If you're like most people, you only wear a small percentage of your wardrobe. The rest is the stuff that doesn't really fit you, doesn't flatter you, is out of style, or things you've forgotten about.
They still take up room in your closet though. When I bought my home, I thought I had a huge walk-in closet. Nowadays, it doesn’t feel nearly as big. In fact, I probably have to make room by throwing out/donating some clothes if I want to buy even more clothes.
Before you buy another piece of clothing, here are some questions you should ask yourself first. Don’t spend another dime to bring home yet another thing you will never wear.
Am I buying this because it's cheap or do I really want it? It's so easy to get carried away when faced with clothing that's on deep discount. Always keep in mind that you're not saving whatever the reduction is, you're spending whatever it is you're paying.
Even if something is marked as 90% off means you are paying that 10%. On a jacket that used to cost $1,000, you are still paying $100 for something that’s marked 90% off.
And like I said, clothes and shoes take up room in your closet and dressers no matter how much it costs to purchase. They will add to the clutter in your life, and that’s never good.
Does this fit me? Really fit me? Buy clothes that flatter the size you are now, not the size you used to be or wish you were. Not all styles will look good on all body types, so have a good look in a three-way mirror to make sure it accents your figure.
It would be even better if you can bring a friend or family member with you when you shop. Sometimes another set of eyes wired to a cool head is what will keep you from spending unnecessarily.
How comfortable am I wearing this? Think about your favorite outfits. Chances are good they not only look great, they feel great, too. No matter how attractive an outfit or pair of shoes is, if they feel uncomfortable, you won't be likely to wear them.
Pay attention to things like fabric that rides up, itchy seams, sleeves that are too short or too long, pants that reveal too much, blouses that pop open, and other common clothes mishaps. Don't just put on the clothes in the dressing room and then be done with your test run. Try bending over, sitting, pretending to climb stairs, and other common movements that reveal flaws in how a piece of clothing fits.
Am I comfortable wearing this? This is not a typo. Ask yourself this question again, but this time think of whether you are mentally comfortable wearing what you plan to buy. Is what you want to buy too flashy, or too daring? Will you really wear it once you actually take it home?
When and where will I wear this? Often we buy clothes without thinking about when we'd be able to wear them. Be wary of buying clothing on the off chance that just the right occasion will come up. On the other hand, if you do have a closet full of clothes you never wear because they are too nice, what are you saving them for? Try wearing them or make the decision to sell/donate/give them away instead of leaving them in closet limbo.
If you are like me, you may need to give yourself a pep talk and plan out how often you will wear a piece of clothing before you buy it too. You see, I’m always trying to save my best clothes for that special occasion. I have a few really cheap t-shirt I wear all the time, while I leave my best stuff in my closet. I literally have really nice shirts that are ten years old but look brand new. What ends up happening is that I’m always wearing old crappy looking t-shirts with worn-out jeans while I have a closet full of incredibly stylish clothes I want to protect. How often will those special occasions actually come up?
How dumb am I to have stuff I actually like but don’t use? I have to remind myself this or else I’ll fall back into the habit of looking like a pauper. At least I don’t buy clothes that often.
Do I already have a version of this? It's surprising how many people buy virtually the same pair of black pants or v neck t-shirt over and over again. I know I’ve bought jeans and then be reminded after I get home that it’s extremely similar to ones I already own. Don't keep buying the same things over and over again. Instead, save your clothing dollars on things that will stand out.
Do I need to buy anything else to match it? Sometimes you fall in love with something but it’ll only look good on you if you buy a few more pieces of clothes to go along with it. You may love the look of those long boots, but it won’t do you any good if you aren’t going to wear them unless you find a short skirt and long jacket combo that goes well with it. You have to start somewhere, so I’m not saying to never buy anything that looks nice if you don’t have matching pieces. I’m just saying that you will end up wasting the entire cost of the boots if you really only account for the cost of that one item.
Shopping for new clothes and shoes is fun, but don't let your enthusiasm talk you into buying more clothes you don't need, won't wear that will only take up valuable space in your home.
I know far too many people who have tons of clothes and shoes that are still in their unopened boxes. Don’t be one of them.