a 12 hour project requiring a seamstress or two, it's just not worth it.
- Can you make 3 outfits with this item and the clothes you already own? Very important question and the only sure way to determine if this piece will go with the rest of your closet. Also, does it compliment your style? Think colour palette, pattern, occasion (lifestyle). If it's business casual, it won't make sense to get a tasseled suede vest, etc.
- Does it make you feel like the bomb 💣 ? I mean, feeling like the bomb is key.
Usually, I try on the item only after satisfactory answers to the first three Qs. The reason why I find asking myself questions works is because they are build in the way that's hard to cheat. The cut is either flattering on you, or it isn't. The material is either natural, or it isn't. Either it's in your budget, it fits, it needs alterations or it doesn't. Q6 is the best way to have a successful mix & match wardrobe and even to evolve your style. And the last question? That one's pretty straight forward too .
I still make mistakes, but checking in with my intuition by way of a few questions has saved me money and a whole lotta shopper's remorse.
You can even use these questions if you're cleaning out and purging your closet (minus Q3). Take your maybe items for a 6 question ride and see which ones will stand!
If you're in the same boat as I was a couple years back, when you're just not sure what your style is, I'd recommend shopping as little as possible and not making any significant clothing investments unless you've had time to think about them and are absolutely sure. If I could give advice to me t - 2 years, I'd say, work with what you've got for a while, don't buy expensive new sh*t and hit those second hand shops if you must. I'm a wealth of knowledge, you guys. Also, make sure someone keeps you accountable. So you don't fall off the wagon, as they say.
Do you have any tried and trusted check in methods you use? How do you avoid impulse purchases? Would love to know!