Whenever the new year comes around, I get the urge to shop. Not spend money mindlessly, but focus on the things that I really enjoy wearing, things that are good quality, and things that flow within my lifestyle effortlessly.
Throughout 2016, I really nailed my personal style which is something I’ve been trying to do for quite some time. I can’t exactly tell you in words what it is – but I can sum it up as neutral and minimalistic. It’s clear as day that I’m all about grey, white, black, cream and navy – and my accent color of choice is dusty rose or a light sage green.
How that happened is due to a LOT of work (I even filled out little worksheets to get to the bottom of this “conundrum”) and so much self control. The reason I really wanted to focus on finding my personal style and what works for me mainly stemmed from spending money on things that I flat out just didn’t need, or things that I liked but didn’t love (and ended up wearing once or twice, if at all) I was wasting so much money and so much time buying things for the sake of buying them, even though I knew the color didn’t suit me or knowing the fabric would give out in months time – only to have to go through the hassle of returning it a few days later.
I’d say I’m about 90% there when it comes to shopping mindfully (I won’t try and pretend like I have it all together. I don’t! Total learning curve.) But I’ve gathered some tips along this journey which have helped tremendously with keeping myself in check.
5 Tips for Mindful Shopping
1. Make a list
When I go through my closet each month, I’ll take notice of anything I might need. It can be something as simple as a replacement of my favorite tees or a new pair of jeans, These are things I’ll make a note of in my Reminders app, so that when I’m ready to shop, I have a list to refer to which keeps me on track (think: grocery shopping)
Anything that you’re still interested in, flip the hanger so the edge is facing you. Whenever you wear it, flip the hanger in the opposite direction so you know it’s still a keeper. If by the end of the next quarter you still haven’t worn some of the items, consider donating or putting in storage.
2. Stick to a color palette
Now that I know what colors work for me and what I feel most confident in, this has made shopping a thousand times easier. I’m no longer tempted by the array of color options (no more getting one in every color), and while something might be a really beautiful design or catch my attention – if it’s in a color that I know doesn’t work for me, the temptation passes by pretty quickly. Having a color palette that I stick to has also made getting dressed that much easier. Just about everything in my closet matches up and can be turned into an outfit.
3. Stick to fabrics you love
This is the same as the color palette. Once you know what fabrics you enjoy and that feel good on your skin, you start to focus solely on scouting out those specific materials. The only thing I had to get used to was watching the price go up since my desire for nice fabrics rings true. But it’s a blessing, really. I’m not buying multiples of a cheaper product, and it most likely won’t need to be replaced for years. This also makes me take better care of my clothes and accessories when I know they’re more of an investment.
4. Shop quarterly
I actually got this idea from a friend, and so far I’ve loved it. Instead of shopping on a whim or just because you’re bored – give yourself something to look forward to and shop quarterly (or seasonally, depending on where you live) Once the quarter (or season) is coming to an end, re-evaluate your closet situation and make a pile for donations/to sell. From there, check out your list and add any items that you may be needing.
5. Shop smart, not fast
Keep your eye open for sales and definitely shop around to find the best deal. It may feel like a pain, but it’s worth it in the end to keep some money in your wallet. I for one prefer online shopping over malls and whatnot. I’m not a huge fan of crowds, I really don’t enjoy fitting rooms (what is UP with the lighting in there?! It’s always so terrible), and unless you’re Anthropologie, stores make me feel pretty anxious and overwhelmed. With online shopping, I can go at my own pace without feeling pressured by sales people to buy unnecessary items. (Try listening to a calming playlist while you shop online. This help so much, promise!)
I hope these tips help any of you who may struggle with purchasing things out of want, rather than out of need. It’s a learning process, so be sure to give yourself some grace when mistakes or made or if you go on a shopping bender. We’ve all been there! x