Monday, April 23, 2012

The Rules of Shopping

No 'Over the Weekend' post today, it was cold and gloomy and I stayed inside and did indoor things: cleaned, read, sewed, baked, snuggled cats. Instead, I've been thinking that it would be great to gather up your comments and suggestions in a weekly advice-type post (not to replace my weekend posts, but this works for today). Whether I'm asking for advice on managing stress, shopping, or how to calm down, you- readers and fellow bloggers- always have inspiring and helpful things to share!

In this post, I asked what your shopping "rules" were, or if you had any at all. As I mentioned in that post, if I can't imagine three different ways of styling a piece with wardrobe items I already own, I typically don't purchase it. I don't always apply this to thrifting because I usually find my 'statement' pieces in a thrift store. Like many other avid thrifters, I also use second-hand shopping as a way to try out trends before buying into them (hello, midi skirts). My other shopping rules? I don't purchase basics second hand (they're usually gnarly), and when shopping new, I try to purchase the majority of my clothes second hand and try to avoid H&M and F21. Now, I said try- I don't always succeed- It is so easy to get sucked in! When I do find myself in those stores, before I purchase something I envision all of the items I have bought previously from those stores, and remind myself how few of them are actually still in my closet. So much of that stuff ends up being donated after only a few months, and in my book, that's just not worth it.

Here's what you had to say about shopping:

Kulter und Stil: "I normally have a list with things that I miss in my closet - but that doesn't mean that I only allow myself to buy these things, it's just something for me to have better in mind what I need. and then, yes, my biggest rule is: before buying something I go through my closet and put together at least 5 (different) outfits with the "new" item, and if I don't have any things to combine with the new thing, I normally leave it in the shop or I buy it and go once more through my closet at home and then either keep it or bring it back. I really don't want things "sleeping" in my closet, only because I have nothing to wear with them...

Nautical Owl: "...Generally speaking, I like to go out with an outfit in mind, something I might of seen on a blog, and then try to find a similar match. If I don't really have a "list", then I end up spending way too much and stuff just ends up sitting in my closet..."

Charmaine: "My rule is to only buy 1 item. I've bought 2 & 3 items at a time before & I always end up liking the first one & then the other ones are a waste of space & money. So, now I force myself to decide on my favourite in the more wasted money & wasted clothes."

Sweet Harvest Moon: "Before buying an item, I must think of at least 4 outfits!"

A Stylized Hysteria: "I don't think I have any shopping rules except trying to avoid paying full-price for anything!"

Evolution of a Wallflower: "When I'm shopping in "real stores" (I mostly thrift), I tend to think about the versatility of pieces, and whether or not I could find something similar and cheaper at a thrift store. Most of the time, the thrift store wins. When it comes to thrifting, though, I don't really have any rules. Thrifting just makes it easier to try out trends for super cheap."

Lady a la Mode: "I try to not be [swayed] by other opinions - if I love something, that's all that matters. I also ask myself if I can see myself wearing the piece with at least 5 things I already have... if I can't I do my best to leave it behind, but on those certain occasions I just have to take it home regardless"

Jasie Plays at Adulthood: "As far as my own rules of utility, my entire aesthetic is based on uniform-building. Pretty much EVERYTHING in my closet is utilitarian in nature. To some it may be boring, but for a fat girl on a budget who wants to look amazing and who can't shop in most stores, that basic uniform formula is a real life-saver."

Suits and Skirts: "It's funny, I have similar rules about purchasing full-price, non-thrifted, particularly more expensive items.... it needs to be a classic, or, I feel very unique without being too trendy. my other big rule, which ties in with being classic, is if I can style it for the office, as well as for play. Then it is a golden piece and I move forward!"

2 or 3 Things: "I only have a few rules: unless something is hugely on sale, I try to avoid places whose business models I have issue with, like UO or Anthropologie or Free People (the CEO of the three companies contributes loads of money to the Republican party), but I'm not so good at following this rule since the brands are all marketed towards the exact demographic the CEO probably finds abhorrent. One really important rule, however, is bikeability: would I be able to bike in the outfit? This sounds silly but since I bike to and from work/campus every day, I wouldn't want to own that many clothes I'm not able to bike in. Thankfully I bike in all kinds of clothes, even skirts and dresses, as long as I can move my lefts comfortably!"

Thank you all for your great advice!


Natasha Fatah said...

I'm a sucker for good rules...especially when it comes to shopping. :)


~Natasha Fatah~

Julia A said...

Thanks so much for using my quote!! :) I'm so embarrassed that I put a typo in though-- I should've written "legs" and not "lefts" in the last sentence (oooops)-- next time I should proofread what I write for sure!

Jasie VanGesen said...

All excellent guidelines to follow! Charmaine's is SO TRUE! That happens to me all the time. My true haul trips have produced less desirable outfits than when I found that *ONE* cardigan. Y'know?

Kultur und Stil said...

thanks so much for using what I said - although I made a little spelling mistake - but I'm allowed to this, as english is not my mother tongue ;-)
I'd love to shop more second hand and in thrift stores, but in a rich city like munich it isn't easy to do this. I should move to Berlin ;-)

xxx Anita

Caitie said...

thanks for including me in this bunch! I love hearing what others have to say, too!


p.s. bohemian said...

Great tips!

I have a new favorite skirt I've been wearing a LOT for the past 6 weeks and when I bought it I walked into the store in search of a new skirt and it was all I bought - no returns just love for the skirt!

Belle said...

I love the tips. Personally when I shop I try to make sure that what I buy goes with at least 3 other things I already own or its on my lists of must haves. That being said there are certain stores where I will never shop full price because I know it it bound to go on sale. I try to only splurge on basics or things I know I will get a ton of use out of like a winter coat or a great purse.

Natasha said...

I just posted about how I shop yesterday! I have a feeling this topic must be on everyones minds lately, because I keep coming across more posts on the topic :)
My biggest thing is being "cheap"...price though, not quality. I usually head straight the the clearance section!
Thanks for posting this, it was great to see how everyone else shops!

Natasha ~

Sarah said...

Great ideas! Yeah I feel like thrifting is almost above any kind of "rules", because are you seriously going to miss three bucks for a shirt you wear three times? I like to think of it that way, in a math sense: divide how many times you'll wear it by the price. Foolproof!

China Lily

Hannah said...

China Lily, I do the same thing. I divide the price of an item by the number of times I'm going to wear it.

Also, a rule my mother taught me is that whenever I buy something new, I should give something in my cupboard away. It really helps eliminate clutter (and in a country like South Africa, it helps others too).

blue roses said...

thanks for linking to some other comments and some great suggestions. looks like we all share a mindset of versatility!

E said...

That's so true about buying 2 or 3 things at once. I just went shopping and I only really liked 1 out of the 3 things I bought. I'll try that next time!

Thanks for the tips :)

<3 Emi

Emily Baker said...

orange and rose is HUGE this season. LOVE it! and your hair looks awesome!

carolina said...

I love your blog!!!!!!
I have one blog also and I just posted accessories and looks from Los Angeles,

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