three simple steps for mindful shopping
why I need mindful shopping
I love clothes. And shoes. And bags. And accessories. Love them! But I’m overwhelmed by my wardrobe, rather than overwhelmed with love for it.
I have a small walk in wardrobe, one rack in our bedroom, one tall boy, one low boy, wire baskets under our bed for shoes, and I converted our ensuite shower to a closet, with two racks and wire shelving for bag storage.
Plus I change over my wardrobe seasonally. The off season is stored in vac bags stored in the linen closet and in suitcases and storage boxes in the spare room.
I have culled and culled and culled some more; yet I still feel swamped. Every week or so, I load up a bag or two to take to the opshop. I also have several large storage crates full of items that I am trying to find the time to sell on eBay. If they don’t sell on eBay within a period of time, I add them to my opshop donation bag.
Something needs to be done! There are solutions out there to this problem. Like, just don’t shop. Whilst I am awed by the people who can do this, I’m also honest enough to know it won’t work for me. I know, because I’ve tried.
One solution is called the clothes hanger challenge. Reverse the clothes hanger of a piece you’ve worn so you can see at a glance the pieces that aren’t being worn. This makes it easier to identify the pieces that you can pass on or alter. This is a fabulous idea, but for girls like me with overstuffed wardrobes, it just doesn’t work!
Another solution is to create a capsule wardrobe. This theory revolves around having a small wardrobe of classic pieces that work with each other, with a coordinating colour palette. This fills me with horror. I am not a capsule wardrobe kinda girl. I do not wear classic crisp white shirts. I do not have the lifestyle where black suiting is a viable option. When I did have that lifestyle, I never felt like me when wearing black suiting.
I like colour – all the colours. I like print – especially when they clash. I like mini and maxi and A line and full and pencil and asymmetrical and wrap – that’s just skirts! I like deciding which girl I feel like being today when I get dressed every morning.
However, I can’t keep mindlessly consuming because I’m in danger of being consumed by my wardrobe.
So I came up with my solution. It might work for you too! I call it mindful shopping.
3 simple steps to mindful shopping
- Don’t love it? Don’t buy it.
- does it fit properly
- does the colour suit you
- is the style flattering
- do you already have at least one similar piece at home
- is the fabric good quality
- do you have to dry clean or handwash it and do you want to
- can you afford it
- think about cost per wear – applies to things like quality jeans or a good coat, but probably not a one off party dress
- it’s not a bargain if you never wear it
- thrifting is still shopping
- Can you make three outfits with this new piece from existing pieces in your wardrobe?
- can you think of three outfits you can wear including this new piece
- for example, a dress. With a striped top layered underneath. Worn over skinny jeans. With a jumper over the top.
- One in, one out
- for every piece that you buy, pass on one piece
- if you’re undertaking a serious cull like I am, pass on two or three pieces for every one new piece
- donate to charity
- pass to a friend
- sell online or at a market, or exchange at a clothes swap
- keep a basket in your wardrobe or a cloth bag on a door handle to pop in pieces you no longer wear, no longer fit or no longer suit your lifestyle
- throw out stained or damaged items – opshops waste a lot of money disposing of dirty and ruined pieces that cannot be resold
- I have a basket for items that need mending or altering; a bag for items to be donated; and plastic boxes in a storage cupboard to sell on eBay.
mindful shopping outfits
I’m sharing three outfits featuring recent purchases, demonstrating my mindful shopping rules.
I bought this beautiful silk top from Max Fashions on my trip to New Zealand in January.
It was well under half price, the colour made me happy, I could wear a standard bra with it, the peplum shape was flattering, the silk fabric was very good quality and can be machine washed. It also a memento of a holiday, and a rare visit with my mother; whose face lit up when she saw me wearing it.
I am wearing it here with Boom Shankar broderie anglaise shorts and Ziera sandals. It will be super cute with a black & white striped jersey pencil skirt. I also plan to wear it with cuffed boyfriend jeans, a long duster cardigan and ankle boots when the weather is cooler.
I passed on a top with spaghetti straps that did nothing for me and some layering tanks that have seen better days.
This peachy textured 100% cotton top from French Connection’s Birkenhead Point outlet was an emergency purchase after I managed to spill coffee all over my top yet magically miss my super cute Gorman dungarees. It’s a peripheral neuropathy thing.
The top was on sale, good quality fabric and both the oversized fit and the peachy colour are flattering. The ruffle sleeve detail was unique and unlike anything I already owned. It was also machine washable.
I plan to wear it with chambray culottes and sneaks, with white denim jeans and sandals, and with a navy longline sleeveless knit teamed with skinnies and ankle boots in cooler weather.
I passed on some T shirts I bought in America that no longer fit.
A gorgeous friend made my day by queuing up for me at the recent Foo Fighters Sydney concert and scoring me this awesome T shirt.
It was a sentimental purchase that I didn’t really need, but it certainly made me feel a lot better about my mobility issues and chronic pain making me miss out on a concert I would have loved to attend.
It is a lovely soft cotton with a cool AF print. Every time I wear it, I will think of my gorgeous friend. It is machine washable and fills a green T shirt shaped hole in my wardrobe.
I plan to wear it with denim shorts and kicks in the summer, as well as tucked in to a denim full skirt teamed with sandals. I’ll be rocking some badass vibes when I team it with a black leather biker and distressed skinnies.
I passed on some jeans that were too big.
Do you need some mindful shopping in your life?
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