I don’t shop so much lately. Certainly not in comparison to the rate and regularity I was shopping at before I started my year without clothes shopping in mid December 2009.
And my shopping has not only changed in terms of how often I shop, but why I shop, when I choose to do so.
Good criteria for assessing possible purchases
Here is a set of excellent criteria on which to assess possible purchases of clothing, shoes, accessories, handbags and the like:
- Does this suit my body shape and colouring?
- What else do I already own that this would go with? (eg: there needs to be at least 3 existing wardrobe items this will coordinate with)
- Is it flattering on the body I have now (the fundamental question of: does this fit me?), and how do I feel in it?
- Does this item fit in with my current lifestyle?
- Does this item support and express something about who I am and my personality?
I consider all of those criterion to be important, and they are especially important to use when shopping for someone who is:
- uncertain about or just beginning to explore their personal style
- just beginning to create a working wardrobe, or
- not wanting to take too many risks.
And as good as these shopping criterion are, they just aren’t my #1 criteria anymore (I should add that somewhere in my purchasing criteria, I know those things are there because they have been ingrained into me from years of learning about and using them to create a working wardrobe).
My #1 shopping criteria
My major, #1 criteria, now for Serious Consideration for Possible Purchase is:
Do I madly love, love, love this item?
If it doesn’t meet that criteria, then I admire, I may even had a moment of fantasy where I imagine owning it – but I don’t buy.
Why this criteria?
There’s two main reasons I’ve instituted this shopping criteria:
- I own so much already. I really don’t need another damn thing in any category – no new clothes, shoes, necklaces, handbags, earrings – you name it, I don’t need it. Why would I want to add more to my wonderful, working wardrobe unless there was a Very Good Reason to do so? And “I just saw it and liked it” is definitely not a good enough reason.
- I’ve reached a point in my life where Good Enough isn’t good enough anymore. I want to move away from the white line down the middle of the road and to venture off the beaten path a bit more. This applies not only to my style, but also my life and my work. Knowing the direct and immediate relationship between what I’m wearing and how I feel (and the secret life of clothes), I want my style to reflect where my life journey is, and that isn’t the middle of the road.