Photo credit: Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia February 1992.
As someone who shops a lot, I had to learn many tough lessons in my 20s about what to buy and when. (Trust me, my Poshmark account is proof that I haven’t always made the best shopping choices!)
Now that I’m in my late 30s and I know the value of a dollar—and of a wise purchase—I always keep these things in mind before adding something to my wardrobe. So whether you have shopping anxiety or are a pro, hopefully these tips will be helpful to you.
If you’re shopping on a budget, a higher price tag may seem too far out of your price range to even consider. But if you think about the actual cost per wear, it might make sense if it’s something you know you’ll wear all the time. Think of it this way: If you spend $1,000 on something you only wear once, it’s a waste. But if it’s a piece you’ll wear weekly or daily, like a nice watch or handbag, the price of each wear is actually a lot lower (for example, if you wear it once a week for a year, that’s only around $20 per wear).
Building off of my last point, don’t splurge on trends unless you know you’re going to love them. The good news is, a lot of affordable retailers like ASOS make amazing trend pieces that won’t break the bank, so you can take a new look for a spin without feeling guilty, but most importantly making a big investment. Plus, it’s always fashionable to mix high and low.
If you do decide to buy an investment piece, stick to neutrals, like black or tan, or your favorite color. You’ll get much more use out of something when it pairs with everything, effectively lowering the cost per wear.
Always buy things that fit now, not something you might fit into in the future. Having a physical goal for yourself is great, but you deserve to feel good in the present. Plus, you never know how your body may change in the future.
Always pay attention to comfort, because if you don’t feel comfortable in something—no matter how nice it is—you won’t end up wearing it. I’ve learned the hard way though many pairs of pretty (yet totally uncomfortable!) shoes.
Stocking up on affordable pieces can be tempting, but choosing quality over quantity always pays off. Saving up for a well-made pair of jeans that really fits you is something you’ll feel good about way longer than the initial shopper’s rush.