5 questions I ask myself before buying a garment

best tips for shopping

The season is beginning to shift, which means we're entering a phase of reevaluating our wardrobes to match the impending change in weather. No matter what time of year it is, taking time to be thoughtful about the items we purchase is always a good practice. This may be more important than ever with advertisements for spring clothing everywhere we turn! 

Here are five questions that I ask myself before making a purchase:

1. Do I already have something like this in my closet?

There was a time when my closet had about 20 variations of lacy cream tops. For whatever reason, whenever I was out shopping, lacy cream tops seemed to be what I gravitated towards. If you see an item in a store or online that you just love, ask yourself, "Do I love this because I already have something just like it?" If the answer is yes, it may be time to put on the one you already own instead of spending money on a new one. 

2. How high-maintainance is this item?

I basically have a "no-dry-cleaning" policy when it comes to purchasing clothing. Now, if it's a special occasion dress that you're only going to wear once in a while, paying for dry cleaning isn't that big of a deal. However, when you're shopping for essentials that you'll wear everyday, take into consideration how much time and money you're willing to spend on upkeep. Ironing is another factor to consider, I think it's worth investing in fabrics that hold their shape without a lot of coddling. 

3. Can I think of at least 3 items in my closet that I could wear this with?

This question doesn't apply as much to all-in-one outfits like jumpsuits or dresses, but it's really good to consider when it comes to individual pieces. For example, if you're considering a cute crop-top, but you don't have any high-waisted pants or skirts to wear it with, it will most likely end up sitting in your closet all alone without getting much (if any) wear. 

4. Can I think of at least 3 realistic situations in which I would wear this?

This single question has saved me from countless unnecessary purchases. It's all too easy to fall in love with an item representing a lifestyle that just isn't our own. Sometimes we buy things because they symbolize a life we wish we were living. As much as I love off-the-shoulder-flowy-jumpsuits, there is very little opportunity for me to wear something like that in my life. If I moved to California and did't work in an office, then maybe I could justify it. It's far more worthwhile for me to invest in items that I can see myself wearing in multiple scenarios right now instead of filling my closet with pretty things that I'll only wear on vacation. 

5. Do i love how this item fits me?

Trends be damned, if you don't love how something fits your unique beautiful body, don't buy it! This can be tricky with online shopping, but often you can get the idea of how an item fits by looking up photos of other people wearing it. I absolutely love the look of giant oversized sweaters. I used to constantly pin these dreamy pictures of girls wearing giant sweaters and drinking tea on Pinterest. So when I started my "minimal wardrobe," I naturally included two giant sweaters. It took me months of unhappy-sweater-clad-days to realize that I just don't love that look on my body type. Now I have a fitted sweater that I adore, and I'm confident in resisting the look that I admire on others! 

Advertisements will always be tempting, but trust your gut. I think it's worth trying anything that interests you once, but retain the right to say, "Nope. This isn't for me." after you've given it a shot. 


I'd love to hear your strategy for purchases! Being intentional with the way we buy gets more and more intuitive the more we practice. It is so worth the effort and thought.