10 February 2011

How Culling My Closet Made Me a Better Shopper

The act of intentionally living with less forces me to consider purchases more carefully. In the past, I would buy something because it was a good deal ~ but cheap jeans are a waste of money if they don't fit well. I won't wear them, and I'll have buyer's remorse every time I see them. I was on a never-ending cycle: purchase cheap item > bring it home > hate it > toss cheap it in a storage bin > purchase new item, cheaper this time out of guilt for the first one > bring it home > hate it... and on and on. Sound familiar? How do you change it?

Know Your Style
Reducing the amount of stuff in my closet to what I actually wear helped me discover my true style - if you can even call it that. I always gravitate to comfortable jeans, crew neck T shirts, and flat shoes. Now when I shop, if something doesn't fit into the realm of "comfortable, modest, & layered" I don't even need to try it on.

Be Picky 
Since I don't shop often, when I do go to the mall, I feel better about being picky and buying what I absolutely love. Before you say that finances are tight and you don't want to spend a lot, take a look at your closet. Add up the cost of all the clothing you never wear or rarely wear. Would that have been enough to justify just one perfect pair of jeans?

Be Purposeful
I don't shop aimlessly looking for something to love. I shop with a specific purpose such as replacing my favorite corduroys because the corduroy is worn off. When I find a replacement, I buy THE one I want. If something extra catches my eye and I really want it, I usually wait a few days. If I'm still thinking about it a week later, I might justify that it was meant to be mine. 

Stick to a Color Pallet
Find a color pallet that match your skin tone and your lifestyle, then stick with it. When you shop, don't even look at that beautiful sunshine yellow scarf if you know it'll make you look like you just ate your first raw oyster. You may find you can actually create more outfits with less pieces if everything in your closet coordinates. Bonus: a simplified morning routine.

Shopping has become a part of our culture - it's a passtime in America. I'm not anti-shopping, but going to the mall just for something to do is like going to the grocery store when you're hungry. When you go, at least go with a plan. Buy what you love and nothing more. That's the bottom line for me. It's Plain & Simple As That.


  1. I am really loving your blog topics! :-)

  2. Thank you! I need encouragement. I always think I'm in left-field with my ideas about "stuff." I think it's my desire for organization paired with my inability to organize that makes me want to get rid of everything.
    The mountain of toys in my living room today is making my eye twitch.

  3. As a mom with 3 kids, 2 of them c-sections, I have come to the realization that I just want pants that don't fall down or give me the muffin-top look and shirts that are long enough so that when I stretch up (I am 5 feet tall so this happens a lot) I don't flash my stretch marks. It does mean my style is changing a little. I am now buying chinos (cut higher) to replace the jeans that don't fit and tunic tops to replace the t-shirts. I also found a tank top last year that actually covered my wide bra straps. I have bought a couple of skirts because skirts are usually cut higher too and don't fall down. I think I am going for a more artsy look and trying to not look like my mom (who dresses well for 61 but I am 35). It is a slow process though as I am just buying to replace for the most part.

  4. I love the artsy look, but I never think I'm the right shape for it! Tunics are high on my list of favorites though. I really like the ones in the Sundance Catalog. I just wish I could try them on before purchasing. I'm terrible about returning stuff I don't like.

  5. And another great post by Stacy!

    I love the "be picky" part. It's spot-on.

  6. I'm all about the color pallet. Mine is pink, grey, black, cream. All layers. All work with my style. I could shove the whole lot in one suitcase and take off... Which I am doing. Taking off for Paris soon. Ooh la la.

    Great blog. Loving it.

  7. Thanks Janice! I haven't blogged in a while... just dropped in to check for comments. You may have inspired me to keep blogging :)