Whenever I feel like I want to refresh my wardrobe, but I don’t want to (or shouldn’t) spend any money on new things, I do the following:
- Catalogue my current wardrobe
- Shop my own closet
- Make a list of Wardrobe Wants
Catalogue my current wardrobe
I like going through my wardrobe, I like cleaning (purging, de-cluttering) and organizing it, and knowing what I have, so I can dream up of new outfits so I can shop my own closet easily.
Once I started going through and itemizing items and cleaning it out, I realized I had a LOT of grey sweaters. In fact, it was the main colour in my closet as a neutral.
I realized that it was also the reason why I never reached for certain items because I chose my favourite grey sweater every time (‘Only grey sweaters, AGAIN?’).
So my solution was to catalogue my clothes onto my iPod Touch, using Picasa to see it on my desktop by:
- Taking stock photos (if I can find them) online
- Taking pictures of the clothes themselves
- Taking pictures of me, wearing the clothes (ideal, but I’m very lazy)
Now that I know what I already own, and I won’t be tempted to buy yet anything similar to what I already own, like another red wrap dress.
I recently did something similar in my mother’s closet, and let me show you the two items she has an overabundance of:
Yellow Cotton Vest Shirts (6)
Pink Collared Shirts (8)
Granted, these items look really nice on her skin tone, but she doesn’t really need yet another pink shirt or yellow vest.
Shop my own closet
It can be hard not to want a new outfit after you see people wear different things, or a certain striped shirt you think would be perfect in your closet.
The truth of the matter is you may already have the components for a similar outfit (or at least, I KNOW I do), and you may just need a small accessory like a red belt to finish it off.
I “shop” my own closet, by going through, organizing it, purging pieces I know have gone unworn for too long, and really scrutinizing if I should keep an item or not.
At the end of the exercise, I usually end up creating new outfits and my desire to buy new things disappears after I realize I can’t really fit any more into my suitcases unless I get rid of other items.
Make a list of Wardrobe Wants
This is an exercise I go through on a regular basis. It can be easy to lust after new items, but are you missing other key essential pieces to tie everything together?
If so, then you might be wasting your money on yet another pair of jeans, but are missing the right pair of business casual herringbone trousers to wear with 50% of your wardrobe.
My Wardrobe Wants:
- Thin Red Belt — I don’t want to spend a lot of money, and I’m being very picky about the belt
- White Casual Blazer — Not structured; Thought I found it but the fabric is all wrong
- Plain Brown Leather Mid-Calf 2″ Heeled Boots — To wear under trousers during Autumn and Winter
- Men’s Watch — I have a few contenders in mind, but I don’t want to pay a ridiculous amount
- Thin, Supersoft Leather Jacket — I am waffling between one in an inky blue or a dark brown
- Beige Trenchcoat — I obviously love the classic, minimalist looking ones, but I want a good price
- Navy Wide-Striped T-Shirt — I am very picky about the spacing of the lines for this shirt
- White or Ivory Drape-y Dress — I found one, but the neckline was very lowcut…
- Brown Flats — Replacements for my worn out Rudsak ones; Am looking at Frye Carson Flats
- Black Suede Round-Toe Pumps — I think they’d look great with a good chunk of my dresses
White Straight-Legged Drape-y Pants— Found at H&M for $40! They’re perfect & the right $$ Olive/Khaki Sweater— Found it as a thin wrap sweater last year at Lululemon for $98 Striped Dress— Found it! Comrags Brady Style French Striped Dress for $300 Red Dress– Found it! Consignment Diane von Furstenberg Red Wool Utility Wrap Dress for $136 Olive/Khaki Dress– Found it! Bionic Genia Olive Dress by Mark Foreman, deeply discounted for $50
- Thin Red Belt — Etsy P Store Handmade Red Belt – $14.50
- White Casual Blazer — Aritzia/Wilfred Shrunken Chevalier Blazer – $195
- Plain Brown Leather Boots — Haven’t really found them yet; What’s pictured is not it
- Men’s Watch — Mondaine Don’t Rush Men’s Watch – $100
- Leather Jacket — m0851 Perfecto in Ink — $780 – $830 (*cries*)
- Beige Trenchcoat — Burberry Woven Raffia Trench – $3095 (absolutely NOT in my range!)
- V-Neck Black Sweater — Patrizia Pepe – $95
- Navy Wide-Striped Shirt — A.L.C. Travis Striped Shirt – $140
- White Drape-y Dress – Wilfred Franca Dress – $175
- Brown Flats — Frye Carson Flats in Cognac $91 – $328
- Black Suede Round-Toe Pumps — Aldo Poston Shoes in Black Suede – $80
How this will all save you time and money
- You won’t buy yet ANOTHER grey sweater again
- You won’t waste time browsing and looking for things you don’t really need as an Essential Item
won’twaste less money because you will stick to your list!
Of course, in between looking for these Wardrobe Wants, I found pieces that were not really on my list, but overall, I’ve stopped myself from buying things I know I already have duplicates of in my wardrobe.