I still purchase on impulse on occasion. However, I am improving. As the saying goes, I am a work in progress. After years of being a shopper for others (and myself), I know better than to jump into a purchase without careful consideration. Alas, following my own advice isn’t always easy. (wink)
In April 2021, I made a better-quality pledge on my podcast. After reading books like Fashionopolis and Project 333, I was done with exploitive purchasing: buying pieces at the expense of others. Yet, in 2021, I still purchased roughly the same number of pieces for my wardrobe as I always had. While I was focused on shopping ethical brands, I still consumed at the same rate.
The Two Facets of Sustainability
For consumers, there are two sides of the sustainability coin. On the one hand, it is important to support sustainable brands, and on the other hand, it is equally important to consume less. In a nutshell: buy less, buy better.
My Top Tips to Slow the Buying Process
In 2022, I adopted new shopping practices to help me slow my buying process. For anyone who likes to buy, buy, buy, here are my top tips for slowing the buying process.
- Get comfortable looking and not trying on. If you shop frequently, get in the habit of “just looking.” Observe what’s coming in; notice colors, cuts, and textures. Treat the store and shopping like a sightseeing experience. Take it in. If you want to remember a piece, take a photo of it. But for now, do not try anything on.
- Try on and leave with nothing. Once you’ve done #1, move to #2. I get excited when I’m in a dressing room trying on new things. This can lead to an impulse purchase. I discovered while implementing this step, sometimes all I need to do is try on and leave with nothing to be happy. I scratched a little itch and put no dent in my bank account. After trying on, make a note of pieces you like, but DON’T buy them… YET. Most of the time, once I was home, I decided I didn’t love the piece as much as I thought, or it wasn’t something I really wanted or needed. I saved a lot of money last year getting better at #2.
- Enjoy the abundance in your closet. Go in your closet and see what you have. Really look at your things and consider them. Mix pieces in new ways. Take something you have not worn in a while and make an outfit with it. Need help with that? Message me! Most importantly, edit your wardrobe. See my blog post here for editing tips. When your wardrobe is edited to your favorite things, you realize there’s very little you need or want. Be more excited about what you own than what you don’t.
- Buy after much thought. If you followed all the three steps above, enough time has passed for you to know whether it’s a piece that deserves to come into your wardrobe. Ask yourself why. Why do I want this? Will I wear it and enjoy it? Be very selective about what comes in and move things out at the same pace. I call this the “one in, one out” rule. It keeps your wardrobe fresh and dynamic.
How Much Do We Need to Buy?
Once you’ve built your wardrobe, to keep it fresh and dynamic, all you need are 3-5 refresher pieces each season. Multiply that by four seasons, and it comes to 12 – 20 new pieces in your closet each year. I’m still working towards this.
How Much Does Bethany Buy?
I buy roughly 1-4 pieces for my wardrobe each month. In January, I purchased two things: these pink trousers and these sparkle loafers. In February, I purchased this sleeveless top and these cozy joggers just in time for our week-long ice-in. I’m head over heels for this Rails cropped jacket I tried on two weeks ago. I did not buy it. I do NOT need one more jacket. Someone stop me.
Brands I Plan to Support
I have my eye on Sezane and Quince for pieces to add to my wardrobe in 2023. Both are sustainable brands. Take a look at my Quince shopping catalog here. I’m wearing a Quince sweater above. I bought this top from Sezane last fall.
My Next Purchase?
I am loving this super soft shirt by Faherty (another sustainable brand), which might be my next purchase. It comes in a few color variations. I saw it in the store, but I did not TRY IT ON. I’m following my steps! I’ll venture to step 2 soon. Stay tuned…
My Steps in Action
I spotted these Madewell jeans in September at the store. However, I did NOT try them on. I told myself the last thing I need is another pair of jeans. I occasionally looked at them in the store and online. Once, I had them in my online shopping cart only to abandon the cart. Ever do that?
After Thanksgiving, I was in Madewell, and I saw the jeans in the back of the store. They were clearing it out. I decided this was my final chance to see if I liked them. They had my size, it fit well, and I liked them. At long last, I bought the jeans. Technically, I skipped from step 2 right to a purchase. However, they had been on my mind for 2+ months, so this purchase was not a rash one.
Funny, I have worn these jeans more times than I can count. Even though I own many pairs of jeans, I did not have any like this style. They’ve elevated my jean wardrobe and quickly become a favorite. Not too casual, not too dressy, just right.
What Are Your Wardrobe Goals?
Drop me a comment and let me know what your goals are for your wardrobe this year. Are you buying more or less? Are you buying differently than you used to? I’d love to know the evolutions happening in your closet.
I’m Here to Help
If you would like to make sense of your wardrobe and your style, email me. It would be my honor and pleasure to assist you. There’s no need to stress about what you will wear. I am at your service.