4 Rules – Shopping Quality Over Quantity

We hear this a lot, but really it SHOULD be the #1 rule for all women. We are constantly being bombarded with new trends, clothes on display, outfit inspirations and most of us fall for the insane fashion marketing tactics. We think new = better. It doesn’t have to be this way. Back in the early 1900’s women made a point of spending one day a season looking for the best quality outfits for themselves, their children and their loved-ones. Why? Because back then, you had the basics and were only interested in making sure those basics continue to look fresh and new with age. Now, we buy a cheap top because we know we can get another one whenever we want. Problem is, it LOOKS cheap, and we know it, so we go out and buy a dozens of things to pile up in to our closets just to have a load of crap to choose from. That’s not cool.

I find the best solution to this would be to do these four things once a year:

A. Be Completely Objective

Go through every item of clothing you own and decide whether or not you should keep it, give it away or dump it.Be objective about what should stay, what looks good and what is still functional. We all have those go-to shirts and jeans that we can’t stop wearing, but deep down we know they aren’t doing much for our appearance. Let those go, and go out and get a new piece to replace it.

B. Check for Wear and Tear

Make sure anything you decide to keep has no stains, discoloration, elasticity issues or tears. I have had a few skirts or dresses that clearly needed help and I just kept them in my closet for years thinking…”oh one day I will take them to a shop to get them fixed”…that never happened. Unless you’re 100% committed to fixing them, don’t keep them.

C. Decide What is Essential

These are the items that you wear and/or use every single year, on a regular basis.Do you wear dresses and skirts to work? Trousers and knits? Decide what are the most important pieces of clothing for you and which ones you tend to always take out throughout the year. This will be the foundation on which you base your budget and purchases.It would be a good idea to make a list here that looks like this:Fall Essentials, Winter Essentials, Spring Essentials and Summer Essentials.

D. Create an Annual Budget for Investment Pieces

Following point C above, the investment pieces should be what you tend to use month after month. We typically wear coats and boots quite often, trousers and dress shirts for work perhaps, dresses to special occasions etc.Based on your ‘essentials’ list, you should check against what you have in your wardrobe and what the important pieces are in your every day life. Make sure you have these essentials and here’s where quality control comes in to play.
Since you will be using wearing these on a regular basis, you should learn how to invest in good quality pieces that will survive the constant usage. I consider these ‘investment’ pieces:

INVESTMENT PIECES GUIDELINES

COATS

Goes without saying. This is #1 on the list because none of us are willing to buy a coat every single year. Quality coats can last up to 10 years if you take care of them the right way. Coats also take up a lot of space in our closets, so choose wisely and limit yourself to two.

HANDBAGS

There are three must-have handbags: Black, Cream or Nude, and Tan or Brown.These shades can pretty much be paired with any outfit and that’s why I would recommend good quality leather, of the designer variety. Before buying a bag, make sure you really truly love it because this could last you anywhere between 5 to 15 years. As for trendier and colorful bags, I wouldn’t spend too much on these because you might not be carrying them around on a regular basis, so no need to spend too much money on them.

SHOES

Your every-day shoes should be top-notch quality. No doubt. If you’re wearing something on a weekly basis, make sure it is well-constructed and can provide comfort as well maintaing its structure simultaneously.

KNITS

Winter clothes should last a few years. Just like handbags, there are sweaters that work with a huge spectrum of skirts and trousers. Nudes, Blacks and Greys are great examples here. Those knits should be good quality cashmere or wool.

OCCASION DRESSES

If you’re going to a special occasion, make sure the dress you wear is special as well. One or two dresses for each of the four seasons would be a good idea. Make sure they are well-made and won’t start looking shabby (aka polyester, nylon) over time.

LINGERIE

I believe every woman should own a matching pair of high-quality lingerie, particularly bras. Bras of the right kind can last for years. It might seem weird to spend so much money on a bra, but seriously, you should and you will thank yourself later.

PROFESSIONAL ATTIRE

This would include suits, dress shirts, blazers and trousers.A good quality fitted black blazer screams professional/serious.Every woman should own at least one business suit for interviews, business dates or meetings. This means, spend your money wisely on that one piece because it should look brand new for years (I recommend Hugo Boss). Keep the professional items to a minimum but make sure the first thing people think of when they see you is: POWER, because that’s just how we roll in the offices nowadays.

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