Thursday, April 11, 2013

curated closet: road to recovery

Hi my name is Jessica & I am addicted to shopping.

There were so many other shopaholic confessions on Tuesday's post that I wanted to take some time to address the issue further.

Looks like I am not the only one struggling with the notion of a curated closet, filled with things you LOVE not just like.
Here & Now : Wardrobe Staples
The List that started it all - check out the original post here & my shopping recommendations here
So how do you switch your mind-set from fast fashion oriented to building the closet of your dreams?
Here are 10 tips to achieving closet nirvana:
 (many brought up in the comment section of this post)

1. Set a budget. So this one isn't Earth shattering. The "experts" say you should be spending no more than 4% of your take-home pay on optional expenses (i.e. clothes). You know your money situation better than me, so I am not going to toss out any numbers here. What really matters is that you set a concrete budget, with in your means & stick to it, no putting it on your credit card or nothing! When you run out, stop.

2. Identify holes in your closet. I think I can safely say that no one reading my blog (including myself) needs clothes. But sure there are some versatile pieces that if you had, would maximize the use of your other clothes. Maybe some wardrobe staples that you are lacking?

3. Make a list. Ok, so you have identified some holes in your closet. But what do you need now, this season? What other trendy items are you wanting to snatch up?
Write it down. Put it in your wallet. Make a note on your phone.

My shopping list for May looks something like this:
Closet holes to fill:
- black bikini
- quality leather sandals

Trendy items to keep an eye out for a good deal:
- floral pants
- stripe peplum top

Give yourself a mission. When you know what you are looking for, your mind is less likely to wander. If it isn't on your list, ask yourself why before proceeding (see also #6, #8, #9)

4. Don't shop alone. I can't be the only one that is guilty of walking into Target to get toothpaste & walking out $100 poorer. But somehow, when Ty goes with me, I only get the toothpaste (& maybe 1 new scarf!). If you can't trust yourself to stick to your budget & mission, bring someone along - not your friend that tells you everything looks good on your, but some one who is going to ask you, "Do you really need that?" while giving you judge-y eyes.

5. Stop putting things in your online cart just so you can get free shipping. Just stop it already. If you aren't willing to pay for shipping to get it, you don't really want it. 

6. Sleep on it. Cut those impulses down to size.

7. Organize your closet. If you are having the shopping itch (i.e. just put way too many items in your J.Crew online shopping cart <-- GUILTY), go organize your closet. You will find new items that you will be exited to wear & maybe identify some holes (#2) to shop for in the future.

8. Imagine 3 outfits with what you are about to purchase. If you are going to get the most out of your closet, each piece needs to play well with the others. (for inspiration see my Pinterest board here)

9. Calculate the cost/wear. Sure a classic $300 Michael Kors bag might be a hefty upfront expense, but if you wear that quality made baby multiple times per week, for years, the cost might work out better than buying a cheap-o purse every season instead.

10. Don't be afraid to return things. So often the in the past I would order something online, see it in person and feel totally "meh", but be too lazy to return it. What's worse than driving to the post office, staring at that space sucker everyday in my closet.

Bonus tip: Tattoo this motto on your credit card wielding arm:  "spend money as well as you can once, instead of three times poorly."

:: Now that you are on the road to recovery, share this friendly PSA with your friends ::
Here & Now : building a curated closet | 101: getting past impulse shopping

(disclaimer: I am not a money expert, I do not have a degree in this area, not all of these tips will be helpful to everyone, but I hope that you can keep some of them in mind next time you are shopping. If you have other sage advice, I know that myself & others would love to hear it, so please leave it in the comments)

How do you avoid impulse shopping?

What is at the top of your "closet holes" list?


  1. Love this! Totally agree that you need to picture more than 3 outfits with a piece!


  2. *LOVED* this piece. I've never looked at my wardrobe as you did here in this post and I think that's why I have a lot of loner items that don't see a lot of wear. I love Tip #8 for the same reason. I need to make my own list (shirtdresses, for example, don't complement my figure). What a great way to help me streamline what's in my closet and make better future purchases. I'm also taking your advice to heart about investing well once versus three times badly. Thanks so much!



    Hey, I Love Your Bag!

  3. Great tips! I have been guilty of many things you listed, including walking out of Target with toilet paper + 2 shirts, 1 dress, and a pair of jeans. Its maddening to think about how much one can spend in the clothing section of Target. I also have added stuff to a cart to get free shipping - stuff clearly I don't need. There are a couple of things I want to get and I just need to save up and get them - and quit perusing the clothing section of Target.

    Thanks for the great advice!

  4. This is great! I tend to be really good for weeks and weeks when it comes to shopping, then I binge haha. What helps me is keeping a budget, going with someone (definitely!) and making sure whatever I buy will go with at least three things I already have in my closet!

