Saturday, 11 April 2015

Quality Over Quantity - Changing Your Mindset

As you may have already read, I have taken inspiration from Jennifer L. Scott and have embarked upon my own '10 Item Wardrobe' experiment (I don't like the word 'journey', it makes me feel like a reality show contestant!). As you can read here I didn't quite make the number 10, but as explained in Jennifer's book, there is no hard and fast rule for the number of items. It is all about changing your mindset and not having excessive amounts of clothes. 

Something which I quickly took notice of while going through my clothes and deciding what to keep and what to donate was the labels on everything. If you know me, then you know that I am not a label snob by any stretch of the matter so this even surprised me. I wasn't looking at the labels and then deciding whether to keep the item, I was assessing the quality, the fit, the colour and the condition. After I decided if it was staying or going I was then looking at the label. 

What did I notice? More items from so-called 'throw-away' fashion brands were being added to my donation pile. Why? Because they were of lesser quality than my other items. Taking the time to assess each piece showed me that although I may like the look of the item, upon closer inspection the colour may have faded, it had lost its shape slightly in the wash or I wasn't sure how much longer it would hold up. 

These are not the kinds of items that you want in your wardrobe because they won't last as long as more quality pieces. I am not suggesting that you go out and exclusively shop with Armani or Ralph Lauren (I certainly couldn't afford to do this) however it is worth investing in the best quality that you can. A lot of the items which remained in my wardrobe are still from high street brands such as Next and M&Co. Which are generally a higher quality and are a bit more expensive than say, New Look or Primark but are still friendly on your purse strings.

As for my future purchases? I have stopped buying sale rack items and items that I see as I am passing the shop window. I have a note on my phone where I am recording all of the 'I wish I had...' thoughts that I have come across in the mornings when I am getting dressed so that I can review and see if it was a fleeting desire or a serious gap in my wardrobe. If it is a genuine gap, I am not going out and buying the first item which fits the bill, I am taking my time to find the perfect one which will last.

I am not going to lie, this has not been an overnight or easy change. I work in a massive department store so I walk by temptation several times a day. I follow copious amounts of blogs which make me want to go out and shop. The temptation is still there, I am just asking myself three key questions when the urge to spend rises, they have really helped me so why don't you try them too?

Do I need this?
When I say need, I mean really need. As in, you have one pair of jeans and they are ripped to shreds. Not as in 'I need these skinny jeans in my life now!' for you to probably wear them once and then for them to join the denim pile.

Will this compliment my wardrobe?
Does this piece go with what you already have, will you be able to mix and match it, dress it up or dress it down. Do you have shoes and handbags that go with this or would you need to shop for those too? If you can wear it straight away without further spending then it most likely will compliment your wardrobe.

Is this me?
It needs to reflect who you are. I don't hide behind a persona presented by my clothes, I like to present myself through what I wear. When I get dressed in the morning I want to feel like me. I feel more confident in going about my day, there is nothing worse than feeling self-conscious in what you are wearing.

Asking myself these questions has definitely stopped me from making any unnecessary purchases and has made me change the way I view items of clothing.  Looking for quality and longevity over a short period of satisfaction. 

Are you guilty of looking for a bargain even if you don't need it? Or do you have any other questions that you ask yourself while shopping?

1 comment:

  1. what a wonderfully written post - I'm so intrigued by this topic, as well. I LOVE hearing how other people are approaching it. I'm completing a capsule wardrobe challenge of my own for this month, 30 items for 30 days.

    Keep it up - can't wait to read more about your adventure!



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