We’ve all been in this very scenario: we slide open the door to a disorganized closet and search endlessly for a perfect outfit, finally settling on our go-to garment—which happens to have a gaping tear in the sleeve. But instead of sulking, your ripped shirt becomes a harbinger of something good—you’ve been overdue for a closet revamp for a while, and that tear is finally making your shopping wheels spin.
But before you pile your closet high with a brand new wardrobe, there are some common shopping spree mistakes you’ll want to avoid. Don’t end up with an empty wallet and clothes that don’t suit you—follow our tips below and be the smartest shopper to ever grace a store.
Not Setting a Budget
If you’ve ever been shopping for clothes, you know that your eyes can get bigger than your wallet—and quickly. Every last shirt, shoe, and sock adds up, so make sure to set a cap dollar amount that you’re comfortable with—and stick to it.
Picking Quantity Over Quality
It doesn’t take a fashion expert to figure out that certain materials will likely disintegrate after a few washes. Fast fashion is a compelling machine that tries to lure us into buying cheap products because we think we’re getting a lot of clothes for not a lot of money, but the result is quite the opposite.
Many quantity-over-quality retailers sell clothing that’s made in a sub-par fashion, meaning you’ll start to see strands unraveling and holes forming after a few wears. And even though you paid $18 for that shirt, you might have to buy twenty of them to achieve the lifespan of the $65 shirt you passed over because of the price tag.
Quality clothing can last a lifetime, and often ends up being much more cost effective. Plus, quality clothing usually means high-quality fabrics, and low-quality fabrics are often chock full of skin-irritating elements.
Shopping Without a Handy List
Our moms and dads all went to the grocery store with lists, and it’s time to take a page out of their smart-shopper books. Peer deep into your drawers and ask yourself what you really need. Is your stockpile of sweaters asking for a facelift? Is your favorite pair of stretchy jeans faded beyond belief?
This mistake is a little less rigid—make sure to aim for things you really need, but if you see a magical must-have, don’t be afraid to be a rule-breaker.
All too often, we bring home clothing that doesn’t fit in our closet. It’s not that we don’t have enough room (let’s face it… there’s always more room), rather, the clothes we buy clashes with other apparel.
When you start your spree, be mindful of clothing you already have. If you happen upon a perfect sweater, ask yourself if it’ll go with jeans or shorts you already own. Aim for new clothes that’ll work with most of your closet—this way, you’ll have a greater range of outfits.