We’ve all been there. You have a wardrobe issue. You might have a special event, or you might need to make a wardrobe transition between seasons. Whatever the need, things just don’t seem to be coming together. You keep asking yourself one question. What, if any, options do I have?
Well, here are some simple tips that will assist you in keeping your wardrobe updated as you need to, customizable to fit your budget.
Organize Your Clothing
Yes, there are some things in the world that still have no cost attached to them-except the energy exerted to accomplish them.
When you organize, you’re able to create a definitive inventory of what you have and make important choices about what stays and what goes. We often forget what’s in the closet. Maybe that one item you need is actually in the closet. It was simply hidden by some other clothing, or it fell off the hanger.
When you complete this step, you pretty much have “the essential tool” to help make your wardrobe decisions.
Now getting started, as with anything, can potentially pose some concerns. There’s something about taking that first step. But striving to keep a positive attitude coupled with a reminding yourself that this is the first step-and one step closer to accomplishing your goal-what previously seemed difficult will seem just a little less daunting.
Determine What It Is You Need
Just like purchasing for any other area of your life, you can buy too much clothing. But by using the insight acquired through organizing, you are now able to clearly see what it is you need, if anything, and prioritize purchases.
You have a head start on preventing the accumulation of unnecessary or unwanted pieces, aka “impulse shopping,” which tends to ruin your clothing budget and clutter your wardrobe. It’s important to use restraint when tempted by those “great deals” that don’t fit your clothing needs.
Set the Budget
This is a universal shopping priority. If you want to stay within your budget, set the limit on how much you are going to spend. And for those who want to take that extra precaution to not overspend, decide whether you’re going to use cash, credit or debit.
If you’re on the fence about which form of payment might assist you in remaining on budget, studies have shown that people are more reluctant to spend cash.
On the other hand, impulse shopping and overspending are attributed more to credit and debit use. Gregory Karp of the Chicago Tribune wrote an excellent piece that looks at purchasing behaviors when it comes to using cash, credit and debit.
Keep an Open Mind About Shopping Venues
When it comes to shopping, there’s a particular mindset that a savvy shopper will find quite beneficial-being open-minded. There are some great buys to be had visiting stores or shops which are off the beaten path-literally and figuratively.
Of course, when most people think of making a purchase, usually the retail “name-brand” stores come to mind. And that’s OK; it’s a given and it’s good. There are a variety of stores for shopping in order to meet consumer demands. And along that philosophy of variety, there are also some great buys which can be found at consignment shops, thrift stores and even yard sales.
The key to being efficient in shopping is the same regardless of where you shop-thoroughly examine every piece you are considering. There are no guidelines that say you will find defects here or defects there. It’s kind of like cars, whether new or old, they all have the propensity to present problems.
Let’s even look at the extreme of any shopping experience. What do you do if you find a piece that has a minor defect?
If you don’t like it, of course, it doesn’t matter. However, what do you do, if you find something you like, but you discover a small concern?
Well, is the minor defect inconspicuous enough that it really doesn’t matter that much? Is the imperfection something that you feel you could address? If your answer is yes to either or both of these questions, then, it’s more likely than not you’re contemplating still making the purchase?
If so, this now creates a great opportunity to inquire about a negotiated price (and if you’ve never negotiated, take this opportunity to try; you will never gain experience, if you don’t practice).
A great motivation to get you thinking about negotiating is if you noticed the imperfection, someone else has or will-possibly, and probably, store personnel. Therefore, the store, being in business to make a profit, might consider the offer even more critically because the next potential buyer might not be as understanding when it comes to still purchasing a piece with that minor concern.
Now, let’s discuss the actual negotiating process. Your first step is to determine what you think the item is worth and how the imperfection impacts that price. Usually, you want to aim for a price a little higher that your estimate because when you negotiate, the other person is usually going to aim for a lower price. This will, hopefully, help you in achieving your targeted price or at least an amount close to it.
Now, it is a given, you may not win the negotiating challenge. In fact, worst-case scenario, the store will not even consider negotiating, but there are takeaways. You have opened yourself up to another shopping avenue, and you’ve learned how to negotiate, or you’ve honed your negotiating and shopping skills.
As with life in general, it’s important to always evaluate and determine the lesson in our activities whether from positive or negative experiences. These lessons will help you going forward. Hey, the worse you can get is a “no,” but the best outcome is getting a great piece at an even better price.
Finally, with so much technology available, don’t forget about online shopping.
Online versions of “brick and mortar” stores will sometimes offer great deals which are not available in-store (and vice versa). There are also websites that are dedicated to offering great deals on clothing and accessories.
However, if you choose to use the internet, be sure to thoroughly investigate the site, especially ensuring it is legitimate and secure. A great source for vetting websites is to get feedback from people whom you trust who are online shoppers-family, friends and co-workers, for example.
Gifted Clothing is Great (Giving and Receiving)
Growing up, learning the importance of taking care of my clothes was a valuable lesson that I still use as an adult. But no matter how resourceful you are in extending the life of your clothing, eventually that extension is going to expire-your favorite article of clothing is not going to last forever.
During those times, then and now, when updating becomes necessary, a great gift is receiving gifted clothing.
Individuals close to you, as I mentioned previously, or even individuals whom you may not know as well may directly ask you if you might like a particular item or items. In other cases, they might simply be discussing their desire to update their wardrobe. If this is the case, it’s OK to respectfully inquire about what might be available or a particular piece which you’ve seen.
And imagine this, now that you are working toward organizing on a consistent, or at least on an as needed basis, you can begin assisting others with gifted clothing-giving directly to individuals, faith-based organizations, like churches, and charitable organizations or other need-based projects. It is quite rewarding when you can implement something you learned and help others at the same time.
Accessorizing Can Update and/or Enhance an Outfit
Many times, we overlook a very simple and economical way to update a favorite piece or an entire outfit. Some key accessories like earrings, necklaces, scarves, belts, bracelets and rings can transform a look. With accessories, you can use one item or a combination for the desired look you are trying to create.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to enhance a monotone color scheme is to add a pop of color. Accessories are such a great way to achieve that transformation.
Here Are a Few Quick Tips to Remember:
- Purchase pieces, whether clothing items or accessories, which can be used for multiple outfits. This provides you with a variety of styles for a minimum investment.
- Shop during sales. This has always been a great strategy, but with the current economic situation, many stores are offering even deeper discounts to maintain current customers and gain new ones. It’s also a great way to get more expensive pieces at lower prices. It’s a win-win situation for the business and you as a consumer.
- Take advantage of loyalty programs. This is a great way to receive information about upcoming sales in advance of notifications to the general public, to get coupons, and in some cases, to earn points which can be redeemed for rewards, including but not limited to gift certificates on future purchases. And usually, these programs are free. If interested, do your homework on the program, the company/store offering it, the benefits and whether or not any fees are associated with it.
- Shop out of season. At the close of each season, stores are aggressively trying to move inventory in order to make room for new seasonal merchandise. It’s a good time to find great bargains.
- Finally, the most important factor when it comes to your clothing is being true to who you are in your fashion selections. The latest clothing trend should always be the one you establish.
Do you have any great tips when it comes to updating a wardrobe? If so, please share in the comments section.