Closet Makeover Part 5: Becoming a Smarter Shopper


This is the final part of my closet makeover series in which I share some tips on how to keep your wardrobe looking great by becoming a smarter shopper.


Congratulations, you’ve made it to the wardrobe finish line! After culling your wardrobe ruthlessly, re-organizing it completely, re-inventing your personal style and identifying your wardrobe staples, you should now (hopefully) be left with a gorgeous and fully functional wardrobe!

Now comes the actual hard part – keeping all of this up. Because if you’re anything like me, the sight of your perfectly streamlined, half-empty wardrobe will be enough to make you want to head to Zara and shop up a storm.

But really, wouldn’t it be a shame to ruin all this effort and get back to square one? (Yes, it would)

The key is not so much to stop shopping all together (let’s be real here) as much as to become a more clever, organized shopper.  So before you reach for your credit card and hit the stores, here are few tips that should help you put a successful shopping plan into place:

♥ Make a list

Before you go out shopping, have a good look through your wardrobe and identify which items you are actually missing. It could be that you’re missing some of the wardrobe staples you identified earlier or it could be that you need something to complete a particular ensemble.  You might also need a few items to rock that new look you’re going for or to incorporate a new trend into your style.

Also, take stock of what colors you already have in your wardrobe, if all of your tops are black for example then perhaps it’s time to branch out into grey or white?

Write down the list of items you need on a piece of paper and take it with you every time you go out shopping. Make it your goal to tick off all the items on the list (gradually obviously, this is not a free pass to go on a shopping rampage) before you buy anything else!

♥ Don’t shop when feeling emotional

Oh yes, we’ve all been there. Just like it’s a bad idea to cut off all your hair the day after a break up it’s also a terrible plan to hit the shops when you’re feeling blue or are in a bad mood. This is not real therapy folks! Not only are you likely to buy something that you’ll never wear but you’ll be forever stuck with an item that reminds you of that break up or terrible day.

If you really need to take your mind of things then how about treating yourself to a well-deserved massage or watching a cheesy comedy show on TV instead?

♥ Set yourself a shopping budget

I know it sounds kind of lame but setting yourself a shopping budget (and sticking to it) really does force you to think about what you buy a lot more. It often pushes you to choose between items and to really consider the ones you love most.

I also find paying with cash instead of using my credit card helps me keep track of my spending and tempers my ‘impulse shopping’ tendencies.

♥ Don’t be seduced by sales or low prices

I love sales just as much as the next girl but I’m also aware of the fact that low prices make me go a little shopping crazy. When an item is suddenly 30% or 50% off it’s easy to suddenly forget all about those good shopping resolutions and just go for it! The truth is though that impulse buying during a sale never really works out.  You often end up spending way more money that you’d planned on, you buy items you don’t really need or you don’t try things on to skip the long changing rooms queues and realize too late that they don’t fit.

Ultimately, whether you’re shopping during the sales season or not, you should always ask yourself the same questions as when you first edited your wardrobe : does the item fit you well? Would you wear it? How versatile is it? Does it go with anything else you own? Does it look like a good quality product? etc.

If you’re not sure about an item then walk away – it’s gotta be true love to last.

♥ Invest in a few high quality items

Although there’s nothing wrong with buying items from places like ‘Target’ these types of clothing unfortunately rarely last the distance. That being said, high quality items can be pricey and not everyone can afford to fill their wardrobe with cashmere sweaters.

I find a good way to compromise on the whole cost vs. quality issue is to divide your wardrobe spending between your staples and your seasonal/on trend items.  Since your wardrobe staples are meant to last you a long time it makes sense to invest in them and buy quality products. For items that you’ll only wear every once in a while or that are trendy pieces that you’ll only wear one season then I think it’s perfectly fine to buy some cheapies.

I hope you found these tips useful and enjoyed the wardrobe overhaul process as much as I did. I’m so happy with my new wardrobe and I’m determined to keep it looking that way. I’m hoping to repeat this process every year too so that I stay on top of things!

Have you got any additional tips for a successful closet makeover? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!


Image credit: Isla Fisher in ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’


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