Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Three Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Buy the Outfit

When you go shopping for clothes, what motivates you to buy? If you are like many women, chances are that your reasons for purchasing that new outfit are far more unconscious and emotionally driven than you'd like to believe. To avoid making a purchasing error, here are three questions to ask yourself before you buy.

1) Question: Am I buying this to fit in, or because it looks good on me?
We all fall prey to the whimsy of trendy clothing. We have a powerful drive for approval from others, and one way we get it is by fitting in. You can see this unconscious force in action by watching how a previously hideous look grows on you as you see more and more people sporting it. But the truth is that not every style will look good on you, no matter how popular or trendy it might be!
Key point: Know the basic lines, silhouettes and proportions that suit your body type, and don't be tempted by trends that won't suit you.

2) Question: Is this outfit for me, or for my alter-ego?
A great many of us are shopping to outfit an imaginary persona. We may be emotionally drawn to a certain look even though it has no place in our current lifestyle. And so we shop for the glamorous diva when we are really just a jeans-and-t-shirt kind of gal. Figuring out how you actually need to dress each day versus how you imagine you will, will help you stop buying clothes for your alternate personalities.
Key point: Know exactly when, where, and how often you plan to wear the outfit before you buy.

3) Question: Is it comfortable?
We are all creatures of habit, and we seek out comfort whenever we can. Don't be tempted to ignore subtle signals that an outfit doesn't feel right. If an article of clothing is too tight, too itchy, doesn't fit right, or in any way makes us doubt ourselves when we put it on, chances are that it will go matter how good it might look on us!
Key point: Don't ignore discomfort. If it doesn't feel right, don't buy it.

Ask yourself these three simple questions before you buy your next outfit, and you will find yourself making wiser, more appropriate choices for you and your closet.

See you next time...same blog time...same blog channel....

(For more information on Wardrobe Planning or to sign up for my e-zine, stop on by my website.)


RobFromGa said...


Good advice for both men and women, and it doesn't only apply to clothes. For some, "Retail Therapy" is about the act of buying, and doesn't really matter what is being bought. (Like the old joke about the lady that bought a case of cat food because it was ON SALE, even though she didn't have a cat)

If we're gonna buy anyway, we might as well buy things that will be useful!

Rob "I get my computer back Sat" N.

Lisa M. McLellan said...

I definitely don't just buy trendy stuff which makes finding clothes that are stylish really difficult sometimes. It took me about 10 years of looking at everyone else in flares and wearing 80's style jeans to finally cave and buy flares. You are so right about the comfort factor. I do have clothes that sit in my closet waiting for a day where I'd only need to wear them for a couple of hours because I can't stand to wear them any longer.
great post

Aaron said...

If I didn't bring my wife along, the only question I'd ask is "Is this comfortable?"


Nancy W. said...

I just found your blog and website and am eagerly reading your wardrobe and style articles. So far, I love what I've seen. THanks for all the good info...

sunny said...

Absolutely great post, Jennifer, and I will ask those questions EVERY time I buy something. There are a few things in my closet for my alter ego....I think they are going to the consignment shop this week. Thanks for the encouragement!