For those of us who find shopping compelling, we can often get very caught up with the allure of a new garment, hanging tantalisingly on a store rail. All other thoughts seem to exit our brains except “Isn’t this stunning – I just love it?” Which can quickly lead to “I must have it!”
This type of single-focus can keep us trapped in the overshopping cycle, with nothing to interrupt our one-tracked minds. There is no braking mechanism, no Stopping before we decide if we even want to pass Go.
One way to step in and interrupt that hypnotic cycle is to start asking yourself some questions about the use and usability of this item. These types of questions act as a brake (or a break) and give you literal pause for thought.
Good Questions for the Heat of the Moment
Questions to ask when you are all a-flutter about some gorgeous item you are certain you have to have include:
- Where will I wear this?
- When will I wear this?
- On what occasions will I wear this?
- How many of those occasions are there where I would wear this?
- What’s it for?
- What items do I already have for those occasions?
In asking yourself these questions, you take the heat out of the moment and the flutter out of your heart. You may discover that the occasions you actually have to wear this item are few, in which case it isn’t such a great purchase beyond its immediate shot in the arm.
Or you may find that this stop-pause moment gives you the chance to bring to mind item/s in your closet that already fit that ‘occasion need’, in which case, leaving this item hanging in the store may be your very best choice.
This happened to me recently when I was out and about with my friend Jane, visiting from Minneapolis. In one little store I came across this item, a lovely unlined funky orange jacket:
I thought it was a gorgeous piece, and before I knew it, my brain went into autopilot where that internal bargaining goes on — you know the internal bargaining I mean… “It fits perfectly… it’s a signature colour… it’s unlined – great for our tropical weather… they only have one left!…. it’s so funky and a bit different – it feels so contemporary…”.
On and on my thoughts rambled. I recognise this pattern now – it has similarities to a runaway train and I knew my only hope was to engage the power pause – walk away and allow space for cooler thoughts.
And during that cooling down/off period, those questions started to come to me — where would I wear this? How many occasions actually are there when I’d wear it? And don’t I already have at least one other orange jacket I could wear for the occasions I can imagine wearing this one?
When you find yourself in a “it’s gorgeous, I simply have to have it!” shopping moment, give yourself the gift of pausing, and asking yourself some questions. If you end up buying, then you’ll be satisfied it’s a conscious choice – one that feels good long after the ink has dried on the receipt.