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3 Questions You Should Consider Before Buying New Clothing

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I am the queen of buying clothes that I wear once or twice, then they sit, and are given away. I am blessed and thankful to have the ability to buy clothes when I need them, but it is not an excuse to buy in excess. To stop buying unnecessary pieces or ones that only get worn once or twice I have started asking myself three necessary questions before I checkout or leave the dressing room:

1). Is this piece transitional? Can this item journey with me throughout the seasons? There are so many cute pieces out there and it is tempting to buy a little bit of everything when the seasons change, but that is neither cost effective nor an option considering the amount of closet space I have. If the shirt, sweater, pants, skirt, or dress cannot work through the seasons I will not purchase it. To help me figure this out, I try to bring a sweater with me to the store. I have several sweaters that follow me from fall to early spring. If the piece goes well with the sweater, I consider it. The next step is to look at color. If the color or fabric is too season specific, I will most likely not consider it as an option. For me, I try to have a combination of bright, jewel-tone colors and mostly natural tones in my arsenal so that my whole wardrobe can rotate all year long. If the piece does not fit the transition, I do not buy it.

2). Is this piece functional for my life? Just because a piece is cute and looks good does not mean we need to buy it or have it in our collection. I found this beautiful dress a few years back. It fit great, the purple color was deep and gorgeous, the price was a steal, but it was too fancy for my life. I am a casual person who hardly has an excuse to get dressed to the nines. I could have gotten it and crossed my fingers that I would meet some gorgeous doctor who would take me to an event, because it seems like doctors go to fancy things. But, that is not my reality. I decided to walk away trusting that if a handsome doctor showed up that the right dress would be waiting for me. If the item looks great, but you cannot come up with a real place and time that you would actually wear it, that piece is not for you right now. I know it is hard but put it back. You can do it. I did it.

Here are 3 questions I ask myself before buying a new piece of clothing!

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3). Is this piece the 2018 version of what I already own? I have come into my own sense of style over the years, which means I am in a solid rut. I am embarrassed to confess this, but I own over 20 flannel shirts. Yes. Over 20 flannel shirts collected from years 2015-2017. I do not need any more flannel and I especially did not need any last fall, but I caved and bought around 10 of them. If you already have something like the item you are considering in your closet, only buy the piece if the one you own needs to be replaced because of wear or size change. If you do not need this updated version of your favorite piece, do not buy it. You already have what you need and you most certainly do not need to own 20 of the same thing, because that would be crazy.

My hope is that each of us would become wise in our clothing decisions, both in what we purchase and give away. Shopping is not a bad thing or something I want you to avoid, but an activity you approach with intention instead of consumption. I am in full confidence of your ability to say no to the things that do not fit your whole life all year round, and your ability to walk away from the revamped version of your favorite things. You can create beautiful outfits with what you own and when you need to replace and find new pieces, you can make wise choices for your personal style.


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Hannah lives in a small town turned big in North Texas. Most of the time you can find her wrapped in a quilt with coffee in one hand, a pen in the other, and two cats at her feet.

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