If you have talked with me for more than 5 minutes lately, you have probably heard me plug my new favorite guide, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It is indeed life changing, and teaches you how to only surround your home with things that spark joy. When recently helping a client with professional organization in her fabulously renovated closet, we touched on some dos and don'ts that she can think about to help her discard clothes and other items that aren't serving her. It's helpful to use the same principles not only when deciding what to get rid of, but also to help you be more thoughtful about what to purchase. Here are some of my tips for you to take with you when you shop this weekend, inspired by the kon mari method of surrounding yourself only with things you love.
1. BE NAME BRAND BLIND: "But they are MANOLOs." But are they awesome? There are a lot of fabulous brands out there, and if you want to buy some Manolos for me I will pull out my tutu and channel SJP all day long. However, there are plenty of $50 shoes that are way more awesome than $600 ones. Don't get stuck on the label. Ask yourself if you would stop someone on the street to complement them on the item in question, even if you didn't know what the brand was. Would you still love it if it was from an affordable place like Nine West or Banana Republic? You can spend a lot of money on name brand items and still not be excited about your wardrobe. If you do want to treat yourself to a high-end label, opt for something you could wear on a regular basis and something that is a timeless style.
2. WWRW? Pick a style icon that reflects your own style and represents how you would like your wardrobe to look. My fashion idol is the lovely Reese Witherspoon. She usually looks southern, fun, & nautical during the day, but knows how to be lovely & feminine for the evening. She also has a look that fits in with my casual Charleston lifestyle. Even though I love when I see others with awesome high fashion outfits, I have to remember I'll probably be heading downtown to happy hour and not out to 5th Avenue or the latest LA hot spot anytime soon. So when I'm shopping, I just ask myself What Would Reese Wear? If she would likely pass it up, I probably don't need it!
3. ONLY BUY IT IF YOU WOULD STILL WANT IT AT FULL PRICE. I love a good bargain, but you really do need quality over quantity. The more you fill your closet with great deals that you only sort-of love, the more your other great stuff gets hidden away! Skipping those just because shopping trips and shopping with an intention (I need a dress for this wedding), will help you waste less money on sale items that you bought just to have something new. Then you'll have more to spend on items you really love. A dress you'll wear over and over is worth 2 in the back of the closet (did you catch that "bird in the hand" reference?)!
4. NEW ISN'T ALWAYS BETTER! Instead of attempting to get a new outfit for each new weekend or event, shopping for accessories for something you already have will help you re-love and re-wear your clothes. You can feel just as fabulous in an old outfit, especially if you can find a new way to wear it. Think about having more layers or adding pops of color. Pair a great belt or tights with a dress you usually wear solo, a scarf to a solid top, or a fun pair of animal print shoes to your favorite solid ensemble.
5. FILL UP YOUR EMOTIONAL CUP, NOT YOUR SHOPPING CART. For those of us who love shopping, it can be a rush and a mindless stress reliever. As I've been trying to grow my business, I've needed to be extra thoughtful about spending and saving. Treating yourself is awesome, but sometimes shifting your focus to others is even better. Replacing shopping trips with spending quality time with loved ones or volunteering will make you feel just as good, and that's a fact Jack!