Wednesday, August 9, 2017

My shopping rules/how I minimize my wardrobe

Since I live in NYC in a teeny apartment with another person, I have to take space into consideration. As a style blogger, I already know I'm not going to take the extreme route with a minimalist capsule wardrobe of only about 30 pieces. It seems like such a seductive idea--30 articles of clothing that always look great on you and match, so you no longer have to focus on what to wear. I was this close to doing it, but decided to be real with myself--I like wearing different styles way too much. Minimalism is a bit too extreme for me, though if you want to go down that path, The Walrus Room wrote a good primer on that topic.

But experimenting with styles could make your wardrobe grow rapidly, so these are the rules I've set up for myself before I decide whether or not I should get something.

1. No words. I won't buy a shirt with words on it. I work in a corporate setting, and you can't wear clothing with words on it in a corporate setting. Also, the font used could make the shirt out-of-date quickly. Also, you may think a phrase is cool now, but in a few years you may not or be indifferent to it. So any shirt with words will be in the heap of "weekend clothing," which I'm trying to eliminate. This is the easiest rule to follow.
No more band t-shirts for me


2. No "special occasion" clothing. This means no "clubbing" outfits, no "fancy" clothing, no "costume/photoshoot" clothing, no "weekend (see above)" clothing. Everything I buy must be wearable in any situation. This means something that I wear to the office must be able to be worn to a hipster gallery event or a wedding or a night out or dinner with my mother. I just do not have the space for 20+ pieces that are worn a few times a year. This was the biggest space saver, and also saves a lot of cash. I use makeup/accessories to go from "day" to "night"
Lol can't wear spiked bras to the office
corsets are out too. 
3. No fad pieces that will seem too out-of-date in a few weeks. Remember the pastel goth fad? All the crosses on everything? Galaxy print? Now, before I get something that's a fad, I make sure that I'm ok with looking out-of-date and square in a few months, that it's something I'll love even when it is uncool. So I'm passing on all the overly contrasty black-and-white "occult symbols" stuff that's everywhere. I think my Blackmilk inverted cross leggings are enough, lol. I haven't worn them too much since the fad died, btw.

4. Will this article of clothing work in other outfits I own? Dresses don't have this problem, which is why I like buying dresses. After the collar I wrote about in this post, I don't get something unless I can think of several outfits with the item.
the collar in question...still haven't made it work btw
5. What is the cost and quality? Is this a fad pair of Forever 21 that's very cheap and will fall apart once the fad is over? Ok to buy, if I feel like indulging in the fad and want to piss on the environment. Is this a high quality timeless piece that will be worn countless times? Ok to spend the extra money. I do NOT buy expensive, high quality "fad items" like a $300 leather harness, nor do I spend pennies on items that are supposed to be worn daily. What's the point of spending $10 on a pair of earrings that will turn green, or a pair of shoes that will destroy your feet or fall apart. I did a whole post on cost analysis. The point is on fewer items, so usually that will mean few high-quality items, or cheap temporary items (not sustainable or green).

A diy choker I made to indulge in the fad, which I can unravel when the fad's over and make something else with--maybe the next fad!
DIY harness...don't need to spend $300 for this look, or have it hanging in your closet for all eternity

6. Can I DIY It? Better yet, can I upcycle something I already own? That will save a purchase and delete an item. See above two examples, plus shorts. I always DIY shorts

7. If I buy something, I get rid of something.  This forces me to be selective, as I know I have to say good-bye to something. I either sell things to my local second-hand store or participate in H+M's recycling program. H+M's program is especially good for items that are so damaged that they won't be accepted by a second-hand store. (They recycle the fibers.) Plus you get a 15% off coupon!

Do you have any shopping rules? I'd love to hear them!

12 comments:

  1. Your rules are nearly identical to my own. Since DIYing is at the top of my own list, and its what I do 9/10, it comes with its own set of rules I try and follow to prevent being overwhelmed with fabric and patterns... and by extension, tons of handmade clothes.

    One thing I would add to the list is black. Keep it black, or at the most have minor color accents but nothing that overwhelms the black itself. I don't do color, and there are times I try to convince myself that I need more color in my life... I wear the item once maybe twice and never see it again. It has to be black or its doomed to the storage bin, and inevitably the chopping block.

    On that note, stop letting people influence purchases... I had at one point 4 dresses that I just couldn't even wear to the event they were purchased for, all because my in-laws didn't want me to wear all black.

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    1. Great advice! Different colors will take you down this buying spiral... I've made that mistake many times. During my last purge I got rid of a blue skirt I never even wore. I'd held onto it for too long, feeling guilty and finally just donated it. I have nothing that will match... What was I thinking.

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  2. I can see why you have this mindset but I cant help but feel a little sad too. I want your spiky bra! These are very nice photos, by the way

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    1. Haha what's sad is the fact I literally have no closets in my apartment... If I didn't have to be selective, I wouldn't. My apartment is from the turn of the century, when people had like 5 outfits.

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  3. Good rules! My hard-to-fit body helps me minimize shopping, whether I like it or not. ;) Beyond that, my rules are mainly about fabric and color. I stick to cotton or cotton blends because I get overheated in synthetics. And I rarely stray from black, grey and purple.

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    1. Haha...I'm super short so I can't buy maxi dresses/shirts or non-skinny pants. There are plusses to having non-industry-standard body types! I too try to stick to Cotton. Much more comfortable...I made a few mistakes when I bought something because I liked the design but the fabric wasn't comfortable

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  4. These tips are so good. It makes me remember how bad my shopping habits have been at the moment. Also thanks for the link!

    www.thewalrusroomblog.com

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    1. Haha well the sales going on now make things difficult

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  5. Oh god, I could use some shopping rules and self-discipline over here. I do agree with you about the cost and quality thing. I am starting to pay more attention to the quality thing.....I would like to move towards a smaller wardrobe that consists of nicely made pieces with longevity and versatility.

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