How To Stop Buying Clothes You Never Wear And Build Your Own Style
We’ve all been there at least once, having purchased clothing we already had at home or buying garments with full intentions to wear, but somehow, they’ve just stayed in the wardrobe with tags on them. If this is you right now, let me show you how to stop buying clothes you never wear and work on a style you love.
When I see a wardrobe over-flowing with clothing, or I meet a client that tells me they have a wardrobe full of clothing but they don’t have anything to wear I come to three conclusions:
- They have a shopping habit that needs kicking.
- They don’t organise their wardrobe enough.
- They’re unclear on what their style is.
So let’s nip these three things in the bud.
YOU HAVE A SHOPPING HABIT: SAME CLOTHES / SAME DRAMA
Buying the same type of thing and getting stuck in a rut happens to all of us, it’s what happens when we form habits. We buy the same colours thinking we’re bringing home something new and exciting, only to find that we have many other items like it in our wardrobes. We don’t need twelve pink toned floral print shirts, or eight black cardigans or fifteen pairs of tan shoes, we just don’t – but how do we get out of this rut and stop buying the same clothes?
Make a memory out of your mistakes.
ACTION: Go to your wardrobe and group any similar items together. Area’s where you could have similarities are colour (do you see a sea of black?), similar types of garments (lots of going out dresses but nowhere to go?) or similar prints (Have you got stripes taking you all the way from sailing boat chic to jailhouse rock?) If your items are grouped, you’ll see your habits and they’ll serve as a daily reminder not to keep buying them.
YOU HAVE A SHOPPING HABIT: HAS TAGS ON IT
When you have lots of similar items with tags on them, a common one is going out clothing, you need to asses your lifestyle and how that fits with your wardrobe. Simply put, if you don’t have places to wear the garments you own, you need to stop buying them and work out what you do need. You can break down your lifestyle by counting how many days a week you need certain clothes for. You might need work clothing for at least five days a week, therefore most of your wardrobe should be work wear.
Consider all aspects of your wardrobe, ie; work, at home wear, sporting, social events (however formal or informal that may be) and sleepwear. If you want to do a thorough breakdown, I wrote a book on making your lifestyle match your wardrobe AND your personal style.
ACTION: Go to your wardrobe and pull out anything that has a tag on it, add up the price of the garments and write it on a piece of paper in big writing. Lay your items on your bed, put the piece of paper on top of them and take a photo on your phone. Set it as your wallpaper. Brutal, I know. But if you’ve pulled out a large pile, you need the reminder when you’re out not to buy items like those again.
HOW TO STOP BUYING CLOTHES YOU NEVER WEAR CONTINUED
YOU HAVE A SHOPPING HABIT: YOU SHOP AT THE SAME STORES
When we’re out shopping for new clothes that are different from what we have, funnily enough, most of us go back to the same stores we always shop in. When you visit the same store too much over a series of years, you can often end up buying similar items because brands will bring out what has worked in the past. Brands with distinct aesthetics will also have this effect on your wardrobe, ie; Review, Dangerfield and Cue. Men, if you’re reading this, here’s some of my favourite stores to get you out of your brand rut when you’re ready.
ACTION: Write down the stores you frequent the most and make an effort not to visit those stores next time. Instead, jump online and search for some similar stores and write down some brand names you haven’t tried yet that you like the look of. Try that store you always walk past or the one you went to years ago and haven’t been back into. You’d be surprised at just how much good stuff is hiding in plain sight.
YOU NEED TO ORGANISE YOUR WARDROBE
When you haven’t got an organised wardrobe or your wardrobe is spread out in multiple rooms in your home – you need to organise it. You can’t stop buying clothes you never wear without knowing what you own and having a place for everything.
If your wardrobe is over-flowing, look at your space and set parameters for each part. If you can only fit ten pairs of shoes, then only have ten pairs of shoes. Once you’ve done this, start adopting a method in your wardrobe where instead of adding to your wardrobe, you replace. This will deter over-flow from happening and you’ll be mindful of how often you’re shopping if you have to replace instead of add.
YOU NEED TO ORGANISE YOUR WARDROBE – NO BACKUPS NEEDED
One thing that gets us into hot water with wardrobe dilemmas is buying clothing as backups before we need them. Stop buying extra tee’s, extra jeans, flats or black pants. I’ve cleaned out wardrobes where this happens on a small scale, like having a few extra tees to where it’s happened on a much larger scale like having storage boxes stacked on top of one another filled with items that have tags on them.
ACTION: If you have backups of clothing that could replace current items you have, replace them now. If not, donate the backups, return them to the store or sell them.
BE SURE OF YOUR STYLE: GET INSPIRATION
The next thing you’ll want to do is work out what your style is, because a wardrobe full of things you’re not wearing tells me you don’t know what it is – or maybe you have a rough idea but you haven’t defined it enough. There’s a blog post here which breaks down how to use Pinterest to get the style you want.
If the common things on your inspiration board don’t match up with your wardrobe, make a list of the things you’re missing and be specific. If you like a skirt, don’t just write skirt, write down the details – is it printed? Is it a certain cut? Brand? Or colour? Is it suitable for a particular season? Once you have this list, stick to it like glue and don’t shop without it. That way you’re only buying things you’ll wear and love.
BE SURE OF YOUR STYLE: DON’T FALL FOR TRENDS
This is a tough one because when a trend hits, suddenly it’s everywhere and it can be hard to resist. If you have defined your style in the previous step and gone through the other steps above, you’ll find it harder to fall into the trend trap. Remember, if you love fashion, you don’t have to do all the trends and when you do find a trend you love, remember to not invest heavily into it. Trends come and go and they get old fast, if you shop up a storm on a certain trend, your wardrobe will feel old too.
HOW DID YOU GO?
Getting out of habits is always harder than getting into them, if you’re still struggling and want to really work on your style plus break even more bad habits and replace them with good ones – I wrote a book just for you that I think you’ll love and you can find out all about it here!