Purchase Exercises

Purchase Exercises – Do This Before Purchasing Clothes

Impulse Buying

We’ve all felt the urge to make a clothing purchase for one reason or another. Though, when starting out one’s personal style journey, the urge to purchase becomes tenfold. The issue at hand is generally that you’re starting from scratch, whether metaphorically or literally, and feel you need to fill every perceived gap in your wardrobe. The flaw in this approach is you may not know your style well enough to understand if that gap is warranted. And often an individual with a well-established personal style can make this mistake – The mistake of the impulse buy. It’s possible for the item to become a staple in one’s wardrobe. But most times an impulse buy is ill-fated to be underused, disconnected and a bad judgement. How do we combat this plight?

Impulse Control

First, one needs a better handle on one’s own personal style. This will enable you to discern what you like; what you might enjoy but don’t necessarily resonate with; and what is not your “style”. All too often we think we need more clothes. When in reality, what we need is to understand ourselves and wear and style our clothing accordingly.

“But what if I know my style but still ‘have nothing to wear’?” Then, I’d say seek a second opinion from a wardrobe consultant. From one of my favorite personal style advocates, stylist and wardrobe consultant Allison Bornstein, “you don’t need more clothes, you need more ideas”. (If styling isn’t your strong suit, you can also do this from the get go.) If you haven’t already embarked on your personal style journey, I recommend Allison Bornstein’s Three Word Method and/or the AB Closet Editing system.

Then, I recommend doing my two Purchase Exercises followed by answering my four Purchase Questions, in that order. In this post, I’ll be going over my two Purchase Exercises. Both simple and, in my experience, effective. Admittedly, the exercises will take some preparation if you’ve not already done them. Though, the preparation will play to those whose strength is in making lists and refining them.

Purchase Exercises – Wardrobe Exercise

The first of the two exercises is the Wardrobe Exercise.

The Wardrobe Exercise will require you to make a list of all the items you have in your wardrobe. My list is categorized thus: Bottoms, Tops, Dresses, Outerwear, Shoes. I disdain physical shopping, trying on clothes and “playing” in my closet. And to add, I have a good ability to mentally picture/imagine outfits. So, making this list is my way of another’s “play time” with their clothes to see what looks good together, and what doesn’t.

To my point, the Wardrobe Exercise is you going through this list and getting at least 5 “matches”. In other words, a minimum of five outfits that YOU enjoy that include the garment in question. You can amend the number of matches at your discretion. I also recommend catering to your strengths. If you prefer to “play” in your wardrobe, by all means! The idea being, you know of at least a few different ways you will wear the item you’re considering for purchase.

Prevent impulse buying and do these two "purchase exercises" before purchasing clothes, accessories, makeup, etc. for your wardrobe!

Purchase Exercises – Personal Style Exercise

The second Purchase Exercise is the Personal Style Exercise. This exercise requires you to know your three words – the three words that describe and/or guide your style. As aforementioned, I recommend taking a look at Allison Bornstein’s Three Word Method; building on that as you may. Once you’ve a handle on your three words, consider each and put this item to the test. Preferably the garment will align with two or more words so as to encompass a larger picture of your personal style. Aligning with one word is the minimum and is sufficient as you can pair it with counterparts aligning with another word for dimension. If the item does not align with any words, it would be reasonable to conclude it doesn’t align with your style.

Questions these exercises target – Is this actually my style, or do I just admire this piece? Is this aspirational, perhaps/Is my style evolving? Will this be in my wardrobe long term?

The idea is to do this with every single item placed on your wishlist to determine if you should complete the purchase. And if the item isn’t on your wishlist, perhaps this is an impulse buy. To remedy this, simply place the item on your wishlist and carry out your prescribed waiting period.

The next post will touch on the second act of this two-part series – my four Purchase Questions. In the meantime, to discourage impulse purchases, determine your three words; create your wardrobe list; create your wishlist; then…conduct my Purchase Exercises!



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