Since I moved to a semi-capsule wardrobe in my quest towards minimalism last summer, I’ve become very choosey about what and how I buy. I used to paw through the sale racks at TJ Maxx and Nordstrom rack in the hopes of uncovering a gem, and sometimes, I did. Very rarely have I ever paid full price for anything at a major brand retailer. But more often than not, I’d come home with $100 worth of “just OK and I picked it up because the price was right.” Nothing that made my heart really sing. Then, months later when the skirt or the shirt was still unworn in my closet or drawer, I’d feel such frustration with myself for another stupid purchase. And I’d head out to shop again, determined to make better choices, and the cycle continued.
Now? I shop from a list. I’ve pared down my wardrobe to such an extent that I know what the holes are. For example, I know I like a certain type of tank top to layer under shirts. I almost exclusively reach for this ONE style of tank, more than any other I ever kept in my drawer “for variety.” But these tanks only come out seasonally, in early summer, so I’ve been biding my time, waiting to buy. Did I run out and buy “just something” to get me by. NO!
Something else I don’t do? Is follow fashion “influencers” who inspire the “buy-buy-buy” mentality. Well, I shouldn’t say that. I do follow them, but I view what they’re pushing with a microscopic lens now. I appreciate a great recommendation — like a Lululemon yoga pant dupe: HELLO, I am ALL EARS. Come to mama. But I won’t whip out a credit card to buy anymore. First, I’ll analyze my current workout wardrobe, determine if there is a need, and if, and only if, I do actually need the item, will I consider purchase. But I usually sleep on it for a week or two. And you know what? I have saved SO MUCH MONEY because I usually forget about whatever it was and determine that I didn’t truly “need” it to begin with.
That said, I was in Anthropologie recently, drooling over all the beautiful cuts and fabric and workmanship. I always feel so energized just walking around those beautifully styled shelves, don’t you? I was tempted to buy at least 5 things that probably would have actually filled some gaps in my wardrobe, but do you know what I did instead? I came home, went into the Anthro website, and pinned to my hearts content. Whatever caught my eye while I was in store, I looked it up. I noted the reviewer comments, assessed if I felt like the price was worth it for the value, and if I still “loved it” and felt like it met the style parameters I’ve defined for myself, only then could I officially “pin” it to my Pinterest Style Inspiration board.
What you see above, at the beginning of this post, is my final selection. All in, this is hundred of dollars worth of merchandise. But now I have it all in one spot and can check-in regularly to see if I’m still as smitten. I can look at how the pieces work together — because with a capsule wardrobe, all the pieces MUST work together. I can see where there is overlap. I also benefit from some outfit inspiration so I can shop my own closet and determine if there is anything similar, or that might be worn similarly, to anything that I’ve pinned. All without spending a dime.
Now, ultimately, I’ll reassess in a few weeks and decide if I want to actually purchase any of the above. And if they sell out? No big deal. There will always be the next thing, but at least now, when I’m pinning the next time, I’ll be able to notice if there is a pattern developing — for example, if I pin ANOTHER pair of nude suede flats, then I might be persuaded that it’s time to buy. But for now, I’m just window shopping. ❤