With all the holiday season deals flying around at this time of year, we can all be forgiven for doing a little shopping for ourselves as well as our loved ones! There’s a lot of great advice out there, but I particularly loved this column by Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere: 7 Strategies for Shopping Smarter.
You’ll notice that in order to follow Emily’s tips, particularly #3 and #4, you need to have an organized closet. As I’ve discussed before, consumption and organization go hand in hand, and to be most successful you’ll want to optimize both. But there’s one more thing to consider when shopping that came up for me earlier this year.
My girlfriends and I take a weekend trip somewhere sunny every spring, and 2016’s Girls Weekend was set in Scottsdale, AZ. We chose the destination for its likely warm weather of course (unfortunately, things were a tad chillier than anticipated!) but also for the fact that it boasts a large high-end mall. One of the girls lives in the suburbs in Minnesota with her young family and doesn’t get to shop by herself very often, so she wanted the opportunity to peruse the stores with friends/advisors in tow.
We’ve all known each other for long enough to have a good handle on each others’ personal style and body types, so we were able to talk each other out of questionable purchases and assure each other on pieces we wavered on. And one thing we found ourselves discussing time and time again was this: we needed to focus on buying clothes for the lives we actually live, versus just buying random things we think are cute.
An example: I very rarely wear business casual. I keep thinking I should have more trousers and pencil skirts on hand, but the truth is that if I have a meeting or lunch, I prefer to go with a dress or more fashion forward shapes in separates since those looks are more on brand for me. As for my Minnesota friend, she doesn’t go out to dinner or parties very often, so it doesn’t make sense for her to have multiple pairs of fancy heels, but she needs lots of breezy dresses, cover-ups, bathing suits, and sandals for her summertime lakeside lifestyle.
So, I’d add to Emily’s sage advice that you should shop for the life you live right now. After all, if your needs change, you can always adjust your shopping goals!