Thursday, January 10, 2013

things I shouldn't buy

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In a renewed effort to spend money more wisely, I was determined to ruthlessly assess my closet and make a concise list of what I truly lack. In the process, it's become really clear to me what I shouldn't buy again in the near future (or ever):

1. boatnecks - no matter how elegant they look on a mannequin or in an ad, they've never done my upper half any favors

2. black bags - I truly believe that black is a wonderful, versatile color, but 4 bags (a satchel, a crossbody, a hobo/bucket bag, and a travel/work tote) are enough.

3. scarves - I think my boyfriend might call it quits if I buy one.more.scarf. (not really, but I think he's half serious)

4. nail polish - after taking inventory last night, I realized I had an embarrassing number in my collection, including shades that even I had to concede were ridiculously similar when my boyfriend pointed it out. I got rid of over 60% of what I had. I'll be sending my discarded pile of often new and unused bottles to my aunt in the Philippines who's a manicurist. I don't want to buy any new bottles any time soon, but I'm instituting the rule of keep one, get rid of one for the future.

5. red lipstick/any lipgloss - too many reds, not enough pinks or nudes. I'm trying to get this to be more about variety (and use!) than quantity. 

I think the biggest thing I've learned so far in purging is how I make decisions about what I buy. When I was younger, I tried to get the best "value" for my money since I was still in school and not really working. Back then, this meant quantity over quality. In the more recent past, I cared about quality more when I could start to afford it, but often let myself get swayed by how cute I found an item or how much of a good deal it was. As I look through the mini mountains of stuff I've bought and am now discarding because of redundancy or lack of usage, I'm reminded and determined to make my purchasing choices more carefully. What I will buy in the future will have to be all of the following:

a. of good quality - long term over short term

b. fits my style - it's fun to experiment and be trendy every now and then, but the things that fit your style are often the ones that you reach for over and over again. for me, I like classic, streamlined pieces with a unique detail.

c. fit my lifestyle - this is a big one. I have plenty of things I am now selling/donating/giving away that fit my style but don't fit my life and what I need from my clothing/shoes/accessories. Here's what my life is like: I work in a business casual office from 9-5 and tutor in the early evenings. I'm often running from one place to the other. I love fashion, but I'm also practical, so I often opt for stylish low-heel or flat options for shoes to wear to work. Knowing this, I realize that I need a medium to large bag with a strap, comfortable shoes, and a uniform of sorts of nice slacks/trousers/jeans, a simple tee/blouse, and an over layer of some kind - blazer/cardigan/sweater. This is my life 85% of the time, so accordingly, that is the reality I should shop for 85% of the time. That's not to say that I shouldn't buy a killer pair of heels or a snazzy dress, but that I should be honest and realistic about how they'll fit into my lifestyle and judge the value/cost equation accordingly. 

What are the things you shouldn't buy? Have you been purging lately? How do you make decisions about your purchases? Please share. I'd love to know!

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