There's probably not a woman on planet earth who has not stood in front of her closet, at least once (we all know it's much more), and thought, "I have nothing to wear." Why is that? And why do some women seem to suffer from this dilemma more than others? The answer lies in the way you shop.
Most women believe the lack of outfit options is the cause of one or two things - not having enough time to shop or, more commonly, not having enough money to shop the way she'd ideally like to dress. Although, both points do have merit, the truth is you can make much better use of your wardrobe by avoiding these 5 common shopping mistakes that are hurting both your style and pockets.
1. Buying the Same Item in Multiple Colors
But they are on sale! I get it, we all love a great sale but this is one sure way to stunt your style and spend unnecessarily. The truth is you will always favor one color over the others, leaving a closet full of duplicates that don't help you generate new outfits.
The only exception to this rule is if you are buying a basic item such as t-shirt or pair of dress pants that fit you amazingly well - and won't go out of style in a year. In this case, buying an additional color is fine but I would limit it to two colors only, three and beyond is too much.
Otherwise, buying multiple colors, simply because of a good sale, is not only a waste of precious space in your closet but of your money as well.
2. Shopping with the Wrong People
Ok, so this is a touchy subject but I find so true! Every time I shop with a friend or family member who does not get my style, I end up either leaving something behind (I would have normally bought if I were alone) or buying something I wasn't truly in love with.
This is, of course, is the fault of social proof. According to the book, "Influence" by Robert Cialdini, social proof is “the tendency to see an action as more appropriate when others are doing it”. If you flash your friend a top you love and she doesn't love it back you're more than likely not going to buy it. On the other hand if she profusely approves of it, you will.
For this reason, shop with people who have a similar aesthetic as you or get your sense of style. You will make less shopping mistakes and buy items you actually love.
3. Buying for When You Will Lose the Weight
We all struggle with weight, it really doesn't matter what size you are, most women are in one way or another concerned about the size they wear.
As much as we want to hit our ideal size, buying for the future and not the present is one sure way to end up with an unfulfilling wardrobe. For starters, you're not able to wear the item immediately when you could really use a new outfit and, even worse, if you're not able to lose the weight you now have a permanent reminder of it sitting in your closet with no purpose. You don't need that kind of discouragement or unnecessary spending.
Instead, I suggest waiting until the weight is lost so you can revel in your accomplishment while standing in the changing room. Use other ways to motivate yourself to lose the weight (I love a good vision board) and buy for now so you can start feeling good about the person you are at any weight.
4. Following Trends Instead of Developing a Signature Style
Having knowledge of trends is a good thing but when they become your only source of outfit inspiration you end up with a wardrobe that is dated easily and needs to be updated in a big way each time a new season arrives.
For this reason, I personally believe in developing a signature style. A signature style is a personal style that is unique to you and not dictated by the latest trends. There will be trends that work well with your signature style but your style is not dependent it. Think about your all time favorite outfits, the ones that made you feel your best because they complemented both your style and your body. These are hints to what your signature style would be.
One tip is to create a Pinterest board with photos of these outfits you felt great in and add new inspirations you come across that would work well with your style. Before you go on your next shopping trip (in store or online) review this board so you stick to developing a personal style and avoid wasting money on trend pieces only.
5. Not Creating a Shopping List in Advance
You should prepare a shopping list the same way you do for the groceries. Why you ask? The list will include the items you need to have in order to create a more fulfilling wardrobe instead of buying into a category you already own a lot as such as jeans or shoes.
It's very easy to get distracted when shopping but when your main goal is to have a wardrobe you love, you need to focus on building it with the missing pieces. You can even include a trend or two that you know works well with your personal style and focus on finding those when shopping as opposed to aimlessly buying trends you see everyone else wearing.
It will also help you stick to the budget you set since you already know what you're looking for and won't spend unnecessarily.
Are you guilty of any of these common shopping mistakes? Which tip do you love the most? Share in the comments below!
Tiffany is a stay-at-home Mom who lives in NY and is the founder of Style Uncovered - a budget fashion blog helping women find luxe style for less money, after being laid off from her corporate fashion job of over 8 years.
Her goal is to inspire women to dress their best no matter their budget, so they feel their best, and live the lives they truly want.