Saturday, January 17, 2015

Five questions you need to ask yourself before considering going shopping

Posted by Amanda Villaruel |
Being a conscious shopper is something anyone can do. It's all about taking the time to ask yourself the right questions.

To avoid impulsive purchases that you'll regret a couple of days later, and to avoid spending money on things you really didn't need, you should ask yourself these five important questions:
5 questions you need to ask yourself before considering going shopping
Considering going shopping? Hold on for a second!

1) Have you de-cluttered your wardrobe?

I can almost guarantee that when you have cleaned or organized your closet, you're going to find something in there that you have forgotten about  :-)

Find out what you have before you go on another shopping spree.
Copyright: / elenathewise - 123RF Stock Photo

I hate to break it to you. Many women have clothes in their wardrobe, with the tags still on them. According to Daily Mail (UK) the average woman has six pieces of unworn clothing in her wardrobe!

Most of them say that they got carried away in sales...

2) Have you done your laundry?

We pile up clothes pretty fast, and many of us wash our clothes maybe twice a week. You might have a favorite in this pile, but you have probably just forgotten about it. I don't know about you, but I find that it's easy to forget about the things that are not in front of me :-)

Read: 20 useful clothes care tips for the conscious fashionista.

3) Do you really need it?

OK, you've done no. 1 and 2, and find out that you don't have the item you want. The next question you should ask yourself is:

"Do I really need it?" No, seriously, do you? :-)

Looking at vintage leather shoulder bags
Looking at vintage leather shoulder bags

Surely it is in our human nature to not be satisfied with acquiring things that we need. We always want more. Psychology suggests that when we have acquired the things we need, we move our attention to the things we want.

According to Harriet T. McJimsey ("Art and Fashion in clothing selection" 1956), it's a human tendency to become bored with things as they are and "the need for stimulation of something new, explains much of our interest in an acceptance of fashion changes".

To me this seems like a natural reaction, but this doesn't automatically mean that we can't control the "desire to acquire" - which by the way is an expression mentioned in the book.

Think about it: do you really need another black top? Another blue sweater? OK, you love the color blue, but come on. Or another dress on top of the seven dresses hanging in your wardrobe? ;-)

Read: Cleaning out the closet - why bother?

4) Can you borrow clothes from someone you know?

... from maybe your friends, sister or relative? If you're looking for a dress or maybe a suit that you intend to use only once or twice, there's no need to spend money and time to look for the garments. It's kind of waste, don't you think? :-)

If there are no one to borrow it from, can you buy the item used online or at flea markets? Maybe you can rent a bag or lease jeans?

5) Have you considered 'capsule wardrobe'?

You want an entire new outfit? Well, why not create an outfit from your existing wardrobe?

One of the main principles of 'capsule wardrobe' is that you combine basic clothing (plain blouse, cardigans, little black dress, plain jeans, ballet flats) with non-basic or trendy clothing (maybe a trendy piece like a gray miniskirt, peasant blouse, vintage clothes or an over-sized jacket).

You can of course, combine basic with basic if that's your style. But if you have more 'gamin' clothing personality and enjoy colors, contrasts and prints, you probably want to spice things up by combining basic clothing with vintage pieces.

Here are some of your alternatives:
a) If you de-cluttered the closet according to no. 1, you probably have a pile of clothes you've worn once or never. I will call this pile for 'new-pile'.
  • Combine a garment from the 'new-pile' with another piece in your closet.
  • Combine a garment from the 'new-pile' with a borrowed piece of clothing.
Capsule wardrobe: basic clothing
Ideas for basic clothing:
Black dress and blue short-sleeved shirt / tarzhanova - 123RF Stock Photo - Light blue knitted jumper / popovaphoto - 123RF Stock Photo
Black ballet flats / poca2005 - 123RF Stock Photo
Capsule wardrobe: vintage and trendy clothing
Combine basic clothing with vintage and trendy pieces!
Photo:  / tarzhanova - 123RF Stock Photo

b) There's no 'new pile'!

Well, you can still combine clothes from your existing wardrobe.

Be creative and think outside the box. Don't settle for the usual combinations, which will lead you to thinking that the outfit is just... boring (because you've already tried that outfit).

My personal suggestion is to invite a friend or two who can help you combine an outfit, who sees your wardrobe with a fresh pair of eyes ;-)

Continue to read:
Hand-picked online vintage stores for the cool, chic and conscious fashionista. 

Pros and cons of purchasing new clothes vs vintage and second-hand.

Have your say about what you just read :)

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