  5. These are really great tips! I love the visual too. Those are great basics everyone should have.

    xo Jessica

    My Style Vita

  6. Awesome tips Jessica. On one particular occasion I went to Ross and bought a pair of heels on an impulse buy. I never wore them and wondered why the heck I ever bought the ugly shoes in the first place. Wasted money!

  7. Because I work long hours - I shop a lot online. My # ! strategy that is really helping me with impulse buying is....I created a rule in Outlook to automatically move all emails from stores to special folder marked "stores". Took me a week to "train" these emails to move there but now I am no longer tempted to buy from a sudden 24 hour sale that pops up in my inbox. Now I have to purposely go to that folder to see what stores are offering. Since I get busy and forget about them - I have really reduced my buying. Now I look for EXACTLY what I want rather than what's just on sale. I also use the put in my cart and wait a few hours/next day - that helps too. Sometimes I look at my cart and see items and say" what was I thinking".

  8. My solution to not impulse shop? I simply don't make enough money to do so. And I have too many student loans. It's a blessing in disguise, really! Ha

  9. Keeping a list in your wallet is a great idea! I feel like I do a pretty good job of having a budget and knowing what items my closet is lacking, but then I forget them or get sidetracked while shopping. A list would totally help with that.

  10. This is amazing!!! Thank you so much, this is soooo helpful!

  11. Wonderful wonderful post! I'm going to save this post and come back to it all the time!

  12. Such great tips Jess! I am definitely guilty of adding things to my cart for free shipping, gets me every time!


  13. I love the "free shipping pitfall one" (thanks to you or whoever put that in the comments of the other post!). I do this with books a lot, oops. If I'm buying four books on clearance, I only need one more to get free shipping! One more than one occasion that book has ended up on my front stoop for another person to find because it wasn't up my alley to begin with. I need to just buck up and pay for shipping sometimes!

  14. These are really great tips. I like your picks, too. I totally agree about purchasing high end pieces that will last for years, too. I bought a classic Coach bag that has lasted me over a year. It still looks brand new. If I would have bought a F21 one, it would have been pitched within a couple of months.

  15. This may be considered mommyjacking, but I'm gonna go ahead with it. My best piece of advice to not buy a bunch of stuff you don't need? Go with a toddler. You have to get the important things first because they don't last long in a shopping cart, haha :D I love everything in that collage and am checking out the original post.

  16. I am addicted to shopping too and not sure if it is getting out of hand already(my husband says so). I agree with getting quality pieces that will last a longtime. I always fall for free shipping. thank you for sharing this. An eye opener for me.




  17. These are great tips! I would also say I'm addicted to s hopping so have been trying to be more focused and controlled and plan ahead for purchases...big goal for this year!

  18. I definitely need to work on #6 and #7. I've realised that most of the appeal of shopping for me is getting a quick'n'easy way to make a new, exciting outfit. Instead, I need to take the time to look through my own wardrobe and put some 'new' outfits together myself. And yes, taking the boyfriend shopping is a great way to curve the spending - which is why I never take him hahaha :)


  19. Great post! I am going to have to tattoo that saying!! LOL

  20. Thank you for this post! I need to remind myself to be a more focused shopper. My ex would always say "do you NEED that" in that judgey tone, and as much as it annoyed me, he was right most of the time! I need to start filling in holes, making a list and buying less impulse stuff.


  21. These are all simply and sound recommendations for completing your closets and shopping! I apply a lot of these tips to avoid impulse shopping. One of my downfalls is the ability to justify many-a-purchase!


    Haute Child in the City

  22. I love/hate this post... because I know I need to set a budget and just don't want to. Then what am I supposed to do to fill my time when I'm bored?? Wah wahhhh . You posted some great tips on here. Maybe I can start with 1 or 2 and build my way up.... Although, I am getting better at buying quality pieces! Just too many of them :/


  23. Just found your blog and am so with you on the idea that if we can stop buying the throwaway pieces we'll get something of quality that we'll love for longer. also read your madewell leopard flats post, and like everyone else, kindof need them now!

  24. Loving this post of yours, but ou know that already. I am loving my $300 Michael Kors black tote. I ripped off the tags (gently) the second I got home with it and carried it every day since. I have an idea I'm going to email you about :)

  25. I am a helper & enabler all at the same time :)

  26. Great idea! Sometimes I go on expeditions to the back of my closet to pull out things I haven't worn in ages. I hang them front & center in my closet, so I have to look them in the eye every time I get dressed, and then if I haven't worn said item in 2 weeks it is off to the donate, consign, trash, etc. pile! Welcome to the journey of creating a curated closet!

  27. Love this post! Very informative! I am in the process of cleaning my closet so this helps a lot!

  28. I didn't even think of any of that. I am going to have to start looking at my closet a little better now.


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