Growing up, I was teased for wearing the same thing every day: a t-shirt from my father’s company and cheap denim. In my twenties, I slowly started to develop a sense for what flattered me, but I was very frugal and refused to spend more than $30 on any article of clothing or footwear. I always felt uncomfortable following trends and shopped infrequently. Once we began walking the path of starting our own business, I realized the importance of presenting myself as a young professional to potential investors and business partners. The confidence gained from feeling good about your appearance shouldn’t be neglected either.
As I gained comfort with my clothing choices and my consistent income, I warmed up to the idea of purchasing ‘forever’ or ‘investment’ pieces. It’s worth understanding that articles of clothing are consumables and will need to be replaced over time regardless of their starting price point. I’ve been at this for three years or so now, and it has been a rocky road with many mistakes. I’ve purchased ‘investment’ pieces that weren’t ‘forever’ pieces, I’ve settled for ill-fitting clothing because I loved the style, and I’ve purchased trends that I hated before I even had an opportunity to wear them.
I experience an oppressive amount of guilt for these poor, costly decisions. We’re not swimming in so much cash that we don’t feel the effects of recycling perfectly good clothing every year. This results in us holding on to pieces that we will never wear again, cluttering our closet and punishing ourselves every time we see them. I give myself the same pep talk as when I make a mistake with our business: you’re saving exactly $0 by holding onto the problem, and you might even cause yourself more harm in doing so. I try to recognize that I AM getting better over time and that the best I can do is to scrutinize the decision from every angle and walk away more educated and prepared for the future.
This winter, I realized one of my problems was that I wasn’t planning my wardrobe out each season. I felt like, given how small my collection is, I could mentally inventory it while evaluating a purchase and make the right call. But the problem was that I was spending an inordinate amount of time looking for SOMEthing, though I didn’t know what that something was. Instead, I decided to take a few days to comb the internet and create a mood board as well as a capsule wishlist of sorts. Speaking honestly, I still enjoy the search so I’m not cutting myself off from browsing completely. I do intend to better track my purchases and moderate my shopping habits.
Reduce wardrobe turnover by buying quality pieces that will stand the test of time.
Overcome my fear of looking stupid or silly. Wear it, own it, and make light of any negative comments.
Find more excuses to dress well! I’m accumulating items that I love to wear, but I don’t create an opportunity to wear them. My job is physical the vast majority of the time, and there is no way to avoid getting dirty. When I go extended periods of time without trying to pull myself together, I feel unattractive, undesirable, and antisocial.
Develop a comprehensive wardrobe that can take me through all seasons in the midwest. I have enormous holes at the moment!
Budget and stick to it.
Love everything in my closet. Lofty, but worth pursuing.
Next week, I’ll lay out my needs and desires for my closet and the sources I’m shopping.
My Spring Wardrobe Inspiration