In Style

Don’t buy anything you can’t see yourself wearing in 10 years or later

This is my motto: Don’t buy anything you can’t see yourself wearing in 10 years or later.

My rule is that if I can’t imagine myself in that outfit and if I cannot keep it until at least the age of 50, then I think really, REALLY hard before buying it these days.

I ONLY WANT CLASSIC, QUALITY ITEMS NOW, NOT FAST FASHION PIECES 

I not only want quality in my items, I want them to last in terms of style as well.

This is not an easy thing to do (let alone find in fashion) unless you plan on wearing only plain sheath dresses, wrap dresses, or anything without any twist or personality to it.

Enduring the next few decades will mean they have to be special pieces that are interesting but not trendy, that stand the test of fashion time.

WHAT IT RULES OUT

On the negative side, this rules out these things I’d like to try but ultimately can’t buy because I cannot imagine wearing them at 50, and right now it’s stuff like leather pants, or sweaters that have this very cool look of sheer backs to them.

WHAT IT MEANS I CAN KEEP

On the positive side, things that some people might think are too young for a 50-year old, I can see myself wearing them when I am older as a stylish person.

Skinny pants/jeans fall into this category  for instance, I can just tuck them into my boots, or blazers with a hint of a leather lapel or detail like this sweater I bought with leather sleeves, can still be worn when I am 50:

 

Things I would never wear when I am 50 (or even now) would be anything with a lot of glitter, pink, sparkles, logos, … or basically anything that would attract a 5-year old girl.


BUT WHO DO YOU SEE AS A ROLE MODEL FOR THIS CHIC 50-YEAR OLD YOU?

A great role model for this is Laura Bennett, a designer from Project Runway Season 3 who was born in 1963 and will be 51 years old this year (2014).

laura-bennett-project-runway-season-3-2

 

She is a mother with 5 boys (and was pregnant with the 6th while on the show!), and I always found her very elegant and polished.

She once wore this kind of riding outfit with these beige pants and knee-high boots, and looked simply fantastic.

laura-bennett-project-runway-season-3

She never wore a pair of sweatpants or even liked “mom” clothes on the show and I remember her saying something along the lines of:

It’s a slippery slope downhill once you put on a pair of sweatpants.

This is totally my mantra ever since I was younger so I felt a kindred spirit with her.

I have never really felt comfortable, owned or wore a pair of sweatpants outside the home.

They just feel too casual and comfortable to be “outside clothes” if that makes sense.

When I lounge, I lounge inside the house, and when I go out, I want stuff that feels a little polished so that I feel like I am not at home and I am outside.

The most “casual” I can get, is wearing a tank top with skinny jeans, knee high boots and a sweater over top of that.

Even wearing a dress, makes people think that I am dressed up, and it makes me a chuckle a little because I consider dresses to be staple casual items, it’s really just the fit and fabric that make them dressier or not.

Something shiny, very fitted or structured is more formal than something looser in a jersey fabric for instance, but our society has gotten so used to seeing super casual looks slapped together, that if you show up in some flats and a dress, you’re all gussied up!

MY 5 MAJOR STYLE RULES WHEN I SHOP

  1. Has to stand the classic fashion test of time
  2. Can’t be only a boring basic — this would be too easy to pass from rule #1, needs a twist!
  3. Has to be a quality item — No polyester, as natural of a fabric as possible, and well-fitted
  4. Has to not be made in China — If not for the principle, for their hit-and-miss workmanship!
  5. Has to fit and flatter my body type — Weight fluctuates, but your build doesn’t change

This cuts down on a lot of miscellaneous, extraneous shopping, and it has helped me focus on my wardrobe in terms of editing what goes in.

These days, barely anything comes out unless it has met its end of its life, or no longer fits for some legitimate reason and I cannot get it tailored or altered.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR STYLE RULES?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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8 Comments

  1. Izabela Michalska

    1. Clothes only in my basic colours (if I make an exception it would be a really „the most stunning cloth ever”- I guess I could happened a few times in a decade). I try to buy also only classic cut.
    2. Only natural fabrics.
    3. Only a few percent of clothes could have patterns, the rest must be plain.
    4. Good quality – when I touch it and think: there is sth wrong with the fabric I don’t buy it.
    5. Every time I buy a new cloth I try to buy sth better than the items I have already bought, or at least the same (considering the “wow” factor). I never buy sth what is “ok” for me. It must be great.
    6. I try to buy clothes which are manufactured in my country (Poland), and avoid all the companies which product their clothes in India, China etc.
    7. I try not to see LABELS.

    I like your rule: Don’t buy anything you can’t see yourself wearing in 10 years or later. It fits perfectly to my list.

    Reply
  2. Jess

    That’s funny – your casual “tank top with skinny jeans, knee high boots and a sweater over top of that” is my “dressed”. I find even jeans uncomfortable. I live in slouchy clothes. My uniform is bamboo cotton singlets with sport shorts or trackies. Playsuits, harem pants and loose fitting batik pants were a life changing discovery. I would not hesitate to walk down to the shops in a singlet and harem pants and birks, or a hoodie, trackies and uggs. If I am trying to look slightly put together I may opt for a silk wrap skirt instead of the pants. So I have zero “runway” style but I can rock “comfy” style.

    Reply
  3. Alice

    I started my own set of clothing rules after following your blog. Before then, I didn’t have the guts to try gaining a sense of style, thinking that the only way to be stylish was to be trendy.
    1. Clothing that can be both work and weekend, unless it’s for a specific event.
    2. Durable. I am the worst repeat offender and I love it.
    3. Greatly appeals to me. Due to the first two rules, I tend to appreciate my purchases.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      Avoid trends. Style is internal and eternal.

      Reply
  4. Taylor Lee @ Yuppie Millennial

    My rules for clothing are:
    1. No wool, because apparently I’m allergic.
    2. No cheap synthetic fibers. Acetate lining for dresses/suits and high end water-wicking polyesters are okay.
    3. Has to be good quality.
    4. Needs to be able to run through the washing machine. I have neither the time nor patience for hand-washing and I refuse to pay for dry cleaning for anything but coats once a year.
    5. Needs to be flattering to MY shape, not just a model or mannequin. Since I’m a 5’1″ pear, this eliminates almost all clothing.
    6. No flashy patterns or prints. I’m very much a “basics” person. It probably makes me boring, but I can reliably go into my closet and find everything worth wearing. If I want to, I jazz things up with jewelry, but even that is rare.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      I don’t like cheap wool. It’s itchy. Good wool is comfy.

      Reply

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[ wealth. style. minimalism. ]

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