Sartorial musings – Shopping habits

I’ve noticed that since forming my first Wardrobe Resolution, my shopping habits have changed considerably. It may be an oxymoron but while I think about clothes and style and material possessions a lot more, I shop a lot less. I mean, after putting all this effort in ridding my closet of things I don’t wear and I don’t love, it really wouldn’t make any sense to go out and just mindlessly buy more unnecessary items. Right?

I’m slowly trying to change my mindset when it comes to shopping for clothes, shoes and accessories. Mostly, I don’t want to be a mindless consumer; I want to make decisions that are right for me, my budget, and my style. Although, going on a bit of a tangent, what is my style? I don’t know about you, but I find it surprisingly difficult to pinpoint my personal style. But that’s another topic for another day.

After what is probably too much thinking, I have combined the shopping principles I’d like to adhere to into my third Wardrobe Resolution:

“I will make fewer, well-thought out and well-researched decisions when shopping, avoid impulse purchases, and not fall in the sales trap.”

So far, shopping less has been surprisingly easy to achieve. I certainly wasn’t a shopaholic before, but I was guilty of visiting the shops just to pass the time on a Saturday morning, or buying something on an impulse just so that the shopping trip wouldn’t be a waste (which is completely nonsensical, I know). Now, I still visit the shops, because it’s something I actually enjoy, although definitely not so often. I’m always very happy to go along with friends on a shopping trip and I still have fun doing it. Not buying anything, I’m happy to say, is not even a struggle. With my new mindset in place, it doesn’t even feel like there’s a temptation that I’m resisting, the urge isn’t there.

Shopping habits @

I’m trying to make any purchases I do make much more considered and researched. To this end, I’ve found that lists are just the best! As I identify needs in my closet, I compile lists. I have a list for items I need presently (black flat shoes, tan flat sandals, a summer dress), and a list of items for which I’m perennially searching (the perfect white shirt, black courts, and grey cashmere jumper). Armed with my lists, I research favourite websites and I visit shops, however I don’t feel the urgency to make a purchase and I’m actually enjoying the search. I’m very happy to be patient and just keep looking until I find the perfect item – perfect to me meaning it fits me perfectly and it’s the best quality I can afford. This means that there’s a lot of “almost buying”: I will try something one, like it, than just before buying it I will decide I don’t love it and put it back. I also often give myself some time to think about an item; if I’m still thinking about something after a few days have passed, I revisit and re-try it on, and if it’s still satisfactory I make the purchase.

Sadly, items on sale are still my downfall. When I see those signs or receive the newsletters advertising sales, something switches in my brain. The discount makes me feel as if I’m being virtuous and actually saving money, when in fact I may be buying something I don’t need and will likely never wear. I’m making an effort to curb this; I think asking myself the question “would I still buy this at full price?” will help.

I’m very happy with my new attitude when it comes to shopping. I find it is liberating to know that I won’t buy stuff on impulse and not feeling the guilt when seeing unworn and unloved items in my closet. I’m very curious to know what are your shopping habits. Do you get carried away when shopping and succumb to marketing or even pressure from shopping companions? Are you a list-maker? And for those of you who were inspired to work towards a better and happier wardrobe, how’s it all going?


3 thoughts on “Sartorial musings – Shopping habits

  1. heavenhappens says:

    Wow I’m impressed at your will power and organisation. I’ve had to radically reduce my wardrobe since downsizing from a 4 bed roomed house to a 2 bed roomed bungalow! But I’m still a sucker for sales. I gave an entire work wardrobe of suits and smart clothes away to the charity shops when I retired but now I just feel too casual(ie scruffy) all the time.

  2. mdwordsmith says:

    Good morning All! First, hearty congratulations on making a resolution you can keep comfortably. Second, you inspired me to do an (almost) last cull of my business suits. I have not worn them in several years now, so out they went. I did save a couple very formal suits for those once a year occasions when that’s the dress code. They live on the rack next to my beloved Dior knock-off formal gown! I agree with HeavenHappens, it’s depressing to feel scruffy all the time. That’s the next cull – all the stuff that I think I can squeeze out another season’s wear. I want to get back to wearing the ethnic/vintage inspired stuff I used to wear, but one doesn’t find it in the thrift stores any more. I may be forced to haul out the sewing machine again, but I gave away all my Folkwear patterns! *sigh*

  3. Emily @ Books, the Universe & Everything says:

    I’ve been trying to be more mindful with my shopping habits too. This winter I went through my wardrobe and greatly downsized it – I got rid of so many things that don’t bring me joy. I’d like to do a second round, but I think I need to wait until I am employed again – I feel like I have a skewed sense of what I actually wear since I haven’t had to dress for the office in a long time. Once I’m back working for a while I will do a second round of wardrobe editing.

    For me, to cut down on my temptations, I had to unsubscribe to the email newsletters of retail shops. It was hard at first – I had a fear of missing out on news and sales, but it was so liberating after I did. Now I feel like I’m in control of my shopping, and I don’t have companies bombarding my inbox trying to feed into materialism!

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